REPLACING AN EXISTING OEM WINDOW:
When replacing an existing factory window, you may want to contact us or provide photos inside and out. Not all replacements will be straightforward and can require extra commendation and custom adaptation to use an existing factory or add-on item(s). Van Windows Direct and the manufacturers we distribute take no responsibility for additional work or an installer's inability to complete the work required. Please ask all questions and provide all information before purchase, as the buyer is 100% responsible for the installation or failure to install.
If you are replacing an existing factory window that is urethane bonded, you may want to take it to a professional for removal and replacement. If doing it on your own best tool to use is a wire cutter Equalizer Window Cut-Out Set. Once you have the window cut out, you will need to cut (shave down) the original urethane down as flat as possible and clean as much away as you can; we offer CRL Adhesive Cleaner. Other products that can help clean up the existing urethane will be (Acetone, Goo-Gone,, and WD-40). After using any cleaning product, be sure to clean the wall with soap and water or rubbing alcohol; we also offer PWR22 Cleaner before applying new primer and urethane. (Skip to below for window urethane bonding).
ADDING WINDOW TO A VAN WITHOUT WINDOWS:
If you have the following tools, you can do the cutting on the inside with no template or mirroring of the interior stamping to the outside. (Body Saw, Air Saw, One-Handed Reciprocating Saw)
Drill hole with a bit large enough to accommodate the blade of your cutting tool. Drill within the single sheet metal section to be cut out, then work your blade down to the OEM stamp line. Follow the stamp line around the section to produce your window cut hole. (Can cut out any interior supports within the window sections).
**TIP - Cut sides and bottom first leaving the top cut for last, so the sheet metal does not start bending while cutting.
Once your cut is complete and the sheet metal panel removed, file any rough edges or high points to smooth the cut line. While most will trim and not see the raw edge, the smoother and straighter the cut, the better the trim will appear when it is time to place it. Once happy with the cut-out and filed down smooth, you may want to prime the raw edge of metal before installing edge molding. While this is not a necessary step, it's easy and offers additional peace of mind.
If you are using the edge molding, now will be the time to install it. While Window Edge Molding is not necessary for the installation of the window, it does offer a better appearance on the van's interior by covering the raw cut edge. If your interior walls will be covering the cut edge, then no reason to trim something that will hide behind a wall. When ordering trim, you'll be purchasing from a bulk roll by the foot, and there is a drop-down box for proper sizing for your van. Most vans will cover both inner and outer sheet metal edges with the trim. The trim on the outside will not affect the Window installation as the urethane bead will be taller than the thickness of the trim.
**TIP - There is often an adhesive foam material injected between the two sheet metal walls of your van from the factory. If you are having a tough time getting the trim to cap both sheet metal edges cut the foam away from the cut edge till you can squeeze the metals together and cap with trim molding.
**TIP - Dry fitting Window before urethane bonding can help familiarize yourself with placement. Also, you can place securing tape/masking/painters' tape in corners and side middle on to glass then onto body cut tape leaving on both window and van body as added line-up markers for easier placement.
URETHANE BONDING OF WINDOW:
You will brush the urethane primer onto the outside body of your van. When applying primer ideally you want to apply close to the opening, allow a 1/2" gap from the trim or hole when possible. Urethane spreads when you set the window and is less likely to have urethane seeping out from the glass edge on the outside of the van when closer to the cut hole. One line of primer is all that's needed and only on the Van wall. Primer is not necessary for the glass as the urethanes are designed to bond to glass without. After you have painted your primer line around your cut hole, allow the primer to dry for about 10 minutes.
When using Automotive Urethane, a regular everyday caulking gun will not work. We recommend no less than a 12:1 Thrust Ratio (Commercial/Professional Grade) or above. We offer a 26:1 Ratio Gun in our Tools and Supplies Section.
If you order the urethane from us, the tip will have an embossed cutline showing where to cut across the tip as well as a v-notch; this will be where you will want to cut the tip for your perfect sized urethane bead. When you apply the urethane to the van, the V will trail your application path, so you end up with a pyramid-looking bead.
We recommend starting a few inches down from the top rear corner of the window; that way, you can avoid having a joint from one tube to the next on the top or front of the window. If it happens, it will not be a catastrophe; keeping the top and front beads in one continuous bead reduces the risk of a leak. With larger Window (Most side OEM fit window) will require a second tube of urethane when one bead end start the next bead about a 1/2" into the already applied bead (smooth together with a plastic putty knife/wood stick, flat screwdriver, etc...) Spraying a liberal amount of glass cleaner onto the tool will help keep the urethane from sticking to the tool and clumping.
**TIP - When applying urethane bead, consistency is key to a great install thicker, and thinner spots can lead to leakage.
**TIP - Filling a bucket with 6" to 8" of hot tap water, you can set urethane tubes in the water bucket (sealed side down) this will warm the urethane making it more pliable and easier to use.
INSTALLING WINDOW TO URETHANE:
Having two people for window placement is always nice one holds the front bottom corner, the other the rear bottom corner. OEM fit windows will have about a 1/4" gap from body line to glass get bottom edge lined up holding glass back away from the wall on top at a slight angle / once you have your gap lined up at the bottom and your front and rear edges are in line where you want, tilt window up. Press the window into urethane; you do not need to push too hard as the urethane has very strong adhesion and will grab on to window quickly. Keep a hand pressing on the window to keep position; if all is good, open hand smack the glass down following the path of your urethane bead. The goal of modern vans with insert areas for windows will be to get the glass even with the outer body of Van the body above and below the window section, so it is a fluid transition from sheet metal to glass to sheet metal again.
Once the window is in the desired location using window securing tape, tape each corner with 3-4 strips to keep the glass in place. If you plan to drive the van within the first 24hrs, you can also tape the edge all around to keep urethane beads clean from contaminants while traveling.
- 3-6 Hours of set time before driving (Keep all windows closed and A/C using recirculate during the first 24hrs)
- 3 Days minimum before washing vehicle (Some car wash soaps have alcohol that can deteriorate some of the urethane seals)