• 2020

Windshield Removal and Replacement: A Primer

The basics for windshield replacement are the same for all vehicles, but due to the design of each individual vehicle, the particular steps will vary. Check the service information for the particular vehicle being serviced. The subject vehicle for this article is the popular Chrysler 300 (LX body) from 2013.

Mopar® is the only Original Equipment (O.E.) or Replacement Authorized by FCA US LLC for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram and FIAT® vehicles.

The first step is removing the rear view mirror. There are two different rear view mirrors for this car — prismatic
and telematics.* To remove the prismatic mirror, remove the harness trim cover, then disconnect the mirror harness connector. While you’re inside the car, twist the mirror assembly clockwise and release the mirror from the aluminum button attached to the windshield.

For the telematics mirror, you’ll need trim stick C-4755 to separate the mirror trim and harness trim covers in
order to remove those pieces. Then, twist the mirror assembly clockwise and release the mirror from the aluminum button attached to the windshield.

Next, remove the cowl grille. Remove the two pushpins ② that secure the front cowl top panel ① to the right rear corner of the engine compartment (see Figure 1). Remove the front cowl top panel, then remove the windshield wiper arms.

Remove the pushpin that secures each end of the cowl top panel to each front fender. Disengage the two 1/4-turn fasteners that secure the cowl top panel to the dash panel. Remove the six pushpins that secure the cowl top panel to the strut tower support. Then, disengage the integral retaining clips that secure the cowl top panel to the dash panel and remove the cowl panel from the engine compartment. Remove the windshield side moldings. Now you can remove the glass.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Refer to Figure 2. With the help of an assistant and a wiretype windshield cutout tool (① ③ ④), cut and separate
the urethane adhesive ② that secures the windshield to the windshield fence. Carefully remove the windshield.

*See sensor article HERE for more information on the importance of sensor calibration and O.E. parts.

WINDSHIELD INSTALLATION

Before installing the new windshield, protect all painted and trimmed surfaces to prevent contact with urethane and primers. To help prevent water leaks, partially roll down the left and right door windows. This inhibits passenger compartment pressure if a door is slammed before the urethane is cured.

Urethane adhesives are applied as a system; use glass cleaner, glass prep solvent, glass primer, PVC (vinyl) primer and pinch weld (fence) primer provided by the adhesive manufacturer; if not, structural integrity could be compromised.

FIGURE 2

FIGURE 2

NOTE: Do not operate the vehicle within 24 hours of windshield installation; it takes at least 24 hours for urethane adhesive to cure; if it is not cured, the windshield may not perform properly in an accident. Urethane adhesives are applied as a system; use glass cleaner, glass prep solvent, glass primer, PVC (vinyl) primer and pinch weld (fence) primer provided by the adhesive manufacturer; if not, structural integrity could be compromised.

FCA US LLC does not recommend glass adhesive by brand. Technicians should review product labels and technical data sheets and use only adhesives that their manufacturers warrant will restore a vehicle to the requirements of FMVSS 212. Technicians should also ensure that primers and cleaners are compatible with the particular adhesive used.

Be sure to refer to the urethane manufacturer’s directions for curing time specifications, and do not use adhesive after its expiration date. Vapors that are emitted from the urethane adhesive or primer could cause personal injury. Use them in a well-ventilated area. Skin contact with urethane adhesive should be avoided. Personal injury may result. Always wear eye and hand protection when working with glass.

The fence should be cleaned of most of its old urethane adhesive. A small amount of old urethane, approximately
1mm height, should remain on the fence. Use a razor knife ② to level the original bead of urethane ① on the windshield fence to a thickness of about 1mm as shown in Figure 3. Remove any loose adhesive.

FIGURE 3

FIGURE 3

Replace the support spacers near the cowl at the bottom of the fence with new spacers. Replace any missing or damaged spacers around the perimeter of the fence. Install a new rubber seal along the top of the windshield.

With the help of an assistant, position the new windshield into the windshield opening and against the windshield fence. Verify that the windshield lays evenly against the fence at the top, bottom and sides of the opening. Mark the windshield and the fence with a grease pencil to use as a reference for installation. Remove the windshield.

Clean the inside of the windshield with an ammonia-based glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth. Apply the glass prep adhesion promoter one inch wide around the perimeter of the windshield and about a 1/4 inch from the edge of the glass. Then, wipe it dry with a lint-free cloth until no streaks are visible.

Apply glass primer one inch wide around the perimeter of the windshield and a 1/4 inch from the edge of the glass. Allow the primer to dry for at least three minutes. Using a flashlight, verify that the primer is completely and evenly applied. Re-prime any area that is not fully primed.

Clean the windshield fence with an ammonia-based glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth. Apply pinch weld 3/4 inch wide around the fence. Allow it to dry for at least three minutes. Once again, using a flashlight, verify that the primer is evenly installed. Re-prime any area that is not.

Apply a bead of adhesive about 1/2 inch wide, using a triangular nozzle, about 1/4 inch from the edge of the glass, starting from the bottom center of the windshield. Run the end of the bead on the windshield parallel to the start of the bead and smooth the ends flush.

NOTE: Always apply the bead of adhesive to the windshield; install the windshield within five minutes after applying the adhesive.

With the help of an assistant, position the windshield over the windshield opening. Using the grease marks as reference points, align the windshield with the opening. Carefully lower the windshield onto the fence. Guide the windshield and the rubber seal at the top of the windshield into its proper location. Push the windshield inward until it comes in contact with the spacers located on each side of the fence.

NOTE: Once the windshield is positioned, it cannot be moved.

To complete the installation, install the windshield side moldings, cowl grille, windshield wipers and rear view mirror.

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