Been There, Done That, Vanagon maintenance guide
   Tips and Tricks From the Vanagon Mailing List

Good Books on Amazon
Managing 12 Volts: How to Upgrade, Operate, and Troubleshoot 12 Volt Electrical Systems

Batteries in a Portable World: A Handbook on Rechargeable Batteries for Non-Engineers, Third Edition Isidor Buchmann

email suggestions to:

Home of the Vanagon Mailing List
Vanagon Mailing List

Printer Friendly link

64.4 - 64.5 Replace Glass, Seals

:) Tricks of the Trade. ;)
Year(s):  1980 - 1991
Model/Type:  Vanagon
Bentley Page(s):  [64.4 - 64.5]:)

From:  Joel Walker

Symptom(s):  Leaky windows, cracked window seals, broken windows

What you have to do is this:

Get an old broom handle and cut a piece of it about a foot long. A
wooden dowel, like they sell at lowe's or home depot works fine, but
it must be at least 1 inch in diameter. 1.5 Inches is better. You're
gonna be pulling on this so it needs to be strong and big enough to be
comfortable, like about the size of a bicycle handlebar or a lawn
mower handle. Drill a hole in the middle of the dowel/handle,
diameter-wise. The hole needs to be at least 1/4 inch in diameter. Be
sure to center it as well as you can so it doesn't weaken the handle.
You're gonna put a cord into that hole, so it needs to look like one
of those pull-crank-handles on an old lawn mower.

Get a spray bottle of windex and dump the windex out. :) You want the
kind of bottle that has the trigger thingie to make it spray. Get one
that is comfortable ... You're gonna be pumping that thing a lot.
:( Ok, wash it out and fill it about 9/10ths full with water. Now put
about five drops of dishwashing detergent into the water in the
bottle. Most any kind of detergent will do, but ivory seems to work
really well. You want a soapy water in the bottle, but not really
really soapy. Then put the spray top/cap on the bottle and set it
aside for now.

Lay the glass flat, with the outside facing down. Put the gasket on
the glass, all round. Get it fitted snugly. Note that the gasket has
more than one 'lip' on it ... Sort of like feather-edges. That goes on
the inside, toward the body. There is one large lip, however, and that
is where the metal edge of the window opening goes.

Now get some strong twine or cord or large string or something
flexible and not sharp-edged. Clothesline cord is good, but it must be
very strong ... You're gonna be pulling on it, and you do not want it
to break. Put the cord into the large lip of the gasket ... Start at
the middle of the bottom edge of the gasket (bottom meaning bottom
edge as it will sit in the window opening), and work your way around
the gasket in one direction or the other ... Doesn't matter which
direction. Leave about a foot of cord hanging out of the gasket when
you start.

When you have circumnavigated the gasket :) and come back to the
middle-bottom where the foot of cord is hanging out, leave another
foot or so of cord hanging out. So now you should have this picture:
glass flat and level with gasket snugly fitted all around it and two
strands of cord hanging out of the bottom edge of the gasket.

Now get the broom handle and fit one of the strands of cord through
that hole in the middle. Tie a square knot in the cord .. A knot big
enough to keep the cord from going back through the hole. I usually
tie three or four knots to be sure.

Take the windex bottle and shake it up well to mix the detergent and
water. Spray some soapy water into the large lip where you put the
cord. Do it all the way around. Don't be stingy ... You want the cord
to slip easily out of that lip when you start pulling on the cord.
Spray some on the inside edges of the gasket, too ... On those feather
lips. But not to much on this edge right now.

EDITORS NOTE: Bentley [64.4 - 64.5] calls for an adhesive bead to be applied around the window opening outboard of the lip over which the seal attaches. "Use adhesive AMV 172 003 05 or equivalent specifically made for EPDM rubber"

Ok, now comes the fun. :) Pick this whole mess up and put it up
against the window opening from the outside ... Make sure the cords
and handle are hanging on the inside of the opening/bus. You are gonna
be inside the bus, facing the window opening, sitting on your butt,
crosslegged (only way you can get close enough to the window opening).
Your friend (who needs to be sober and tall and strong and careful and
not drop the damned glass!!!) is on the outside ... Their job will be
to hold the glass/gasket combo up against the window opening while you
do all the work. :)

Ready? As they hold the glass/gasket up, you spray some more soapy
water around the gasket that you can see. Then start pulling on the
handle/cord. As you pull, the cord forces the gasket's inner lip(s)
over the metal edge of the opening ... The soapy water helps a lot,
and keeps the rubber from being torn. But go slowly and steadily with
the cord ... Not that slowly, but don't yank on it or try to do the
whole window in five seconds. :) The person outside needs to be
pushing steadily and more-than-gently to keep the gasket positioned
... Not a great deal of force, but more than just holding it up there.

Pull the cord out and if it seems to be dragging, spray some more
soapy water at the cord where it comes out of the gasket. As you go
around the window, pull on the handle ... It'll keep the cord from
hurting your hands. And wrap/roll the cord around the handle to keep
the amount of cord about the same as you go ... Makes it easier to
stay seated in the same position. Pull it out all the way around
and that's it. :)

Now, you may have a little place here or there that didn't do right
... Get a putty knife or small round screwdriver (a flat one may tear
the rubber) and gently spray some more soapy water above the
didn't-do-right-place, then slip the putty knife or screwdriver under
the edge of the gasket (where it did do right) and slowly move along
under the didn't-do-right place. It'll usually pop right in place.
Strongly but gently push on the glass from the outside and see if it
feels seated correctly .... If the lip of the gasket is all around on
the inside, and the lip of the gasket is all flat on the outside,
you've done a good job. :)

Now clean up that mess you made with all that soapy water! ;)

That's it. The rear side windows are a little tricky on the 88-91's as
they have those dufus plastic vent thingies, so it's hard for the
person outside to keep it held straight. But it can be done the same
way. The rear hatch is easy but watch out and make sure you've got the
thing situation correctly ... The connectors for the defroster wires
only goes one way. ;) It's also easier if you open the hatch and let
your legs hang out ... Close the hatch down on your legs. If this is
uncomfortable, then close the hatch all the way and sit crosslegged on
the foam pad. This hurts my knees so i do it with the hatch open and
on my legs.

The sliding windows are all the same way, just bigger and heavier and
harder for the person outside to hold. Actually, the windshield is
done exactly the same way, but because of its size, i don't recommend
folks trying to do it at home ... It's way too easier to crack the
glass right in the middle just from mishandling it (putting too much
pressure/stress/lift on one end). :( Better to just pay the piper and
let the glass company do it. That way, if they break it, they have to
fork out for another one. ;) You might be able to do a windshield if
you had two friends who were competent and could work together and had
some idea of what to do. :) I haven't met two of them like that yet,
so back to the glass shop i go.

Good luck! Hope it helps. Once you've done one successfully, you'll
understand the process ... It really is pretty easy, but it's
intimidating the first time. :) And picking the right cord is very
important. You want something slick but really strong. I've used
telelphone wire before, but it stretches and will break. The
clothesline stuff seems to be the best but is kinda rough so use a lot
of soapy water.

See Comments on this entry (F.W.I.W.)

Free in the Android Market, the Vanagon Rescue Squad app for Android phones. Scan the QR or search the Market for Vanagon.

NEW! Now on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.
Website ©2003-2019 All Rights Reserved
Some contents ©1998 - 2019 Vanagon Mailing List ( logo by Raul Cisneros ~ Header Graphic by Lee Roesner ~ Rescue Squad Logo by Jeffrey Earl is not affiliated with Volkswagen of America, Volkswagen AG, or Westfalia AG.