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The following article explains the procedures required to restore the doors of the 1961 and 1962 Bel Air & Biscayne two-door Sedans: outer weatherstrip, trim panel whisker strip and window channel. The procedure is the same for the rather rare 1961 Impala 2-door Sedan, but the kit is a little different. The procedure is quite similar for other Late Great Chevy 2- door Sedans. All disassembly photos show the right door and all assembly photos show the left door. This month we will show the disassembly procedures. Next month in Part 2 we will complete the restoration and installation.

Parts List
Inside Door Handle Clip Tool
Door Window Channel Felt
3M Super Trim Adhesive Spray
Window Channel Felt
Window Channel Rivet Set
Door Window Channel Clip Set
Window Felt Kit
Door Panel Retainers

Time Frame
3 hours

Image #1

Remove the two screws which secure the armrest to the door. Remove the door lock knob. Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the four interior trim panel screws with large built-in washers that secure the lower part of the door panel. Using a handle clip removing tool, remove the door handle, vent window handle and window handle. (See Photo #1) Remember to slide the tool between the handle and the large plastic trim washer.

Using a large flat-bladed screwdriver or paint scraper, pry the door panel "nails" from the plastic retaining clips that are pressed into the door. These are the nails and plastic clips secure the door trim panel to the door. These nails will run from the top to the bottom along the front and rear edges of the door panel. Lift the door panel assembly up and off of the door. Make note that there are two large springs which keep the door panel away from the window handle and door handle. (One of these large springs will not be located at the vent window handle.)

Image #2 & 3: Using a 7/16-inch socket, remove the hex-head bolt with built-in washer which secures the vent window frame shaft to the vent window crank mechanism. (See Photo #2.) Using a 7/16-inch wrench or socket, remove the three bolts with built-in washers which secure the vent window crank mechanism to the door. Since the vent window crank mechanism is usually stuck on the vent window frame shaft, use a flat-nosed punch and hammer to drive the crank mechanism off of the shaft. Through one of the access holes in the door, remove the vent window mechanism. (See Photo#3.) Inspect the vent window mechanism to make sure that the lower and rear covers are in place and that it turns smoothly.

Image #4 & 5: head sheet metal screw which secures the vent window assembly to the upper edge of the door. (See Photo #4.) Using a 7/16-inch wrench remove the special nut which secures the lower vent window channel assembly to the inner door skin. (See Photo #5)

Image #6: Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the three chromed sheet metal screws which secure the vent window frame assembly to the forward/top part of the door frame. (See Photo #6). These special screws that have an oversized flat head. One of these screws is at the top of the vent assembly, another one is located towards the middle of the vent assembly and the lower screw faces toward the front of the car.

With the door window in the "down" position, slide the lower vent window channel adjusting stud out of the hole in the lower part of the door towards the outer door skin. Tilt the vent window assembly towards the rear of the door and inward, and then slide the complete assembly out of the door.

Image #7: With the door glass in the "down" position, use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the two flat-head Phillips machine screws with built-in star washers which secure the lower channel of the window regulator to the brackets that are spot welded onto the bottom of the door glass channel. One of these will be accessed through the large access hole to the front of the door and the other one will be removed through the large access hole to the rear of the door. (See Photo # 7.) Slide the lower channel to the rear to free the forward door glass bracket and tilt the front edge of the door glass downward. At this point the door glass should be free of the channel and you can slide the door glass assembly up and out of the door by tilting it inward.

Image #8 & 9: The chrome-beaded weatherstrip that runs the length of the door is secured to the outer door edge by two flat-head sheet metal screws - one at the forward end and the other at the rear end. Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove these screws. (See Photo #8.) This weatherstrip is also secured to the outer door edge by four "pinch" clips. Use your hands to push the chrome-beaded weatherstrip downward so that the clips are released from the door metal. You may have to use a flat-bladed screwdriver to help push the weatherstrip downward so that the clip will release. (See Photo #9.) (Note: the forward end of the chrome bead is bent inward so that it matches the contour of the door. When it comes time to install the new weatherstrip, you will need to bend the bead inward on the new weatherstrip.)

Image #10 & 11: The next piece to remove from the door is the window channel that runs across the top of the door frame and down the rear of the door. So that you have some kind of idea of how long the window channel needs to be, mark the forward upper end of the window channel where it met the vent window assembly Using a 7/16-inch socket with an extension, remove the hex head bolt which secures the lower part of the channel. This bolt is accessible through the large rear access hole. (See Photo #10.) After removing the bolt, begin to pry and pull the window channel out of the door frame. Use a large flat-bladed screwdriver or paint scraper to pry the channel out of the door. (See Photo #11.) The channel is held into the door with seven to nine special clips which are secured onto the backside of the channel. Try to keep the channel in its basic shape because you are going to use it as a pattern for the new channel.

Image #12: The lower part of the window channel which is down inside of the door, has a bracket which is riveted to the channel. On most 1961 's, this bracket is sixteen inches long and is riveted in three places along the channel. The window channel runs almost the complete length of this bracket almost down to where the bolt is located. On most 1962's, this bracket/channel is also sixteen inches long but is secured to the window channel with two rivets at the top of the bracket/ channel. The window channel ends near the cop of the bracket/channel. On 1962's, the lower bracket/channel has felting installed in it and it acts as a channel for the glass.

Using a 1/4-inch bit, drill off the heads of the rivets which secure the lower bracket co the channel. Using a small flat nosed punch, drive the rivets out of the bracket and channel.

Although both 1961-1962 brackets are sixteen inches long, the amount of channel chat will be used is not the same because of how the channel is secured to these brackets. If you are restoring the 1961-cype brackets, bead blast and then clear coat. If you are restoring the 1962-cype bracket/channel, check the condition of the felting material. If the feltting material is almost gone you will probably want to scrape it out of the bracket/ channel, then bead blast and then finally clear coat.