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Door Glass Replacement
Replacing a broken window in the driver or passenger door.
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The road was narrow and our swing out mirrors overlapped by 2" at a closing speed of over 90 mph. The explosion of glass from my mirror shattered my driver's door window which was half way down but Sue and I were uninjured. The other driver's window was completely down, so he took the full brunt of the flying glass and was cut in several places.

I called a glass shop on Monday. They said $297 installed.
How much for just the glass? $229.
I called the junkyard and found one for $65. Guess what I did...

Step 1 - Remove the door panel

 You can use a wire hook or pliers, but a $3 tool made of stamped steel is very handy for this. Without the tool, the clip will probably pop loose and be lost. Buy the tool!
The tool slides behind the the main handle body and between the handle and the trim washer. Push the trim tool until it stops, then pull the handle off the window crank shaft. The clip is not removed from the crank, instead it just slides back to disengage from the window crank shaft.
Rear View of the crank handle showing how the tool releases the retainer clip
Disengage the clips holding the Power window & lock switches.
Remove the two screws holding the arm rest pull cup.
Remove the screw holding the door trim panel to the outside mirror frame.

Start in the corner and work around the panel.

Move down and around the panel pulling the plastic clips loose until the panel is free.

Be careful to avoid bending the door lock rod.


Slide the panel clear of the door handle and set the panel aside.

I used the wire cutting jaws of a pair of sidecutters to carefully grab the plastic clips and lever them out of the door. Don't cut the clips unless you want to go find replacements (they are cheap - look in the "parts help" section of large auto parts stores). A special tool that resembles a cat's paw nail puller is available for a few dollars from auto parts stores.

The fastener heads just fit inside the cutting jaws of a pair of 9" Kleins.

The clip body will look rough, but it will still work well. The body end of the fastener is sticking out of the cutter jaws.

Step 2 - Remove the Speaker (4 screws and then disconnect the wiring)

Step 3 - Carefully peel back the door water dam (plastic film)

You need to uncover the door cavities.

Step 4 - Remove the inner door belt weatherstrip

Just pull up and the weatherstrip will pull from the door. Note the orientation so you know how to put it back.

Step 5 -Clean the glass out of the door with a shop vac.

Any glass remaining will try to cut your hand, and will rattle around for the next 100,000 miles driving you crazy!
Use a stick or screwdriver to knock all broken glass from the window tracks.
Vacuum the glass from the door's side impact reinforcement. Best access is through the speaker hole and the door lock access hole.
Clean glass fragments from speaker cone or the glass will buzz when the speaker cone moves.

Step 6 - Remove the remains of the old window

Use the crank to position the glass lift plate bolts in the lower access panels, then loosen or remove the nuts with a 10 mm socket.
Remove the two bolts that hold the front glass run channel in position. Move the run channel forward to provide clearance for glass removal/replacement.

Disengage glass channel from regulator arm and lift glass (if any remains) upward and out of opening in top of door.

Vacuum away any glass pieces that have been dislodged.

Step 6 - Replace the window glass

This is mostly a reverse of the removal procedure

Slide the new glass down into the door channel from above. Tilting the glass forward helps provide clearance for the glass to slip into the glass run channels.

With the glass inside the door, seat the glass in the rear glass run channel.

Attach the glass channel to the regulator arm with the nuts and tighten the nuts.

Seat the front of the window in the front run channel and install the two bolts in the channel.

Install the Inner door belt weatherstrip. Press it into place.

Test the window operation. It should move smoothly from stop to stop. Adjust the front run channel position until the window operates perfectly, then tighten all bolts and nuts.

Vacuum away any glass particles dislodged from the mechanism.

Attach the speaker wires and reinstall the speaker.

Stick the water dam back onto the door.

Install the trim panel.

Install the window crank, window / lock switches, power mirror knob.

The entire procedure takes about an hour and 15 minutes to complete (less if you don't spend as much time with the vacuum cleaner!)


Last Update: June 12, 1999