I installed two side windows as you can see below. The driver side had an opening window since I want to have a small kitchenette next to it, whereas the passenger side has a single pane of glass window.
If you have never done this before it can be tricky and you’ll probably need an assistant to help you. It is possible to do but it can be stressful especially if you don’t have a garage to work in.
What I used
- Dewalt Electric Drill
- Drill Bits
- Blue Masking Tape
- Duck Tape
- Black and Decker Jigsaw 550w
- Bosche Jigsaw Blades
- Hammerite Black Paint
- Paint Brushes
- Soft Hammer
- 2000 Grit Sandpaper
- Professional Sealant Gun
- Dual Suction Cup
Drilling the outline
On the inside of the van you can see the outline of where the hold has to be cut (see below). I drilled a large number of holes especially on the rounded sections as it makes it easier to cut when using the jigsaw. Try to drill as close to the guideline as possible.
Once you have finished drilling place masking tape on the other side while following the outline of the holes you drilled. You can use a ruler and pen to draw a line around the outside of the holes to help you place the tape accurately along the line to cut later. If you are using a jigsaw like I was then I recommend you use duck tape to tape the outline as it is thick enough to protect the paint from getting scratched.
Cutting the hole
If you’re using a jigsaw like me you’ll need to drill a large hole in order to fit the blade from where you would like to begin cutting – you might have to do this on several different areas depending on how easy you find it to cut this thing off!
- Make sure it won’t be raining over the next few hours because you’re about to have a large hole in the side of your van!
- Have someone to catch the piece of metal when you finish unless you want the metal to come crashing down and potentially damaging your van. You can even put a suction cup on the other side to make it easy to get a hold of.
- If you are cutting from the outside the hardest thing is cutting as close to the outline as possible without cutting into the metal outline on the inside, which you used to drill the holes. The easiest thing would be to have an air drill and just cut from the inside but if you just have a jigsaw, you’ll just have to try to judge it by sight!
- Another thing to be aware of is when you are cutting through the pillars on the other side. At this point you’ll be cutting through two sheets of metal (see pic below)
Cleaning and prepping the surface
Before preparing the surface to which the window would sit on top of, I painted the outer edge of the hole with Hammerite anti-rust paint. After doing that I hammered on the rubber trim, which is actually a bit more tricky then you’d expect.
After that was done I cleaned the surface around the window hole with Acetol and some kitchen towel and use circa 2000 grit sandpaper to roughen up the paintwork (this will help the adhesive stick fast to the surface area). Once this is complete I applied primer to the roughened surface, which was part of the window install kit.
To then prep the window there were some alcohol wipes to clean the bonding surface of the glass and also apply a layer of primer to the bonding surface too.
Attaching the bonded van window
The last haul was then to apply the bead of bonding adhesive to the surface of the van (i.e. over the bonding agent applied earlier) and then applying the window itself either by hand or with dual suction cups. If you haven’t done this before, I highly recommend you use the dual suction cups AND you have an assistant to help place the window accurately. Just after applying the window you can apply pressure to shift it in order to centre the window accordingly.
Finally apply at least three strips of duck tape attaching the top of the van to the glass in order to make sure it doesn’t slide down while drying. It should take around three hours to dry completely, after which it is done and you can remove the tape!