View Full Version : How do I remove my rear window?

07-26-2012, 05:40 PM
I've got a 69 Nova, and the trunk has leaked for basically as long as I've owned the car. I finally went out to look at it, and I noticed the area around the rear window actually has holes that have rusted through. So I need to take the window out so I can fix it. I'm not sure how, though. Do I just remove the chrome trim and get in the car and push hard as hell on the window?

How do I remove the trim without damaging it?

I've seen tutorials on installing the window and putting a new seal in, but I have yet to find any guides on removing it.

Any tips would be grrrreat!

07-26-2012, 06:30 PM
The best way to remove the window is to have a glass shop come and remove it. I know that isn't exactly what you were looking for (probably the opposite) but skinny of it is this...

1-they will come to your house in most cases (mobile services is usually free or can be negotiated to be free)
2-professionals wont damage your trim, car or glass
3-the cost is cheap anywhere from $20-$45

07-27-2012, 06:20 AM
Harbor Freight makes a pretty cheap removal too that you insert through the gasket/seal and then pull it around the glass. You can also use wire like bailing wire or piano wire. This method takes 2 people though - one inside and one outside. Be careful if you're disposing of it - I put my 68 Camaro rear glass in the garbage can and hit it with a hammer to break it and it basically exploded!

07-27-2012, 08:30 AM
Remove the lower trim first. Comes off with a series of screws.
Use a trim tool to unhook the trim starting at the lower corner and work your way up.
slowly drag the trim tool under the trim you will feel it catch.
Gently pry the trim up with your finger as you rotate the tool under the trim.
Pop one at a time till you remove the trim.
Once all the trim is off you can use wire or a flat blade on the inside of the car. While holding the blade along the glass push down to cut sealer. If you have rust down there it will most likely be an easy job.
Once most of the sealer is separated push from the inside and have a helper grab the glass from the out side.

trim removal tool

07-27-2012, 08:56 PM
I've called a few glass places and they all say the same thing. They won't take it out unless it's been physically damaged because there's a risk of it basically exploding if it's removed incorrectly. Apparently nobody wants to take the chance and try to remove it, so I'm left on my own.

I have plans tomorrow, but it's looking like a 50/50 shot that they'll fall through, so I may actually get a chance to do this tomorrow. Hopefully Harbor Freight has the tools I need.

Will this work?



That's the only thing I can find on the Harbor Freight site. It'd be nice to be able to just go to a local place to get the tool, rather than waiting for it to get here from some place online. :(

07-27-2012, 08:59 PM
Just jump on YouTube, there is a 10 minute video that shows a removal/install in about 10 minutes of an old school GM rear quarter window.

07-28-2012, 09:10 AM
the two tools on the end will come in handy. The tool 2nd from the right is for removing the trim. Put some tape on the mid point where it contacts the glass.
Have you tried Oriles or Pep boys?

07-28-2012, 09:38 AM
Use the tool quick says above to remove the trim. The harbor freight seal breaking tool I talked about above did not work all that great anyway - it was very hard to pull through the sealer. Get a buddy and do the wire method - you can get bailing wire at any Lowes or Home Depot.

07-28-2012, 01:23 PM
Have you tried Oriles or Pep boys?

I haven't, yet. But I just looked at the O'reilly website and they have a couple tools that look like they'll work perfectly. They have this "GM window trim removal tool":


And then this window removal tool:


David, is that the tool you tried that didn't work all that great? The O'reilly site has actual wire and handles that I'm assuming is basically like bailing wire. I remember watching a video where two guys used some wire and just kind of "sawed" through the seam and went around the entire window. If any of the local shops have decent trim removal tools, I'll just get those and do the wire thing.

07-28-2012, 02:43 PM
The reason why I don't like using wire is it puts little chips in the edge of the glass. Especially if your sealer is super hard as usual. These chips can grow over time. Yep those tools will work just fine. The seal cutter is great and works fast

07-31-2012, 01:05 PM
I've removed windshields & rear windows from 20+ GM A-bodies, and have NOT broken even one, at all!
Using only flatblade screwdrivers to remove chrome trim & razor blade/gasket scraper for loosening seals to remove glass from body, the key is PATIENCE (DO NOT be in a HURRY!) & BEing CAREFUL (DO NOT be in a HURRY!).

There's no reason to be afraid of doing the job, as long as you take your time, make sure you cut the seals COMPLETELY (or at least enough for the glass to come out easily), and there's no reason that you can't do a better job than most "professionals".
Professional only means that those people have done the job more often, but not necessarily better, or even correctly, in some cases!

If I've done this, as successfully as I have, and without using expensive specialty tools, there's no reason why you can't do it yourself, either, as long as you TAKE YOUR TIME!
GOOD LUCK, Let us know how it turns out, either way!

08-01-2012, 12:45 PM
The bottom picture in post #9 is the harbor frieght tool I used and I thought it was hard to pull through the seal but it could have been the cheap harbor frieght brand. Quick is the man so if he likes them it would probably work good for you. That tool did break my widshiels but it was my fault - I cracked it inserting it through the seal before I even started pulling it around. Just be careful and go slow - you can do it!!

08-02-2012, 12:58 PM

I went to Harbor Freight and bought the 4 tool trim kit and the seal cutter.

It was relatively easy undoing the trim on the driver's side since it wasn't rusted. The passenger's side, though, I got frustrated and accidentally ended up putting a slight bend in the trim. :banghead:

The seal was cracked and flaking and sticking out at the bottom of the window, so I pulled a little piece out and stabbed the cutting tool in. I barely put any force into it and instead of cutting through the seal, it lifted the window! Literally 75% of the window wasn't even sealed! :seizure: The only part of the window that was still sealed was the top, the rest of the window I could lift with barely any effort at all. It took longer to get the trim off than it did to get the window out.

I'll try to upload some pics soon, but I think it's way out of my league. I mean I've seen worse, so I'm sure it's fixable, but it's definitely not going to be as easy as I thought. :Alchy:

08-02-2012, 08:48 PM
Sounds like you could have taken the trim off, rolled all the windows up and slammed the drivers door hard. Glass out, easy as pie. LOL

08-07-2012, 06:46 PM
First time attaching pics this way, so hopefully they're not ginormous lol.

Anyway, ideas on how I'd go about fixing this??

Pics didn't look that zoomed in when I took them...and they were right side up as well...still, you get the idea lol.


08-10-2012, 10:58 AM

Anybody know what gauge the metal is? I was just gonna cut out a piece of metal, bend it to shape and just go to town. Since there's a stud for the trim in the rusted area, I was just going to get a nail that was roughly the same size and weld that in the replacement metal.

Not sure how I'm going to do the lip that the window actually sits on, though.