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Unread 07-19-2012, 01:27 PM   #1
johnconstantine
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yj windshield cowl replacement

Mysterious water puddles at your feet during heavy rain? water pouring out your dash and light switches when you take turns? these were the symptoms i had in my 95 yj. the problem turned out to be the windshield cowl seal (highlighted in first picture) it turned out to be a super easy and relatively cheap (30$) fix. if you are wondering if you can tackle it yourself let me ask you this... have you changed your own oil? if yes, than you can handle this.

first, it may pay to check your hood vent drain for a clog,. i have heard this can cause the same symptoms, however this was not the case with me. the second picture below is the hood vent, the third is the drain under your hood. disconnect the drain and check for debris. after i checked mine i poured a cup of water in the hood vent and it promptly drained out below my jeep.

i got my replacement seal from advance auto online, googled some discount codes and paid $30 shipped, turned out to be the wrong one, brought it back got my money back with ease (great customer service and i prefer shopping here because i can go talk to someone in person if i need help) turns out they didn't have the right part and went to rock auto and paid 30$ there.


-PRE SOAK BOLTS IN A PENETRATING LUBRICANT AHEAD OF TIME- not necessary but helpful.

things you will need
-replacement windshield cowl seal
-torx head drives T40, 45 and 50 (if you dont have any, get a good set, most bolts on a jeep are torx)
- philips screw driver (a super short stubby one helps)
- razor blade (if your Previous owner sealed it with silicone)
-replacement hex bolts if you wish to switch over (highly suggested)


STEP 1 - (pic four below) remove the large bottom T45 torx bolt from the brace that holds the windshield to the dash. you shouldn't remove the other two if you're not replacing them.

STEP 2 - (pic five) remove T50 torx bolt from back of spreader bar.

STEP 3 - (pic six) remove two T40 torx bolts from front of spreader bar and set spreader bar aside. you cant see the second in the pic from the angle but its not hard to get to. be careful not to damage the door surround if the spreader bar is wedged.

STEP 4 - carefully fold down windshield.

STEP 5 - remove screws ( pic seven, i think there's 8 screws) holding seal to windshield. this part is where a stubby screw driver helps. it can be tricky because the dash is in the way of using a full size screw driver. i didn't have a stubby one so i used a vise grip to grab a philips drill bit and slowly and carefully unscrew them. if you do this make sure you go slow and use a lot of pressure onto the head so it doesn't slip and strip them. don't forget the two screws on the outermost ends (pic 8)

STEP 5 - this is the hardest part. if your P.O. sealed it with silicone you will need to get a razor and scrape the excess off.

STEP 6 - attach and screw new seal on. it may take some stretching, make sure it sits nicely under the hinges. i decided to seal the top outside of it with silicon so water wouldn't accumulate in there.

STEP 7 - reattach spreader bars to the windshield

STEP 8 - lift windshield and attach spreader bars to the roll bar. it may take some pulling to get the windshield back all the way due to the fresh thick rubber seal [BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU PULL YOUR WINDSHIELD, IT IS MADE OF GLASS AND CAN BRAKE!] take turns tightening each side a little bit to keep the pressure even.

STEP 9 - bolt the windshield bracket back to the dash

CONGRATULATIONS! hopefully your leaks are fixed.


Possible hangups to look out for.

- ordering the wrong part. be sure you have the exact one!

- old silicone under seal needs scraping (not to time consuming especially if your going to reseal it anyway)

-STRIPPED/ RUSTED torx bolts. i stripped one and had to use a grinder to cut four flat sides on it and use a crescent wrench to remove it. not a big deal if you have a grinder. i definitely recommend replacing them with hex heads to prevent this though.

Tried to be pretty thorough on this write up. hope it gives you the courage to save a ton of money and do it yourself and the know how to follow through. if i missed anything just leave a comment.

Good Luck!

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Unread 07-19-2012, 02:14 PM   #2
NonRubicon
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Nice writeup.

One thing I'd like to add: If the windshield has never been lowered, soak the hinges with a good penetrating lubricant like DeepCreep. The hinges will likely be stiff. Carefully work and wiggle the windshield back and forth, going progressively lower. Lube some more, and repeat until the windshield completely lays down.
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Unread 07-19-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
jeff_in_rc
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Very nice writeup there John! I had to lower my windshield recently to get one of the corner brackets repaired and did everything you said and worked great.
My only difference was my spreader bars are connected on the top rear portion of the bar where it meets the main loop part of the roll bar, other than that it is the same procedure.
Good pics which make it really easy to follow along! Thank you.
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Unread 07-21-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
johnconstantine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_in_rc View Post
Very nice writeup there John! I had to lower my windshield recently to get one of the corner brackets repaired and did everything you said and worked great.
My only difference was my spreader bars are connected on the top rear portion of the bar where it meets the main loop part of the roll bar, other than that it is the same procedure.
Good pics which make it really easy to follow along! Thank you.
thanks jeff, this forum has been a huge help to me! just trying to add my .02 where i can.
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Unread 07-21-2012, 05:42 PM   #5
evanjeep
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So this is why im leaking
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Unread 07-21-2012, 10:49 PM   #6
johnconstantine
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could be evan. you can probably tell the condition of the seal just by looking at the outside, i could tell mine was pretty dry rotted. i would check the hood vent drain first though. it only takes a few seconds.
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Unread 07-22-2012, 06:56 AM   #7
evanjeep
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I already did the test and it was the body seam. Fixed that leak. Still leaks and my windshield seal is brittle and coming off
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Unread 07-22-2012, 08:00 AM   #8
Rproject
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This was one of the first repairs I did on my rig. Got her home and the very next day we caught some rain. I swear, there was as much rain soaking my feet as there was falling from the sky. The cowl seal was so dry rotted, it was barely visible from the outside. Dropped the windshield and it literally crumbled as I was taking it off.
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Unread 07-22-2012, 08:12 AM   #9
jason280
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Quote:
-STRIPPED/ RUSTED torx bolts. i stripped one and had to use a grinder to cut four flat sides on it and use a crescent wrench to remove it. not a big deal if you have a grinder. i definitely recommend replacing them with hex heads to prevent this though
Absolutely, the best thing you can do is get rid of the Torx bolts all together by replacing them with good Grade 5 or Grade 8 hex head bolts. I know I had two Torx bolts strip out when I replaced my windshield assembly, and the first thing I did was replace them with 1/2" bolts.
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Unread 12-08-2012, 03:38 PM   #10
KG7IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnconstantine View Post
Tried to be pretty thorough on this write up. hope it gives you the courage to save a ton of money and do it yourself and the know how to follow through. if i missed anything just leave a comment.
My roll bar attachement included a best top bracket. Posititioning was not difficult.

I also found that my windsheild seal (Frame to windsheild) is also leaking.

Your post allowed me to scope the project and I experienced no surprises.

All Torx removed easily, no stripping. All original hardware was fine, hinges did not bind after a soaking.


Thanks John.

Last edited by KG7IL; 12-08-2012 at 03:39 PM.. Reason: tix
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Unread 12-09-2012, 10:13 AM   #11
Kuntryboy816
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Nice write up!! So were those pics taken in 1987 or something? This is what I found last year when I did mine. Had to replace entire dash frame!
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Unread 12-09-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
KG7IL
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Originally Posted by Kuntryboy816 View Post
Had to replace entire dash frame!
I feel your pain, but not nearly as bad. whoa!

I had some rust, wire brushed it , taped off adjacent area and used a Rustoleum 2X Primer.
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Unread 09-17-2013, 08:09 PM   #13
glin60
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Resurrecting a thread, but is it okay to leave the spreader bars hanging from the roll cage after you lower the windshield? Seems like as long as you don't hang from them they'll be okay to just hang there. Thoughts?
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Unread 09-17-2013, 08:34 PM   #14
GrantYJ
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Originally Posted by glin60 View Post
Resurrecting a thread, but is it okay to leave the spreader bars hanging from the roll cage after you lower the windshield? Seems like as long as you don't hang from them they'll be okay to just hang there. Thoughts?
It won't hurt anything other than your head when you walk i to them. Mine sat that way for months during my rebuild.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 04:25 AM   #15
glin60
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Sweet thanks!
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