Most long term van owners know the feeling, you get in the van, and you have damp carpets in the front after it has been parked up, or worse still you are driving in heavy rain and you can feel it dripping onto your foot! Yep, the those little rust bubbles under the windscreen seal are worse than you thought – time for the window to come out.
Rubber shrinks and hardens over time, most of our vans our at least 20 years old now, that is a fair old while sitting in sun wind and rain. Removing and replacing the window is actually easier than you’d think – although you have to be careful that is a big old piece of glass. I managed this by myself first time I did it (like the Autoglass guys do), however, it is easier with friends.
If I am replacing the seal, I like to cut around the inside with the stanley knife – otherwise you need to leverage the old one out – which makes risk of breaking it higher. Once you have popped it out, you can deal with the rust and or welding, then it is time to put the glass back. Ideally go for an original seal if you can find a supplier who has one – new seals are far tighter than the older ones you have just taken out, so can require a bit of work . You can also get windscreen sealer – but if you have a good new seal you probably won’t need this!
We used a piece of nylon cord or washing line -insert it all the way around the seal and cross the bits over where they meet.
A little hint I picked up is to use some kind of silicone based lubricant to help the seal lip slip over the metal, we had some Tyre Black lying around so used that, worked pretty well.
Grab your VW front window rubber right here..