How to repair, reattach convertible rear window - Page 2 - Maintenance and Repair Forum

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Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:39 PM
I recommend that you glue it while you still only have a small section to glue. I waited too long and it caused me a lot more work.

Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 3:41 PM
RazzMaTazz wrote:

I recommend that you glue it while you still only have a small section to glue. I waited too long and it caused me a lot more work.




Oh I plan on it, I just gotta get the time to do it. With me redoing the body, and soon to be getting painted, ill be getting to that pretty soon, but it doesnt help im leaving for a week this weekend. Oh well, Ill make sure I get it before it gets bad lol.




Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Friday, April 29, 2011 8:06 PM
I'd like to add my thanks to RazzMaTazz for the very good and detailed instructions. I just finished reattaching my rear window (2004 VW New Beetle convertible) following his instructions almost exactly. I purposely did it just before going out of town so I won't even be tempted to fool with it for two days! If this works, which I am hopeful that it will, it will save me $2,500+ (for a new top) and a huge hassle. I am most grateful.
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Friday, April 29, 2011 8:17 PM
Donald Givler wrote:

I'd like to add my thanks to RazzMaTazz for the very good and detailed instructions. I just finished reattaching my rear window (2004 VW New Beetle convertible) following his instructions almost exactly. I purposely did it just before going out of town so I won't even be tempted to fool with it for two days! If this works, which I am hopeful that it will, it will save me $2,500+ (for a new top) and a huge hassle. I am most grateful.


You arent the only one that used this to repair a beetle roof, lol, sounds like its a normal issue with those. Goodluck!!




Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Monday, May 30, 2011 6:52 AM
One month out the repair is holding well. I am very pleased.

These are the only things I did differently (all minor): I started the repair with the top open a little more than described. That gave me more slack in the top and made it easier to get the adhesive in place. Using my gloved finger I put adhesive both on the window and on the cloth (thin player, smoothed out, in both places; I wanted to make sure I had complete attachment). Then I closed the top almost completely, which brought the glass and the cloth nearly exactly in position with no buckling. I did the taping as described, and then I set bricks over the area that was glued (the stick propped between the back seat and the window is a great idea and helped support the bricks; the extra weight may be unnecessary, but I wanted maximum attachment... as fun as this was, I don't want to have to do it again).

I've looked at used 2004 New Beetle convertibles on the internet. The back window loosening or falling completely out seems to be a very common problem. I really like my bug (mid-life crisis) and hope to drive it many more years.
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Monday, June 06, 2011 10:47 PM
Donald: I'm happy to hear that my instructions helped someone else-- though I didn't think I'd be helping VW owners on the J-body forum! Thanks for checking back in. Good luck!

FYI: I glued my window exactly one year ago and it's still holding perfectly. (Jinx.)
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Tuesday, September 06, 2011 12:31 PM
Thank you very much for the detailed instructions on how to do this. I just bought a 05 mustang and the rear window became compleatly off the canvas the next morning. I will try this to fix it. God bless you.
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Sunday, September 25, 2011 8:29 AM
RazzMaTazz
Thanks very much for your detailed instructions! They were of tremendous help. Using your tips, I did my 2003 VW Beetle top. Took me about 4 hours from start to finish including wait times. My window was un-bonded only on the sides and bottom. The top bond was secure enough that I felt it was more of a risk to try and detach it than leaving it alone. It was unbonded only on the outside. The inside bonds were clean. I "ripped" lengths of simple door/window weather stripping foam to create the foam dam 3M recommends in the instructions. I used the factory edge, not my cut edge as the boundary. It worked great for defining the edges of the primer application. If I had to do it again I would not keep the foam dam on for the adhesive application. The foam ended up bonding to the adhesive which made extra cleanup trimming. Also, following the adhesive application, I would apply the packaging tape along each side first and then do the bottom. I went around the perimeter from left to right and gathered a pucker that left small separations post bond cure. These were easily fixed cosmetically with a 2nd application of the window adhesive to fill in any voids and separations, just like caulking a bathtub. I think it looks pretty good, and is 300 times less expensive than a new top. The adhesive cured enough with an overnight wait, my application start time was about 5:30pm. Photos attached. I got my 3M supplies on line at A & E Painting Supplies in Mountain Home, AR.
Thank you very much again for your instructions! My photos are attached
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Sunday, September 25, 2011 9:04 AM
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Friday, February 03, 2012 1:50 PM
Just checking back in to say that my glue job is still holding tight (after about 1 yr. 9 months).

Richard: Thanks for checking in to let us know that it worked for you and h. It makes me happy to know that I didn't waste my time posting these instructions. Looks good... except for that Auburn Tigers sticker. Go Clemson!!!
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Sunday, May 19, 2013 1:31 PM
I am now two years out from the reattachment of the rear window. It is still a solid repair. I have referred several people to this thread.

Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Friday, July 12, 2013 10:34 AM
Good Afternoon, was this repair for a power top? I have a power top and the glass is coming detached from the glass.
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Thursday, December 12, 2013 1:34 PM
3.5 years later, the glue job in my original post (for my 1996 Cavalier convertible) is still holding.

However, the rear window on my wife's 1996 Cavalier convertible window just became detached for the first time. (Yes, we have 2 Cavalier convertibles.) I just glued her window in ~50-degree weather and it was MUCH, MUCH harder to work with the glue than it was when I glued my rear window in the warm weather of June. When the glue is colder, it's MUCH thicker and MUCH harder to spread. If you do this job when it's cold, I strongly recommend that you bring the glue inside your house for several hours so that it gets to room temperature, at least. It'll still work either way, but the job is a lot easier when the glue is at least room temperature.
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:00 AM
I've done similar repairs on a bmw convertible. My recommendation is the clamp the canvas to the glass (after gluing), instead of just using tape. You will need deep throated clamps and a flexible piece of wood or metal to distribute the pressure. This will minimize the thickness of the bond line between the canvas and glass.
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 1:44 PM
The 2 prior posts are not relevant to the Cavalier convertible because it has a glass (not plastic) window that can't be clamped because it's integrated into the roof.

FYI: The glue job on my Cavalier convertible has now held tight for 4.75 years, and the glue job that I did on my wife's Cavalier convertible has held tight for 1.1 years.
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 1:45 PM
I DO NOT KNOW HOW I COULD EVER THANK YOU!!!!!!!! I can't believe how great this has turned out! for my 2004 VW Beetle!!!! I am very mechanical, but wasn't sure about taking this on, but your directions were so perfect that I think ANYBODY could do this!!!! The only problem I had is that my hands are kinda big and those latex gloves did not work out well for me and I ended up with the black silicone all over the place...... but NOT on the fabric!!!! Whatever got on the window scraped off very easily and the black on my hands eventually wore off!!!!! LOL. There is a very slight dampness on the bottom center after a car wash so I'm going to put a very thin bead along the bottom, slide my finger across it and let it set and I'm sure I will be fine!!!! Once again, can't thank you enough!!!!! You saved me big time!!!!!!
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Friday, July 17, 2015 9:04 AM
Coming WAAAAAYYYY after the original thread, but I just tried your solution. Hopefully it will work in the July Florida sun, and I"ll post back the results.

One suggestion I would make is to tape off the canvas part of the roof that is next to window so that the 3M Windo-Weld does not accidentally get on it. Any ideas on how to get those few spots I got on the canvas off?

And DEFINITELY use the latex gloves. I did not and a few days later, the Windo-Weld is still staining my fingers! Not a real problem since I"m an art teacher and my hands are usually stained from something anyway....
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Monday, July 20, 2015 12:09 PM
I'm happy to hear from Johnny & Joanne that my instructions helped others. Thanks for taking the time to let us know.

Per Joanne's comments, I don't think it's very feasible to mask the canvas to protect it because you'll need to tape the window onto the canvas. (Maybe it could be done.) I'd recommend just being very careful because I don't think there's any way to remove the glue from the canvas. I repaired 2 different cars but I didn't get any glue on the canvas.

FYI: The glue job from my Cavalier (in the original post) is still holding after 5.25 years, and the glue job on my wife's Cavalier is still holding after 1.7 years. I live in northern California and we probably put our tops up and down about 200 days per year. Jinx!
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 5:50 AM
I just wanted to compliment the original creator of this blog.
My wife has a 2008 BMW 128i, ragtop. Rear window became detached, BMW wanted $9,000 to replace the entire top:-( another company wanted $2000. So I Google and this blog popped up after 5years. I didn't have the money to throw away, so tried it. I had to modify some steps but I am very appreciative of the adhesive knowledge. I haven't taken it for a spin or wash yet, but wife thinks I'm a hero now. Your detailed steps were extremely helpful as I read it 5 times before starting. Once I drive it and wash I will update post. Every ragtop that I see now, I'm really taking a hard look. :-).
Thanks again!
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Friday, November 20, 2015 10:37 AM
I'm happy that my instructions helped. Thanks for letting us know that it worked for you!

FYI: My glue job on my 1996 Cavalier convertible (from the original post) is still holding after 5.5 years and the glue job that I did on my wife's 1996 Cavalier convertible is still holding after 2 years.
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Friday, December 04, 2015 8:20 PM
razzmatazz you are amazing
i'm about to try to fix my little celica. the canvas has shrunk i guess, because when the top is down it was stretched to the max and now the window is like a little shelf 2" below it. i think i need something flexible.. there is a 2 inch gap on the top when it's up. i have had it glued (they would not guarantee it) and glued it myself, taped it, anything i could think of.. now has super tape on it. looks terrible and cuts down on what little back vision i have. should i do pictures? the canvas is also messed up all around the whole window and buckling.. leaking i'm sure. anything you could specificially tell me would be great. i could never afford a new top - and have yet to find junkyards/salvage places with my car in it!

thanks !! ; )

kat

Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Monday, December 07, 2015 12:33 AM
Kat: I'm not very knowledgeable about the topic and don't know anything about Celica convertibles. I'm just the owner of two 1996 Cavalier convertibles that I managed to repair.

I would be surprised if the canvas shrunk. Can't you just open the roof a few inches to give yourself some slack to glue in the window as I described and as is shown in the first picture at the following link?
https://picasaweb.google.com/104746918913021986185/CavalierConvertibleRearWindowReattachment?feat=directlink

When my roof is closed the window and canvas are very taut. I couldn't have glued it if the roof had been closed.
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Monday, December 07, 2015 10:23 AM
This is Jeff Roberts I followed tazz's directions and my convertible back window has held five years and counting....thanks again tazz
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Saturday, May 28, 2016 9:23 AM
New to this forum and hopefully can get some help/advice. I recently purchased a 2005 New Beetle Convertible. The rear glass was completely detached from the canvas. And probably had been for some time. I came across this post during a search for repair options. Great stuff. I followed the RazzMaTazz procedure and was cautiously optimistic. However, after cure, the top would not close with about a 2" gap between the leading edge of the roof and the windshield frame. Wondering what to do, I placed very wet rags across the top and bottom of the rear window and placed a 7 pound brick on the front of the roof hoping the canvas would stretch a bit. The roof slowly came down but the top edge of the rear window detached (sides and lower edge stayed glued) and is about an 3/4 inch away from where it should be. I'm in the process of scraping off the glue I just applied but am unsure what to do next. Anybody out there have any suggestions?
Re: How to repair, reattach convertible rear window
Thursday, June 16, 2016 5:24 PM
Jeff Roberts: Great to hear that my post helped you and that it's still holding. Both of my Cavaliers' windows are still holding after 6 years. (Jinks!)

Christopher Stroh: Sorry for the slow reply. I don't know about Beetles but a couple Beetle owners posted (above) that they had success. It sounds like you glued the window in a bit too short? I hope you were able to solve it.
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