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Front WS Replacement With Rubber Trim

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My front WS was cracked across the A line (horizontal line you look through the most).

I have XJ buckets that sit high so the crack was definitely in my line of sight.



Tools used:

Cotter pin tool


HF multi tool

Utility knife, filet knife

Caulking gun

Saw horses



Replacement glass

Rubber garnish

Urethane sealant



Rubbing alcohol

Brake cleaner


Removed the visor, wipers and exterior trim.




I have a trim tool, and wouldn't you know I couldn't find it, so I used this to remove the trim. (Cotter pin removal tool) Trim is for sale in the classified section.



Released the clips like this.




Removed the interior vent cowl with a driver bit on a flexible shaft. 3 screws on the top by the WS and 2 inside the glove box.



Cut the gasket from the inside with this. When using the multi tool, you have to keep the blade moving back and forth so as to not cut in the same spot too long. The blade moves so fast, it will start smoking and burn the area you are cutting if you move it too slow.

If you don't have access to a multi tool the WS can be removed like I did in my rear window replacement DIY viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19487




Because of the size of the tool, I could only cut the top and down both sides.

Then I finished the top corners and bottom with these.






You can see in the last photo the cowl piece was still in place, it came out with the glass.


Next I cleaned up the window channel like this.




A few notes about cleaning the window channel. It does not have to be cleaned down to bare metal. The multi tool worked very well because it left a smooth even surface. You just want to be sure not to leave any "feathers or slivers" that will cause an area that is not adhered by the new sealant.


Cleaned then primed. I like to clean with rubbing alcohol because it is cheap, doesn't leave residue, and isn't as volatile as thinner which can harm paint and evaporates off too fast.




Read on the board about the nubs for the chrome trim needing to be cut off in order to use the rubber garnish. I left mine in place no problems.




The little square things are setting blocks, don't loose them they keep the glass centered in the window channel. Usually they are still in place from when the glass was originally installed.



Bought my front WS with rubber garnish from Carquest delivered to my local store for $104.

I opened the box, inspected the glass before I left the store. My friend told me I should do this, can anybody guess why?




Then I laid the WS on 2 padded saw horses and installed the garnish to the glass.

Suggest sticking the corners and ends first so the gasket stays even all around.

Word of caution, the rubber gasket has "sticky" to hold it to the glass. If you put a rubber gasket on, it makes installation easier and you'll see what I mean.



Here is where I would have changed things. I've probably changed 10 WSs in my life which makes me no expert by far. Each window has it's own circumstances. Some I've put the sealant on the glass, others in the channel. The other Jeep glass that I did with metal trim, I put the sealant on the glass. That is what I did here, were I to do it again, I would have put the sealant in the channel.



The channel is 3/4" deep, the glass is 1/4" thick, do the math. The sealant needs to be laid in the channel in 1 single bead, 1/2" inch thick +/-, best way I've found is to cut the end off the tube fat as you can. Lay the sealant in the channel, make sure the setting blocks are in place,

(BTW they should be about 1/4" in case you lost yours, I made some out of a piece of lath)

Get a friend to help you "set" the glass in place, Caution, you don't want to squish the sealant out all over the place. You need it to stay "fat" or the metal/rubber trim won't sit proper.

Inspect your work,I use a flashlight to look make sure I don't have missed spots.


Just realized I didn't take a pic of the sealant. The sealant has to be laid in a 1/2" bead here about about 1/4" inch from the inside edge.













Sealant, I used a roofing grade of urethane, about 1/4 the cost of the automotive stuff.

I know opinions will say .....But I've roofed 20+ years and as hot and severe environment a roof gets as long as it's urethane and not silicone(junk) it will be fine. Most glass installers will say 1 tube to 1 window for average sized glass, but when your 100+ mi from anywhere and the stores that are near aren't open on Sunday, I suggest buying 2 tubes, 13 to 20 dollars at the parts store.


Is doing this yourself cost effective? Not really.

I think in Billings the glass could have been replaced for about $160 bucks.

For me that would have been fuel, food, time and the window.

Doing it myself, tools I have, time I like to spend and because I can.



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  • 10 months later...

thanks for the write up, i need to do this on an xj i have. nice thing is, i have a almost new windshield on a parts jeep, so i just need the urethane and rubber. another suggestion for removing glass is a tool like this:



S & G TOOL AID 87900 Wndshld Removal Tool $15 including shipping.

supposedly, if you use a propane torch to keep it hot, it cuts through the urethane like butter. i haven't tried it yet though.

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I wouldn't use one of those on good glass...it's real easy to try and hurry, muscle, or pry with it, then ^%$*!


I would use that to get the old glass out, maybe practice on the old glass see if you can get it out without further cracking


before you use it on the good glass. Suggest a bicycle cable with a few strands removed for bite over that.


FWIW, the smell from the roof grade sealant finally went away after nearly a year...Next time I'll pay $$ for the good sealant.

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  • 2 weeks later...
i have a couple windshields to practice on. there's the cracked one, another old one i wasn't planning on using that's not cracked but not as good overall shape. i may try the bike cable trick, too. i have a broken one i need to replace anyways.


Can you post pics of your efforts, maybe a comparison?

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