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Old 03-31-2010, 04:39 PM   #1
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Default How to replace your rear-quarter window

Ok, before I get flamed for this I'll state that I know that a glass shop can do it for cheap. I'm working on being able to do all the work on my civic myself, glass and body work included. When thieves busted my window and walked off with 2 grand worth of stereo equipment I was more than a little pissed, but looking on the bright side, I get to learn how to replace a window. Without further ado....my first post (hopefully helpful and relevant)

Step 1: Locate and procure a replacement window....we have a great shop in my area that specializes in used Honda parts, I picked my replacement up for $48.

Step 2: Clean up the thieves' mess. wear gloves...it sucks to fish chunks of glass out of your hands. spread out a piece of plastic on the ground under where you're working, pile some rocks on each corner to keep the wind from taking your plastic away and dumping glass all over the driveway. Once you have all the glass pulled out use a utility knife and needle-nose pliers to cut some of the rubber material that they used to stick the window in away. once you've got about 2 inches of it up use a narrow, sharp chiesel to cut all the old sealant out. Nice and clean? good. Now get out the shop-vac and vacuum all the bits of sealant and glass away. Hopefully your shop-vac has a narrow attachment so you can get all the stuff that's fallen in behind the interior plastic thingy. Now's a good time to vacuum the backseat and the floor too, there will probably be lots of glass there.

Step 3: Remember that window we bought in step 1? If it's used (like mine) it will probably have a bunch of rubber sealant stuck to the inside of it. Dont use a cheisel this time, use a razorblade or utility knife to get all the rubber sealant offa the window. It doesn't have to be perfect, if there's still some there you're just gonna be adding more anyhow, the important thing is that you dont want so much sealant in there that your window will stick out when you install it.

Step 4: Go down to your favorite parts store and buy some windshield adhesive. The stuff I got is made by 3M and fits in a caulking gun. Apply the Adhesive to the inside of the window....y'know the part you just scraped all the rubber out of in step 3. Give it a good liberal amount of adhesive and make sure there are no gaps or holes in your bead. They'll probably fill in when you install the window, but better safe than sorry. There's no rust in my rear-quarter, I plan to keep it that way.

Step 5: Starting at the side of the window closest to the door "stick" your window in place and "hinge" it in so that the whole thing seats. Go around to the other side of your car and look at the "good window"...take note of how it's seated and try to match it. You have a little while to shift the window about so that it's perfect, but try not to completely remove the window or it's back to step 2 to start all over again. Be aware of anywhere where it might be gapping. I probably don't need to tell you, but gaps=leaks and leaks=rust.

Step 6: Apply blue painters' tape around the edges of your newly installed window. Don't have blue tape? I'm sure any color masking tape will work. Not totally sure what the tape is all about but the assumption is that it's to keep moisture from getting in while the sealant dries....probably ready in a few hours, but they suggest 24 hours so that's how long I'm gonna wait before driving it.


Ok, I'm not a glass guy, but that's how I did it. If anyone has any suggestions (other than the jerk that's gonna flame me for not just taking it to the glass shop), now's the time....my sealant is drying as we speak.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to replace your rear-quarter window

The tape is to help keep it from shifting while settling. It doesn't take too much to hold it in place once it starts to cure but it's a good fail safe.

For those that don't have a busted out window and need to replace it due to a crack should use piano wire, aviation wire or the super thin guitar wire threaded through two wood blocks that will be used as handles.

First you will leave one side of the wire off the block. You will fish this side through the adhesive. Once it is through, feed it through your block, wrapping it around the block a few times so it won't pull out on you. From here you get someone on one side and you'll be on the other. One person will hold as the other pulls tightly away from the glass and cuts the adhesive. Once he gets to a point where he can't cut anymore without you moving, he'll hold tightly and you will do the same thing in the same direction. STAY AWAY from the glass as you can easily crack or chip it by hitting the glass with the wire. You will constantly 'saw' back and forth until the glass is free. Use the razor at a 45* angle to prevent from scratching the glass when removing old adhesive.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to replace your rear-quarter window

excellent suggestion, mine was too far-gone to need the piano-wire approach, but my stepfather and i were discussing how we figure they got the replacement window off of the civic at the wrecking yard. this was actually how we figured they did it.

thanks for the correction on what the tape is for. it's just about time to remove the tape now, yay! (i get excited about weird stuff.)
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to replace your rear-quarter window

hey im actually about to do this on a car im getting. this all makes sense but how do you get the wire behind the window, its done from the outside correct? also, do i need to be careful with the molding around the window, do i leave it there or take it off before i start? sorry for sounding like a complete noob haha :D
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to replace your rear-quarter window

the window i got from the parts place came with all the needed molding attached. small gauge piano/guitar wire is pretty sharp, we used to use it to make needles for our tattoo guns on the streets. the assumption is you should be able to just poke it thru the rubber adhesive by just feeding it behind the window and pushing.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to replace your rear-quarter window

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Originally Posted by techmage916 View Post
small gauge piano/guitar wire is pretty sharp, we used to use it to make needles for our tattoo guns on the streets.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to replace your rear-quarter window

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yeah, well....colorful past.
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to replace your rear-quarter window

does the rubber moulding around the window get taken off before i push the wire through? and does it get put back on before glueing window on?

going tomorrow to junkyard tomorrow so i guess if anything ill figure it out haha :D
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to replace your rear-quarter window

are you referring to the rubber trim on the edge of the window? put the piano wire behind that stuff (ie in between the rubber trim stuff and the car itself at the junkyard).... you want to leave that stuff intact on the intact window because you're going to transplant the window with the molding/trim stuff into your car. the rubber that is in between the window and the car (that isnt on the edge of the window) is the expendable stuff you're going to cut out (and the stuff you're going to clean up in the cleanup stage) trying to explain it, not sure if i'm quite articulating my ideas efficiently.
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