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Old 01-28-2015, 11:53 AM   #1
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Leaking barn door window repair

Hello all,

On a 96 E350, I have just discovered that we have a little leak from the top seal of our driver's side rear barn door window. I don't see much online about how easy it is to pull the window, but I haven't tried yet either. Looks like it might be a rubber seal in there instead of butyl, but it could just be that I can't see it well enough.

Anyone ever dealt with this? If not I'll provide info here once I figure it out, but I thought it never hurts to ask when you're unsure of where you're headed with something

Thanks!
Josh
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:15 PM   #2
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Re: Leaking barn door window repair

Is it the door gasket or the window gasket you're speaking about?
Assume it is the window gasket. On VLV, taking Windows apart is quite simple : just unbolt the three nuts but be careful not to let the window fall!
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:28 PM   #3
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Re: Leaking barn door window repair

mines currently leaking as well. i didnt use butyl tape to re install when i swapped to pop-outs and ran thin on silicone on that exact window. i need to get it fixed. ive been putting it off way to long.

removal is very straightforward. pull trim piece if you have one, then a small handfull of 10mm nuts to remove. break loose the tape with a large flathead driver, putty knife, or electric butter knife and it will drop right out. just heed claudes warning and make sure you are holding onto window when you remove the last of the screws

i just installed a side window in my cargo and when i asked my windshield guy what i should use for install, he didnt recommend the butyl tape. i asked why and he said that it dries out over time and shrinks. i didnt want to have to mess with it later on and used windshield urethane for the install. only advice would be to heat up silicone if its cold where you are, and wear gloves. that urethane is messy stuff and not easy to remove from hands.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:46 PM   #4
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Re: Leaking barn door window repair

Here's a tutorial I posted last year, with photos. It focuses on rear door pop-out windows, but barn door windows are essentially the same (I also installed another pop-out barn door window when I did the rear windows.) If you have any additional questions let me know.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11025&hilit=window
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:18 PM   #5
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Re: Leaking barn door window repair

I have quite a bit of CRL butyl that works perfectly for setting the windows. Unlike regular butyl tape, this has a 100% solid plastic anti crunch core embedded in it. Leftovers from our house remodel where we set five panes of 5 ft by 8 ft glass, plus quite a few other widows as well.

This stuff is 3/8" wide x 1/8" thick, double sided stick, solid core glazing tape. I have used it for setting my van pop out and fixed glass and it works really well. Can also be used for attaching vapor barrier to the body metal.

PM m on how much you need and we can work something out. They are 25 ft rolls, I have 10 left.

Ray
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:09 AM   #6
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Re: Leaking barn door window repair

Okay I'm in the auto glass biz and will try one time to get you through this. Not trying to sound contentious but won't argue how this is best accomplished......

First off I'm assuming these are the fixed windows, not the movable types as was optional from the factory. If so here's what's what............

From inside the leaking door make sure the window is leaking, not the door seal as already suggested. E-Series even a few years old will have small leaks through the rear upper door seals especially if in a hard driving rain or your van stays parked with the rear higher than the front, "downhill" so to speak. If the window is leaking continue here..........

One of two choices available: resealing in place or glass removal and replacing the sealing material.

Before I wax on infinitely let me know what you find with your leak testing----don't wanna suck up space here without reason.

Adding to this I'd advise being VERY cautious about 1Der's tape as that may not be the best material for re-sealing single pane tempered automotive glass. The foam core material is fraught with too many potential mishaps too easily encountered by those not experienced in working with or installing this particular type of glass. (His extremely generous offer aside I still advise caution.

BrianW's post along with other contributions is good however it does deal with swapping movable factory windows in place of the fixed type. They are very different and in some respects his success doesn't necessarily transfer to simple resealing of the fixed type.

Anyway give us your leak test findings.............we'll go from there.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:51 AM   #7
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Re: Leaking barn door window repair

JWA is the Glass Man, so he definitely knows what he's talking about.

Yes, I agree, the post I linked to is not 100% applicable to installing a fixed-glass window. However, the basics are the same. The biggest thing for the fixed glass is to be VERY careful with seating the glass and especially tightening the mounting nuts for the glass. On the tilt-out windows the bolts/nuts and the frame are essentially separate from the glass, so you can put more torque on the nuts when seating the frame. On the fixed glass the nut will seat against the glass (IIRC) so if you torque them down too much to seat the butyl you are likely to crack the glass.
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Old 01-29-2015, 11:24 AM   #8
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Re: Leaking barn door window repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW
JWA is the Glass Man, so he definitely knows what he's talking about.

Yes, I agree, the post I linked to is not 100% applicable to installing a fixed-glass window. However, the basics are the same. The biggest thing for the fixed glass is to be VERY careful with seating the glass and especially tightening the mounting nuts for the glass. On the tilt-out windows the bolts/nuts and the frame are essentially separate from the glass, so you can put more torque on the nuts when seating the frame. On the fixed glass the nut will seat against the glass (IIRC) so if you torque them down too much to seat the butyl you are likely to crack the glass.
Thanks for the kudos BW----much appreciated!

So I wanna correct something mentioned about 1der's butyl core tape----as it turns out he's successfully used it in a few different applications, both fixed pane and movable frame/glass types. Because he has more experience with that particular product type his recommendations would be highly valuable for those choosing to use something similar.

BrianW has this correct where the movable glass is a bit different from sealing or installing the fixed type. There are two important considerations for the fixed type however. If completely removed for re-installation its vital to thoroughly clean all remaining sealant from the glass and door shell painted surfaces. In a pinch small amounts of kerosene or diesel fuel on a rag would work great---both are very gentle on factory cured paints and will dissolve the sealant. 3M makes more than a few great adhesive cleaners, not cheap but very effective. Look for Bug & Tar Remover if that's your brand of choice.

After applying the sealant to the plastic spacer install that to the glass, not yet installed in the opening. The mounting bolts have special plastic shoulder washers to prevent them from directly contacting the glass, they fit snugly into the glass and the spacer too; install them before moving the glass to the opening. Once in place carefully thread the acorn nuts onto the bolts and tighten with no more pressure or torque than a 10mm nut driver can produce.

Draw each one down in steps---trying to completely tighten one at a time binds the glass and it will break. (I've caused that more times than I care to admit. )

Clean up anything left behind and you should be good to go with this type of repair.

Anyone looking in please don't hesitate to ask questions or PM me---glad to help if I can.
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:55 PM   #9
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Re: Leaking barn door window repair

Heya all,

Thank you so much for the information. To be clear, I have fixed windows, not pop-out. They are distinctly leaking from the windows, not the door seals. The water seems to be entering from the three roughly 1/4 or 5/16 holes in the pinch welds along the top of the window cutout where window sealant/tape/junction with the window occurs. Just looking, naked eye, completely novice with such things, it almost looks like the tape/sealant is too low relative to the pinch weld and window and the water can run from the top of the window sealant/tape strip into the holes in the pinch weld.

To me, it looks like the window has to come out and be resealed. Beyond this it gets gray.

It sounds like there is a plastic spacer in there from what I'm reading? (It looks like there is more room between the glass and the pinch weld than just tape or a sealant would provide for - ie, it looks like there is a spacer). So you would remove the window and would you install a new spacer or would you clean the one you have an re-seal on both sides of the spacer? And it sounds like some version of butyl tape OR auto-glass sealant (permatex or a 3m product or who knows what) may be appropriate.

Oddly enough, despite being the desert areas of San Diego, it's been drizzling or raining frequently lately, and I cannot garage my van, so I've been loathe to just pull the window and figure it out from there. However, looks like we have a rain-free several days forecast, might be time to get bold!

Cheers,
Josh
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:09 AM   #10
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Re: Leaking barn door window repair

Josh you're pretty much correct about a spacer between the glass and door shell. Typically the glass/spacer "assembly" is held in place with the 4 specialty bolts and 10mm headed acorn nuts.

(Apologies for this being redundant, hoping only to clarify or reinforce my previous suggestions.)

Repeating all surfaces of the door shell, the plastic spacer and the glass need to be 100% clean of existing sealant!!!

A ribbon sealant like 3M's Window Weld (or high quality equal) is initially placed in grooves cast into the spacer on both sides before mating the glass/spacer to the door shell. (I can post photos of the spacer if needed---have a few laying around?) Typically bolts are already in place as everything is put into place, the bolts being used to align the glass/spacer.

When in place CAREFULLY push these parts together and by default they fully contact the door shell too. Thread the acorn nuts on initially using fingers only until they begin to seat or your fingers can no longer turn the nuts----do this slowly and in steps, not just one at a time. It's imperative to NOT twist the glass by overtightening one bolt to fully seated.

Once the nuts reach the point tools are needed I suggest nothing more than the 10mm nut driver---this tends to be the best tool for this for those not familiar working with tempered glass--its too easy to break these windows even for those of us in the auto glass biz.

Using a silicone sealant/adhesive exterior grade or Type II is a less risky approach because it doesn't need to be carefully compressed as does the ribbon butyl sealer. Same precautions apply about which tool to use tightening the acorn nuts---nut driver so as to not over tighten these fasteners.

I've PM'd you my phone number in case you need a last minute or on-the-fly consult.
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