Rear Window Installation Redux

Rear Window Installation Redux

Re-sealing/re-installing the rear window

After attempting in vain to seal the rear window on three separate occasions, I finally threw in the towel over the weekend and decided I’d have to pull the glass out and start over.  Ugh!  Knowing full well what a pain it would be, I spent a lot of time dreading the idea.  But ultimately, I knew I had to do it.  Saturday morning I picked up a new USA-made rear window gasket from National Parts Depot.  A few short hours later, I was into pulling the trim, pulling the glass, and preparing to re-install the glass with the new gasket.

Before I could do anything, I had to carefully remove the fragile stainless trim around the glass.  You may recall that I’d thought I’d had the glass finally sealed.  But then after I installed the trim, I had water leaks again, so it was only a matter of time before I would’ve had to remove the trim anyway.  Pulling the trim is a painstaking process of trying to get the tool to disengage the clips without bending or denting the molding.  And believe me, it’s really easy to screw it up.  It’s important to take your time and to have the right tools.  After an hour and a half of farting around, I had all the trim removed.

Much to my dismay, I found I had three spots where orange rust had begun to take hold.  So before I could move forward with reinstalling the glass with the new gasket, I had to clean up and paint the rust areas.

Doing it right the second time

Last time I installed the glass in the more conventional way.  I put the gasket on the glass and then I used a string to pull the gasket and glass inside.  Once I had the glass installed, I ran a bead of sealant around the outside and then ran one along the inside lip.  The problem with this method, I believe, was the fact insufficient sealant around the pinch weld area.  So my plan now was to try an alternative approach.

Basically, I decided to do everything backward.  After cleaning the old sealant off, I ran a bead of sealant around the pinch welds.  I ran another bead of sealant in the channel of the gasket.  Then I put the gasket in place on the pinch weld without the glass.  With the gasket stuck in place, I then proceeded to slowly and carefully pull, prod, and roll the glass into the gasket.  It took me about five hours before I had the glass seated in the gasket.

I need to put sealant around the glass or the outer edge of the gasket, so there’s more to do.  But I’m hopeful that with sealant covering the pinch welds I’ll have finally stopped the leaks.  Then again, with the amount of sealant pushed out as I moved the gasket trying to install the glass, who knows?

Now that I have the trim off, I should do a better job of polishing the original pieces.  I had proclaimed them “good enough for now” when I put them on a few months ago.  But with them off, now’s the time to make them super shiny.  But that’s for another day!