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How To: Replace rear window surround/fix leaking rear window

Old 12-24-2009, 01:07 AM
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How To: Replace rear window surround/fix leaking rear window

The rear window surround on my truck was broken right where it was supposed to bolt to the cab. Because of this, there was a hole going straight through to the cab, causing water to leak into the cab. To get to this piece, you have to remove the rear window. So since I've heard I'm not the only one with a leaking rear window, I decided to make a how-to of the process - removing the rear window, replacing the surround, and resealing the window.

Let's start off with the tools and materials needed to complete this project:
3/8 socket (they're actually metric nuts, but I don't have any metric tools. 3/8" works fine)
T47 star bit
Philips head screwdriver
Knife/putty knife - something somewhat sharp to cut through factory sealant.
Some kind of heavy duty cleaner/degreaser
Interior fasteners - bought mine from Autozone. Will need these because the factory ones cannot be reused after removing interior panels and headliner.

pic of tools:



AutoZone fasteners:

Now on with the process!

1.) You will need to remove the rear seat. You do this by putting one hand down at the bottom and one hand on the side and by pulling up and out. These pics show you where I put my hands. You will struggle with this a little bit but they will come out.
**I've been informed that there are two 10mm bolts at the bottom of the seat that will need to be removed on 1998 models. I'm assuming this also applies to 1997 models, and possibly some other years.

2. The door weather strip needs to come off to gain access to the upper rear interior panel.

3. Unbolt the rear seatbelts - they're also holding the panels in place. This is where you use the T47 star bit.

4. Remove said panel. Its just clipped on. Just pull it off, but be careful - the clips will break if you're too rough. The way I took the picture doesn't really reflect how I had to pull it to get it to come off. I had to put one hand up top and pull down while pulling out a down low.

5. Unscrew clothes hangers

6. Pull back headliner - two fasteners are holding it in. Remove these and pull the headliner back slightly so you can get to the top bolts holding the window in. It will wrinkle a little, but will go back to normal after finishing the project.

7. Remove all nuts holding window and surround in place. Feel around in the holes up under the headliner and you'll find some more hiding.

8. Cut factory seal with cutting tool of choice.

9. Push rear window out. Have one person inside pushing and one person outside to keep it from falling. I have no pics of this step, as it was hard to do so while pulling the window
The surround will come off with it. The surround has a few clips that you'll need to squeeze from the inside to get it to separate from the cab.

10. Now that the window is out, clean the factory sealant - it's some pretty messy stuff. I scraped first, then used some Orange Blast shop degreaser to get the rest. While I was cleaning the cab, my dad was cleaning the window - he used diesel after scraping and it worked good too. Stripped it right off.

11. Put the replacement surround in place and bolt it up. You must do this before putting the window back in! You can also put the 3rd break light back now (or later, doesn't really matter).

Last edited by 1clean42; 08-05-2010 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:08 AM
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12. Now you can start applying the urethane to the window. It has some tracks where the factory seal was - I followed these lines when applying.

13. Have one person on one side of the pickup and one person on the other and push the window back into place. No pics of this step either, sorry :o

14. Now you can put all the nuts back onto the bolts. This sucked it up closer to the cab, sealing it completely. Reused the before pic, but you get the picture

15. The window and surround are now installed and repaired! Now you can start putting the interior back into place. I bought some clips from Autozone since the OE ones were not reusable after removing the headliner and interior panels. They don't match, but that's all I could find so I had to make do.

Headliner with Autozone interior fasteners:

Interior panel with Autozone fastener:

All installed with interior back in place:

Tips and troubleshoot:
If replacing the surround, make sure you get one specifically made for your cab config. I stripped one off of a regular cab in the junk yard and learned that the bolts were in different places and they didn't match up to the cab, so I had to go back to find a supercab. Also, where the brake light goes, mine says "supercab" and the one off the regular cab had an "R" written on it.
Pics of the differences:

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Old 12-24-2009, 01:58 AM
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sweet, nice write up man. i REALLY need to do this. and really good to know about the cab configuration thing!
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:26 AM
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nice!!! i need to do this too
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:09 AM
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Sure glad I did this yesterday - it was 70 degrees and I was able to work in shorts. Today its 31 degrees and its a blizzard outside! Texas weather...
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Old 12-25-2009, 07:35 PM
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Nice write up!! I really need to do this because mine leaks whenever it rains
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:55 AM
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I resealed my rear window around a year ago now. I just wanted to add in that you don't have to remove the push in clips from the head liner. I was able to do mine without removing them by just being careful with the head liner. Just be careful with them while you stick your hands behind them to remove the window fasteners and then you wont have to replace the clips.

Nice write up though 1clean42 . Wish it was around when I did mine instead of having to learn by doing lol.

- Erik
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for the tip scruffy
I didn't even think to do that because I thought I'd need as much room as possible but I'm sure I could've done that lol. A gear wrench is also useful up there (on the window nuts at least...the nuts holding the surround in have to be loosened/tightened with a socket because of their location).
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:10 PM
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Nice thread! Much better than the one I started many years ago (I had no pics!)... Going to add you to the Technical Articles Contributor group! Welcome to TAC!
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:15 PM
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Thanks RP! Hopefully it will make others realize they can do this on their own instead of getting charged $120 for labor!
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:05 AM
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good writeup!
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:13 PM
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good write up man. it sucks you have to go through all that just to replace the window surround though
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:44 AM
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Thanks for the info. I discovered my rear window leaked when I returned from overseas. It was leaking th ewhole time I was gone and now after I replace the window, i get to replace rear seats and carpet due to mildew.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:44 AM
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Great write-up!!! I was getting quote around that price too!
I used silicon to just seal the top, but water still dripped so I'm guessing its either leaking from the 3rd brake light or the gap between the trim and window.
I need to be doing this real soon, very lazy though. :santa:

BTW is the rear seat attached with any bolts lol, it seemed as if you just pulled it out...
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:03 AM
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No, there are no bolts for the rear seats - it just has two hooks on top and two on bottom. Its a little tricky to get off, but it'll come off with some effort.

And yeah, before you go to all this trouble, try fixing the 3rd brake light first.
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