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Old 06-11-2013, 05:02 AM   #1
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How-to Guide: Adding screens to Ford tilt-out windows

At another thread I detailed how I installed tilt-out (aka pop-out) windows on the rear windows of my Ford van: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11025

Now that I have some extra airflow, the next step was to make some bug screens so we could actually keep the windows open while camping!

Inspired by the screens Jage has on his pop-out windows (and some photos he kindly took and sent to me), I set out to do basically the same thing on mine. His screens required a bit of sewing, though, creating a small seam under the bolt where the latch attaches to the window. The install below does away with that, creating a seamless screen. This install assumes you have some sort of plastic window trim around the windows.

1. First, remove the plastic trim around the window. This will serve as the frame for your screen. Lay the trim flat on a table, sawhorses, etc. Cut screen to size and lay over the frame. Be sure to leave a lot of extra screen on each side, especially at the bottom. You can trim it later.



2. Using duct tape, tape the screen to the top of the frame. Then, work around the frame, taping the rest of the screen. Important: at the bottom you'll need to add a bit of extra screen in a sort of gusset to allow for the window to pop out. Don't do too big of a gusset, though, as it might create a problem when the window closes. About an inch is good.



3. Now you need to prepare the latch mechanism so you can fit the screen between the latch mech's bolt and the window glass. It's easiest to do if you unscrew the latch from the door. You'll see that there is a blind nut (looks like a button) on bottom, outside of the window, connected to the latch with a screw-eye sort of thing. You have to detach the main part of the latch from the window bolt, and then unscrew the bolt from the window glass.

There is a small plastic pin that attaches the latch to the window bolt eye. Push it out using a small punch (don't lose it!).

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screen2.JPG   screen1.JPG   screen4.JPG  
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:10 AM   #2
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Re: How-to Guide: Adding screens to Ford tilt-out windows

4. Next, unscrew the fixing bolt from the window glass. Be very careful so as not to crack the tempered glass. Depending how tight the nut is, you may need to use two opposing wrenches on the two wrench flats.



5. Install the plastic trim and screen back onto the door.

6. Using the hole in the window left by the removed bolt/nut as a guide, carefully cut out a small hole in the screen.



7. Reinstall the window bolt/nut, capturing the glass and the screen material. Be careful as you tighten it not to overstress the glass. Also, try to keep the screen from twisting, as it wants to wrap itself around the bolt.

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Old 06-11-2013, 05:15 AM   #3
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Re: How-to Guide: Adding screens to Ford tilt-out windows

8. Reinstall the rest of the latch mechanism and test the window and screen to make sure the screen has enough "give" to allow the window to pop out. You don't want too much screen, but you don't want it too tight, either. Hopefully you won't have to take everything apart and adjust the screen gusset





That's it! I imagine that the screen setup is not 100% bug-proof, as they could conceivably work their way in behind the plastic trim. But, the trim fits pretty tightly, and if you sealed well enough with the duct tape you should be ok. The duct tape is the only thing that seems a bit "messy" with the install, but it's hidden and I think it should hold up ok since it's protected from sunlight and other environmental factors.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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Re: How-to Guide: Adding screens to Ford tilt-out windows

Darn you BrianW, I thought I was nearing the end of my todo list!

I've been thinking about doing something similar. I'll have to give your idea some thought. Many thanks for detailing your install.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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Re: How-to Guide: Adding screens to Ford tilt-out windows

great idea but I think I have a upgrade that you might not need to take the latch off the glass. instead of unbolting it from the glass you use a rubber gromment that fits around the post that you pulled the pin from and then glue the screen into the groove of the gromment or use a brass one that is pressed in.

Looks like I to have another project. dam you
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:16 PM   #6
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Re: How-to Guide: Adding screens to Ford tilt-out windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooseberry
great idea but I think I have a upgrade that you might not need to take the latch off the glass. instead of unbolting it from the glass you use a rubber gromment that fits around the post that you pulled the pin from and then glue the screen into the groove of the gromment or use a brass one that is pressed in.
Hmmm, I like the grommet idea! I might retrofit mine with those. That way it doesn't stress the screen so much when the window pops.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:36 AM   #7
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Re: How-to Guide: Adding screens to Ford tilt-out windows

Thanks for the ideas! Ive been wanting to do something with the big side window for a while.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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Re: How-to Guide: Adding screens to Ford tilt-out windows

Reporting back after using the rear windows and screens every day on our 30-day road trip: they worked great! The rear tilt-out windows are one of the best upgrades we've made to our van. They increase air flow tremendously, cut down on wind noise when the front door windows are open, and help a lot at night with cross ventilation, too.

I was a bit concerned about the possibility of carbon monoxide, which is supposedly why Ford stopped offering them. We have a brand new RV carbon monoxide detector mounted in the rear of our van, close to where the windows are. Not a peep out of it at any point. We had the windows open while driving slowly on small roads and 80 MPH on the interstates. I'm really glad we swapped out the fixed glass for the tilt-out windows.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:50 AM   #9
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Am resurrecting this thread because I am wondering how the installation is holding up after four years on the job. Any problems with the duct tape coming lose from the plastic or the screens failing where the latch goes through it. Want to do this when I replace my rear windows next month and will add the screens at the same time.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:21 AM   #10
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Four years on and the screens still work perfectly! This summer we used the van for two months straight on a cross-country trip, and opened and closed the pop-outs just about every day. The duct tape really just holds the screening to the trim while it is re-installed. Once the trim is screwed back into the door the pressure-fit between the trim and the metal door basically sandwiches the screen and holds it tight. So it's not like the duct tape is doing all (or any) of the work at that point.

A word of advice, though: on dirt roads, make sure you close the rear windows unless you want a lot of dust back there :-)
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