Replacing Windows with Screened Windows

I keep saying this, but “We are in the final stages of preparing Lola.”
I said this to my Mom, Ewa, over the phone today, “Every time we take one van-step forward, we take two back.” Here’s a perfect example:

Yesterday, as Todd started removing the windows with his friend James, we realized the two back windows were slightly bigger than the current frame and they need to cut into the door to fit the new windows! AAaaaarrrrrgh! BUT a Silver Lining- the sliding door window that we’re replacing fit perfectly! The folks at Peninsula Glass told us it would be the other way around. Perhaps I’m happier with this outcome because I think cutting into the sliding door would have been more complicated.

We wanted new windows that can open and provide some ventilation.  There is really only one option out there for pre-2007 Sprinter vans (especially for passenger vans that have glass all around) and they are made by Motion Windows (aka Peninsula Glass) from Vancouver, Washington, which is where we had our windows made.  We’re doing all this final work while staying at Todd’s folks’ house in Portland.  Todd’s mom is writing a young adult fantasy novel (here is the idea behind her novel on her blog).

We are installing 3 new windows, two on the rear of the van and one on the slider door.   They were definitely on the pricier side, but we knew ventilation would be key, especially at night time.

We owe a big thank you Todd’s buddy James, he is an impressively handy guy and was a huge help with the work.

Window Replacement Steps

  1. We started out by removing the old windows.  On the sliding door window this is pretty simple and just required a few screw drivers.  We found that prying up the seal on the inside and pushing and working the window outward worked the best.  On the rear it is a bit tougher.  On this year vehicle the windows are glued in.  From what I have read older ones are held in place with the same seal as on the sliding door window.  We took razor knives and slowly cut and the seal between the glass and the door on three sides push the window out. We had to go over the seal many times before you cut it all the way through.  This was a lot more pleasant than breaking the windows as others have had to do.Cutting Out Rear Windows
  2. On the rear windows, after the window was out we spent some time removing the urethane adhesive stuck to the door.  We didn’t actually get all the urethane off, but used a knife to slice as much off as we could.
  3. On the slider, the window fit right in.  The rear windows required some cutting to make the window fit.  We nibbled the metal away with a jig saw to get this perfect.  In the end we cut approximately 1/2″.  The radius of the curves on the Motion Windows do not match the radius of the curves on the sprinter windows or knock outs.
    Amount we actually cut out.
    Amount we actually cut out.


    Stencil used to get accurate corners. Made 4 seperate stencils for each corner of the window.
    Stencil used to get accurate corners. Made 4 separate stencils for each corner of the window.
  4. We filed and sanded down the edges of the cuts, and sprayed some primer on to prevent rusting.
  5. On the slider door we used the foam tape provided by Peninsula Glass to create the seal between the window and the metal.  On the rear windows we used some urethane adhesive/sealant because the edge was not as smooth as we would like.
  6. After we were done we inserted weep hole plugs, and tested the tightness of the seal with a garden hose.
  7. We are planning on going back and using the urethane to seal along the top of the windows and provide extra sealing.

Installing Slder Window.jpg

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