removing rear quarter window from part-out Avant

Ben Swann benswann at
Wed Jul 21 23:13:41 EDT 2004


I spent the better part of 3 hours and had the rear quarter window to the point of doing the victory dance - it was hanging from the top rubber sealant after carefully cutting around.  Giving it a  steady pull as the remaining sealant was slowly pealing away while thinking I had it made, but for some reason the thing exploding into a million pieces!   Well that was a big waste of my time and effort and you don't have a replacement window - I tried.

Some things that will help if you find one.  Need to remove the trim, carefully.  Then need to remove all the clips.  The small ones will slide around the rear-upper portion with light tapping on a screwdriver until the can be popped off at the top. - the large clips are rivited on - the rivits can be sheared with a couple whacks from a hammer to a sharp/flat bladed screwdriver or small chisel.  Of course any of this whacking can result in the above explosion, as that is what happened to the passenger side one while removeing the trim, but I was able to get way past this.  Be very carefull not to tap the window edge with the knife, screwdriver or hammer.

There is a strip at the bottom held in by rivits - removed with hammer and chisel/screwdriver.

A piece of piano wire/picture frame hanger wire could be used only on the sides as it would get hung at the top and bottom.  I was literally cutting through metal with it and there are a couple notches from the factory it will get hung on and no way of getting around this  If there were a special tool - a flexible long razor blade that could be pushed and pulled from both sides, that would probably be the trick - perhaps the glass installers have something like this.

I used a retractable carpet knife(box cutter?), and changed the blade around 6 times in the process.  Sliced around the edge to remove the seal, but some of it couldn't be acessed with the knife and some was just to tough.

There are several places that require forced cutting of the seal - this is some damned tough rubber.  I found a multi-purpose painters tool whacked with a mallet to do the job forcedly dutting through what the razor knife wouldn't.  I had sharpened the cutting edge on this tool good before using it on the window.  this was probably the most valuable tool in the whole ordeal, and I would have used it before the carpet knife had I thought about it first.

Finally I had all but the top seal cut out.  I don't know why it waited to this point to shatter, and I really thought i had it out, as I was able to flap it out as if it were mounted on a hinge of rubber and the rubber was coming loose too, so I thought it was a done deal then for no apparent reason POW! - I use the term explosion literally as that it what it was like.  Safety glasses and gloves are a must for this job!  Needless to say I was pretty ticked after working carefully and methodically for 3 hours.

Maybe someone else will have better luck.  For me it cost some valuable time and a lot of effort.  Anyway, the above is partly to vent, but mostly to help you or someone else get one out successfully.  Mainly be aware, these things will shatter at the slightest jarring or ncking on the edge - don't get cocky.  I really didn't put excessive force on this when it shattered, but had I been extremely patient probably could have been more gentle and continued for another half hour with the cutting and gotten it out successfully.  Count on this taking a good four hours and don't get frustrated when you only have it halfway out after three hours.  I had already removed the trim and interior was stripped prior to starting the job, so it could very well be a 5-6 hour job.

The rest of the car is merely a shell at this point.  I have pretty much removed everything that was not welded to the car or a part of the unibody shell.  The car ('87 pearl 5ktq avant) will be flatbedded out of here in the AM.   LMK if you need anything else.



q&20vtq lists in copy for the info.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ben Swann 
  To: Craig Gary 
  Cc: Ben Swann 
  Sent: Monday, July 19, 2004 3:47 PM
  Subject: Re: window from part-out Avant


  I am in the process of getting rid of the car and pretty much all will be stripped off this week.  The window however looks like it will take me quite some time.  How much is this worth?  Have you called Chris Semple at Force5auto?  I figure this will take several hours at least to remove it without breaking.  I may be able to Sawsall out around the window.  It is basically held in at the bottom by a strip with rivits that is also rubberized.  The seal is pretty tight around the top.

  I basically need to know if this is worth my time or not - 2-3 hours runs into $100 or so.


    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Craig Gary 
    To: Ben Swann 
    Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2004 5:04 PM
    Subject: Re: window from part-out Avant

    Hi Ben, 

    No responses from the 20v list. I'm guessing that no one has ever had to 
    replace this window before. it was a pretty stupid mistake on my part.

    Did you have a chance to compare window tint color (btw 5000 and 200)

    Here's a removal tip I found on a Volvo site:

    [Tip from Zee on replacing windshield glass in 240 series cars; 740 are similar.  Note the cautions) As for "special tools" to remove the old glass, I use a length of thin piano wire. Simply remove the chrome trim & rubber gasket combination. The glass "floats" on the buytl-rubber sealant. Slice through the plastic clips along the edge of the window. (Some clips you can pry out using a small screwdriver.  Most you can't. Just don't twist the tool, or you'll crack or chip the glass) Insert a strong wire or thin screw driver at the top and bottom of the window, near the centerline. Poke through the sealant, making a pathway for inserting the piano wire. Pass the piano wire in, then across the inside of the glass, then out the opposite hole. Now you have the wire inside the glass, through the sealant, with two ends sticking out, top and bottom, center. 
    Use vise grips (and gloved hands) on each of the wire ends. pull the wire toward you -- from the center of the glass toward the side -- while working the wire back and forth, like you're doing an upper body workout on a ski machine. Repeat on the other half. This method is cheap, reliable and effectively separates the glass from the sticky sealant. 
    Now, to take out the window, push evenly with gloved hands from inside the car. Begin near the top of the window, and it will naturally stand up for you. Have an assistant waiting to hold it steady until you come out to help lift it clear of the vehicle.


    On Jul 1, 2004, at 8:44 PM, Ben Swann wrote:

      Yes, and as I am near to finish parting the car and then towing away the
      shell, I can start taking these parts off without worrying about getting
      wet. I'm not sure how to remove it without breaking it however.

      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From: "Craig Gary" <cgary at>
      To: "Ben Swann" <benswann at>
      Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2004 3:52 PM
      Subject: window from part-out Avant

        Hi Ben,

        Do you still have the driver's side rear (cargo area) window from your
        500otq avant?


More information about the 200q20v mailing list