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Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

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mbbuff's picture
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I went down to my local "reputable" auto glass place today to see about getting the front and rear window seals replaced on my 114.073 (280C). (I have the seals) They told me they couldn't do the job because of the way the chrome reveal molding is attached. They said it would be destroyed or bent when removed and they couldn't get it back in properly. They also said that all the "old" experienced folks that knew how to do this job, are no longer around. Sounds like a line to me. I'll try another glass place on Monday to see if I get a similar story. Has anyone had the rubber seals replaced? Was it an "impossible" job? I looked in my shop manual, and it doesn't look like this guy knew what he was talking about. Any input from forum members would be appreciated.

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redghost's picture
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1974 450SL
1972 220D
Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

The trim is a bit malleable, and could be bent out of shape by monkeys at the shop. I would be very glad they were up front with you about how they were planning on treating the job. They do not give a flaming fig about working on your car and probably just bash out the jobs they do anyway.

Get the trim taken off yourself. It is not at all hard to do. VERY EASY. Just take your time and gently, slowly pry the trim out from around the seal. The metal trim bits in the back screw on at the rear door seal. CAREFUL, use a very sharp and strong philips head driver or impact driver to loosen the possibly rusted screw. Gently remove the trim, save it and give it a good cleaning, and then take it with you for the monkey to install.

Do be aware that the glass will probably break when they try to remove the glass. Check the shop manual for how to install the glass and share the information with the shop you choose. The guys you will pick will know a bunch about changing glass, will be ready to take the time to do it right and you will feel that they give a hoot. Then you will pick them and the job will be done right.

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clay

2002 S430 - Victor, White Tie & Tails
1974 450SL Frosch, my little froggy prince, after meeting a bunch of toads
1972 220D - Gump - She was green, simple and ran and ran
1995 E300D - Cleo - Killed by a Suzuki Vitara
POS 1987 SDL - Beware Nigerian Scammers

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Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

Thanks, redghost. I'll probably remove them myself and then reinstall them when the job is done. I find that very few repair shops (even "specialists") share the same love for the older vehicles. I am fortunate that I have found one place that I trust to do the mechanical work that I cannot, or don't want, to do. Even then, I stay and watch.

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Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

After visiting 4 different glass shops, I found 1 that would remove and reseal my front and rear windshields. They suggested that I get new trim pieces in case they were not able to save my old ones. I thought, OK I will just order a new set of trim pieces just in case. After many hours of research on the internet I found out I could only buy them at my local stealership@$490+ per set. I ended up buying used ones at my local auto salvage yard. I assisted the (1st day on the job) salvage kid. I tried to explain how important it was to not damage the trim pieces while removing them. We did a great job, the yard owner only wanted $10, so I tipped the kid $10. I did not tell anybody how much they were worth. They might have increased the price. It cost me $80 each to have the glass removed and resealed. They only had to use 2 pieces of rubber to reinstall the glass, the previous installation was done wrong and caused them to tear the rubber on removal. They also showed me all of the water damage to my pillars on either side of the front glass. It had been leaking for years, and was rusted almost completely through. When I had car my repainted just a few months later, the body shop guy had to re manufacture both the pillars before he could paint. Looked like swiss cheese he said. I hope your LEAKY window problem turns out better than mine.

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BobK's picture
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1976 300D
1984 190D
1986 300SDL
1988 560SEL
1988 560SL
Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

I did this job on my 115 "76 300D recently. My rear seal was very old, dried, dead and leaked a ton of water into the car. Front windshield was cracked so I picked up up a used one. I installed new factory seals front and rear. You have to take off quite a few pieces to do this job right (inside and out). The factory manual is a big help. I used wire pulling twine on the front windshield and line trimmer line on the back. Line trimmer line worked well. I just cut the old seal (on the outside) so I could remove the glass and the trim without damaging it. Take your time. I probably spent a week on each end. I had to reglue the headliner all around the back. I wish I had sealed the edges of the glass with something (nail polish?) to keep air from sneaking in between the layers. Front glass now has inch or so of haze around the lower edges. Put the trim in the seal first if possible, makes it easier to do job.

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dcashour's picture
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1999 E300 Turbo Diesel
Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

I am still going through a bit of a nightmare with my rear window seal. In May of 2006, I purchased the aftermarket seals and had a local windshield replacement company do the work. The front glass came out and went back in with no problem. The guy used the cord method on the front, and the trim went back on beautifully.

On the rear, he was not careful with removing the aluminum trim. The new seal went back in very easily (within about five minutes). We struggled for over an hour to try to get the trim in place, but it was impossible. He suggested a plastic trim which he said he would get. Seven months later, I was still calling to get him to complete the job. He finally shows up, but said the plastic trim won't work because of the unique type of groove on the window seal. Six months after that, I convinced them to buy new replacement trim from MB, which they did (I think they cost $150 for the set). He shows up with the new trim, but it won't go in, so he removes the rear glass and tries to install the trim into the seal before putting the glass back in. He says that won't work because the rubber seal is too big. He says he can't do anymore than that, other than to order the seal from MB directly and try again. But I would be required to buy the new seal. He leaves me with the new rear window trim and says goodbye. The new MB window seal is $140, and if I want a new rear window, that another $850.

I tried for a couple of hours to get just one of the new trim pieces in, and I gave up in frustration. When I have some time, I'll attempt it again. It's not a job for a hot day, although I do recommend doing it when the sun is on it to keep the rubber soft.

The only good that has come from this is that the new seals did stop the water from coming in. It cost me $200 for each window seal r&r! At this point, I don't think there's anything else I can ask of these people. It took them too long to make good on their work, but they've done all they can do. I'm not sure I buy the argument that the seals I bought (I think they're Mahle) are not the proper ones, especially since the front seal was no problem.

If you're going to attempt this job, be very careful not to bend the trim, as others here have said. Once it's bent, you're in for a tough time.

My front glass has some haze around the edge as well, but it's not bad at all. The rear window defogger lines are shot.

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Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

dcashour;115853 wrote:
My front glass has some haze around the edge as well, but it's not bad at all.

Hi guys!I think some of the older(and aging)laminated windshield glasses have this 'haze around the edge' problem.I'm currently using a cheaper toughened glass,so it's all crispy clear,but then again,it's new, :D ! I just hope that it remains in one piece,because it'll shatter into a million pieces if something should hit it hard,making cleaning up a dreadful task, :D !

Say,Dave,when did you start calling your E300 Jenny? I don't recall you putting it on your signature in the past messages,but then again,I might have overlooked it, :D !
OK,all the best,BYE and GOD BLESS!!! :) :) :)

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W.L.SOON , West Malaysia.
1971 Mazda 1000,a dear old companion,gives me 40-mpg.
1972 Mercedes 230 (W114.015),but fitted with a 4-cyl 200 gasoline engine(M115.938).
 

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Seattle, WA
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1995 300D
1974 450SL
1972 220D
Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement
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clay

2002 S430 - Victor, White Tie & Tails
1974 450SL Frosch, my little froggy prince, after meeting a bunch of toads
1972 220D - Gump - She was green, simple and ran and ran
1995 E300D - Cleo - Killed by a Suzuki Vitara
POS 1987 SDL - Beware Nigerian Scammers

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Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

Hey Folks,

It's good to hear this process isn't very easy. I have a W116. I just replaced both seals myself. They are both leak free and seem to keep out the torrential rains we've been having here.
Anyway, I ordered the replacement clips for the back trim, and that seems pretty self explanatory, but the front trim really doesn't want to go back into the slot on the seal, no matter what I do.
Anybody have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Jeff

1979 300SD

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Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

Where have people found they can buy reliable (high-quality, suitable) seals?

Thanks,
Ronan

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1983 240D
Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

greyghost240D;163877 wrote:
Where have people found they can buy reliable (high-quality, suitable) seals?

Thanks,
Ronan

From Mercedes - that's the only place I'd buy them.

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Len

'59 220S cabriolet

'83 240D 348,500 miles original owner

'99 E300D 170,000 miles

'03 SLK320 27,500 miles

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1984 190D
1986 300SDL
1988 560SEL
1988 560SL
Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

The ones I have installed have all been directly from MB. I have heard the aftermarket are not as good. Job is too big a pain to do over. Call your dealer or call Tom Hanson at Classic Center. I think I got all of mine from Tom.

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Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

Hi Dave,

I bought my aftermarket seals from Rockauto, it is Uro brand. I think it should be the same as the Mahle/AML etc made in China. The door seals were a little different than original but the door still close, I think the windshield with the trim is a big problem. I wish there was a disclaimer about the seal that the original trim could not be installed etc.

The shop which put the front seal had so much trouble with the upper chrome trim that they decided to use the original seal in the rear window, even though I gave them rear seal as well. I asked my windshield and rear window be removed for paint. This was done by glass professionals so that the glass and trim would not be damaged. My car has been painted as a few pictures are attached.

The front windshield seal was leaking so the replacement should be an improvement. The installer said he wants to leave the seal out in the sun for a couple of days before deciding what to do. In retrospect, I wish I ordered Mercedes windshield seals so that the shop would replace both seals.

Has anyone had experience with the aftermarket windshield seal? Does it become easier to install the upper chrome trim in the windshield?

W115nut

dcashour;115853 wrote:
I am still going through a bit of a nightmare with my rear window seal. In May of 2006, I purchased the aftermarket seals and had a local windshield replacement company do the work. The front glass came out and went back in with no problem. The guy used the cord method on the front, and the trim went back on beautifully.

On the rear, he was not careful with removing the aluminum trim. The new seal went back in very easily (within about five minutes). We struggled for over an hour to try to get the trim in place, but it was impossible. He suggested a plastic trim which he said he would get. Seven months later, I was still calling to get him to complete the job. He finally shows up, but said the plastic trim won't work because of the unique type of groove on the window seal. Six months after that, I convinced them to buy new replacement trim from MB, which they did (I think they cost $150 for the set). He shows up with the new trim, but it won't go in, so he removes the rear glass and tries to install the trim into the seal before putting the glass back in. He says that won't work because the rubber seal is too big. He says he can't do anymore than that, other than to order the seal from MB directly and try again. But I would be required to buy the new seal. He leaves me with the new rear window trim and says goodbye. The new MB window seal is $140, and if I want a new rear window, that another $850.

I tried for a couple of hours to get just one of the new trim pieces in, and I gave up in frustration. When I have some time, I'll attempt it again. It's not a job for a hot day, although I do recommend doing it when the sun is on it to keep the rubber soft.

The only good that has come from this is that the new seals did stop the water from coming in. It cost me $200 for each window seal r&r! At this point, I don't think there's anything else I can ask of these people. It took them too long to make good on their work, but they've done all they can do. I'm not sure I buy the argument that the seals I bought (I think they're Mahle) are not the proper ones, especially since the front seal was no problem.

If you're going to attempt this job, be very careful not to bend the trim, as others here have said. Once it's bent, you're in for a tough time.

My front glass has some haze around the edge as well, but it's not bad at all. The rear window defogger lines are shot.

IMAGE_066V2.jpg IMAGE_066V3.jpg
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Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

On my 1976 240D I got the seal from Pierre I forget the brand, I got the rear window in on the 2nd try I used the rope method, I did not get the chrome piece back in. I tried several times to get the chrome pieces on but could not I still have the chrome it is in good shape.

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Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

I called URO parts, a brand of A.P.A. industries, at their toll free number: 888 618 5555 x25 and talked to Robert. He assured me that they sell a number of these seals every year, and that they only have got 5 returns in the last 10 years or so. The part number is 1156700939 (windshield seal).

He told me to give his number to the installer and he could help them to figure out how to install the trim piece.

I do not know if this will help, but I hope it does.

W115nut

kpmurphy;165133 wrote:
On my 1976 240D I got the seal from Pierre I forget the brand, I got the rear window in on the 2nd try I used the rope method, I did not get the chrome piece back in. I tried several times to get the chrome pieces on but could not I still have the chrome it is in good shape.

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Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

Hi there,

I had left my factory body manual (Blue) in the car, but these installers never check it out. As you said, instructions for windshield and rear window are given.
I was counting on the same information on the body manual (gray, newer), but those sections were not there! I had read that there was a fire in Mercedes and some documents were burned, I wonder if those relating to the replacement of body sheet metal and glass were amongst.

That said, I talked to Ken at Monterey Mercedes who is a regular in this forum. He says that the chromed trim piece needs to be in the seal before it is pressed in the channel as were in other German cars of the period.

I talked to the body shop and told the manager to do it that way. He and the professional glass people tried to insert the trim after installing the seal and glass in the chassis. Ken thinks that the aftermarket part with the same number should fit as the Mercedes does, except it is not the same rubber. A.P.A. rubber is made in China, and I have no idea where Mercedes part is manufactured.

W115nut

BobK;115642 wrote:
I did this job on my 115 "76 300D recently. My rear seal was very old, dried, dead and leaked a ton of water into the car. Front windshield was cracked so I picked up up a used one. I installed new factory seals front and rear. You have to take off quite a few pieces to do this job right (inside and out). The factory manual is a big help. I used wire pulling twine on the front windshield and line trimmer line on the back. Line trimmer line worked well. I just cut the old seal (on the outside) so I could remove the glass and the trim without damaging it. Take your time. I probably spent a week on each end. I had to reglue the headliner all around the back. I wish I had sealed the edges of the glass with something (nail polish?) to keep air from sneaking in between the layers. Front glass now has inch or so of haze around the lower edges. Put the trim in the seal first if possible, makes it easier to do job.

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1983 240D
Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

Chrome trim piece has gone in first since almost the beginning of time for Mercedes. My ponton and 240D are done that way. Lots of chrome pieces have been destroyed by shops who don't know what the heck they are doing. That's why I always use a shop familiar with Mercedes or ask the dealer who they use.

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Len

'59 220S cabriolet

'83 240D 348,500 miles original owner

'99 E300D 170,000 miles

'03 SLK320 27,500 miles

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Re: Front and Rear Window Seal Replacement

Hi Len,

The shop manager was surprised that the trim went in the seal before. I think part number is 1156710230, outer molding as much as I can see from EPC online.

Today, I called and learned that the molding may need to be replaced. Live and learn.-) Can these moldings be rebent? My understanding is that there is a J like hook inside it.

W115nut

Sokoloff;165187 wrote:
Chrome trim piece has gone in first since almost the beginning of time for Mercedes. My ponton and 240D are done that way. Lots of chrome pieces have been destroyed by shops who don't know what the heck they are doing. That's why I always use a shop familiar with Mercedes or ask the dealer who they use.

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