Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions for First Generation Firebirds that have been asked on First Generation Firebird-L mailing list. Special thanks needs to be given to all the Firebird-L owners that took the time to respond to other subscribers questions. These pages are continuously updated as new information is posted on the mailing list.
|Q:||Replacing a Broken Windshield|
|A rock flew up from a gravel truck and broke my windshield over the weekend. Should I attempt this myself or have some cheap/quick glass company assigned by my insurance company fix it?|
|A:||For The $150 it costs for a new one is it worth it? you ll sleep better at night doing it yourself. Dont forget to use urethane sealer between the glass and mouldings. It keeps the moisture and leaves,dirt out to prevent rust. The grey sealer for header moulding can be found at HomeDepot or electrical supply house. Its called DuxSeal and comes in 1 or 5 lbs clumps like modeling clay.|
|Q:||Power Windows Adjustments|
|My 68 bird has power windows on it. As with any car with 100K plus miles of service, the windows, particularly the rear windows,are a pain to get up (No Viagara jokes here please!). I resort to the old tug methos to get them started (again, no other jokes here,please!) and then using the window switch they eventually get to where they are supposed to seat. My question is, to alievate this, is this just a matter of adjusting the window alignment??? or is there a tension adjustment somewhere? I looked at the service manual, but I am still conffused about the remedy.. Any help would be appreciated.|
I don't know about 68 birds, but my 69 cougar convert had the same problem. I
removed the motor unit, and opened it up. What was once grease had the
constancy of tar. I used carb cleaner cleaned and regressed them. The ones I have done
this work much better. Also some time in the past someone had reinstalled a
helper spring back wards on one window. And finaly check the switch or
relays, the window draws a fair amount of currant and if there is carbon
scoring on the switch this might be the problem. Try using De-Oxit to remove the carbon.
Becarefull when disassembling the unit, there is a spring that helps push the window up that stings like the dickens when (if) you let it hit you.
|Q:||Etched window glass|
|I have a 68 Firebird that has the firebird emblems etched in the glass. My bird has power windows and also the "Custom" interior. Is there any connection to these options? how are is this??|
Regarding the 'Bird' etching found on some '68 Firebird's...
The process used to produce the 'Bird' Logo on the front side glass
was referred to as 'Etching'. To Etch does not necessarily mean to
'sandblast' an image into the glass; this can be accomplished in the same way
as the supplier/date code info is 'etched' onto the glass. This was not simply
As far as verifying the reason's behind why some received this special glass and other's did not; the following is NOT true...
* Used on all Firebird's built before 5-1-68
* Used only on Air Conditioned and/or Power Window cars
* Used only on Early Production cars
* Used only on Tinted-Glass cars
From the Registry-Survey I have been conducting over the past 8yrs, I have found ORIGINAL '68 Firebird's w/the 'Etched' Bird and also with or without the above features...in other words; mystery not solved. The only thing I have found is that all cars in the Registry w/the special glass are "400" cars.... all built between Nov.'67 and Jul.'68 including Lordstown and Van Nuys cars. Still need more info to be able to establish a consistent trend here.
GENERATION-1 FIREBIRD Registry
|A:||Regarding the '68 Firebird 'Bird' Glass mystery; I've collected documentation from many '68 Firebirds during the 10 yrs I've been working on the 1st Gen. Firebird Registry. Out of the hundreds of cars, I have yet to decipher this mystery other than to say that the Etched White Birds on the front side glass appeared only on the early '68 Firebirds. I've found them on original, documented, one owner cars that have been 400s, 350s, with and w/o A/C, with and w/o Custom Trim Option, Coupes, Convs, Clear Glass and Tinted, automatics and 4spds. I'm currently trying to establish the latest build date for cars having this special glass. It could be that this feature was pulled due to production costs. Your '68 350 Firebird w/Bird Glass being built around the 1st week of March is certainly one of the later '68s I've heard of getting this feature. I'd be interested in adding any of your current/former Firebirds to our Registry. If you wouldn't mind sharing the VIN, Trim Tag info as well as descriptions and/or documentation. We're still doing quite a bit of research into this and other 1st Gen. mysteries. Thanks very much for your interest and support. John Schuh "GENERATION-1" Firebird Registry http://members.aol.com/Framair/Gen1.html|
|I was looking at the Bird emblem on my side window which people say is etched. It does not look etched but instead some type of paint. Is mine original?|
|A:||I dont know where the phrase of etched glass was started but they arent. Its actually a type of paint similar to silkscreen,and can be scraped off. If it was etched it wouldnt be higher than the glass, it would be engraved. Check yours out and see.|
|Hi everyone, I was pulling my doors apart on the weekend and noticed that my passenger side door glass is tinted. No other windows are tinted. Probably a really stupid question but if you have tinted glass is it for all windows or just the front two and not for the quarter windows ?|
|A:||...You either got a Tinted Windshield or Tinted Glass (all) which meant all side glass including quarter glass.|
|Can I use '69 or '67 glass in my '68?|
|A:||Remember the basics, gentlemen - all three years had different glass. Although the 68 and 69 appeared the same when installed, the concealed bottom was different. The 68 was straight across, while the 69 glass has a curve across the bottom. I have only seen etched bird glass with the straight (68 style) bottom.|
|A:||Not true ole buddy... I have 68 Birdglass thats curved like the 69s. So may we say that its could be that 68 and 69 share a same glass, in certain cases. Use the date code if in doubt as to what it is. Also they changed manufacturers between 68 to 69. PPG to LOF. I think some 69s had PPG.|
|A:||One thing I know for sure, the July 1969 parts book gives a replacement glass listing for 68 and 69 as the same, eliminating the earlier design 68 glass. Do you ever remember seeing the etchings on curved glass (later) style?|
|Q:||Door Glass for '68 and '69|
|Is the door glass for the '68 same as for the '69?|
|A:||There were actually differences between 68 and 69 glass, but the July 69 parts book lists the replacement as the same. On your 68's with original glass the glass has a straight line across the bottom, the 69's have a curve across the bottom. You cannot see this with the door assembled. Then there's the "bird emblem" issue on some 68's, I don't think of the few I've seen any have been of the later curved style.|
|Q:||Rear Window Removal|
|How do I remove my rear window on my Firebird.|
|A:||A special tool is available that is basically an L-shaped blade with a good handle that will cut the adhesive around the glass so it may be lifted out. All auto glass shops have them.|
The first (and only) time I tried to remove a windshield was with this
type of tool. Insert, twist, and POP! Crack shoots across the glass....
:-/ I'm not sure the tool was sharp enough, though...
I believe it's an art.....
My next attempt will be using Piano Wire (or guitar string, or similar). Poke hole in sealant, push wire through, wrap each end of wire around a stick, and have one person on the inside and one on the outside and slowly and carefully saw around the edge of the window. Well, that's my next attempt, and I'm sticking with it. Especially after I ruined that windshield ;)
|Q:||Rear Window Sticks|
|The specific incident that I am referring to in regards to a window malfunction is as follows: I lowered the passenger-side rear window about two-thirds of the way. When I tried to raise it the crank wouldn't budge. One of us had to pull up on the glass while the other cranked. It went up but was left "off track" and tilted forward a couple of inches. I was told by them and others that this is a common problem for Firebird/Camaro owners with no real solution except to leave the windows up or put them back on track in a hurry when it rains at the cruse. As usual, any help you guys can give me is appreciated.|
Have you ever noticed that convertible rear windows work smoother
than coupes? I have (had) both. My theory is that the convertible rear
windows get used more because the car looks better that way when
the top is down. Unless there is someone in the back seat of the coupe,
the windows hardly ever get rolled down.
If your quarter window is tough to move up and down you may want to remove the thirty year old grease (at least it used to be grease) and replace it with some white lithium. If you do a good job, they will work better then your front windows.
|A:||I had the same problem with my '68 when I first got it. I pulled the back seat and back door panels to find that both rear windows had broken rollers. These rollers are plastic that fit into a metal track and after 30 years, they just plain give out. I ordered new rollers, I think from Classic Industries for about $3 each. Now both windows work great. Pull the door panels, you may find the same problem, or maybe something else, but it can be fixed!|
If that's the case, I would remove the glass. Look at the guide
rollers, guides and everything that moves. Get everything clean and lubed.
If there are broken, loose or missing parts, now is the time to correct it.
Work the regulator without the glass in it untill it is really smooth. Keep
checking the lube on the regulator and pivots (ya gotta have the little
plastic louvered vent thing removed from the post for this). Clean the
rolling parts on the glass untill they operate smoothly. I used a
penetrating spray oil to clean, and Tetra-Gun white grease for lube. There
are probably better products for this, but that's what's on my shelf. When
you re-install the glass you make all the adjustments (up and down travel,
where the top meets the wx stripping, and the tilt). Things should work
better. You still might have to assist the window slightly. Oh yeah, watch
what you touch, your hands WILL be filthy! Also, keep small children and
tender ears away while you're working on these D*** windows. Now is the time
to install new water shields too. Heck, might as well do the front door regulators too.
The procedure is outlined in the manuals. If you dont already have these, they will pay for themselves in no time. I recomend the chasis service manuel, the Fisher Body Service manual, the Pontiac Parts catalog, and the Parts illustration book. These are the best reference for your car, and the illustrations are good. The price for all four will exceed $100, a price you will forget long after you remember the conveneince and quality. Even if you get stumped, you will have a good idea of what some of us are talking about (assuming we know what we are talking about)!
I have had lots of 67-9 Birds and never had one of the windows fall of
track they do get stubborn as the gease hardens with age. An easy solution
for 68,69 is as follows. Take out the black plastic "vent" for flow thru
ventilation (one screw ) this will enable you to get to the rollers without
removing the side panel (sorry 67 owners you must do this) get a fresh can
of Brake Kleen and fabricate an extra long straw to get to rollers and
track. Spray until most of the old grease is removed. Get a can of spray
white lube and respray the rollers and track. work the window up and down
helping it until the grease is worked in. respray and work in again. If
this doesnt work then the roller must be replaced, which requires window
Forgot to mention that all convert. are minus the flow thru vent. Must do as 67 hardtop and remove the side panel or possibly just the u shaped weatherstrip to gain enough access
|Q:||Power Window Motor Removal|
|My 68 convertible bird has stock power windows. They work, but are real sluggish and draw a lot of current when raising or lowering. I installed new wiring recently so the problem must be in the motors. I am considering removing the motors (all 4) and cleaning, re-greasing, and maybe taking them to an electrical shop that specializes in motor repair. Has anybody had any experience with this? What's the best way to get the motors out?|
I have power windows on my car also. My car is a low mileage car, but my windows stuck also. In replacing my quarter panels, I had easy access to the window mechanism. The grease had mixed with dirt and turned into a clay like substance over time. After cleaning and regreasing, they work fantastic. Also, don't forget to examine the rollers. If they are worn badly, they will cause the windows to bind.
By the way, high current draw from the power window motors usually comes from high mechanical resistance to movement. That in turn creates the high current draw.
|Q:||Problems Rolling Rear Window Down|
My rear glass has not rolled down since I bought the car, it was nice out yesterday, decided to take a look. I couldn't get them to move at first, then I took out the regulator and it appeared fine. I could slide the
window up and down by hand, but after reinstalling the regulator I could only get
it up and down using both hands; one on the crank and one on the window maneuvering it up, down, in, and out. Any ideas with "walk me through instructions"?
Also, the chrome and rubber seal on the front of the glass; the rubber is rotten. Is this replaceable, is it a rubber piece and a separate chrome piece, or a single rubber and chrome piece? Instructions?
If the rear windows weren't used much, chances are the grease got too hard.
On my 69, I used a combination of Liquid Wrench and lithium grease to get
them moving again. I took the jamb vent out and sprayed the tracks and
regulator drive gear and kept working the window up and don until it moved
smoothly. Then, I lubricated the tracks and the regulator with white lithium
grease. Both the Liquid Wrench and white lithium were in aerosol cans.
The rubber weather seal in the quarter window is replaceable but the chrome edge is not. Keep looking at the swap meets or try and buy some out of Arizona or So Calif.
|Q:||Power Window Switches|
First the scenario - I took apart the back portion of the interior to attend to the power window switch (as well as a really shaky window). I re-seated the single switch (3 prong) to the "female" receptor and tried it again... no good. Then I simply put a little pressure on the switch and receptor with my fingers and it worked... if I take the pressure off it don't. So now for the question... is it the switch or the receptor?
Any one experience this or had experience with the switches?
|A:||most likely the problem is the wiring connector and the plastic base that holds it. the hairpin type wiring connector loses tension after it is overheated( usually due to a poor connection or a binding motor or window).I would first check the switch pins and clean them with a scotchbrite pad. Next is to disassemble the plastic connector harness. remove the small screws and carefully lift out the wiring and connectors. Squeeze the connector togeather at the point where it slides onto the switch post this will retension the connector when reassembled . As with any electrical work ,disconnect power(battery) first. a little electrical no-corode at the terminal will help to maintain the contact.|
|Q:||Rear Window Channel|
Well, it looks like the sides of the rear-window channel in my 'bird are rusted out pretty bad. The left, and right sides are starting to flake away but the top and bottom part looks okay. It appears as if someone removed the rear-window and didn't seal it properly allowing water to enter that area and sit and cause rust.
So, my question is what repair options do I have? Could I sand the area out and fill it in with lead? Should I cut apart a junker and weld the rear window area in? Should I just weld in some sheet metal? Should I just have a body shop do it?
|A:||Had this problem on the 69 Bird I'm working on now. I went down to the local sheet metal shop and had them bend some 22 gauge metal in four foot sticks to repair them. The "sticks" were bent with a 3/4" lip (the portion that goes under the window), a 3/4 rise (the portion that the trim clips will be attached), and a 1/4 overhang (I Mig-welded this to the outside along the sail panel). I had to buy a 4x10 foot sheet of the metal. Total cost for fabrication was about $60. For the rounded corners I notched the metal to make a smooth sweep. I followed this with a product called "All Metal" ( a water proof filler). So far it look pretty good but I haven't installed the clips or window yet. However I don't foresee any problems.|
|Q:||Rear Quarter Window Rollers/Channel|
|My rear quarter windows don't go up or down very well. I have to help them. I bought new rollers, but I can't figure how to get the old ones out or new ones in. Any suggestions.|
|A:||One of my rear manual crank windows needs help, too. It's because it tilts forward so I'd bet the track needs to be repositioned properly. Maybe same for yours?|
My 69 convertible had this problem.
Usually it's not the track since it would be VERY hard for it to come off.
There are 3 wheels and it seems that the middle one seems to be the usual
culprit. That's what it was on mine. I bought it at a Pontiac dealership but I
think they are available through the catalog companies.
As far as getting to the channel, you need to pull your back seat out and then remove the side pannels. You will see an access plate that you can remove to get to the mechanism but you will need to remove the channel out (I did anyway) to get to everything.
I'm going by memory since I did this about 2 years ago but it's fairly obvious once you get in there.
|Q:||Rear Window Tracking Problem|
|Guys I am going to have a little time soon to work on the bird and i have a question I hope someone can help me with. The back windows in my bird fall forward when I roll them down you have to fight with them to get them back on the tracks to let them up again, I looked at the bushings and they looked ok but they probley need replacing has anyone else fixed this problem .|
|A:||Remove the roller/guide thats got a stud in it that swivels like a ball joint and replace with a new one. Remove all traces of old grease and relube all the guide/rollers with good white lube. Move glass up and down several times helping it by grasping top , until lube is spred out like it should be. Keep windows lubed up and should work fine. Youve got a 68 hardtop so youre lucky as you can relube without pulling rear panel off . Just pull out the flow thru grille.|
|A:||In addition to the above, you can also replace the other two rollers. The one with the spring is easily replaced (after removing the bracket from the glass) and the other more difficult because the stem that holds the roller is riveted in place and the rivet must be ground off, drilled and tapped and put back in with a wide but thin machine screw. I have power windows so this may not apply if you have only one roller - I don't know if the bracket that goes on the glass is different from manual windows. Anyway , I have done this and the windows work like new. The only place that I have found the roller parts (other than the swivel roller mentioned above) is "Rick's First Generation Camaro" catalog. See http://www.firstgen.com/|
|A:||I replaced one of the center wheels in my convertible and that fixed the problem. Basically you have 2 outer plastic wheels and one inner wheel that rides in a slot. If the inner wheel is broken then the window doesn't track correctly and you have to help it with your hand. I bought it at a Pontiac dealership parts department (they had to order it). They didn't have the exact drawing for the bird but in flipping through some books we found one that looked correct from a different car. I'll see if I still have the paper work with the part # (I know I should have documented this but ....). It was only $10.00 or so. You'll need to pull your back seat out as well as the side pannel and then you can get to the access pannel to the window mechanism.|
|Q:||Window Alignment Problem|
|My 68 convertible has problems with the windows. The front window has a gap of 1/4" in the front lower corner.The front and back windows arces don't match. Could this be wrong windows? we have had these windows adjusted and no improvement. Are there other windows that could have been installed or is there any way to correct them. The frame is good it's never been a wreck. any ideas would greatly appreciated|
I'm not sure if there is any adjustment in the front windows but I have removed the back window in my 69 convertible to replace one of the rollers that go up and down on the guides (the center one) and there are quite a few adjustments to get the window to lign up correctly again. The guide mounts on 3 studs (it may be 4 but as I recall it was 3) that allow you to change the pitch of the window (to align it parallel to the front one) as well as it's tilt (front to back). It takes a while to get it right but with some patience it's doable. You need to remove the back seat and the arm rest and side covers to access the area.
Does the window go up and down smoothly? If not, it could be that one of the rollers is broken or popped off the guide. I actually bought mine at the Pontiac dealer (special order) for about 10 bucks.
|I need to install a new front windshield. Did it include the rubber molding around the windshield?|
|A:||There is no rubber molding around the first gen birds. Both front and glass ws installed using butal rubber tape (kind of a tar like substance). These days, most glass installers use stuff that even better.|