1963 Rambler station wagon rear window remove and replace

To replace a rear quarter panel after some idiot in a pickup truck with bad brakes ("but I was pumping them" he sez) crunches it, you gotta take out the scary side window. It's scary because it has been sitting there for nearly 40 years and rubber turns to something resembling coal.

The Technical Service Manual (TSM) says something to the effect, just pry down the window channel lip on the inside and tilt the window out. Uh-huh. That's not even possible in 1964, never mind 2002, since it's circumference is about 10 feet total and each of my fingers covers about an inch.

But there is an easy trick: go buy a bag of popsicle sticks, aka craft sticks. Pry down the rubber lip, insert a stick, a rubber mallet helps. Sometimes the stick will catch on a small lip caused by the inner/outer sheet steel assemblies (easier to grok when you have the window out). This is where the mallet comes in.

A photo speaks a thousand words. After inserting enough sticks to go 3/4ths of the way around (leaving the bottom in place) it really did just tilt out. Don't drop it!

Re-insertion is a true terror on an old car. I'm sure with a new rubber it would have been straightforward, but as far as I know, there are no new ones available, and my experience with 40 year old NOS rubber is very, very poor. I simply don't bother any more.

The TSM recommended trick is to insert a thin rope into the groove, press the window in place after lubing the *outside* edge with sealer, press in and pull the rope vertically, pulling the rubber lip over the steel flange. What it does to old rubber is tear it, like the pull-string on a carton of oatmeal.

I have no real trick, basically I used a LARGE rope (almost 3/8" diameter) with the idea it will be less likely to cut through like cheese (it helped) but basically I had to fight it, and use a screwdriver to pry individual little bits of rubber at a time over the flange. Took about an hour of heavy-duty swearing.

It was one of those events that reminded me just how old, really old, this car is.