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Old 05-03-2013, 03:18 PM   #1
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How-to Guide: Replacing rear windows with pop-outs

I just replaced my rear fixed glass windows with pop-out windows sourced from a local junkyard, and thought I'd share a short write up on how easy it was to do.

This install was on my 1998 Ford E250 EB SMB, but I imagine most 1992+ E-vans are the same. It took about 30 minutes at a leisurely pace. The hardest part was scraping off the old butyl window sealant.

Also see this thread on making screens for these windows: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11256&p=104004#p104004

Supplies you'll need:
1. Butyl sealing tape. I used 3M Windo-Weld 5/16" tape in a 15-foot roll. I bought two rolls, as I have two rear windows and one side window to install. $12 per roll at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00063Z4FM. You can also use RTV silicone sealant, as JWA notes below, which might be a bit easier to handle (I might try this on my next install). $11 for a big tube at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Permatex-80855-Si ... 000HBNUFO/
2. Acetone and rag(s).
3. Latex/nitrile/vinyl gloves are handy, too, when dealing with butyl tape.

Tools you'll need:
1. Socket wrench with 10mm socket for window mounting nuts. I used a nut-driver handle so as not to put too much torque on the bolts.
2. Small thin, flat pry bar.
3. Utility knife.
4. Some sort of scraper. I used an old and somewhat dull chisel and a plastic body filler spreader.
5. Phillips screwdriver.
6. Sawhorses
7. Drill and bit to fit the latch mounting screws

Step-by-step directions follow...
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
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Re: How-to Guide: Replacing rear windows with pop-outs

Step one: remove existing fixed-glass window.

I suggest doing this project on a cooler day or in good shade, as removing the old window sealant (step 4) is a lot easier when cooler. When it's warm, it gets extra sticky and is much harder to remove.

If your van has the rear plastic interior trim, you'll need to remove it to access the window mounting bolts and nuts. If not, move on to step 2.

1. Remove window trim. My van had two phillips screws at the top of the door trim holding the trim on. Remove those. The trim was tucked under the SMB-installed rear door fabric trim panel, so I had to remove the screws holding on the grab handle (four screws, accessed by popping off the little screw covers on each end of the grab handle). If your van has speakers in the rear door, you may need to remove the speaker grille. On my van there were also small screws that SMB hid under the speaker grill to hold the door panel on. These were pretty well hidden in the fabric and I almost missed them.

Note that at this point you might as well remove the whole rear door bottom trim, as you'll need to get access to inside the door cavity for a later step (installing the latch screw bracket).

2. Remove the four 10mm nuts holding the window to the metal frame. Don't worry about the window falling out, as the existing sealant will hold the frame tight to the door metal.



3. Remove the glass and frame from the door. This is harder than it would seem, as the sealant is really strong. Using a flat pry bar (as thin as possible), begin to carefully pry from inside the door between the window frame and the metal of the door. You could also use a flat-blade screwdriver, but I would worry about the small blade putting too much concentrated pressure in one place. It's probably best to do this near the bolts, as I assume those areas are reinforced or something. Once you get it a little separated, run a utility knife in parallel to the glass around the window frame to break the seal of the sealant. You may have to do this a few times, coupled with using the pry bar. That stuff is crazy sticky. Work the pry bar around the frame, especially near the mounting bolts. Once the window is free, remove it from the van.

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Old 05-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #3
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Re: How-to Guide: Replacing rear windows with pop-outs

4. Remove residual butyl sealant from door. Most likely there will be a lot left to clean off. I used an old, relatively dull chisel to scrape as much of the sealant off as I could. This was the hardest part of the whole project, as butyl is really sticky and smears rather than coming off. After I scraped as much off as I could, I soaked a rag liberally in acetone and used it to remove the rest.

Old sealant still on door:



Old sealant removed with liberal doses of Acetone on a rag

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Old 05-03-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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Re: How-to Guide: Replacing rear windows with pop-outs

Installation details and photos to come tomorrow!
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:48 AM   #5
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Re: How-to Guide: Replacing rear windows with pop-outs

Thanks! How'd you know I was about to replace mine too! Thanks for the instructions, I was concerned about dealing with a pile of broken glass but know I know the right technique to avoid it all.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:46 AM   #6
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How-to Guide: Replacing rear windows with pop-outs

Thanks for the great info.... Something on my list. Bookmarked this thread.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #7
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Re: How-to Guide: Replacing rear windows with pop-outs

Quote:
Originally Posted by UpaDowna
Thanks! How'd you know I was about to replace mine too! Thanks for the instructions, I was concerned about dealing with a pile of broken glass but know I know the right technique to avoid it all.
It's really pretty easy if you take your time. Plus, the glass actually sits in a plastic (or nylon) frame, which is what you'll be prying off the door. The plastic frame is what the mounting bolts go into. So, you aren't really prying directly against the glass. In any event, I assume the glass is safety glass anyway and would just spider rather the shatter.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:40 AM   #8
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Re: How-to Guide: Replacing rear windows with pop-outs

Step Two: Install the new window

1. Ok, now that you have the door all clean and prepped for the new window, you'll need to prep the window itself for installation. Set the new pop-out window glass-side down on a pair of sawhorses to make installing the butyl tape easier.

2. If you pulled the windows from a donor van, then you'll most likely have to clean off the old sealant first. /Before you scrape it off, note how it fits into a shallow indentation in the frame. Follow the hints in the first post, above, about how to scrape it off. Again, do it when the weather is as cold as possible, as it will be a lot easier. (Or do it inside in air conditioning if it's really hot outside.) Wipe the window frame mounting surface with some acetone on a rag to get it nice and clean.

3. Take your roll of butyl tape and start applying it to the window frame. One side of the tape has a paper liner on it. Leave that on until you are done applying the tape. The window frame has an obvious channel where the tape fits (as mentioned in #2 above), take your time and lay the tape into that channel, carefully bending it around the corner curves. I did it in all one piece so there wouldn't be any gaps, overlapping it a 1/2" or so at the end.




4. Remove the paper liner from the butyl tape and, using your fingers, make sure the butyl is uniform and sitting as straight as possible in the channel. Note that if you are wearing latex gloves, the butyl will probably really stick to them. Nitrile gloves seem to work better. At this point, the window is prepped for installation.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:42 AM   #9
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Re: How-to Guide: Replacing rear windows with pop-outs

5. Install the latch mounting plate. Hopefully when you got your windows you were able to get the OEM mounting plate with threaded holes that was mounted inside the rear door. (See pic below.) If not, you can still attach the latch, but you'll need to use regular nuts inside the door to secure the latch mounting screws.



These plates are located inside the door cavity and underneath where the window latch goes. They provide threaded holes for the window latch screws. The mounting plate installs from inside the door cavity and just slips into place, held by the mounting prongs in the front. You'll see the holes already drilled in your van door. All vans have these holes from the factory, as far as I know. If you have a "finished" rear door with fabric trim panels (like most SMB vans have), you'll need to pull the panels off to get access to the door cavity. There is no way for the plate to be installed from the top.



Note that if your donor van was a cargo van without plastic window trim, it probably also had a small flat spacer that mounted to the van door, but on the top of the mounting area. This is a filler spacer that goes between the latch assembly and the metal of the van door to take up the space usually occupied by the plastic trim. If your van has the plastic trim, you do NOT need to install this spacer.

6. Install the window. Carefully line up the bolts on the window with the bolt holes in the door. As an aside, the van door already has all the necessary holes drilled from the factory, so you don't have to worry about that. I believe there are nine bolts in all. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this part.) Make sure the window and bolts are centered, and carefully press the window and frame against the door using even pressure (like with the palm of your hand). Holding the outside of the window against the door, install the inside mounting nuts and hand-tighten.

Addition from JWA's comments below: "Be certain to align the special bolts properly where the shoulders fit through the glass, assuring they're properly seated in the glass. This is just another pinch, break and "Oh, Crap!" point. Check adjoining lites to acquaint yourself with the finished look which is what you want to achieve."

7. When you are sure the window is well seated and straight, tighten all the inside nuts. I used a 10mm socket on a nut-driver handle so as not to inadvertently tighten them too much. I tightened them each a bit at a time, in a star pattern (like installing a wheel on a hub), to make sure there wasn't any undue stress on the window or frame. You'll see the window frame start to pull in as the butyl tape compresses and spreads out to form the seal.

Addition from JWA's notes below: "Tighten each nut no more than a few turns at first, just until you feel them begin to clamp or slightly resist further tightening. The pattern of tightening isn't too important, just that each bolt is drawn down somewhat equally. Once the glass, its plastic spacer and sealant is compressed enough you'll feel the nut seat and basically "lock up" signaling its time to stop tightening! For this operation I'd use a nut driver or palm ratchet, nothing larger than 1/4 or 3/8 drive."

8. On my install I noticed that there was some gapping between where the two bolts were on each side and bottom. The frame was bowing out a bit from the van door. I used a clamp to squeeze the frame against the door to make sure the butyl sealed correctly. I only left the clamp on for a minute or so; the idea was just to pull the frame in and make contact with the sealant.

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Old 05-06-2013, 07:51 AM   #10
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Re: How-to Guide: Replacing rear windows with pop-outs

9. If your van came with the OEM plastic window trim, you'll need to drill out three holes for the latch mounting screws. The locations of these holes are embossed in the plastic trim from the factory, so it's an easy job. Just make sure you drill the correct three holes!



FYI note from CarringB's post later in this thread: "The trim pictured is not factory trim. It is very common conversion van trim however. The factory trim doesn't have that squared-off profile to hold blinds. The factory trim different for pop-out and non-pop-out windows. So anyone with factory trim will need to either swap trim panels, or notch the non-pop-out trim and add than plastic shim below the latch. Just an FYI so somebody doesn't find this out the hard way while doing the swap."

10. Install the window trim and make sure it is seated correctly.

11. Mount the window latch to the door using three screws into the mounting plate inside the door (see step 5).



12. If everything looks good, reinstall any remaining door trim or fabric pieces.



13. Pop open the window and enjoy the breeze!

14. Addition from JWA's notes below: "A few days after this type of installation re-check your fasteners as they've been known to work loose. Whether using butyl tape or RTV the glass isn't in danger of falling out but good to keep the bolt/nuts tight anyway."
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