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Old 03-07-2019, 06:44 PM   #1
James Lamb
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Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Hi all. I'm brand new to the forum, and a newbie to forums in general, so apologies in advance of I violate etiquette.

I have a 1989 Suburban 4 x 4 that I am putting back in road worthy condition. I have done major stuff, but here in rainy Alabama have just discovered that the run channels that guide the tailgate glass are shot. Driver side one is rusted into near non-existence.Passenger side one needs replacing but enough there tom copy. Unfortunately the brackets are different from the other - i.e. there two side are not mirror images.

I have been looking for replacement run channels for over a month. LMC Truck does not have them, nor any other internet supplier I can find. Soffseal was making them but does no longer. Have also called salvage yards as far away as Arizona, am finding that no one is keeping trucks that old. They're all sold off for scrap.

Anyone have any ideas where I can find new or at least good used run channels? I can't roll up rear window and we're having one of the rainiest seasons ever here in the Deep South. can't drive my truck until I fix it.
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:19 PM   #2
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lamb View Post

I have been looking for replacement run channels for over a month. LMC Truck does not have them, nor any other internet supplier I can find. Soffseal was making them but does no longer. Have also called salvage yards as far away as Arizona, am finding that no one is keeping trucks that old. They're all sold off for scrap.

Anyone have any ideas where I can find new or at least good used run channels? I can't roll up rear window and we're having one of the rainiest seasons ever here in the Deep South. can't drive my truck until I fix it.
I just went through this same scenario with my Suburban - the channels were utterly rotted away. I was fortunate enough to acquire replacements from a junkyard, and the good news is that from what I could tell they never materially changed from 73 to 91 which increases your odds. There were some differences, but I was easily able to install channels from a 1986 into my 1980. Don't limit yourself to only your model year, and perhaps post a WTB (wanted to buy) on the parts board.
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:27 PM   #3
James Lamb
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

You're right - there does not seem to have been much change during that entire run. It was actually part of the calculus when I made the decision to buy mine originally, thinking there would be good parts availability. But there are very few in junkyards around here.

Yes I may need to try a "wanted to buy" post. Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:43 PM   #4
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

How bad do you want them?

https://www.jegs.com/i/SoffSeal/854/9084/10002/-1

I found a set on eBay when looking for mine a few years ago.

Not Cheap!
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:50 PM   #5
James Lamb
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Yes that is a ridiculous price, but given that the alternative is taping a sheet of plastic across the back of the truck so I can drive it - and that the previous ones lasted 30 years - I would pay it. But they don't have them. The "call about this part" means they are no longer in stock. That's one of the maybe dozen online vendors I tried. No matter who I called I got a "no longer available" reply. And all the vendors I found that had the part listed were selling the ones made by Soffseal, which has discontinued the part. Looked at eBay but no joy there yet.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:06 AM   #6
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

they have them for blazer....item #9

http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/csb/full.aspx?Page=33

maybe you could modify to fit??!?
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:09 AM   #7
James Lamb
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Yeah I was sort of surprised to find the square body Blazer and Suburban had different tailgates. I was thinking about your idea myself. Ideally it would be nice to see some in person before I buy something that does not work. But it probably would still be easier than having to fabricate something.

Good idea though. Thanks
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:16 AM   #8
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

You could take your existing ones, sandblast and paint. Then take the felt out of the blazer ones and install in your newly restored metal channels....

Still expensive felt for $100.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:28 AM   #9
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Problem is the drivers side one is a pile of rust. Three separate pieces with several inches completely missing. Passenger side one looks ok until you examine it closely to find it is about as thick as a piece of tissue and about to also fall apart. And the left and right are not mirror images as far as the mounting brackets go. I can use my one "intact" one as a model to get the curvature correct to fabricate another, or maybe modify one from a Blazer or similar, but getting the bracket positions correct is going to be a huge pain, especially trying to work down inside the tailgate to mark where to tack weld/rivet brackets. Why I was hoping to find correct ones and avoid hassle of fabricating/modifying something.

Ironically, the brackets are anodized, and look brand new, while the run channels have rusted into oblivion. Had all of it been anodized the things would still be good.
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:29 PM   #10
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Sadly, the Blazer and Suburban channels are not at all interchangeable. I've tried, and not only are the mounting brackets completely different but the curvature of the channels don't align at all. At this time only the Blazer tailgate channels are being reproduced, and we can only hope somebody will hop back onto the Suburban bandwagon soon.

Once you find some junkyard channels, and I have faith you will, the odds that the felts will have survived are almost zero. No problem though - velcro to the rescue! Ace Hardware has rolls of 1" velcro with adhesive backing that works just fine. It's a little bit tall, but two strips can be stuck to the sides of the channel with enough left over to accommodate the bottom to take care of the window just fine.
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:38 PM   #11
James Lamb
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Ah. Well thanks for the info on the Blazer channel curvature. That was my concern - that I might end up buying something that did not fit at all. Yes the felt is the least of my worries. I found several suppliers of flexible felt channels that fit inside the metal run channels. Now if I can just find some channels not as badly rusted as mine. If I find some I am seriously considering electroplating them in copper or some other corrosion resistant metal, then several layers of epoxy paint.
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:18 AM   #12
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

James,

A buddy of mine just bought and enjoy from a guy that has a Suburban he's parting out. I'll be seeing him tomorrow and will ask him, to ask his buddy about the set of channels in the parts Suburban and if they are any good.. Please understand, it's the old, friend, of a friend, deal so I make no promises that I can come through for you.

But I'll try,
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:29 AM   #13
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Understood. Ands thanks for the effort. Fingers crossed.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:21 PM   #14
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

If rideair's friend doesn't have them, 1774btcrew might. Beautiful truck, btw, and welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:26 PM   #15
James Lamb
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Thanks. And thanks. Will check with him.

I should confess RE the truck that I changed paint schemes when I repainted. It originally had one of those weird, just not quite right color schemes that GM used in the 80's. Was a pale silver upper and pastel blue lower. My wife used to say not only could she always tell when I was coming (dual free flow exhaust then pre -turbo and cross over h pipe) but no one ever had any doubt it was my truck once they saw it. She used to call it the ugly truck.

Still has GM paint color, just not the original ones.
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:11 AM   #16
mongocanfly
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

may be last ditch effort but saw these on craigs....sure not close to you though

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/sat/p...826896082.html

https://lexington.craigslist.org/pts...830606570.html
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Last edited by mongocanfly; 03-13-2019 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:28 PM   #17
James Lamb
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Hey Mongo, thanks for looking. Are posts from you like a candygram? "Candygram from Mongo, Candygram from Mongo". I know that's an old reference, but ... and yes it was Candygram for Mongo. Still - I would use it if were me.

Yeah the search is getting ridiculous. One of those burbs has rear barn doors. The other one in Atlanta might work. I talked to a guy in California yesterday who has 5 Suburban inner tailgate covers on his eBay site- the sheet metal piece you remove to gain access to the glass, and he has 2 entire tailgates. He said " I never part out tailgates - never take them apart". ??? But you have pieces of 5 of them advertised??? Basically he did not want to bother with me. Said shipping an entire tailgate - which I still would not know if run channels good or not - would require him to go buy a pallet, would be super expensive, yatta yatta yatta.

Another member put me onto a parts search place that says they may be able to help. Waiting to hear back from them.

If anyone on the forum is running a square body Suburban with rear tailgate, you need to latch hold of any parts for the tailgate you can find, while you can find them. Around here anything that old that was in a salvage yard has already been sold for scrap, and a lot of these parts are not being made anymore.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:24 PM   #18
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

James,

I checked one of the Burbs I know about and it was barn-doors, my friend is waiting to hear back from is friend on the second Burb.

I would have thought the guy on eBay with the covers would have come through, hope the other one on ebay can help.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:39 PM   #19
James Lamb
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Thanks a lot for checking. I'm waiting to hear back from a source as well. There's a couple of possible Suburbans being parted out in the Atlanta area that are on Craigslist. Was hoping to find something closer, but at this point I'd just be glad to find something anywhere. Of course, a Suburban in Georgia is likely to have those parts as rusted as mine. I would hate to make a drive that long for nothing.

Guy on eBay was a weird thing. When you sent me that link I thought "bingo!". He just didn't seem like he wanted to be bothered. He's in California - maybe he gets enough business locally shipping something across the US is more than he wanted to deal with? He pretty much said the only option was buy an entire tailgate. My reply was, well I did have a chip in the glass on mine - are the channels and glass in good shape, not scratched or rusted. His reply was I'd have to go get a flashlight and shine down in there to check. Like it was a bother. I've run into this before - people running a business who act like potential customers are annoying them. If I treated visitors to my museum like that I'd get fired.

I was telling someone at work today, I spent less time removing, rebuilding and replacing the engine and transmission in my truck than I have trying to find 2 pieces if stamped sheet metal.

I do have spring breaK coming up. Was hoping to spend it working on things. I may be spending it driving around looking at junked trucks.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:54 PM   #20
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Would you be interested in a complete rear door ? I have one with the glass and everything intact in Canton Ga .
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:02 PM   #21
James Lamb
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

powered tailgate? Just making sure we're talking the same thing. Do you know what shape the glass run channels are in? They're almost impossible to assess without the glass out or at least rolled up.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:33 PM   #22
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

candygram...that's funny....
on that gut that has 2 burbs on craigs ..the gray one is barn door but the brown one I couldn't see the barndoors thru the windshield..thought it was tailgate style

looking at your pics I don't know but what I wouldn't try making a set...they don't look to complex....ive been known to try crazier stuff...haha
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:36 PM   #23
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

I dont know the condition but it is a power window door and it appears to be in great condition . Its been in dry storage in my shipping container for a long time . It was a replacement door that came with a Burb I used to own . The one on my Burb had a deep gash in it and this one was a replacement that I kept .
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:37 PM   #24
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

sounds like flashed has what ya need
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:39 PM   #25
James Lamb
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Re: Suburban tailgate glass run channels

Well I assumed your moniker was a reference to Blazing Saddles.

Seriously, thanks for sending the Craigslist links. I really appreciate everyone who has made suggestions. When I first found the issue I thought "order from LMC Truck". I had no idea it would turn into an odyssey.
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