Bruce Miller's Windows

Sliding windows make life so much easier when entering car parks or paying tolls on the motorways. I had seen a couple of cars at Stoneleigh which had sliding windows so I decided to make a pair myself. The following gives the route I took, but many variations are possible, so its up to you.

  1. I wanted to fit quarter lights at each corner of the windscreen, with a vertical aluminium structure for the side panel to seal against. It also made the corners very rigid. I used 6mm aluminium sheet with a suitable hole cut in it, and milled a recess to take a piece of 4mm thick polycarbonate, bonding it into place with a urethane sealant. Depending on the fit of the windscreen posts to the car body, you may need to bend the bottom edge for fit before fastening it to the body. Photos 1 & 2 and sketch A show the details.

  2. The vertical members were made from 12mm square aluminium, with 25x2 aluminium flat held to it with rivets, and finished with a strip of foam rubber as a seal. Sketch B shows the section.

  3. 12mm plywood panels were cut to fit to the top of the door and the verticals, and attached to the door using steel angle, cut at 5 places, bent to suit, then welded and dressed. These were drilled at 5 places to take screws though the top edge of the door, while the ply panel was also drilled for the screws and nylok nuts to hold it in place. See photo 3 and sketch D for details.

  4. The ply panels were then cut to accept the plastic panels, cut from polycarbonate sheet, with a surround of 4 strips of alloy section, as used for window glazing, as shown in sketch C, making sure you leave enough ply for strength as in photos 4 & 5. I cut the centre rib at several places and used ordinary wood screws, approx 3x30mm, to hold these in place, and later lined them with thin fabric to prevent unwanted sliding. Careful positioning of the screws allows one to remove screws from the lower channel, move the sheets to a central position, then sideways to take them out.

    I used a 6mm milling cutter in a bench drill, to cut finger grips for the sliding panels, as shown in photo 5, but you could simply bond on pieces of plastic if you do not have access to a drill. It was not that easy to sink 3mm deep grooves into a 4mm thick plastic sheet! I used a friendly body trimmer to clad the panels with leather and provide foam cushions, clad with leather, to cover up the steel angle pieces, as in photo 6.

  5. Finally, I attached velcro (hook and loop fastener) to the top edges of the windows, to suit the existing hood and keep the wind out! Photos 6 and 7 give you the idea. To prevent the window panels from vibrating, which they did at any speed over 50mph (80kph), I had to fit the clips shown in photo 7. No problems since then, but you have to remember to unclip them before opening the door!

Best of luck with your conversion!