AMA windows are manufactured from the latest and most sophisticated design processes ensure the window is produced to the highest quality standards.
AMA windows require urethane adhesive - they do not use a "clamping ring" like CR Laurence windows.
Once installed, you cannot drive your van for abut 3-4 hours and the tape holding the window in place should be left for 24 hours while the adhesive cures.
If you are replacing an existing factory window that is glued in, you may want to take to a professional for removal and replacement. The best tool to use for removing an existing glued in window is a wire cutter such as the Equalizer Window Cut-Out Set but this is a difficult job. Once the existing window is removed, you will need to remove the urethane down as flat as possible and clean as much away as you can CRL Adhesive Cleaner .
What You'll Need
- Automotive urethane adhesive. You'll need about 2x tubes of adhesive for a large window or about 1x tubes for a small window.
- Primer for the sheet metal surrounding the window that the urethane adhesive/window will adhere to. These "daubers" work well for applying the primer.
- A high strength caulking gun with a minimum of 26:1 "thrust". Urethane caulking is very hard to get out of the tube. Don't try to use a "normal" caulking gun!
- Trim-Lok edge trim (1/8" edge and 7/16 leg length) that will cover the metal edges of your cut out. The amount of Trim-Lok you need for each particular window is provided toward the top of the page near the photos of the window.
- A jig saw with a fine metal blade for cutting the opening
- Blue painters tape - both for protecting the van sheet metal/paint while cutting the opening and for securing the window in place after it has been placed into the urethane adhesive.
- We also recommend that you use gloves when working with the primer and adhesive.
Cutting The Opening
This window uses the van's factory metal stamping which makes it easier to cut the opening because the "size and shape" of the cut out is built into the vehicle. If you take a look at the interior of the van you will notice an area where the inner metal ends. You will cut right along that edge all the way around your van. If there is any vertical metal supports, you can cut through them as well. It's typically easier to cut the opening from the outside. Many people will drill small holes from the inside of the van at each corner of each of the radius curves (top right, top left, bottom right and bottom left). Once these guide holes are drilled you can essentially "connect the dots" with a marker on the exterior of the van to mark the location of your cut. A jig saw with a fine metal blade works well. Be sure to protect the paint around the cut out with blue painters tape where the saw will be moving over the sheet metal. We also recommend trying to capture the metal shavings with plastic and/or a vacuum.
Be sure to "dry fit" the window to ensure that your opening is the right size/shape and that the window will fit into the opening in the place you want it. Make any adjustments to the opening before proceeding.
Preparing the OpeningOnce the opening has been cut (or existing window removed) or window removed you'll want to file the edges of your cut and then primer those bare metal edges to prevent any corrosion.
When the primer has dried, you can apply your Trim-Lok edge trim around the perimeter of your cut out. It's generally best to start at the middle of the bottom of your cut out/opening and work the Trim-Lok around the opening. The Trim-Lok can be cut with a razor blade to the correct size.
Next you'll want to clean the outside metal/paint of the van around the area where the window will be installed with rubbing alcohol in order to ensure a good bond between the sheet metal/paint and the urethane adhesive/window. Also clean the window itself where it will interact with the adhesive with rubbing alcohol.
Applying Urethan Adhesive
Apply your urethane primer the outside of the body in the area that the window will be glued to. Consider using blue painters tape adjacent to the area you're applying the primer to prevent any primer from getting on areas of the van that the window will not cover. The primer looks like a thin, matte black paint when applied. Maintain an approximate 1/2" gap around the edges - do not go all the way to the edge of the metal that the window will cover. You do not need to apply primer to the window. Allow primer to dry for about 10 minutes.
Next, apply the urethane adhesive. Cut your urethane adhesive tube tip "straight across" (no v-notch). When applying you want a heavy bead (about the diameter of a "Tootsie Roll"). The adhesive should be applied to the back side of the window - not the van sheet metal. Apply the urethane adhesive close to the edge of the window frame. Be sure to evenly distribute to urethane adhesive and avoid any high or low points. When changing directions or starting/stopping the application, be sure to overlap your beads slightly to prevent any gaps. The most important part of a urethane window installation is consistency in the bead of urethane.
Placing the Window
When placing the window you'll want to get it as close to desired location as possible in one movement so that you can fine tune the placement slightly but not need to make significant adjustments which could either move the adhesive into areas that it shouldn't be or spread the adhesive too thin. It's ideal to have two people - one on the inside that can pull on frame and help position the window and the other outside ensuring the window does not fall out! One you've fine-tuned the position of the window, press on the window with an open palm all around the area/perimeter where the urethane adhesive was applied in order to press the glass into the adhesive for a strong bond. The goal with a van window installation is to have the glass about even with the outer body. You want to have an approximately 1/4" gap between the glass the van sheet metal. Avoid too small of a gap - while you may feel the aesthetic look is nicer during installation, you want to maintain the small gap for fluctuating temperatures/etc. so that the glass does not shatter in these conditions.
If any urethane adhesive oozes into the interior of the van, liberally spray the adhesive with glass cleaner and then use a plastic putty knife to smooth the urethane out like you might with spackling or caulking for a nicer appearance and adequate bond.
Finally, use blue painters tape to secure the window into place while the adhesive cures. You can drive your van after 3-4 hours and remove the tape after 24 hours. Do not wash the van for 72 hours.