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Unread 05-17-2011, 11:28 AM   #1
hoffmanuno
Registered User
1976 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pacific junction, Iowa
Posts: 24
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.

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Unread 05-17-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
Capt_Drake
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: O'vale, CA
Posts: 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffmanuno View Post
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.
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Unread 05-17-2011, 12:48 PM   #3
DocThirst
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1980 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 335
Heh, last time I was covered in vaseline...err never mind, wrong forum.

Thanks for the write up!
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Unread 05-17-2011, 04:14 PM   #4
ymurf
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Steelville, Mo
Posts: 738
Im going to be doing this before long.was going to check at a glass place though to do it for me.
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Unread 05-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
ymurf
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Steelville, Mo
Posts: 738
Just called my local glass place and they said they would swap out my glass in my hatch if I bring it to them for $75.00..
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Unread 05-18-2011, 10:52 AM   #6
hoffmanuno
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1976 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pacific junction, Iowa
Posts: 24
My glass place quoted me $50 to do it. They had put in my windshield glass and seal and were very reputable, but the guy said the seal was the problem and it wouldn't work. You might face the same problem I did. If you want to save yourself the $70 then just put the seal in yourself like I did. The sealant would only cost you around $10 or less.
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Unread 09-11-2011, 10:53 PM   #7
sanddrag
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1984 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: CA
Posts: 500
Just did mine and struggled with it for hours until I realized that the seal actually splits open, and that's a locking lip. After I discovered that it went much smoother but was still rather difficult to put in. I finished in the bottom corner which was probably a mistake. I pried a little too hard in one spot and chipped the glass right at the edge, but I think it will be okay since it's under the seal. Got it in all by myself but man that's up there with the most difficult things I've done on the Jeep.
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Unread 09-12-2011, 11:17 AM   #8
hoffmanuno
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1976 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pacific junction, Iowa
Posts: 24
I hope the info I posted helped you. It was a pain in the *** to do, but the glass place couldn't even install it and the guy offered me a job on the phone after I called him back to tell him how to do it in the future. lol. It is a tough job to do yourself, that's for sure.
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Unread 09-12-2011, 02:55 PM   #9
Renegade82
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1982 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Lewistown, PA
Posts: 3,801
I did this same thing last fall. It's the third time I've done it and I think alot of the difficulty comes from a cheap, stiff rubber seal (got it from 4WDInc) and the non uniform thickness of a fiberglass hatch. It was much easier with the metal hatch and it's thin lip. I figured it would be an hour job to put all three back in but it ended up being 3 hours. I got my best friend to help me since he did it for a living for 2 years back in the 80's. I still had a fiberglass wedge stick he gave me back then, made for just this thing. It's about an 1/8" thick, 3/4" wide fiberglass (or some type of composite) stick about 7" long and has a taper on each end down to about 1/16". We also used a spray bottle with dishwashing liquid and water in it, and a length of 1/8" nylon string / rope.

It kinda sounded like your seals came as 2 pieces? Mine was one piece and yes I probably cut about 3/4-1" off of it. It also helps to lay it in the sun for a while prior to working with it. I believe we found it easiest to put the seal on the gate and then install the glass into it. The wrinkles on the corners won't come out until it's seat flush with the lip. Slapping the glass with your palm helps to seat it.
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