Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pacific junction, Iowa
CJ liftgate glass installation
I repainted my jeep CJ7's hard top and bought a new seal for the litigate glass as it was dried up and hard as a rock and had to remove the other seals on the hard top to make repairs anyway. All went in with a little effort but the lift gate seal. Nobody had any good write ups on the entire web for this and even the professional glass installers tried and said they couldn't do it without charging me a few hundred dollars because of the difficulty involved, which they had never before encountered. This is how I did it. My lift gate is made of fiberglass and I think this was the problems began. The lip appears to be much thicker than the metal liftgates would be and the thickness varies along the lip as well. I tried putting the seal on the glass and then installing it with weed whacker string as well as putting the seal on the lift gate and then trying to install the glass. No dice. After thinking it over for a few days and some trial and error, this is what I did. The seal is a little too big in both the bottom and top of the lift gate so I cut a small piece out of it near the bottom corner and another larger piece out of the middle of the top. I cut about a 1/16 of an inch too much out of the top, so try to cut as little as possible first. Dry fit the seal in the lift gate to make sure you cut enough out of the seal to make sure it fits snug all around without leaving bulging back out. If this fits snug and tight, then glue it into the lift gate lip. Make sure you use some clamps or find another way to keep the seal secured into the lip as tight as possible, especially in the hump on the lower middle and the corners. It really needs to be clamped on to make sure the glass installs easily. I used a 3m black sealant by the way, the stuff that was leftover from my hard top seal installation in the tube that came with that kit. After the sealant has dried, remove the clamps. Now you will need to lube up the gasket seal the window will sit in. I used Vaseline, as I had a big container of it in my garage. Make snickers here please. Now that you are done making Vaseline lube comments, you will need to flip the lift gate over so that you are facing the interior side of the seal/lift gate. You will need to install it this way as there is a locking seal that you can manipulate much easier from this angle. Now comes the hard part. Get 2 friends to help you do this part. I did it by myself and it took me over an hour. You will need a whole bunch of shims to work the glass in the seal and hold the seal edges back. I used old cheap and thin butter knives but you could use putty knives, spatulas, bondo spreaders, etc. Place the glass on top of the seal and square it into position with the seal. Have your friends hold the corners and tops of the glass in place while you slowly insert the butter knife/tool between the glass and the seal and pry the edge of the seal onto the edge of the glass. Use the knives/tools to hold the edges of the seal along the edge of the glass until the glass begins to slide into the seal with a little help from your friends pushing it towards you gently. Once you get an edge started it will go much quicker. Try to do the bottom edge first as it is the widest portions with the most angles. Once you get the bottom edge in, go up along the sides and finish in the middle of the top as you gently push the glass down into the seal as well as sliding it into its proper place in the gasket as you move along. With two other people helping you apply pressure and monitoring the seal and glass position you should be able to do this in less than 20 minutes from start to finish or an hour by yourself with lots of cursing, as well as being covered in Vaseline. I took no pictures of this, as I was covered in Vaseline and if I had anyone standing around taking pictures of me I would have been yelling at them to put down the dam camera and come help me. lol. I hope this helps you as I had to learn this the hard way.