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  1. #1
    Member Chevyman for life's Avatar
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    Default '59 Vette side window frames

    Anyone familiar with whether the door window frames are chromed steel or stainless? The ones on the project I'm working on are quite scratched up although no rust shows.

    Just want to make sure they're stainless before I start sanding out the scratches. I assume that 58-62 are the same.

    Thanks,
    Gerry

  2. #2
    Member Bob Willis's Avatar
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    I think they were stainless that was flash chromed. Just like the cove moldings were.

  3. #3
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    I agree. Too much polishing or any sanding will remove the flash chroming. The polished stainless will have a more yellowish tint to it without the flash chrome to keep it bright white. Put an original piece and a repolished piece side by side and you can easily see the difference.

    Tom
    1959 Chevrolet Corvette 1981 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 L81 automatic Frost Beige

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    Member Chevyman for life's Avatar
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    Thanks Bob and Tom for the info. Guess it's a good thing I didn't start sanding away on the window frames. I can check locally for what flash chroming costs but maybe it's best to send to a place like Corvette Central who "restore" your own frames and install new glass.

    If any other suggestions I'm open minded (maybe that means there's a big gap in my brain?).

    Thanks again,

    Gerry

  5. #5
    Member Chevyman for life's Avatar
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    Just a little information on the C1 stainless door glass frames. I test sanded the end of the frames fairly deeply and then polished them. On this '59 there was no flash chrome on either of the frames and the color is chrome like.

    I know that the hubcaps on '56 Chevy's were like that. Some were flash chromed over slightly goldish stainless steel and some were clear stainless. In trying to find decent ones at swap meets for my car with only minimal dents to work out I had to kiss a lot of frogs.

    Anyway, if anyone wants to get the scratches out of their window frames you can try my test on the bottom inch or so of the frame. One of these frames was so badly gouged that I had to order a new repro. It's on back order and I sure hope it looks and fits good.

    Gerry

  6. #6
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update. Let us know how the repro works out.

    Tom
    1959 Chevrolet Corvette 1981 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 L81 automatic Frost Beige

  7. #7
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    Default Repro side window frame assessment

    Tom,

    Took some time to get the repro side window frame. Here's my assessment.

    Was backordered but arrived earlier than predicted. It looked quite nice. Could have stood a little more final buffing but may have been almost as good as factory. The stainless seemed to be a slightly thinner material but dimensionally was OK.

    I took it to my glass man (who does lots of specialty cars and knows what he's doing). The new glass was mounted with no problems in my original frame. However, the when doing the glass into the repro frame a weld in one top corner cracked. Looking at the inside of both frames, the original seems to be a one piece frame (not sure how they did that) or if it was welded I couldn't tell. The repro frame had pie shaped cuts and then was welded. Looking at both corners, some of the welds had good penetration but a couple didn't, thus the weakness leading to a crack when mating with the gasket strip and glass.

    The vendor (CC) offered to send a new one and even sent a prepaid UPS sticker to return the defective one. Again it was on back order. In talking to the glass installer he said if I got another repro he would only put the gasket material on one side and the bottom of the channel and fill the other side with sealer. He didn't want another one to break on him.

    Thinking it over, I decided to do major rehab on the old frame which had many deep gouges. I cancelled the order for the new one and I have been spending a lot of time getting all but the deepest scratches out (I didn't want to take too much metal out). The owner is in agreement and would rather have an original, stronger one with a few imperfections. I had to start with a file over 70% of the surface then used 100, 150, 180, 220, 320 over the whole surface and will finish with either 400 or 600 then triple buff, hopefully tomorrow.

    As you can imagine I'm not making any money on this one as I feel it should be less or equal to the repro price ($97). It's looking pretty good though but I'll have about 14 or so hours in it.

    If someone has no choice, the repro frame looks good but forewarn the glass installer to be cautious putting the glass in it. CC was very cooperative and helpful through this whole situation.

    Gerry

  8. #8
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear that you are saving the original part. Some resto parts use different manufacturing processes than the originals. To try to duplicate what GM did would be way too expensive. This may be one of those cases.

    Too bad that you have to put so much work into it for the price though.

    Tom
    1959 Chevrolet Corvette 1981 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 L81 automatic Frost Beige

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevyman for life View Post
    Just a little information on the C1 stainless door glass frames. I test sanded the end of the frames fairly deeply and then polished them. On this '59 there was no flash chrome on either of the frames and the color is chrome like.

    I know that the hubcaps on '56 Chevy's were like that. Some were flash chromed over slightly goldish stainless steel and some were clear stainless. In trying to find decent ones at swap meets for my car with only minimal dents to work out I had to kiss a lot of frogs.

    Anyway, if anyone wants to get the scratches out of their window frames you can try my test on the bottom inch or so of the frame. One of these frames was so badly gouged that I had to order a new repro. It's on back order and I sure hope it looks and fits good.

    Gerry
    Are you talking about the window door trim or the actual windshield door post?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stemmer View Post
    Are you talking about the window door trim or the actual windshield door post?
    I'm referring to the stainless channel that goes around three sides of the glass. The posts are pot metal so don't try sanding those. However, the garnish moldings on the door on each side of the base of the window are also stainless and can be sanded and polished.

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