Quarterlights are now rarely fitted by manufacturers so you mostly find them
on older cars. It is a segment of glass next to the main pane, which may or may
Originally they were fitted to increase visibility and because it was
difficult to make the main pane an irregular shape, especially if it was a
window that opened. Now the expense of making the window in two parts has
overtaken that of making one irregularly shaped pane, so quarterlights have
gone out of fashion. They are also an easy target for thieves.
If your car has quarterlights you probably find them troublefree. However,
you may need to remove one if the glass is broken or the hinge or catch is
You can make some repairs without removing the entire quarter-light
but because replacement parts are not always available, you may have to remove
the complete unit and replace it.
Most opening quarterlights have two hinges - one at the top on the forward
edge of the frame and one at the bottom. These are often glued to the glass and
can become unstuck.
If only one hinge has become unglupd, gently tap around the other hinge with
a piece of wood until the glue
of that one is broken. Carefully withdraw
Carefully scrape all the old glue off the glass and mark around the area to
be glued with a felt-tip pen. Clean the surfaces of the hinges where they
against the glass with wet-or-dry paper.
Using a glue that bonds metal to glass, refit the glass back into position
in the hinges. Gently clamp the hinges to the glass using a G-clamp. You may
have to use a couple of pieces of wood in the G-clamp to reach around the door
If the quarterlight glass is broken it will probably be easier to remove the
entire frame and either fit a new glass to it off the car or else replace the
The rear member of the quarter-light frame extends down into the door and
forms the guide channel for the main window. Remove the trim panel from the
door, then find and release the securing bolt attached to the lower end of the
quarterlight frame. If necessary, soak the bolt first with
Now find how the top of the frame is secured. It may be riveted or screwed
in and the fixings may be hidden under the weatherseal or they may be on the
outer edge of the door frame. If they are located under the weatherseal,
carefully prise away the seal with a screwdriver to gain access to them. Drill
out or unscrew the fastenings.
The frame should now be loose and with the main window at its lowest
position you can withdraw the frame over the top corner of the main window.
With some models you may find you have to remove the main window to get the
quarterlight frame out.
You may not be able to buy a replacement glass on its own and you may have
to fit a new or secondhand frame complete with glass instead. Check with your
dealer or workshop manual to find out whether you must replace the whole
You may be able to find a secondhand quarterlight frame at a scrap-yard
which will be considerably cheaper than a new unit. Or if you have difficulty
finding a replacement glass you may be able to fit a piece of Perspex as an
If you are replacing the glass, use a screwdriver to remove any fragments of
glass that may still be in the frame. If the glass was glued into its frame use
a special metal-toglass glue to fix it back in. If the glass fits into a
weatherseal inside the frame, you can carefully ease it back in using a spoon
handle. Lubricate the seal with a little vaseline if the glass is reluctant to
go in easily.
If the quarterlight is attached to its inner frame you can screw it back on
to the hinges attached to the main frame.
Replace the frame in the reverse order to removal. Remember you will need a
pop-rivet gun to replace any
you have drilled out.
Removing the frame
Remove the door panel and find the securing bolt holding the bottom end
and undo it.
Release the top mounting of the frame — it may be screwed or riveted
to the door frame. Rivets will have to be drilled out and replaced when
Lower the main window fully and withdraw the frame out over the top
forward corner of the main window.
In some cases you may find that the quarterlight frame cannot be removed
without first removing the main window.
Release the lifting mechanism from the window lifting channel on the
bottom edge of the glass . The glass will usually have to be turned
inside the door before it can be pulled upwards out of the
Any weatherseals fitted to the door panel may have to be removed to
allow the glass to come out.
The hinges fitted to a quarterlight vary from model to model. Some types are
repairable while others have to be replaced. First, examine the hinge.
A hinge that pivots around a rivet can be repaired quite easily. If you can,
remove the hinge from the frame. It may be glued on one side and riveted on the
other or it may be held with screws or rivets on both sides. If it is difficult
to remove the hinge, you can replace the pin with the hinge in situ.
Carefully drill or file out the old rivet from the hinge. If you have a pop-rivet gun you can replace the old
rivet with a new one. The original rivets are often very small so if you cannot
find one of the same size, enlarge the hole slightly using a rattail file to
accept a bigger rivet.
If you don't have a rivet gun you can fit a small nut and bolt in its place.
This makes an effective repair but doesn't look as neat. Remember to apply a
few drops of oil to the hinge at regular intervals to keep it free from
Another type of hinge consists of two cast pieces of metal that turn inside
each other. It cannot be repaired, only replaced. You often find this type
fitted to quarterlights that have an inner frame around the glass. To remove
the hinge you need to drill out the rivets holding it to the frame - take care
not to break the glass while you do this. Fit the new hinge, and use your rivet
gun to attach it firmly in place.
The catch holding the quarterlight shut can also break or come loose. If the
catch glues to the glass it can be repaired in the same way as the hinge, as
The catch may consist of a
riveted to the quarterlight frame with a
locking handle mounted on it. If it is not possible to remove this handle from
the plate you will need to fit a complete new catch assembly. Again, drill out
the rivets to remove the catch.
Some catches are fitted to the glass itself. A small
a hole in the glass and the locking handle is fitted on one side. The spindle
is held to the glass by a locking ring or screw.
To replace the spindle first remove the handle. This may be held with a
small pin that passes through the spindle.
it out gently with a small
hammer and punch. If the pin goes in from one side and cannot be punched out,
you will have to drill it out.
When the handle is removed, you can remove the spindle. Hold one side of the
spindle with a pair of self-locking pliers while undoing the screw or locking
When the fastening is removed the spindle can be withdrawn from the glass.
Refit the spindle in reverse order but remember to replace any rubber seals
that were fitted.
Some catches are
. You can remove the spring once the catch
spindle has been removed and dismantled. If the spring is weak, fit a
replacement or pack out the spring by fitting a small washer behind it.
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You do not always need to replace a component that is worn, damaged or
broken. There is an increasingly wide range of sealants and adhesives in car
accessory shops that allow you to make satisfactory repairs, thus saving the
cost of buying a new component.