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Part 117: How to Replace the Driver's Side Door Glass

Updated: Apr 5

The driver's side door glass is a job anyone can handle if they follow a few simple procedures.

The driver's side door glass had cracked badly during the summer of 2023.

Back Into the Guts of the Door

When you perform such extensive work to a car like what this archive entails, you have a tendency to believe that you will never have to dive back into certain sections again. Several years ago if you would have told me that an otherwise new door glass (with new window channel and anti-rattle installed) would end up being cracked I would have said, "No way." Yet here we are. A few posts back I mentioned that I would be getting around to replacing the glass and at that time promised a write-up and video on the work.

I completely re-assembled the doors five years ago.

Gather the Tools

Disassembling a door panel, hardware, and removing the window glass is pretty much a straightforward affair. While the 1955 Ford shop manual (the 56 manual would be pretty much the same) includes the steps in the procedure with a few good diagrams, the manual does not list the tools you will need. Here are the tools and a few photos to help. If you decide to watch the video, there are demonstrations of some of the tools I used.

Screwdrivers (Phillips - heads from #1 to #3 )

Plastic Flat Blade Pry Bars

Door Handle Tool

Dental Picks


5/16" nut driver, wrench, or socket

Rubber mallet

Heat gun

Adhesive and/or glass setting tape

White Lithium Grease or suitable lube

Tips Beyond the Shop Manual

Like I stated earlier, the shop manual does a pretty good job in taking you through the process. The peskiest part of disassembly is removing the door handle and the window crank. You need a door handle tool certainly, but you also have to hold your tongue and squint just right to get the spring clip to release each handle from the splined stud. Make sure there are no sharp edges on your tool and that your tool is also clean so as not to damage your door panel in any way. It will take some time to get the "feel" for the tool when it disengages the clip. Just be patient.

The clips on the handles can be a little difficult to deal with when working on the door.

The next tip concerns sheet metal garnish and the various screws that hold it to the door. There are a few different lengths. Make note of where each screw goes - you do not want to damage your garnish during re-assembly.

Since this is just a piece of flat, automotive glass, you may be fortunate enough to have a local shop that could cut a new piece for you. In my immediate area, I could not find one. I ordered one from AutoCity Classic. Do your best not to damage the old glass any more than it already is.

The videos cover more, but the piece from AutoCity Classic was very good quality.

Take note of the orientation of your "door glass lift channel" so that you can get the glass set in the groove correctly. The rollers only have so much of a run at the end of the levers on the scissor mechanism.

If you are going to reuse your rollers, I would highly suggest you disassemble them, clean the parts with solvent, and inspect for any burrs or irregularities. Use your favorite tacky lubricant when you reset the rollers on the rails.

There is no adjustment to the felt window channel that runs along the back of the door near the latch. But, be sure to adjust the division bar on the front side. The division bar doubles as a part of the frame for the vent window, but there are two slots at the bottom of the bar at the bracket. You can move the bar (and therefore the front window channel) out and in and left to right. You will have to loosen the nut on the bracket inside of the door itself to get the bar to slide in and out. The left and right adjustment can be made by loosening the bolt easily seen after the door panel was removed. It is my estimation from the cracks in the glass that I did not adjust the front channel/division bar correctly several years ago and this put undue stress on the corner of the glass each time it was rolled down.

1955 Ford Club Sedan Door Window Removal

1955 Ford Club Sedan Door Window Installation

All in all, I am very happy with the results. I know the videos tell a better story than what I could convey in writing, but these "how-to" videos can be quite long. There are a few other projects in the works such as using a clay bar and buffer on the 1955 Ford's paint, fiddling around with Monroe Load-Adjusting rear shocks, and future plans for speedometer cable and the 312 Y Block build.

I do post all of my videos on Vimeo and also on my YouTube channel. If you have never visited my channel, I encourage you to subscribe and share. There are thousands of subscribers here to the blog, but just a little over a thousand on my channel. Your effort to help me grow the numbers only helps to keep the bills paid to maintain the website.

Still preaching the Bible and driving an old Ford!

I preached a sermon entitled "Are You a Servant" during a college chapel service late in 2023. You can listen to the Bible message by visiting this link. My transition to California and a new ministry position has been quite the challenge, but I am still finding time to tinker on the old Ford while staying faithful to my life calling! Thank you for visiting this site and staying connected.

The Hot Rod Reverend

aka Daniel Jessup


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