Flushed with my sucess on replacing the window strips on the rear safari windows, I set about doing the same on the middle doors. The window strips here were in a really bad condition and totally rotted out. The windows were loose and shaking so badly that I thought they would fall out when going over bumps. The water would run down past the windows into the door frames, and had induced rusing of the frames from within. Idealy, the doors need replacing, as they are slowly rusting out and have twisted slightly, but I can’t afford to do that at the moment, so they had to be repairted. Again, I used the Aluminum / Rubber window strip kit from Rocky Mountain Products as they worked well last time. However, these tracks are designed for the rear LR safari windows. Although they will fit the middle door window frame, the windows of the middle door are of a slightly different construction, and so a slightly different intsllation method was required.
I tackled each door in turn. The glass was removed by sliding the windows back and forth until I could find the screws for the upper window tracks. As expected, these were pretty rusted and some choice words and brute force (including needle nose pliers) were used to remove the screws. However, once they were all removed, the upper track could be removed, allowing the glass to be tilted out of the frames. This was set aside and the remainder of the window tracks were removed – a frustrating job due to the rusted screws holding the tracks in, espscially for the lower window tracks. Once all the tracks were removed, it could be seen that most of the support frames for the lower tracks, which were part of the door frame, had rusted away. No wonder the windows were lose and rattling.
The vacuum was used to remove the rust debris from inside the window frames and the worst of the corroded interior bracket remains were removed. The inside of the frame channel was liberally coated in POR-15 rust encapsulator in an effort to slow the frame corrosion and allowed to harden for several hours before putting the new tracks in. Whilst the paint was drying, the aluminum channels were cut to length, ensuring a tight fit in the door frame.
For the lower door track, a hole has to be cut to allow the window catch to pass through. I marked this up carefully, using the existing window catch and then chaindrilled through the aluminum body, but not the rubber channel strip. This allowed me to slit the rubber so that when I installed the lower track into the door, I could push the catch through the strip, so that the rubber would clamp tightly onto the window catch and form a water tight seal. It does make the catch a bit tight to use, but I rarely open those windows anyhow!
The lower tracks should be screwed onto some steel support strips welded across the window frame channel in the door, but since these had rusted away, there was nothing to screw the channel to. Instead, I used Permertex Black sillicone adhesive sealant to glue the frame into the channel, sealing the ends of and sides of the channel against the inside of the doorframe channel with more of the same. This turned out to be pretty resiliant and made a good waterproof seal. The upright strips were then attached to the door frames, this time by scewing into the door frames, but also with a good coating of the silicone sealant adhesive for leak proofing.When drilling the screw holes, remember to resess the screw heads into the rubber track, so that the glass window panes can slide above them. The top tracks were then added to complete the window frame, by drilling out the scewholes and scewing the track to the window frame. Once all the upper holes had been drilled, the top frame was removed again, the glass panes carefully instralled in the lower track in the correct order (front fixed pane goes OUTSIDE of the sliding rear pane), the upper track (with silicone adhesive already applied to the top and outerside of the track) mounted on top of the window panes and the whole lot tilted back into the window frame. Once firmly pushed into place, the windows can be slid back and forth so that the relevant screws can be driven home. Any sealant that had oozed out was then removed and tidied up. The outer fixed front pane was sealed into the track using clear sillicone sealant so it can’t be slid forward, as there is no catch on this window pane to prevent it being moved. The less viscous clear silicone was also used to secondary seal the window tracks into the door frames, so providing a robust water tight seal.
And that was it! Total time for each window was a few hours, excluding time for the POR-15 to dry and cure. I did the job over two rather warm days, allowing one day for each door, with plenty of stops to cool off in the garage. The windows are now leakproof and water tight and don’t rattle. They have very little chance of falling out and are far more secure. When I eventually replace the doors, I will either remove and re-use the existing door tracks in the new doors, or by a new kit. I’m very happy with these tracks and the relative ease with which they can be fitted into the various different types of land rover window frame. I’m sure they will also work in the rear window of a truck cab as well with no problem.