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Well we started the grand project yesterday. Found a few items of concern:
1. Both side frame tabs were broken and spread apart from the frame by about 3/16". This really bums me out, since I had a new conv. top installed this spring and the idiot who did it made it too tight (had to shim the rear hold downs in order to be able to clamp the top down). If I fix these tabs (back to the correct dimension), then the w/s moves forward that 3/16" and the top will not fit. Looking for suggestions. I am planning on milling the side frames and then adding a screwed on steel tab (to replace the existing broken tabs). Got to pay for that mill I bought a couple of years ago! Welding is not an option, since the material in question looks to be pot metal (zinc).
2. Also found the 2 threaded plates (that hold the side frames clamped to the top channel) were not installed correctly. These plates should be on the inside of the channel, with the screws going through the side frame, through the channel, and then screwed into the threaded plates (this clamps the channel in place). However, I found both threaded plates between the side frame and the channel, which only held the plate to the side frame. Note that there are no marks on the inside of the channel to indicate that they were ever in the correct position (got to believe that Chevy installed them wrong at the factory). The w/s is the original, the weatherstrip is as hard as Mt. Rushmore, and the bottom w/s looks to original as well. Has anyone else ever seen this?
3. Also found an error in the Factory manual: It states to remove the left wiper arm, and left wiper transmission (in order to access the bolts under the cowl to remove the w/s). I did not need to do this, and don't understand why they would state this? Perhaps this was needed for earlier Vettes, but I did not need to do it on my 62.
Certainly not necessary to remove the wiper transmission. It is necessary to remove the defroster ducts to access a couple of the nuts.
Milling the posts for tabs will make reassembly easier. I understand there is a low temp rod availble that can be used to weld the pot metal. I wouldn't attempt it or let anyone else who was not experienced attempt it. Not sure about the strength of the weld either.
Found that Corvette Central repairs these tabs for $61.50 each. They use same method I was going to use (mill a section away and add new stronger tabs). After I looked at it (trying to figure how to fixture these things in my mill), I sent them off to CC this morning. 2 week lead time is not terrible at this time of year (especially up north).
Yes, I did remove the defroster ducts for easier access to the nuts.
Finished putting the windshield on today, and found everything still fit like before (top still very tight but I can latch it). Found that the whole job was worthwhile & rewarding (fixed a few things that I did not know they needed fixing, like the tabs broken on the side frames, and the top header not installed correctly). The most difficult part was installing the bottom U channel and SS trim (whoever says they should be installed before the other frame members is crazy!). I installed all of the other parts, and then had to capture one end of the bottom butt'y, and then work it around to the other side. If I tried to install it separately, it would just pop off the area I had just grunted into place! The Corvette Central repair on the side frame tabs was perfect and took them only 2 weeks ($61.50 per side + shipping). They mill out the plate area and replace the tabs with bolted on steel plates, heli-coil the 2 studs holes, and supply new studs (well worth the price).
I will still try your trick in order to loosen up the top a bit, but that is next week's project.
Congratulations on a job I found VERY difficult! Are the new tabs from Corvette Central removable? If so, do you think it would make sense to leave the tabs off so you can more easily get the screws though the tab and into that PIA nut plate, and THEN attach the nut plate to the windshield post?
Yes, they are removable. That is exactly how I did it (attach the new tabs to the U-channel sliding plate, installed the U-channel, and then attach the tabs to the post). Great minds think alike!
Also, once I had the bottom U-channel and SS trim in place, I then used a chain wrench between the nearest post stud and the nearest U-channel T-stud (tightened & with nuts on them for protection) so that I could snug up the U-channel to the post (loosened the sliding plate screws, tightened the chain wrench, then tightened the screws again). Repeat the process until the U-channel is within 1/16" of the post (on each side), and the SS trim gap to the post was nil (use to be 3/8" on one side) Worked well (I certainly could not tighten this up using my weight).
I also readjusted the top this afternoon, and it looks (and fits) much better. Next time, I will know to replace the top AFTER I mess with the windshield!!!!!!!!!