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#1205169 - 03/28/12 12:02 PM 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop)
detroitmuscle Offline
member

Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 7
Loc: Michigan
Trying to pick the brains of all Mopar guys. I have a 73' Charger SE but love the hardtop look. I am trying to find a patch panel for the quarter window and understand there will be other modifications required. If anyone has any insight on how I could achieve this goal,whether positive or negative, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time

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#1205170 - 03/28/12 12:08 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: detroitmuscle]
IMGTX Offline


Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 10560
Loc: Looking for a way out of Middl...
IIRC the quarters are no different so you should not need patch panels unless you have rust.

You will find that the window mechanism has been removed and a bracket holds the window stationary.

Aside from adding the window mechanism and patching the screw holes you should be good to go.

When I get home to my parts manuals I will double check.
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If YOU don't talk to your cat about catnip someone else will! If you are not on the edge you are taking up too much space.

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#1205171 - 03/28/12 12:23 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: IMGTX]
detroitmuscle Offline
member

Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 7
Loc: Michigan
Awesome thank you for the input. I noticed under the vinyl you can see the panel that was tacked in for the opera window. My question now is the window opening underneath that the same as the hardtop? For added clarity (I apologize) I have added two pictures. where I am and where I want to end up. Possible without too much headache?


Attachments
7139603-1973_Dodge_Charger_SE_opera_windows.jpg (386 downloads)


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#1205172 - 03/28/12 12:24 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: detroitmuscle]
detroitmuscle Offline
member

Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 7
Loc: Michigan
Where I want to end up...


Attachments
7139607-3393535767_30a620b300.jpg (7057 downloads)


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#1205173 - 03/28/12 01:24 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: detroitmuscle]
IMGTX Offline


Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 10560
Loc: Looking for a way out of Middl...
I'm like you. I like the hardtops myself. If you are not going back to stock then you may want to sell the entire removed SE parts as a kit on E-bay. Some people like it.

The panel for the opera window is plastic and screwed to the body IIRC. Often they rust under the vinyl tops so until you remove the roof & panel you may not know.

I forgot the upper inner panels will need to be changed but they are the same for any 2 door 73/74 Satellite,Charger,Road Runner etc. Maybe even 71/72.

Lower panels are different in 73/74 because of the retractors.
_________________________
If YOU don't talk to your cat about catnip someone else will! If you are not on the edge you are taking up too much space.

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#1205174 - 03/28/12 01:36 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: IMGTX]
cjskotni Offline
pro stock

Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 1326
Loc: North Carolina
Quote:

I'm like you. I like the hardtops myself. If you are not going back to stock then you may want to sell the entire removed SE parts as a kit on E-bay. Some people like it.

The panel for the opera window is plastic and screwed to the body IIRC. Often they rust under the vinyl tops so until you remove the roof & panel you may not know.

I forgot the upper inner panels will need to be changed but they are the same for any 2 door 73/74 Satellite,Charger,Road Runner etc. Maybe even 71/72.

Lower panels are different in 73/74 because of the retractors.




The exterior sheet metal is the same between the hardtop and SE so the quarters and roof are fine. However you will need a lot of parts to do this conversion:

- new sail panels
- new upper rear panels (with crank hole)
- window and window retractor assembly + crank
- rear window seals
- exterior quarter moldings (re-pop'd I think but $$$)
- exterior door moldings

To do this, you would most likely want a HT parts car to get all this out of as piecemealing it would get kind of costly IMHO. This could easily get into a two-three thousand bucks unless you have a cheap source of donor parts and labor. This is assuming when you pull out the fiberglass SE quarter inserts, you don't find any rust which needs attention...this is VERY common as those louvers hold water on the quarters once those gaskets are gone.

You will also have to deal with what you find when you pull off the vinyl top and grind off all the studs for the vinyl top moldings.

If you want a hardtop that badly, I would consider selling the SE you have and looking for a hardtop you like. My
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[img]https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xf...amp;oe=562E3669[/img]

1973 Charger SE 'P Code'(ALMOST DONE!!!)
#'s 4bbl 400 >> 499ci 10.4:1
727 TF 8 3/4" 489 w/ 3.55 sure-grip 4 wheel disc

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#1205175 - 03/28/12 01:44 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: detroitmuscle]
IMGTX Offline


Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 10560
Loc: Looking for a way out of Middl...
I did forget the rain gutter on the SE stops at the end of the door window but continues on to the rear of the hardtop window.

This will probably be the hardest part to fix.

I may have access to a parts car but since the parts you need are in any 73/74 Satellite (and there are plenty to be found) you may be able to find them local.
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If YOU don't talk to your cat about catnip someone else will! If you are not on the edge you are taking up too much space.

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#1205176 - 03/28/12 02:29 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: detroitmuscle]
GrnMagic77 Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1506
Loc: Indiana
I had in mind doing this conversion on my '74 at some point.Best thing would be as mentioned,find a complete car to pull all necessary parts from.You will need to cut out the pillar between the door window and louvers,weld back in the correct longer rain gutter or remove them completely depending on tastes,other than that most everything else should be bolt in as far as I know,and be prepared for rust under insert.

I guess for myself,after pricing all the parts needed I have almost decided that it wasn't the louvers that bothered me so much as all the rest of the SE trim,vinyl top,the exposed headlight grills and bumpers that stuck out a mile.Once I got used to looking at the louvers,I didn't really think they any worse than the cat-eye/Gremlin windows on the 71's or 'helmet head' on the 72's.

I do like the hardtop look as well though on 73/74's...good luck on the conversion,and take pictures if you can.
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1978 Round Up-1977 Warlock-1977 Powerwagon Adven.- 1976 Blue "Macho"-1974 Charger-1968 Fury III -1966 Newport *

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#1205177 - 03/28/12 03:12 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: IMGTX]
detroitmuscle Offline
member

Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 7
Loc: Michigan
I appreciate the input, thank you very much gentlemen. I will have to extend the drip rail(didn't notice that before) or remove it all together. If it stays then I would have to get the chrome drip rail molding(shouldn't be too hard to find). I'm not worried about having the window crank down at all as I'm never riding in the back of the car... ever. The look of a hardtop car is what I want. I am also not planning on using the molding on the door edge or under the glass. no point in hiding beautiful body lines. So if I went fixed window and no chrome it seems this just a remove the patch panel for the opera window and massage the metal back to full health? Is the glass in the SE the same as the hardtop just fixed in the "up" position?


Attachments
7139922-PB170035.JPG (131 downloads)


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#1205178 - 03/28/12 03:41 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: detroitmuscle]
GrnMagic77 Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1506
Loc: Indiana
Quote:

Is the glass in the SE the same as the hardtop just fixed in the "up" position?




No...SE windows are a fair amount smaller since they set inside the plug.Very nice car by the way,it would be a tough decision to tear into that one.
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1978 Round Up-1977 Warlock-1977 Powerwagon Adven.- 1976 Blue "Macho"-1974 Charger-1968 Fury III -1966 Newport *

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#1205179 - 03/28/12 03:57 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: GrnMagic77]
detroitmuscle Offline
member

Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 7
Loc: Michigan
Thank you! I can see the entire seem underneath my vinyl so I know there is a good amount of rust under there. Hence my questions on the conversion... I'm gonna have to tear into that area soon as is. I was trying to figure out what was going to be under there body contour wise. I was hoping the pressed edge under the hardtop quarter window was hiding. I didn't think Chrysler would pop out two different quarter panels but stranger has happened. Seems pretty straight forward if I find a donor car. One more question though is the post between window and quarter window structurally important at all?

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#1205180 - 03/28/12 06:46 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: detroitmuscle]
kilroy Offline
killjoy

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 858
Loc: Iowa State fan
I did this conversion my self. Its really pretty simple! Just be prepared for rust under the fiberglass plugs as they hold moisture.

Only 2 things you have to cut.

1. The post they weld in from the roof to the rear of the door frame; which its not a true post, just a support for the fiberglass plug.

2. A slot in the rear door frame for where the rear window rolls down.

Ill post some pics of before and after as I find them.
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1973 Charger, former SE, former auto I'm not trying to be difficult, it comes naturally....

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#1205181 - 03/28/12 06:56 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: kilroy]
kilroy Offline
killjoy

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 858
Loc: Iowa State fan
I used the glass and runner out of a 74 satellite for my windows. All the holes are there, they just bolt up.
_________________________
1973 Charger, former SE, former auto I'm not trying to be difficult, it comes naturally....

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#1205182 - 03/28/12 07:08 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: kilroy]
kilroy Offline
killjoy

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 858
Loc: Iowa State fan
Oh and dont forget the roof drip rails dont extend all the way back either; I got around this by shaving mine, and LOVE how it looks. In this pic the bare metal is where I replaced a rusted sections.


Attachments
7140273-0427102140d.jpg (189 downloads)



Edited by kilroy (03/28/12 07:11 PM)
_________________________
1973 Charger, former SE, former auto I'm not trying to be difficult, it comes naturally....

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#1205183 - 03/28/12 07:10 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: kilroy]
kilroy Offline
killjoy

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 858
Loc: Iowa State fan
Here is the post you have to cut out once you remove the fiberglass plug.


Attachments
7140277-0208101226a.jpg (163 downloads)

_________________________
1973 Charger, former SE, former auto I'm not trying to be difficult, it comes naturally....

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#1205184 - 03/28/12 07:28 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: kilroy]
kilroy Offline
killjoy

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 858
Loc: Iowa State fan
The screws holding the fiberglass plug in are usually rusted. I ended up drilling mine out. Be forewarned, I chipped the glass while drilling, but I didnt care, either so it was a none issue for me.

here is a pic of the shaved look.

during, you can see uncut in previous photo

just be prepared for hidden rust under the drip rail, I was shocked! and my car is very rust free.


Attachments
7140317-0427102140a.jpg (170 downloads)



Edited by kilroy (03/28/12 07:29 PM)
_________________________
1973 Charger, former SE, former auto I'm not trying to be difficult, it comes naturally....

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#1205185 - 03/28/12 07:32 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: kilroy]
kilroy Offline
killjoy

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 858
Loc: Iowa State fan
shaved after, pictures dont do it justice (nor does my primer) but it looks sleek smooth and fast without drip rails.


Attachments
7140325-0328121923.jpg (161 downloads)

_________________________
1973 Charger, former SE, former auto I'm not trying to be difficult, it comes naturally....

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#1205186 - 03/28/12 07:33 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: kilroy]
kilroy Offline
killjoy

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 858
Loc: Iowa State fan
here's the slot you have to cut for the window.


Attachments
7140329-0328121924.jpg (154 downloads)

_________________________
1973 Charger, former SE, former auto I'm not trying to be difficult, it comes naturally....

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#1205187 - 03/28/12 07:45 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: cjskotni]
kilroy Offline
killjoy

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 858
Loc: Iowa State fan
Quote:

This could easily get into a two-three thousand bucks unless you have a cheap source of donor parts and labor.




I totally disagree!

I did mine, so the labor was free, but if you have a donor car the cost is $0. If you dont have a donor car the pieces you need can be found fairly cheap, used.


Edited by kilroy (03/28/12 07:50 PM)
_________________________
1973 Charger, former SE, former auto I'm not trying to be difficult, it comes naturally....

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#1205188 - 03/28/12 07:49 PM Re: 73' Charger quarter window conversion (SE to Hardtop) [Re: cjskotni]
kilroy Offline
killjoy

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 858
Loc: Iowa State fan
Quote:


If you want a hardtop that badly, I would consider selling the SE you have and looking for a hardtop you like. My




I get tired of hearing this.

Some people CANT get a different car or have put lots of work into THEIR car, and some would rather do what people say cant be done.

I had it tore apart in one evening. Had the custom work done in a week.
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1973 Charger, former SE, former auto I'm not trying to be difficult, it comes naturally....

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