1934 Terraplane with disappearing vent installation. HELP Please!!!

I am restoring a 34 Terraplane with the "Disappearing Vent" option. The problem is that when I got the car the operator was not installed and the glass was gone. I need help figuring out how to install the glass and the mechanism back into the door. Is there a manual or some place I can find some step by step procedures. I have it operational on my bench but am baffled as to HOW to get it all back in the door and still work. Very crazzzzzy design IMO! Help please!!??


  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    edited April 2022
    I know of no such manual.  Your best bet's to contact someone with a similar set-up who lives within a few hours of your home, and see if you can drive over so he / she can explain the operation to you, firsthand.  Where are you located?  Maybe someone with a disappearing vent-equipped car will read this and then contact you and offer their services.

    I believe the glass itself resides within a thin steel frame (chromed finish) that has a pivot rod on the underside.  You unscrew the little pivot screw at the top of the frame, then turn the crank handle so the vent window opens partly. Once it is clear of the opening in the cradle assembly, you can tilt the top part of the vent window out of the cradle a little bit.  Then raise the vent window glass and frame upward, and the pivot rod pulls out of the gearbox (on the cradle), and out comes the glass and frame.  A competent glass shop should be able to trace your old glass, and make you a new laminated glass insert.

    The 1934 parts manual must have an illustration of the entire cradle assembly.  Assuming you're an H-E-T member, you have free access to this manual (to read, or to download).  Go to the "Library" drop-down menu on the H-E-T Forum which is at the Club's website https://hetclub.org/ and see what's available in the library.

    There were two basic cradles, one for convertibles and one for sedans.  I think the cradle installs from within the door (if my memory's correct), and then slides upward on the tracks.  First, remove the door upholstery panel (there are screws around the perimeter of the panel  which hold it to the steel door). 

    Be careful when handling the pot metal frame, it is made of Unobtainium and no one is making reproductions!

    Here's one in operation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--RcNAKPnnA
  • Thank you Jon. I have seen the operation but getting the glass and mechanisms installed is where my problem is. I live in Minnesota.

  • Old Fogey UK
    Old Fogey UK Expert Adviser
    The US Patent Office website was useful for me in making replacement brackets for a pair of accessory wind wings.
    You can do a search in their records for patents ventilator patents and you'll probably turn up a patent for the mechanism used by Hudson and - probably - many other 1930s car makers.
    Each patent has a description and useful drawings of the way the invention was constructed and how it operated.
    I found what I wanted that way and that an inventor called JR Thorp was responsible for a lot of wind wing and ventilator patents in that era.
    So my advice would be to search his name first and failing that, search as many relevant names of car window ventilators as you can think of - wind wing, wind deflector, ventilator , etc., etc.

  • Has anybody solved this dilemma yet I am having the same problem with my 34 Hudson convertible 
  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    edited August 2022
    Here is a simplified explanation of how it all goes together.  I cite the 1937 parts manual because I couldn't find a '34 parts manual in the H-E-T  on-line library.  But these disappearing vent window mechanisms are similar from 1934 to when the windows were discontinued.

    For views of the door interior, see page 116 and 122 of the 1937 parts manual (available for download by members, at the H-E-T website). On page 122 the "disappearing type" cradle on the right, is the type that goes up and down in the door. (The closed car version is shown.  The convertible version has a cradle that is more squared off at the top.)  Also, you might want to open this video so you can refer to it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--RcNAKPnnA

    Back on page 116 you see the door interiors.  The right door does NOT have the disappearing vent window, (all you can do is crank this window open) but generally the layout is similar.  If you compare with the right photo on 122, you see that the one on page 116 does not have the squiggly "wing operating cam" as yours does.  That cam allows the window to slide down.  But the photo does give an idea of where the various components are placed.

    As I recall (from the last time I was inside my door, 40-50 years ago), the first thing that goes in your door is the regular (up / down) window track nearest the door latch. Then the (regular up-down) window (which consists of the glass in a steel channel) goes in so that is easily slides freely up and down in the tracks.

    Then the regulator mechanism bolts in, but you will have to manipulate the "scissor arms" with the crank handle, spreading or retracting them until the round clips fit into the slots on the L-shaped window support arm (#10).  Then it is time to mount the vent window cradle mechanism which actually holds the vent window.  But this, too, has to be manipulated so that the various scissor arms so that they fit into the vent window cradle slots and properly raise, lower, and swing open / shut the vent window.  When that is been done, you may bolt the vent window mechanism into the door with the pan head screws.

    You will still have to mount the vent window itself, in its metal frame. As I recall the lower pivot of the vent window frame is lowered through the opening in the garnish trim at the belt line, so that it engages the gear that's hidden down in the door.  Some tilting and manipulation is called for.  Then the top pivot of the vent window frame is swung around and pushed into the pivot hole in in the top of the pot metal cradle.

    Very hard to explain.  But if you lay all the components out on a table near the open door of the car, and then study the illustrations in the shop manual, I think it will begin to make sense to you!
  • Greatly appreciated again will dive in to tomorrow thanks Jon will find the pages
  • I just removed the passenger side from my '36 and took lots of pictures along the way. I also have the driver's side still installed for reference. I can get pictures of that side too if that helps!


  • Here is some information on the vent windows.

    Hope this helps.

    Ivan L.

  • Here is the copy from the Master Body Parts book 1930-1939.

    Sorry I screwed up on the first download!

    Ivan L.