Changing the windscreen yourself: ​​instructions and the right tool

Mounting windscreens - changeing the windscreen yourself -  in particular is less difficult than is often rumored. It doesn't matter whether you want to change your pane because of a stone chip, unsightly scratches or other reasons: With the right tool and good instructions for installing and removing panes, nothing stands in the way of your project. You can find both here, so let's get started!

Author: Terry Bennet
Position: Sales
Updated on: 21.11.2023

Changing the windscreen yourself: different countries, different customs

Side windows and rear windows are always made of ESG (toughened safety glass). This is easy to assemble and is unproblematic in handling. Windscreens are often made of LSG (laminated safety glass). LSG breaks when bent.

So with LSG, a certain amount of respect is not wrong. We only treat the discs that are installed floating in the rubber. It is important to know how the washer sits in the rubber and the body opening in order to install the washer and to select the right tool. Three possible techniques:

  1. The pane is glued. On US vehicles since the 1970s. There is no rubber seal.
  2. The pane has retracted. Almost all passenger cars and light commercial vehicles worldwide up until the 1990s. Washer larger than opening retracted into body with N-shaped rubber.
  3. H-shaped rubber holds a washer smaller than opening. Many English vehicles. Back to the 1990s.

We do not deal with the bonded windows, as they hardly ever occur in classic vehicles. Therefore, we have divided this article into two according to the above criteria.

  • European and US vehicles have windows that can be in the window frame. Their seals have an N-shaped cross section.
  • In bus construction and in many English vehicles, panes are common that are smaller than the body opening into which they are fitted. For this purpose, the seal has an H-shaped cross-section
Therefore, both the procedure and the tools that are needed to change a windshield yourself, for example, differ . First, let's take a look at the handling of US vehicles and European classics.

Replacing the windshield: Instructions for European and US vehicles

Here you will find step-by-step instructions on how to install a car window with cord for European and US classics:

  1. Put the window in place with the outside down on two trestles. Pull the window seal onto the edge of the window. A chrome piping is often added later. A decorative frame, often made of aluminium, is inserted into the seal before the pane is fitted.

  2. Now the mounting cord is inserted into the rubber lip, which must be pulled over the pane frame. A loop must be placed in the cord at the top and bottom. The feed cord should go around the pane at least one and a half times. Soak the elastic and cord in soft soap or washing-up liquid.

  3. Now you need a helper: Place the pane in the pane frame and press the pane lightly. 

  4. Start to pull the string perpendicular to the center of the pane and very close to the pane. Start pulling at the bottom center. If the helper places the pressure on the disc correctly, pull the elastic over the sheet metal lip at the moment when the disc slides inwards. 

  5. So that the disc does not go away at the top, use the loop at the top retighten. 

  6. Finally, you have to pull in the remaining rubber, tap the disc into place on the outside with flat hands and, if necessary, seal it. A bit difficult lyrically, but easy to implement in real life.

It makes sense to invest in a practical windshield combination tool for non-glued windshields, for example in our 10-piece set of beading tools. It consists of 3 different assembly aids, 1 tool for pulling the window piping into the rubber seal, 1 rope with handle for easy insertion of the rope into the rubber lip and 5 eyelets.

Practical example: Fiat 500R 

For more videos on the restoration of the Fiat 500R, please also visit our Youtube channel!

Changing the windscreen yourself for English vehicles

Here we have chosen a Mini as an example. First of all it has to be said that the procedure is fundamentally different than with US vehicles and classics from continental Europe.

  1. First, the seal is inserted all around and dry in the body.
  2. Now the rubber is thoroughly cleaned with soft soap or Washing-up liquid
  3. Then, coming from above, the window is inserted into the seal at the bottom of the cowl. A second person can make the work easier by holding the pane in position. 
  4. The rubber is pulled outwards with a hook, once all the way around until the rubber holds the disc in the opening.

The stability comes from the filling piping, which is pulled into the groove on the outside of the rubber starting on the opposite side of the seam.

Suitable tools for removing the windshield

In addition to our piping installation tool in a set, we at SC Parts have other practical ones Little helpers that give you the best support if you want to install and remove your car window without having to visit a workshop straight away.

For inserting the filling piping or window piping into the window seal. Contents: 1 rubber handle and 7 attachments for inserting the window piping into the rubber seal. All common keder profiles can be mounted with the eyelets "_blank">Suction cup with a diameter of 115 mm
For pulling dents or as a carrying aid for sheet metal, mounting handle for panes, etc. The lever in the handle creates a vacuum in the suction cup. Adheres to all smooth surfaces with vacuum.

Required working pressure: 2.1 bar and 170 l/min. Intended for 1/4" air connection. When sealing windows or laying body seals, the even release of sealant is a great advantage.

The manual presses produce such an uneven sealant seam that lengthy rework is necessary. The compressed air gun is the professional tool for making seals with a production look.

Terodicht in black RB4100, for sealing newly installed rubber-mounted front, rear and side windows. Ideal for sealing rubber-mounted windows on all vehicles. Processing with all professional devices, preferably with a Staku manual pressure gun.
Terodicht window sealing compound can be dabbed off and, in contrast to body sealing compounds or bodywork adhesives, creates a releasable connection without causing lasting damage to the components to be sealed. Advantages:
  • Ideal for sealing leaking panes, even on wet glass
  • No surface preparation necessary
  • Easy to remove, can be dabbed
  • Basis: synthetic resins/synthetic rubber

Aromatic-free contact adhesive with good aging resistance. For bonding profile rubber, leather, artificial leather with fabric backing made of natural fibers and felt to metal, painted metal, wood and plastics such as e.g. B. rigid PVC, ABS and PA, heat-resistant up to approx. + 90° C.

Tool for removing glued windows. Used externally. The construction makes it possible to remove glued panes alone.
Warning: the paneling on the inside of the window frame must be completely removed

Effortlessly removes scratches and is therefore the alternative for all vehicles whose panes are now only are still difficult to replace.

For quick and safe repair of smaller stone chip damage. Contents: Tool for applying the window adhesive, a pipette, a special blade and a tube of glue.

Replacing the windscreen on your own: Removing the glued windscreen and more for do-it-yourselfers

Now you know how to change a windscreen alone, which tools are required and where you can find them. There are, of course, other forms of pane mounting. In addition to the bonded panes of modern vehicles, there are comprehensive frames, panes secured by screws and the wide range of sliding and crank windows. All right, but we'll work on that another time, I promise.