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Old 01-27-2018, 07:16 PM   #11
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Well the saga continues. We spent the day going to a glass shop (getting more free advice and buying some butyl tape), Going to Napa (to buy some sealant) and prepping to remove the windows and get the job done right. But we ended up getting nothing done.

After further inspection we discovered that one side window has been installed with without the screws/nuts and appears to be just installed with a sealant adhesive similar to a windshield. Then when we went to remove the side window (that has the correct nuts) it appears to also be held in place with a windshield type adhesive. After more digging into the van it appears that 5 of the windows are sealed with something not butyl and seem impossible to remove. We also water boarded/tested all the windows and found that all of the windows, that have obviously been replaced with something other than butyl, leak.

So we are stuck. We don't know how to get the windows off without damaging the rubber seals and we cannot afford to pay to have a shop do 5 windows for us. Its not ideal by any means, but we are thinking that we are going to have to try to fix it in a way that is not proper. We think that we are going to have to resort to piping silicone into the window crevice (at least at the top) (and even considering flex-seal) to see if we can stop the leak for now. We are not concerned with the appearance at all, we just can't have water leaking in and we really can't afford to do it correctly. At this point I am ready to think positive and silicone around the stationary windows but I don't quite think thats going to work with the side pop out.

Does anyone have any experience with sealing from the outside that actually worked... I see already from this thread that it hasn't worked for some
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:31 PM   #12
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Calling @JWA !!
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
Calling @JWA !!
Present and accounted for----thanks for asking!

So this sounds like a cluster pluck of the first magnitude---just one reason I hate some body shops. Mind you I once owned a body shop but NEVER resorted to quicky BS like described. It sounds as though the shop used polyurethane windshield adhesive, reasons completely unknown without me seeing the van in person.

I've done what follows on a brand new Navistar/International Harvester big rig with massive leak in a factory installed bunk side window. It's effective, not quite "proper" but works very, very well.

Using a painter's tape (blue masking) cover the body surrounding any leaking glass panel so the space between the body and glass edge is "open". (I'll post photos of this later today, when the sun comes up.) Do this as carefully as you want the finished project to appear, more time spent here yields a more pleasing completed appearance.

Next cover the glass itself trimming the tape with razor blade or other super sharp blade, the end result here being to leave a channel between the glass panel and body.

Using something like GE's Silicone II sealant/adhesive or similar high quality exterior grade 100% silicone sealant fill the created channel, slightly overfilling it so it spills over onto the masking tape. Any sort of putty knife can be used to tool the silicone into the channel and at the same time produce a flat surface that will be much less noticeable.

Almost immediately after sealant application remove the body-side tape by pulling it in line with the longest length of the glass panel; top and bottom you'll pull horizontally, sides vertically. This is to avoid any sealant strings landing on the body saving clean up time. Think of this action as pulling tape off towards the glass panel rather than towards the body---hope that makes sense?

Weather permitting you can tape all windows to be sealed in advance however apply sealant and remove tape just one panel at a time.

Van-essa I do have two questions though:

1. Does this van have the driver's side forward glass that's movable or pops out? Closest to the back of the driver's seat?

2. By pop out rear windows do you mean those in the rear hinged doors?

And finally I'll post a few photos of my masking tape "system" a bit later this day, as said when the sun comes up. Stay tuned!
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:33 AM   #14
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Sun's up, temperatures aren't but I persevere anyway. Keep in mind these photos were taking one handed, some steps can't be shown.

Here's how I mask the "channel" between the body and glass edge:



The body-side tape edge can be positioned depth-wise into the "channel" depending how much of the sealant bead you want lapping over onto the body. Appearance isn't an issue the times I've done this but keeping it just inside the opening gives a less-offending look.

The body-side corning masking radius is best achieved as I show, multiple small pieces of tape positioned to approximate a more carefully trimmed tape radius. I do this to avoid using a small sharp knife to trim the tape so the paint isn't cut into.

Along the glass edge I use an Olfa small stainless steel trim knife run along the horizontal edge for a nice clean edge. https://www.amazon.com/OLFA-5019-Sta.../dp/B0006O87O6

Next is over-filling the "channel" with sealant:



Once filled using a putty knife smooth the excess sealant into the "channel" and over onto the masking tape:



(Note: Above two photos are simulations only taken for demonstration here only, van shown is mine and has no leaking windows etc. The sealant was completely removed as soon as image was created.)

Its at this point the tape is removed, body-side first leaving a crisp smooth break. If your masking was done well there should be no need for any clean up or adjusting/trimming of the sealant.

You can drive the van immediately but keep it mostly dry for 24 hours if possible. After a few hours a gentle stream of water under as little pressure as possible (garden hose, no nozzle) should show no leaks.

Sealant left on the glass after removing tape can be left to cure naturally and cleaned off later with a new single-edge razor blade along with a water misting bottle to prevent scratching the glass.

I hope this is helpful, if not feel free to PM me or post questions here--I'll subscribe to this thread.

Hope this is clear and helpful.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:34 PM   #15
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Oh... My... Godness... Thank you so much for this. This is basically what I was thinking we were going to have to do but I had not thought it through this detailed. It looks like we are going to be tackling this problem next weekend.

Quote:
1. Does this van have the driver's side forward glass that's movable or pops out? Closest to the back of the driver's seat?
Yes, the window behind the drivers seat "pops out". It hinges at the top and allows a small opening at the bottom of the window.

Quote:
2. By pop out rear windows do you mean those in the rear hinged doors?
Yes, the very back rear doors. They are on hinges and swing open.

I am even more confident now that the sealant procedure you outlined will work for the stationary windows but I am still not sure if the procedure can be used on the pop out style window.
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Old 01-29-2018, 03:11 AM   #16
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Glad this was helpful Van-essa!

This method will work on any factory-installed original glass including the movable or pop-out style. In fact as mentioned it was first used on a big truck bunk window that is similar to your side window, meant to open slightly at the bottom for ventilation. Naturally this renders movable glass inoperable.

If the driver's side movable glass is leaking it might need a simple adjustment, the lower latch providing a bit of movement for this reason. If it too is leaking at the top and all nuts are tightened it might benefit from new butyl tape---the process for both the fixed and movable types is the same.

If that doesn't work then my suggestion would work.

If you're swapping out the rear door glass with factory movable glass new butyl tape would be a must-have. Once installed adjusting the lower latch so it gently compresses the rubber seal, perhaps treating that seal with a bit of 3M 08877 wet type silicone lubricant as a way to refresh it. There's no need to have the glass adjusted so tightly it smashes the seal---over time it will leak and at that point would require replacing. Not sure if those seals are still available from Ford---those types windows were no longer offered after a time due concerns from engine exhaust entering the cabin when they were open.

Anyway let us know how this works out for you.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:42 AM   #17
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Just throwing this out: for the pop open glass, couldn’t he just remove the glass from the window frame temporarily and do the sealing procedure on the frame? The glass is pretty easy to remove from the frame with just a few bolts. Wait for the sealant to dry and then reinstall the glass?
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:13 AM   #18
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Just throwing this out: for the pop open glass, couldn’t he just remove the glass from the window frame temporarily and do the sealing procedure on the frame? The glass is pretty easy to remove from the frame with just a few bolts. Wait for the sealant to dry and then reinstall the glass?
Not sure if we're on the same page regarding terms Brian---by frame do you mean the plastic separator/gasket ring that mounts to the body? Or are we talking bout the glass/gasket interface?

I was going to slightly edit my post to say if a water test shows only the tops of the windows leaking, that under slight pressure the sides and bottom don't leak then my described method can be done just across the top(s) only---this assumes aesthetics are a concern.

Water testing with a gentle flow should show where any leak is---in the case of pop outs the glass/gasket, the ring/body joint or both could be leaking. This determination would be key in suggesting a fix.

For the most part when installing glass into a vehicle where a flowable sealant/adhesive is be used its best done while its still wet, not yet cured or "skinned over". Since the sealant/adhesive can flow into any spaces where leaks might occur this works best for the most part.

For me this is a bit tough to diagnose without actually seeing the leaks---too much a hands on guy.
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Not sure if we're on the same page regarding terms Brian---by frame do you mean the plastic separator/gasket ring that mounts to the body? Or are we talking bout the glass/gasket interface?
Yes, I mean the rigid frame that mounts to the van body, and to which the pop-out glass then attaches with three bolts (two at the top, one at the bottom at the pop-out hinge). You can kinda see it in the attached photos. The glass can be (fairly) easily removed while the frame stays bolted to the van.

That's also the reason why you don't have to worry so much about breaking the glass when tightening the bolts on the pop-out window frames compared with regular Ford static windows. On the static (non-opening) windows the glass mounts directly to the van body and the bolts go through the glass, making it easier to crack the glass when tightening things up, especially if trying to compress the adhesive/butyl/whatever.
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Old 02-02-2018, 02:35 PM   #20
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Yes, I mean the rigid frame that mounts to the van body, and to which the pop-out glass then attaches with three bolts (two at the top, one at the bottom at the pop-out hinge). You can kinda see it in the attached photos. The glass can be (fairly) easily removed while the frame stays bolted to the van.
Thought as much but wanted to make sure I understood---thanks BrianW!

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That's also the reason why you don't have to worry so much about breaking the glass when tightening the bolts on the pop-out window frames compared with regular Ford static windows. On the static (non-opening) windows the glass mounts directly to the van body and the bolts go through the glass, making it easier to crack the glass when tightening things up, especially if trying to compress the adhesive/butyl/whatever.
We disagree here----beginning 1992 any/all body side glass has been tempered and highly, highly prone to simply breaking when stressed too much. As I mentioned I'm in the auto/truck glass biz and sad to admit I've broken a few (>4) of these parts either removing or installing when I didn't pay careful attention. Not saying experience or years on the job make me perfect but overall I'm far less prone to over-stressing the glass than someone whose new to this sort of repair and yet its happened to me.

Should it happen any of the body side tempered glass be removed every bit of previously existing sealant SHOULD BE REMOVED from both the body and the window surface that seals to the body. Leaving any of that material still attached causes stress in the glass as the fasteners are tightened. This is where I've exceeded the glass modulus of elasticity and ended up with a handful of glass bits and pieces, said modulus being exceeded without any bit of prior indication it was about to happen.

Properly compressing the butyl isn't difficult if we simply tighten the mounting bolts in an X pattern, no more than a full wrench turn of each nut each time. I use a screwdriver-like nut driver as its very, very difficult to over-tighten those nuts with that type tool. NEVER use any powered tool for this task.

(The movable glass can also be broken if while trying to compress the gasket we adjust the glass latch too far inward.)

Anytime one of these pieces is handled during removal or installation the potential for breakage is higher than most people believe. As such every step is important, no real room to become lax or unconcerned with following proper techniques and steps. If I'm talking too much about small issues I'm simply hoping to save a few of you the aggravating and costly mistakes I've made---keep in mind I'm a "professional" at all this.
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