How to Replace a 5K Qtr. Window (long)

Steve Jensen sjensen at
Tue Sep 12 00:10:24 EDT 2000

Having done this, here's my experience...

You will need: heavy duty razor knife w/multiple spare blades, black
urethane automotive window sealer, touch up paint (any color since you are
touching up paint scraped away by razor but will be hidden by the urethane),
a few straight edge razors, a bunch of flat blade screwdrivers, new upper
edge trim and rivets from dealer for leading edge trim, duct tape (my friend
duct tape!), drill with qtr. inch bit, and last but not least 3 or 4 plain
(not spiral wound) heavy gauge guitar strings.  Optional: replacement trim

1.  Drill out the rivets holding the leading edge trim piece on.  These look
like black plastic but are black painted aluminum rivets.  Remove trim
2.  Pull lower edge trim straight out towards you, starting at the front of
the car.  If this is OE trim, it can be tough to pull out as the clips get
3.  Pop out the upper edge trim starting at the back of the car and move
forward.  Use duct tape to tape the trim out of the way to the body
(carefully!) once it is clear of the qtr. window.
4.  Cut the leading edge urethane with the razor knife by gliding it under
the glass.  You may need to need to make a series of successively deeper
5.  Cut or break the old broken glass at the top of the leading edge, then
use the knife to peel the old urethane with the broken glass out and away
from the car.  Peel it down while sliding a straight razor behind it until
you slowly go around the perimeter of the frame and all old glass is
6.  Cut away all the excess old urethane with the straight razor until the
frame is clean and smooth.  Clean with the stuff you can get at the auto
body paint shop for removing old urethane (I forget the name).
7.  When dry, touch up _all_ bare metal with the touch up paint.  Let dry.
8.  Lay a bead of the black urethane from your caulk gun all the way around
the perimeter of the frame.  Carefully place your window in the frame after
you have attached the new upper edge trim plastic to the window and the trim
clips to the bottom and trailing edges.  Have a friend/sig. other use the
duct tape to tape the window firmly in the frame to prevent it from sliding
downward. Be sure to allow enough clearance for the upper edge trim to fit!
Caution: normal rules of gravity do not apply to black urethane, it goes
where it wants to!  Use Windex or other window cleaner to clean up excess.
9.  Drink beer and allow to dry, preferably overnight. Re-attach trim next
day, smile and say thank you to Dan Simoes one more time for maintaining
this list.  You too, Brett.

If you are cutting a window out of a junkyard/parts car (like I did), follow
steps 1 through 4 above, then:

5a.  Slide a flat blade screwdriver under the leading edge to slightly pry
it up and leave it there.
6a.  Use the razor knife from the inside of the car, cut the urethane from
the front of the lower edge to the back, as well as the inside of the
trailing edge . You will have to bend the blade over to get at it, expect it
to break after a few passes.  You may also cut the interior trim pieces, so
be forewarned.
7a.  Back outside the car, use a straight razor to cut the urethane at the
bottom front corner.  As the urethane cuts and the window starts to lift,
shove another flat blade screwdriver gently under the window to ease it
outward.  Keep shoving screwdrivers under the glass to keep prying it gently
out of the frame as you cut.
8a.  Once you can see daylight between the glass and the frame, thread the
heavy guage guitar string through the opening.  Wrap each end many times
around a wrench, then tape the wrench with the duct tape to make it easy on
your hands.
9a.  Using a _slow_ sawing motion with one hand on a wrench inside the car
and one hand on a wrench on the outside, saw through the remaining urethane
on the lower edge of the glass from the front of the car to the back.  If
you go too fast the guitar string _will_ overheat and break.  Bently says to
pull it straight through the urethane but the 13 yr. old urethane on my car
refused to budge pulling straight.  Please note: do NOT do this on a car you
care about, because the sawing motion will cut into and ruin the paint below
the lower edge of the glass due to the angle!!
10a. As you approach the rear corner of the lower edge, pry the glass
outward from the front of the car while you keep cutting with a straight
razor or razor knife.  Slow deliberate cuts on the remaining trailing end
urethane and the window will finally come out.
11a.  Cut off excess urethane from window to prepare for mounting.  Do not
drop window, it is now a trophy!  Drink beer and see note about Dan Simoes

The most important thing is to have patience!  It took me three days of
cutting after work to get the quarter window out of my parts car but I was
admittedly going verrrry slow to avoid breaking it.  Having done it once I
could probably cut another one out in an afternoon at the junkyard.

Sorry this is so incredibly long but it should help someone who is on a
budget (like me).

-Steve Jensen
87 5kcstq
87 5kcstqw

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