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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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PackardDon
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I had the pleasure of meeting Mike, his brother and their father Sandy a couple years ago when I dropped in unannounced. Got the grand tour too but no parts that I was looking for although I have bought parts from them since. Over the years, they also bought parts from me what I was more active on eBay.

Posted on: 3/8 19:54
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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BigKev
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I cover installing the windshield and rear window on my project blog. Liquid Dish soap (undiluted) and 14 or 12 gauge wire, and 2" painters tape are your best friends. Don't try to install the chrome tr strip before installing the window. It's an exercise in frustration. Read through my blog on that, and if you have questions, I'll answer it. I basically did my windows by myself,so I can walk you through it. You find the shop manual basically useless on this subject.

Posted on: 3/8 20:07
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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kevinpackard
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Thanks guys. BigKev, I've read through your window installation a few times prior to this and it seemed fairly straightforward. Unfortunately mine is turning out to be anything but straightforward (as always). For the life of me I can't get the upper to fit. Passenger upper side just won't go. Even on the side that I got in, the window and gasket stick way out. Looking at the back, I can't see how the lock strip will be able to fit.

I'm beginning to think my dimensions are wrong from upper flange to lower flange. I might have to take the windshield out and grind down the upper flange, then reinstall.

Posted on: 3/9 7:50
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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BigKev
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Did you use the liquid dish soap? I put it in the grove where the pinch weld sits as well as all over the pinch weld itself. It also depends I think on which direction your pulling the wire from, as I think the gasket can stretch and shift a forward of where you are pulling the wire and this can cause extra gasket to be pushed more to one side and bunch up a bit. Not if you've tried it both ways start on different sides first, and that one corner is still impossible, then yes, perhaps the pinch weld there is too deep.

Once I had it over the pinch weld the whole thing was a bit "loosey-goosey" from and a forward and back perspective until I had the lock strip in. Use that time to slide the gasket side to side as needed so it is even and not stretch or bunched anywhere before putting in that lock strip.

Once again, liquid dish soap. I use the soap right out of the bottle (undiluted) as it then tends to stay in the place better vs just dripping all over the firewall and floor.

I also didn't have my dash in during this, which made this entire process 100x easier, especially when you get to drilling through the gasket for the trim fasteners. Which to me is the most nerve-racking of the entire process. A dry erase marker helps here, more on that when you get to that point.

Posted on: 3/9 9:11
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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kevinpackard
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BigKev - I have undiluted dish soap everywhere. It's quite the mess right now. There is no way this last foot or two is going in. The windshield is super tight right now. I'm really considering pulling it out, then taking off a solid 1/4" of the upper flange.

-Kevin

Posted on: 3/9 9:17
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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BigKev
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So the previous windshield was not in there with that flange?

Posted on: 3/9 13:29
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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kevinpackard
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BigKev - I had to remove the entire original upper windshield header due to rot. That included the upper windshield flange. When we replaced it, we lined everything up as best we could and it seemed to be right. My concern is that the upper flange is too low, and impeding the glass from seating....glass + gasket is too thick for the space maybe?


I just got off the phone with Mike Chirco, and he measured a Mayfair with the windshield out and gave me measurements of 16.5" top-bottom on the sides, and 16 7/8" on the middle.

I had a couple of minutes at lunch so I pulled the windshield and gasket out and measured....I'm right about at those numbers, if not a bit more. So I'm not sure why I can't get this thing to seat.

Should I put soap in gasket before the glass goes in? I didn't because the gasket went on the glass fine without it. Maybe it's keeping the glass from shifting and seating itself better?

-Kevin

Posted on: 3/9 15:14
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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BigKev
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I dont think that is needed, and then it may shift off the glass.

Is it only one side that is the problem. If you started on the opposite side does the problem move to the other corner?

Is the gasket fully seated on the glass and looks even all the way around?

Also, check that the gasket isn't malformed in any way. Like groove for the glass is shallower on the problem corner so it doesn't sit down enough to clear the corner. Was this a new gasket for Steele?

I found I had better luck when I left the gasket out in the sun for a bit to warm up and soften.

Are you pulling the wire a little on each side are a time to work both sides in first? The going up and over the corners to the middle?

Perhaps you can try to seat the top first and then work it over the bottom flange.

Last stupid question, are you sure the gasket is in the right orientation on the glass? I'm not sure if it could even be put on wrong, but just trying to cover all the bases here.

Have you checked the side-to-side opening width to make sure it matches what it supposed to be? And that the angles on the corners match side to side? Just making sure the opening is not out of skew to what it supposed to be. That's the only other thing I can think of from a body alignment issue.

Posted on: 3/9 15:53
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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kevinpackard
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New gasket from Steele, and I did double check the orientation to be sure that the correct side is out. I didn't see anything that looked malformed or anything on the gasket itself. It fit pretty well on the glass without much effort getting it on.

On the wire (I used nylon rope) I started in the center on the bottom, went to one side, then the other, the up each side. It's the passenger corner I can't seem to get in. Vertical dimension looks fine, and the overall fit of the replacement piece looks okay.

I didn't change the side pillars at all, and I can't imagine those things would bend....I can't remember how many layers of metal are in them, but it's a lot.

I don't know the side-side dimensions. But I'll measure corner to corner and see what it shows me. I know it won't be exact, but this type of gasket seems to allow for some misalignment.

-Kevin

Posted on: 3/9 17:03
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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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kevinpackard
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I think I may have found my problem. After removing the windshield from the car, I pulled back the gasket on the passenger side top, and saw that the rear pane of glass (windshields are two pieces laminated together) sat about 1/4" higher than the front pane. I didn't get time to check the lower edge. I noticed this when I first saw the glass but didn't think it would be an issue, and promptly forgot about it.

I suspect that the mismatch in the two panes is making the glass too tall to fit within the pinch welds on the passenger side. Whatever car it was in first might have had slightly different dimensions than mine does.

I'm researching ways to carefully grind down glass without damage. Luckily I have several pieces of broken windshield to practice on.

-Kevin

Posted on: 3/10 10:47
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