1990 Holden VN SS: Our Shed

By: Dave Morley, Photography by: Dave Morley

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Glenn Torrens and Dave Morley collaberate to fix an escaping window rubber on the VN Commodore


1990 Holden VN SS

Build quality was not, I’m beginning to understand, a Holden long suit back in 1990. Actually, I knew this only too well, having road tested VN Commodores back in the day. But when a car is 25 years old, you can kind of forgive it for not having perfect shut-lines and maybe the odd rattle somewhere up under the slighty-faded dashboard.

On the other hand, when a window rubber that’s supposed to live inside the door cavity, out of sight, suddenly migrates upwards to emerge between the upper window rubber and the door frame (check the pic below), then it stops being funny. The rubber strip in question is supposed to be captive in an aluminium channel below the window-line where it stops the glass rattling when it’s in the down position. This one had clearly escaped.

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Fortunately, fellow Unique Cars scribbler Glenn Torrens was in town for a beer (and maybe something else, I don’t know) and offered to help me sort it. Now, Torrens has been getting greasy on Holdens for so long he actually thinks like a GM engineer. So, almost instinctively, he knew where to start. Which was, of course, yanking off the door trim and handles and then the plastic sheet that keeps the dust out of the cabin.

From there, we figured the aluminium channel needed to be removed (two bolts) and the old rubber remnants removed. Trouble was, the original rubber was so mangled that it was unusable. But a quick trip to Clark Rubber netted a length of stuff that looked pretty similar. Similar enough that it fitted the aluminium groove and allowed the window to slide into it (with a little silicon spray to help things along). Bung it all back together and hey presto!

But here’s my advice: If you have the same issue, don’t try to cheat by sliding the new rubber into the channel while the aluminium strip is still in place in the door. It won’t work.

For the sake of two bolts, the exterior mirror and a couple of trim pieces, remove the channel and make your life easier. A warm day would probably makes things easier again as the rubber should be softer (we did it in Melbourne in mid-June). And, of course, if you get stuck, be sure to call Torrens, not me.


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