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Old 01-21-2019, 07:17 PM   #1
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Removing E350 Windshield

For those that know me, you know that my van is not a garage queen. For the last 12 years when not on the road or trail, it spends it's time on my driveway facing the setting sun. I have over the last year been noticing the paint degrading above the windshield and now some surface rust creeping out from behind and above the windshield seal. Note that I also park nose down (my driveway is angled), so not sure if that adds to the effect of water sitting behind the rubber.

I'd like to remove the windshield and clean-up / primer the area and behind the rubber window seal. I will be driving to South America next year and the van will be in a lot of salty and humid areas. I don't care if I make it look particularly nice for the trip, just keep the rust from getting worse. I'll probably treat it to a paint job make-over when I return.

Is it possible to remove and re-install the windshield myself or am I way better off getting a professional? Can I re-use the windshield and rubber? This windshield was replaced maybe 3-4 years ago. Anyone have any experience?

On a slightly different topic, I also noticed today on the side of the van two paint bubbles maybe size of a quarter - golf ball. I could push the little bubble around under the paint. I'm thinking of just hitting it with sand paper to break the bubbles and priming it. Again, not going for aesthetics at this time (that will be later after my trip). Any thoughts on that from paint experts? I'm afraid that if there is a bubble that size under the paint it is a potential future rust spot.

Thanks for any advise.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:08 PM   #2
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Got the same thing going on, on a 2006 E350
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:59 PM   #3
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I have pulled a windshield myself, although not on a van, by cutting the rubber around it first. They are not easy to pull away from the adhesive that holds them in. You definitely want to have a professional reinstall it with a new gasket.

Are their any cracks in the existing one. If so insurance may pay most of a cost of replacement. You may be a able to work a deal with a glass shop to pull the old one and install the new one at a later date.

JWA can probably provide more/better info.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:18 PM   #4
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Did some searching as I remembered a post a while ago on windshields and found it.

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ers-18780.html

I think I'll try to find a local windshield shop that will remove and return to re-install after I've done the prep work. Hope they can re-use the same windshield as this one isn't that old and in good condition still. The last one had the leaking problem mentioned in the other post.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie View Post
I have pulled a windshield myself, although not on a van, by cutting the rubber around it first. They are not easy to pull away from the adhesive that holds them in. You definitely want to have a professional reinstall it with a new gasket.

Are their any cracks in the existing one. If so insurance may pay most of a cost of replacement. You may be a able to work a deal with a glass shop to pull the old one and install the new one at a later date.

JWA can probably provide more/better info.
Thanks Larrie--glad to add what I can.

The W/S you removed was set in a rubber gasket but gosh its been years and years since most common vehicles use that sort of installation. From 1992 forward all E-Series windshields are bonded to the body with an exceptionally tough adhesive, aka urethane. The average or even slightly experienced DIY mechanic simply doesn't have the necessary tools to remove auto/truck glass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpvi View Post

I think I'll try to find a local windshield shop that will remove and return to re-install after I've done the prep work. Hope they can re-use the same windshield as this one isn't that old and in good condition still. The last one had the leaking problem mentioned in the other post.
Don't count on the current W/S being re-used---too often they break during removal---its just part of dealing with laminated glass as found in windshields. Budget for a replacement W/S as a precaution and no surprises to the wallet.

I'd call a few independent shops, those who've been in business for a long time. Tell them you want to R&R (remove/re-install) the existing windshield, that there'll be a short time between removal and new installation. Tell them saving the old is a priority but if it doesn't work out it won't be a huge problem.

I'm not sure how insurance would be involved but hopefully you live in a state where YOU choose who repairs your van---some states allow insurance companies to direct you to their favored shops. Read that as those shops who save money by using cheap glass, the savings going to the insurance companies. Woe is he who has a deductible---you'd pay that in full without question.

Once the glass is out have the technician remove as much as the old adhesive as possible so you have good access to the pinchweld area. Remove any rust in that area however its not necessary for you to do much to the bare metal as any good adhesive system has a primer intended for this exact purpose. (W/S removal almost always scratches the factory finish enough that left untreated allows rust to form. That rust creeps between the adhesive breaking the bond and allowing a leak---its also creeps outward eventually emerging around the windshield trim.)

It would be helpful seeing these paint bubbles you mention and the general area where they're located.

HTH
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:45 AM   #6
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If you do need to replace the glass, the good news is it's a super common windshield, in stock everywhere, and inexpensive. I've used Low Price Auto Glass in Fairfield a few times, including my econoline, cheapest price around by 30%.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:10 AM   #7
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JWA - Thanks for the great information! I was doubtful that the window could be re-used.
I'll see if I can get some photos of the paint bubbles. Hard to see in person so not sure if it will show up well.

Tom - I'll check out your window source. Appreciate the lead.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:20 AM   #8
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Our windshield guy as been able to r&r a few for us but as others mentioned be ready to buy a new one just in case. He was always upfront with how good the odds were that it would break.

Since we are on the subject of windshields, I have a oddball question...

Does anyone have or know of a brand of windshield that doesn’t have the built in sun visor along the top edge for the eseries?
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post
If you do need to replace the glass, the good news is it's a super common windshield, in stock everywhere, and inexpensive. I've used Low Price Auto Glass in Fairfield a few times, including my econoline, cheapest price around by 30%.
Some of that is very true---other parts not so much. No offense TomsBeast.

It is a very common W/S which does make the part itself rather inexpensive overall and by comparison. Of course this assumes we're not using the Carlite brand which is OEM----Ford is quite proud of that name on windshields.

Sorry but anyplace calling itself "low price auto glass" says a lot---they're compromising somewhere big time. Trust me on this---I'm in that business and gladly tell people I am NOT the cheapest in town. If that's what they're seeking I'm NOT the guy. I've been contacted too many times about fixing a leaking W/S; any installation performed by the low-ball providers I refer them back to the original installer to fix that cheap job.

If you'll be checking on-line reviews of any outfit look more to the negative or not-so-positive ones first. See what issues developed, what was done to correct those and how willing was the service provider to solve the issues. Glowing reviews are always highly suspect to me---but I'm old and cynical.

All too often bottom-line pricing alone shouldn't be the only decision point, not on a vehicle one intends to keep any length of time. You want someone dedicated to providing top quality installation as that's really the most important part.

So anyway PJPVI send any images you feel best show those bubbles---I'm highly curious if nothing else.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:05 AM   #10
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Thanks again JWA. I have an inquiry into a local shop and will see what they say.

I went to take a picture of the bubble this morning and couldn't find it. Cold morning by our standards at around 31 degrees and some dew on the van. Maybe it shrinks up in the cold?? I'll look again later today once the sun has been on it for a while. It was just a fluke that I saw it the other day. Sun was hitting it just right that I noticed it.
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