Step-by-step window fitting guide - VW T5
||Protect your van
Use some wide masking tape to protect your van bodywork next to where you will be cutting.
You may want to stick some thick plastic below the window area too in case it gets scratched while working.
||Remove top & bottom of central strut
Inside the vehicle use a ruler and thin marker pen to mark the cutting line for neatly removing the top and bottom parts of the central strut.
You can use a small grinder with a metal slitting disc to cut along the line but ensure the sparks don't damage any part of the vehicle, especially the windows.
||Drill guide holes
Use a metal drill bit large enough to allow your jigsaw blade through.
From inside the van, drill a hole in each corner of the window opening about 10mm in from the corners.
Mark cutting lines
Outside the vehicle, use a marker pen and a straight edge to join up the four holes in a rectangle.
||Cut out the panel
Stick a suction handle in the centre of the panel and cut along each side of the rectangle using a jigsaw.
Be sure to stop cutting about 5mm before the next hole. This ensures the panel stays secured at the corners while the other sides are being cut.
Finally, cut the corners free while holding the handle so the panel does not drop and damage the vehicle.
||Remove the remaining metal
Using metal cutting power shears or a jigsaw, you can now remove the remaining inch or two of metal all the way round the window opening
by following the line of the internal skin.
The photos below show a good way to make cutting the corners easier if using a jigsaw.
Use a long Stanley blade to cut away the stiff rubber pinch-weld between the two skins of metal all the way round the window opening.
This is a fiddly job and requires a bit of force - can take a bit of time too.
||Rust proof cut edge
Rust proof the cut edge of the window opening using a suitable rust inhibitor.
||Re-bond metal skins closer together
Use a thin nozzle and some window adhesive. Apply a bead of adhesive between the two skins of metal all the way round the window opening.
Make sure the nozzle is inserted well in and don't apply so much that it will squirt out when the rubber edge trim is knocked on.
||Bend inner metal skin to close gap
This is optional but we find that the edge trim goes on easier if you use a rubber mallet to knock the inner metal skin closer to the outer one.
This effectively closes the gap between the two skins.
Apply edge trim
Cut one end of the edge trim square and open it up a bit with a screw driver.
Start to knock the edge trim over both metal skins in the centre of the bottom of the opening.
You may find it useful to use a clamp or two to help bring the metal skins closer together.
Apply all the way round and finish off neatly back where you started.
The trim should fit behind the sliding door handle if you prise it out a little with a screw driver.
||Clean paint work
Use a degreasing agent (bodyshops use a product called panel wipe) to clean the paintwork all the way round the opening.
It is important to remove any dirt, polish or residue to get a good bond.
||Prime the metal
Use a clean felt applicator to apply a strip of paint primer all the way round the opening.
It is preferable to do this in one constant motion so that there is no build up of layers.
Allow primer to dry for at least 15mins on a fairly warm day, longer in winter.
||Check flushness of window fitting
Clean the black ceramic band on the inside of the window using the glass activator tissue.
Use two double suckers to lift the window. Offer it up to the opening and hold it roughly in position.
Check that the window fits flush against the black edge trim.
If it rocks over any high points use a rubber mallet to gently knock them in - this is fairly common in the middle of the top and bottom edges.
||Mark and prime the glass
With the window still held in place, have an assistant inside the vehicle draw lightly round the opening with a pencil.
This guide line will ensure that no primer will show inside when the window is primed.
Place the window back down on trestles and apply a strip of primer all the way round about 10mm outside of the pencil line.
Again, try to do this all in one motion to avoid build up of layers.
Stick two lengths of non-stretch tape to the roof of the vehicle (about 400mm long) and loop them up out of the way.
These are for stopping the glass sliding down once it is stuck in place.
Apply adhesive to vehicle
Ensure adhesive is at room temperature to make it easier to pump.
The plastic nozzle should come with a pre-cut 'V' to ensure the correct amount of adhesive is applied.
If your nozzle has an extra depth stick protruding beyond the 'V', cut this to about 2mm in length.
Apply a continuous triangular bead of adhesive around the window opening keeping the nozzle running next to the black edge trim.
Your mastic gun should be held at right angles to the vehicle with the 'V' notch facing backwards.
Creating a water tight seal
On the passenger side, start just below the top right corner and continue clockwise, finish off by feathering outside the start point so no water can get in.
On the driver's side, start just below the top left corner and slightly out from the edge trim,
continue around clockwise and finish by feathering inside the start point making a water tight seal.
*** On the bottom edge keep the glue as close as possible to the edge trim to avoid it being visible below the glass. **
|Bond window to van
Using two suction handles lift the window into place and press firmly onto the adhesive.
You will have time to move the glass around a bit to get it in exactly the right place.
Ensure the gap at top and bottom is roughly the same using your fingertips as a gauge.
Once happy with the position, stick the three masking tape straps down to stop the window sliding.
Now press evenly all around the window.
|Drive away time
The vehicle should be safe to drive away in about 90 minutes.
In colder conditions it is advisable to leave the vehicle longer.
If you are fitting two side windows on the same side it is advisable to cut and prep both holes and then put an adhesive bead around both openings. Press the first window on lightly and tape it up then fit the other window. You will now be able to adjust both bits of glass to try and get the best possible fit and look. Try to keep the gap between the windows equal from top to bottom and also make sure they are flush with each other. You can check this by sighting a straight line reflection along them. It is almost impossible to get it perfect but you should be able to do a pretty good job. If any corners refuse to sit in enough you can either prop them off a garage wall or tape them in until the asdhesive goes off. Don't go mad on the pressure though or the glass will be under stress when fitted and could crack whilst driving.