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Targa Rear Window Removal -- Observations and Questions

I've started the process of removing my Targa rear window as part of a seal replacement project. So far, I've got the Targa bar off (which I'll repaint) and I've started slowly cutting the seal back to expose the edges of the rear window. I like to work slowly at this because sharp utility knife blades and years of sun-hardened rubber make such a pleasant combination. It's also good to work slowly so the trim comes off with as little disturbance as possible.

Observations so far:

-- There is a good bit of a black nonhardening putty-like substance in the outer corners below where the seal makes the 90-degree turns on each side. I have no reason to suspect this is not a factory material. I'm guessing, but it looks to me like this stuff supports the two sharp corners of the rear window and seal.

-- On the outside of the glass, but below (inside) the edge of the seal, the glass seems to be treated with a very light coating of a gray nonhardening sticky substance. Again, I have no reason to think this is not a factory application. The material follows the rear outer edge of the window and continues up past the turn to the front top portion of the glass. Any idea what this material is? Is it needed?

-- Once you see how the rear window lays in there, the seal replacement doesn't look that daunting. The glass doesn't extend as far forward into or under the Targa frame as I would have thought. Still, I'm planning to use Kevin's ratcheting tie-down system to help coax the rear window and new seal into place when the time comes. I'll also have my son helping me (we did the front windshield/seal together).

-- I'm having a hard time seeing where the defroster connections are. I can see wires running about halfway around the rear driver's-side corner. Any thoughts on the exact location of the defroster connection on an SC? I may solder up an extension to make this connection easier during the replacement portion of this project.

-- Overall, the condition of the frame, etc., is much better than what I had to confront with the front windshield seal replacement. That is, I'm not being greeted with gobs of silicone or other extraneous goop as a quick fix to simply replacing the seal.

Brian
Old 02-26-2007, 07:14 AM
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I have never done this myself, but I will need to someday. I will follow your posts closely.

I hate to give you unverified info, but last year there was a Pelican who tried to give away an unneeded Targa window. When no one would come take it or pay to ship it, he attempted to destroy it. The litany of objects thrown at it and attempts made to break it were hillarious - and may give you a little peace of mind the fact that you have a strong piece of glass to work with!

BTW - how did the windshield go?
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:08 AM
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I'm not worried about breaking the rear Targa window -- I've heard it is tough as nails as long as you don't do something silly while handling it like drop it on concrete, etc.

The front windshield was easy once I had cleaned out the previous owner's (or mechanic's) silicone junk in the channel. I spent several weekends cleaning and carefully scraping. The actual replacement was pretty straightforward. The front windshield seal is relatively inexpensive, too. If you do a search, you'll find a report on my front windshield seal replacement project.

For the rear window, the Targa bar removal was a little challenging. Some of the angles needed to access the Phillips-head retaining screws are ridiculous and make you wonder how the factory did it during assembly.

One retaining screw was partially rusted so you couldn't get a bite on its remaining bit. Some quick work with the air grinder took care of that issue.

Brian
Old 02-26-2007, 08:24 AM
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Brian,

If you haven't seen this thread on Targa Rear Window installation here you go.... Quick Targa window install trick

Very informative.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:23 AM
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Rick, thanks. I had already read and bookmarked that thread as I started on my rear window seal replacement.

I'm trying to record some of the more esoteric insights as I dig into this (the gray sealing stuff on the outer edge and the black putty in the corners). I'll also note the specific location of the defroster wiring connection when I find it.

Brian
Old 02-26-2007, 09:30 AM
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how about some pics, i will be doing mune in the future.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:29 AM
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OK, pics, we got pics. The first shot is where I started from this evening. Note that the bottom trim is still attached. The gray stuff you see on the outer edges at the bottom of the rear window is that gray, sticky, non-hardening, but thin putty-like material.


Old 02-27-2007, 06:37 PM
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After some more careful cutting with the utility knife -- all I can say here is work super slowly and carefully -- the bottom trim came off without any tugging or pulling. This is good because if the trim gets bent or distorted, you've got potential re-assembly issues.

So I'm thinking soft-window Targa now ...
Old 02-27-2007, 06:41 PM
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With the bottom trim off, the rear window can be gently lifted off slightly enough to disconnect the defroster connections.

Now comes the challenge. On each side, there are four -- count 'em -- four spade connections for the defroster system. I'm going to carefully suss this out before I remove the rest of the old seal so I can see how the factory organized things as part of the original assembly process.

This pic shows what you're dealing with for the defroster system wiring.


Old 02-27-2007, 06:47 PM
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Progress update: I've got the rear deck trim panel removed (which includes the stereo speakers). There's a tab on the center of the vertical panel that reminds me of my 356 ownership days. As Yogi Berra would say, it was deja vu all over again.

I did a quick diagram of how the defroster wiring is run. With the rear deck panel removed, you can see where the harness runs into the engine compartment through a rubber grommet. If you read Kevin's thread, there's an important recommendation in there about disconnecting the defroster harness, running it correctly in the new seal and hooking it up as the new seal is mated to the window (and before roping the whole works back in).

My stopping point right now is I can't quite see where the defroster harness can be disconnected in the engine bay. I need to study this one for a bit.

Brian
Old 02-28-2007, 06:37 PM
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I took another quick peek in the engine compartment this morning on the way out the door. Does anyone know where the defroster harness (four wires) disconnects in the engine bay? Does it run all the way back to the rear fuse box? Thanks!

Brian
Old 03-01-2007, 07:12 AM
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I just endured this a few mos ago.
The defroster disconnects on the left side of the engine bay, follow the wires from the interior, it's pretty easy. The tough part is pulling the wires thru the compartment...they are VERY snug.

I had to farm my install out, I never got to the defroster issue for the install; it was the fact I couldn't get my new gasket to stay on the window for the install.

The gunk around the window was on mine too, I used 3M removal stuff to get it off. The brown (ground) wires are on the right. Both hook up on #1 and #3 spots, #2 should be hooked up by a black wire between I think lead #3 and #2 - dont remember exactly.

I also replaced the black trim below the Targa window, it is held on by speednuts - I'd suggest you do the same if you aren't exactly pleased with them.

Good luck; wish you were local, I watched them install my window and now feel I have a slight grasp on how to do so.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:59 AM
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I read in an old issue of Panorama that the factory used varying amounts of the black sealant for each car since each Targa was slighly different.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:15 AM
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FWIW- we HATE doing this job- it is such a PITA !! We found a very competent glass guy that does it for us- and it took him 4 hours to get it back in AFTER it was all prepped

Best of luck!
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:02 PM
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Thanks, I'll get there. Among the benefits of being your own wrench is that you work cheap, but thoroughly and thoughtfully. Time? There's a ton of while-you're-in-there things to do with this seal replacement, beginning with cleaning and tidying up after 25 years of service.

Brian
Old 03-01-2007, 12:19 PM
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More progress over the last few days. The hot wires from the window defroster run back to the engine compartment fuse panel. It took a bit of disassembly, but I've got the wiring harness aspect sorted for now. I'll use the old seal as a template for the wiring notches cut in the seal and exit holes.

I've also removed the two bottom-most trim strips without any trouble. And I picked up some 3M bedding material and caulk strips for the trim/seal/window re-install. It's time to start cleaning everything up and prepping for the new seal.

I may shoot the paint on the Targa bar tomorrow in between cleaning up and other tasks. It's slow, but I'm moving along.

Brian
Old 03-03-2007, 02:34 PM
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More info about the Targa rear window defroster harness: The two hot wires that run back under the fuse panel end at a plug that can be taken apart. Thus, the harness wires should pass back through the rubber body grommet from the window to the engine compartment on reassembly without having to do any cutting and solder/shrink splicing.

I carefully drilled four holes in the new seal (use the old seal as a guide for placement) and have threaded the defroster harness wires through, so I'm just about ready to put the seal and trim back on the rear window. At that point the window will be ready to be re-installed.

Meanwhile, things are slowly moving along elsewhere. I cleaned up the driver's-side lower trim, which had some chipped paint and a small dent that I carefully worked out. After sanding the lower trim piece with some fine sandpaper to give it some tooth, I test-shot it with some Rustoleum satin black with one of my cheap-o Harbor Freight airbrushes. It's a super-close match to the original finish when you compare the two trim sections.

I've still got a bunch more cleaning before I can start putting things back together.

Brian
Old 03-12-2007, 08:19 AM
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I was going to suggest drilling holes in the rubber for the defrost wires, but I see you already did that.

To put the seal on, get a rubber mallet. You will need it to get the seal and glass to sit properly. That seal is a PITA. As soon as you get one part in, another part slips off. grrr. Have fun.
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
You will need it to get the seal and glass to sit properly. That seal is a PITA.
Amen, brother. I developed a nice set of hitchhiker thumbs working the trim in when I did the front windshield seal. I expect no less from the task ahead.
Old 03-12-2007, 09:16 AM
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I shot the first coat of paint on the Targa bar, the lower trim pieces and the Targa script. I'm waiting on some new seals for the lower trim pieces that I need before I can start reassemblying everything.

In the meantime I've got the rear window cleaned up so I can begin installing the seal and accompanying trim on it.

Brian
Old 03-19-2007, 06:38 AM
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