Rebuilding a window frame is a very difficult task. I will tell you upfront I donít have very much experience doing this. It took me two tries to figure out how I might go about doing this on my own. The following is what I did.

 Before starting gather several items.

Screws. The window frame uses two different size 10/32 screws. Get new screws. Donít use the old one. Pay particular attention to length. You must use the correct length to avoid breaking the glass! Get several extra screws. If you mess up the head, pitch it and grab another. Ace hardware had stainless hex head screws. I got several (and left them at work). Hex heads may be easier then the posi-drive (English Philips) sold by the vendors.

Gather up at least 4+ small ratchet straps. Also needed will be blankets, dish soap, water, soft blanket for the table, and plastic over the table. Find a rubber coated hammer (or a rubber mallet).

Ok, you really want to do this!

It helps if you can mark the center of the windshield. It is a little tough the way it is shaped but it will help in getting started. Put the rubber around the windshield. Notice the corners. Take your time and make sure the rubber it the right way. Push it on the window and get it equally distributed.

Now spray or soak the rubber and the rails with soap and water. Go liberally! Push the bottom rail on. It wonít go on very far but try to get it to stay. Push the top rail on. It wonít go on very far either. While holding these in place, wrap your ratchet strap around the center (put a towel between the glass and the ratchet). Ratchet it just tight enough to hold it in place.

 No with only one strap on, this is important. Get EVERYTHING straight and equally distributed. NOW and HERE will be very important. Make sure the ends are equally aligned at both ends. Make sure the rubber is equally distributed. Now put the other two ratchet straps on each end not to cover the holes.

Tighten them slightly paying attention to how the rubber goes into the frame. It all goes together slow. Take your time and go a little here, and a little there.  Now start bringing in the side rails.

Important. Before you assemble your frame, make sure the assembly tabs are parallel to the rail and at the proper height; bend as necessary. If they are up at an angle you will never get the screws started. Incidentally, the upper two were not available but were easy to fabricate.

As you get the side rails in, add another ratchet strap across the frame. IMPORTANT. DO NOT ratchet this too tight. This will bust the window in a heartbeat. In getting these together, I ratcheted a little pressure, then used the mallet to help push the frame in then ratchet to take up the slack. It is a delicate balance, take your time and be patient.

 Use a hole punch or something like it to help pull the frame and center the holes. Put screws in when you can. At this point I got the top two ends attached and one bottom. The other side would not go in. The windshield moves in this mess and I had to remove the screws on the bottom to get the screws in on the other. Then I went back and put the other side back in. if one side wonít go, loosen the other and go back and forth.

Work the rubber the whole time. If it getís too messed up pull it apart, pull the rubber out and do it again. If it gets too bad, pull the entire thing apart and start again.

I ainít gonna kid you. Itís a job.


(click for larger image:)

Window Frame Disassembled

Frame sanded then clear coated

Lay out the rubber and parts

A couple ratchet straps really help!