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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I have a 1997 firebird with T-tops. The problem I have is that the window is not sealed to the hatch so when it rains water comes poring in. I need to know if removing the glass and resealing it is something I can do myself and if so how do I do it? I really dont want to pay $215 to get a pro to do it but I also dont want to break my glass.
 

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When a window leaks it's usually the weather strip that is bad. Download the 96 service manual from 4th gen tech section. It has a body section with window and t-top instructions.

Also the inner & outer belt weatherstrip on door, and pieces that adjust window in the door could be out of adjustment or worn to the point of not holding side window tightly against t-top weatherstrip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its not the side windows that are the problem. Its the big back window that I look through when I back up. If I wanted to I could just about pick up the glass off of the back hatch. My main concern is if I will break the glass if I try to take it off myself.
 

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You may be able to remove the glass if you unbolt the hatch. When my '93 T/A had the back glass shattered, I noticed that the hinges are pretty much part of the glass AND frame. It was all bonded together. There is still quite a bit of glass bonded to the metal frame, actually, that's the only place that old hatch has glass. SafeLite wanted $1,600 to replace the hatch. They said there is no glass replacement, it's all one piece... I got a hatch off Craigslist for $150 w/wing.

If your glass has actually lost its bond all the way around, sure, lift it, support it with blocks/sticks in a few places, use a quality sealant made to bond glass, run a good bead, drop glass down to seal.

the hinges though are part of the frame that the glass is bonded too, if the glass is still bonded to it, chances are you will break the glass lifting it. The weather stripping that runs around the window is more cosmetic than seal.

Truthfully, for the price of a replacement (new or used), pay a Pro. If they break it, they replace it. ...if it leaks, they warranty their work. This isn't a Dodge Neon side window that you can just pick up from any salvage yard for $20. 4th gen. F-Body's have been out of production 12/13 years now and *many* have been crushed; and many more are currently being parted out. If you break the glass, who knows, either there won't be a local replacement, that'll be the day you get torrential rains, or the day you see 6' of snow. :)

I vote PRO. $200 is a small price to pay to keep the carpet dry and mold free as well as the interior metal RUST FREE, (yes, the rear end IS metal).

We all like to be able to say "I fixed that!", but, sometimes it's best to just let a pro handle the job. With the supply levels of rear hatches being what they are, I'd rather let someone else f* it up and eat the replacement cost. ...at the *very least*, source a new hatch BEFORE you begin. ....knowhatimean?
 

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The back glass on my 90 3rd gen was pouring water into the back of the car. Enough to make indentation at very back look like a swimming pool. Bought new weatherstrip for hatch, problem solved.

3rd gen uses large back glass similar to 4th gen. You do not have to remove hatch glass to change the weather strip on the body for the hatch.

If you suspect the water is coming from where glass meets sheet metal, this piece is held on by bolts or nuts. You remove inner plastic panel to get to the attachments. You can remove the bolts, nuts, cut the seal holding the metal to the glass. Then remove the metal.

You then clean the old sealant off metal and glass completely. Get 3M urethane windshield sealant and use it to seal metal to glass. Available at Napa & other parts stores. Don't pay attention to the recommendation of using the special 3M primmer for the job.

No one in the business uses it. Do make sure you have no bare metal where glass meets metal. Urethane sealant, unlike other forms of sealing compounds, sticks best to painted surfaces.

Service manual should have instructions for the job if your not clear on how to do. Trick I learned when I did mine; leave the bolts,nuts loose enough so metal can move some. Climb into back of car, have assistant close hatch. This will make it align correctly. Tighten bolts, nuts keeping in mind that your attached to glass. Don't tighten to the point that you break the glass.
 

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You can get a whole hatch on craigslist pretty cheap, but then you have to worry about getting one the same color or painting to match.

And there's also the chance, seeing that newest 4th gen hatch is nearing 14 years old, that it will leak also.
 
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