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November/December 2002

The Cutting Edge

    new car installations

2002 Dodge Ram 1500
by Mark Green and Phil Ochs

DODGE RAM 1500 2002 Dodge Ram 1500

I. Getting started:
In preparation for the windshield replacement, protect the interior of the vehicle, including the seats and dash area. Remove the mirror by loosening the Torx screw; there are no wires attached to the mirror of this vehicle. Next, protect the exterior of the vehicle around the fender area. Remove the bulb seal along the side moulding. This will expose the Torx screws that need to be removed. Remove the screws and the side mouldings. Remove the wipers by swinging the wipers up, then pulling out the lock on the side of the wipers and lifting off of the post. The cowl is held in place with screws at both of its ends and plastic plugs along its front edge. As you start to remove the cowl, there are plastic fingers along the top edge of the cowl that go into the metal under the windshield. The top of the windshield is an exposed edge and does not have a moulding.

II. Removing the original windshield:
The bottom and both sides of the windshield can be cut usually with a standard cold knife, but in some areas you may need the longer blade to cut the urethane. Since the top edge has exposed paint and glass edges, you will need to be very careful. The cold knife can scratch the lower portion of the vertical leg of the pinchweld. A better option may be to use a power tool that is adjusted properly for the correct cutting depth. Use the frit band to mark the correct depth on the cutting blade and use this as a reference when making the cut. It may also help to to prevent scratching by protecting the top edge of the vertical leg of the pinchweld with protective tape. We recommend using the full-cut-out method. Using a sharp chisel or utility knife, remove the adhesive. This should leave a thin skin of well-bonded urethane on the pinchweld. Be careful not to disturb the body paint.

III. Preparing for the new windshield:
Prime the pinchweld according to your adhesive manufacturer’s specifications. Concentrate only on any areas of the paint that may have been scratched or damaged during the removal process. The freshly cut urethane bed provides the best bonding surface. Allow proper time for the primers to cure. Clean and prime the windshield according to adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations. 

IV. Placement of the new windshield:
Replace the dissolvable setting blocks and dry set the windshield into the opening and adjust for proper alignment. Use a properly cut V-notch tip to duplicate the original bead size. Apply the adhesive to the glass. The adhesive on this windshield is slightly inset on all four sides. Be sure to duplicate the original size and location. Set the windshield into the opening using your dry-set marks. Be careful not to slide the windshield once it makes contact with the pinchweld. 

V. Finishing touches:
To replace the cowl, insert the plastic fingers into the holes in the metal below the windshield, replace the buttons along the front edge of the cowl under the hood and then replace the screws on both ends of the cowl. Next replace the wipers. Follow with the side mouldings and the door seal. Replace the mirror, test the wipers for travel and test the defrosters. Clean and prep the vehicle. 


Mark Green and Phil Ochs work for the Performance Achievement Group, an auto glass training company in Madison, Wis.

Reports from the field

Always wear eye, hand and wrist protection while working on the vehicle. Inform the vehicle owner of the cure time and any other additional precautions before installation. Always return the vehicle to manufacturer’s specifications. Protect all interior and exterior portions of the vehicle to prevent any damage. 



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