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 Drivers Side Window Misalignment

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GMFreak8
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PostSubject: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyMon Mar 16, 2009 10:08 pm

I just acquired a 1998 Riviera. The glass on the drivers side door seems to be misaligned. For instance, when the window is put all the way up the actual glass overlaps with the upper seal on the car by a good 1/2 inch. I have to lower it slightly for that not to happen. When I do that the glass is bowed out too much so it doesn't make a proper seal on the back side of the door frame. When the door is opened and the window is up I can take the glass in my hand and physically move it back and forth. Has anyone had this problem before or know how to go about realigning it? I don't think it's the actual door, but the glass. I could be wrong though. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyMon Mar 16, 2009 10:48 pm

Inside the door is a brace for the glass that can be adjusted. I haven't had to adjust mine yet, but be careful taking the door panel off - you can't lift it by the 'pull' handle, and that handle doesn't come off, just the screws come out of it. If you lift the panel by that handle after the screws are out you'll just tear it out. (but you do have to remove those screws too).

I think there are some old threads about this problem, but I can't find them.
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GMFreak8
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyTue Mar 17, 2009 12:54 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
Inside the door is a brace for the glass that can be adjusted. I haven't had to adjust mine yet, but be careful taking the door panel off - you can't lift it by the 'pull' handle, and that handle doesn't come off, just the screws come out of it. If you lift the panel by that handle after the screws are out you'll just tear it out. (but you do have to remove those screws too).

I think there are some old threads about this problem, but I can't find them.

So you think all it is is the brace misaligned? The door seems to shut a little harder than the passenger side, but there isn't any wear on the latch that would show misalignment. The door seems fairly easy to remove compared to my old Park Ave. It can definitely be adjusted then and doesn't require a new window?
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyTue Mar 17, 2009 1:13 pm

You can't bend the glass, so it has to be the track that's out of whack... It should be adjustable but you have to take the door panel off to get at the adjustments.
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GMFreak8
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyTue Mar 17, 2009 5:35 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
You can't bend the glass, so it has to be the track that's out of whack... It should be adjustable but you have to take the door panel off to get at the adjustments.

That makes me feel better in a way. I see there is a writeup on removing the panel. Seems like it's hopefully an easy fix.
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Ridin-Rivi
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyMon Dec 28, 2009 5:29 pm

Any update to this. I have the same problem. It seems that the from plastic piece that the windows attached to is loose. Any ideas?
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyMon Dec 28, 2009 5:41 pm

There is a write up on here for the proper method of removing the door panel without damaging it.
Once it is off you will be able to see the glass mounting arrangement and replace the worn plastic pieces with new, if that indeed is the problem.
Will more than likely have to get those kind of parts from a dealer or one of the online GM parts supplier.
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyTue Dec 29, 2009 10:19 am

I most likely have the same problem, but with my passenger side window. I have had the problem for years now. When I am going fast enough, wind comes through a gap between the glass and the seal and annoys the hell out of me on highway driving. Thankfully, I don't drive on the highway much.

Regardless, I have taken off my door panels numerous times for various reasons. I remember checking (not thoroughly) for some kind of mounting hardware or adjustment pieces or things of that nature, but if I remember right, I could not find anything behind the plastic door panel that could be adjusted. That was a few years ago though, and I didn't look around very much if I remember correctly. There was a thread a few years back where somebody mentioned there was some kind of hardware behind the panel but I never saw it and couldn't figure out what they were talking about.

It seemed to me that one would have to remove the metal sheet holding the glass between it and the very outormost metal sheet, which looked like it would be a pain in the ass. It would be great to see a write up or something. Otherwise, I might take the panel off again when I have some time and really look around.
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Ridin-Rivi
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyTue Dec 29, 2009 12:08 pm

Yep same problem here. When my window is half way down I can pull it up and down & side to side about 3 inches. It seems that the front plastic tab that guides & holds the window is loose or worn out. I cant figure exactly how to fix the problem. Someone has to know.
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woggy
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyTue Dec 29, 2009 12:26 pm

there is a brace or part of the upper track that you can check, I had the same problem with mine and it turned out to be the tack welds that hold the brace or upper track to the door were broken. I re welded this brace and all is good.
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GMFreak8
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyWed Dec 30, 2009 10:02 am

I just brought it to a friend who has a body shop and he aligned it for me. I haven't had any issues yet with the window, and it was only $20 for him to do it. He did say that the previous owner was an idiot and tried welding the door adjustments to prevent it from wiggling. He had to unweld and then adjust the window. Gotta love it...

Now my passenger side window is starting to act up, but it only does it in the cold. If you close the door the window overlaps the rubber seal in the front right above the mirror and causes an air leak that is noticeable above 45. I brought it to him and he said it wasn't misaligned or anything, but it was the result of cold weather and the air vents in the door freezing. The freezing door vents don't allow the air inside the vehicle to vent when closing the door and as a result it's basically pushing against a giant air pillow and forces the window out slightly. I tested this theory by keeping the drivers side door opened when closing the passenger side and it seals great.

Not that that is any help, but just in case anyone else runs across that issue.

My biggest complaint about the windows and doors now is the fact that if a stiff wind picks up when it's parked in the winter the doors freeze solid and you then look like a fool trying to pry your door back opened.
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyWed Dec 30, 2009 10:08 am

GM recommends using some Dielectric grease on the door and window seals to keep them from freezing up.
I usually do it in the fall before the winter and it will last all winter.
You can also use some silicone spray on the seals.
I recommend spraying onto a rag or towel and then wiping the seals with the silicone moistened towel.
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GMFreak8
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyWed Dec 30, 2009 10:23 am

Rickw wrote:
GM recommends using some Dielectric grease on the door and window seals to keep them from freezing up.
I usually do it in the fall before the winter and it will last all winter.
You can also use some silicone spray on the seals.
I recommend spraying onto a rag or towel and then wiping the seals with the silicone moistened towel.

Yeah, I should do that. I just haven't had the time. I don't know how many times I've grabbed the handle, pulled only to fall on my ass expecting the door to open. It's quite a sight to see. Me on my ass swearing at my car.
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyWed Dec 30, 2009 12:59 pm

GMFreak8 wrote:
I just brought it to a friend who has a body shop and he aligned it for me. I haven't had any issues yet with the window, and it was only $20 for him to do it. He did say that the previous owner was an idiot and tried welding the door adjustments to prevent it from wiggling. He had to unweld and then adjust the window. Gotta love it...

Now my passenger side window is starting to act up, but it only does it in the cold. If you close the door the window overlaps the rubber seal in the front right above the mirror and causes an air leak that is noticeable above 45. I brought it to him and he said it wasn't misaligned or anything, but it was the result of cold weather and the air vents in the door freezing. The freezing door vents don't allow the air inside the vehicle to vent when closing the door and as a result it's basically pushing against a giant air pillow and forces the window out slightly. I tested this theory by keeping the drivers side door opened when closing the passenger side and it seals great.

Not that that is any help, but just in case anyone else runs across that issue.

My biggest complaint about the windows and doors now is the fact that if a stiff wind picks up when it's parked in the winter the doors freeze solid and you then look like a fool trying to pry your door back opened.

This is a long shot - but - if you have an air path from the passenger compartment into the trunk (air path does not have to be huge but it has to be there) your "air pillow" can be vented through the trunk vents.

To check this here are some ideas.

- pull the trunk liner at the passenger side rear and check that the vent is not obstructed. The vent is in the lower fender and is hidden by that side of the rear bumper cover. If you check the thread about mice you'll find pictures.
- pull the rear seat cushion (lower part) and check that there is a gap at least partway across the (usually hidden) bottom of the rear seat back. While the seat is out have a look at the bottom edges of the panels that have the rear passnger armrests. If there is something random stuffed into that gap you might want to change it. For instance if that gap was closed for whatever reason with weatherstripping or closed cell foam, most likely for sound control, you might consider replacing that with a strip or pieces of fiber carpet padding, whcih you can get at a carpet store that does installations and sells remnants. [and while you are in there check and consider cleaning the battery terminals)
- check the installation of the carpeted panel that is wedged in the trunk behind the rear seat back. One air path from pasenger compartment is around the edges of that panel. [frankly this should not be aproblem unless PO stuffed something around it.

As far as the doors freezing shut, Rick's advice about silicone will pretty much fix that *and* make your seals last just about indefinitely if you do it regularly. One little change though: I don't spray the silicone spray onto a rag first and then wipe because the stuff is *so* thin. I buy the CRC silicone spray that comes with the little straw that you can jam in the nozzle. When I spray, I hold the straw pretty close to the weatherstrips so that I don't overspray (much) onto surrounding surfaces (it soaks into the paint, which is an issue if you ever try to do paint or bodywork on that panel). It soaks into the rubber in a moment or two. It does not keep the ice off but it *does* keep the ice from sticking to the rubber. I have also used DOT 5 (NOT DOT 5.1) brake fluid for this; DOT 5 is 100% Polydimethysiloxane (CAS# 63148-62-9). Don't use DOT 5.1 for preserving rubber, it is an aggressive solvent.

An aside about DOT 5, the silicone: it actually has issues as a brake fluid for regular American cars because it holds (entrains) air bubbles (which can lead to damaging the ABS valving), it does not really absorb water (so the water pools in the low parts of brake system and causes corrosion or rust), it is more viscous (which leads to damaging the ABS servo) and can foam up when forced thru a small opening under pressure (any water in it gets 'locally heated' and turns to steam) thus making the brakes spongy an in many cases inoperable. It is used a good deal in fleets, where the disadvantages can be managed through careful maintenance. It is also used by car collectors because if it is spilled it does not damage paint and again, the disadvantages can be managed via careful maintenance. Despite the disadvantages, DOT 5 is superb for vehicles that are seldom used but need to be kept ready to use at a moment's notice, and for fleets that get maintenance that's aware of how to make that fluid work it's best. Once in properly, you probably would not need to change it as often as you do the glycol-type fluids. For collector cars it's a great idea. There is pretty good information on the web about DOT5 change over issues - and almost no info about the "off-schedule" use as a rubber preservative.

ANYWAY in my experience it makes a very useful and effective rubber dressing and preservative, I've used it for several years.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 9:17 pm

May I make a recommendation. Do not pull on these handles if you suspect the door to be frozen. The handle itself is a pretty poor design. What seperates the handle from the mech is a small plastic tab and any pressure above and beyond normal (ie frozen door pulling) will result in the tab breaking and then you'll be really ticked cause the whole handle needs to be replaced.

What I do is do a test and if it's frozen, use the trunk key at the bottom of the door trim and do a little prying. Screwdriver will work too but just keep away from pulling on the handle.
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 9:28 pm

I meant to mention the same thing when GMFreak8 (Kyle) mentioned how he has fallen on his butt a couple of times trying to open a frozen door.

I'm not sure I understand using the key or screwdriver to help the situation though. Maybe you could explain??

It has only happened to me once where the drivers door wouldn't open, but the passenger side did, so I just crawled in and started it up and waited for the heat to melt the door seal.
I do keep a can of ice melt available just in case, but I prefer not to use that near a painted surface.
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 11:21 pm

Ahh...What I mean is if the door is frozen tight (to the point it won't open via the handle unless some serious pulling) I use what's at hand (in this case, I use the trunk key since it never requires that much pressure and the key itself, I never use). At the base of the door, there's that grey plastic trim (stay away from the paint) and you can slide whatever you choose be it key or screwdriver and pull the door out from being frozen. Keep in mind the handle needs to be in the open position as well.

The mech itself isn't frozen; just all the weatherstripping that literally lines the door from top to bottom. I just need something else to grip to other than the handle. I agree though, stay away from the ice melt stuff and the paint.

Hope that clarifys what I meant.
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyThu Dec 31, 2009 11:25 pm

Yeh, I think i understand now. You are pulling the door from the bottom while just holding the door handle in the "Open' position, correct.
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PostSubject: Re: Drivers Side Window Misalignment   Drivers Side Window Misalignment EmptyTue Jan 05, 2010 6:09 pm

Thanks guys for the tips. I do have airflow between the cabin and the trunk, I made sure of it so I have some heat going into the trunk for my audio equipment. I just think it has more to do with everything shrinking when it's so cold out. If it's above 15 it doesn't do it.

I've learned my lesson about the door handles. They feel weak, so I don't pull at all, and I yelled at my girlfriend for doing it the other day. I now actually do the same thing with my key as previously stated. I get it opened enough to get my fingers inside and pry the door opened that way. As soon as it warms up, I'll be putting some of that silicon on the seals and finally getting it washed. It's driving me insane the dirt on the car.
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