FAQ > Back Glass > Ford Pickup Back Glass Leaks
Starting   in   about   1997   some   Small   and   Full   Size   Ford   Pick-ups   began   having   water   leak   issues.      Since   then   we have   had   so   many   people   come   into   our   Service   Center   inquiring   about   the   problem   we’ve   taken   the   time   to create   this   in   depth   page.      Your   vehicles   problem   is   more   than   likely   related   to   1   or   all   5   of   the   probable   water leak   issues   we   have   seen   in   these   trucks.      Water   flows   onto   and   then   down   the   cab   so   we'll   start   at   the   top   and work our way down.
Trim ring leaks Trim ring leaks Possible roof body seem leak Possible roof body seem leak Possible roof body seem leak Cab light leaks Possible roof body seem leak The 2 Tabs must be removed from the trim ring to execpt the new style unit The 2 Tabs must be removed from the trim ring to execpt the new style unit Ford Pick Up Back Glass Leaks Cab light leaks The improved unit has a sollid modular inside frame that actually wraps around the glass The improved unit has a sollid modular inside frame that actually wraps around the glass The defective unit has no molding on the glass The defective unit has no molding on the glass The defective unit has no molding on the glass The defective unit has no molding on the glass The defective unit has a hollow bonded plastic inside frame The defective unit has a hollow bonded plastic inside frame
Ford's later designed back glass These   window   units   are   fantastic   in   that   we have   seen   no   issues   with   them   since   they came to be in 1998.
The improved unit has a molding on the glass The improved unit has a molding on the glass Trim ring leaks Trim ring leaks Possible roof body seem leak Use the proper type of adhesive system Leak between the back glass and the pinch weld Leak between the back glass and the pinch weld more info  more info more info  more info Trim Ring Leaks Trim Ring Leaks Phoenix Glass Knoxville's Finest Windshield and Auto Glass Replacement Center 947.5706
Copyright 2013 © Phoenix Glass, Inc. All Rights Reserved Revised March 2013
*  This is the most common leak for these vehicles  *
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If   you   decide   to   remove   and   replace   your   rear   back   glass   window   unit   yourself   be   sure   to   use   the   proper   pinchweld   and   window   unit primers   on   both   bonding   surfaces   as   well   as   be   sure   to   allow   the   proper   flash   times   or   you   won't   achieve   a   proper   bond   to   one   or   both surfaces.
The bill for that mistake by the time it's all said and done, will come in at over $1,000.00 at todayís (2011) current prices.  Add a possible paint job to the cost of the repair and well I'm sure you get the picture.
1.  The plastic trim ring (expands and contracts) at a different rate than the window unit and the sheet metal cab causing it to tear loose. 2.  UV Rays from the sun will break down the adhesive in about 3 months, if you are lucky and it lasts that long, and then you will really have a mess on your hands. 3.  To make the vehicle right again you'll need a new window, a new trim ring, and a new 3rd brake light.
Vehicle trim ring breaks loose from body 1.  Do not! seal the trim ring to the cab. 2.  Do not! seal the 3rd brake light to the trim ring. 3.  Do Not! seal the trim ring to the window unit. Doing this not only looks bad but it won't last!
If it's in fact found to be the water is entering from the body seams on the roof. Do   Not!      apply   any   type   of   body   seam   sealer   on   them   (no   matter   what   it   says   in   the directions   on   the   tube)   without   painting   a   (UV   Resistant)   automotive   top   coat   over   the adhesive. If   this   isn't   done   the   UV   Rays   from   the   sun   will   in   fact   break   the   adhesive   down   and   it will   roll   right   off   in   a   very   short   time.      We   have   seen   this   many   times   and   it   usually results in the vehicle needing to be repainted.
Body seam sealer is not UV resistant and must be top coated Do not bond trim ring to the vehicles cab Stop!
If your a DIY person here’s what NOT TO DO!
If you have a 1997/98 model There is a slight easily done modification required to the grey plastic trim ring in order for this window to be installed in it. There are two tabs that protrude down from the grey trim ring at the top of the window opening that must be removed.
Photos that show how to determine whether or not you have Ford’s early designed problem unit.
We should also mention that these types of window units are still in the market place.  Whether your replacing your glass due to a  water leak or due to window breakage, do not purchase one of these types of window units.
5.       Water   can   be   entering   the   cab   though   the   back   glass   unit (itself) through small cracks in the plastic. Whatever   type   of   material   Ford   used   in   this   design   certainly   didn't make   the   cut   quality   wise   that   we   are   sure   the   designers   had intended   for   them   to   have.      We   have   also   seen   similar   problems with   some   of   the   past   era   back   glass   units   General   motors   put   into service.      The   GM   units   we   have   seen   were   even   worse   in   that   when they cracked it created a gap sometimes as large as a 1/4 inch wide. This particular 1997 model Ford pick-up uses a poorly designed rear window (be it stationary or sliding) that had major issues. Ford   shortly   afterwards   came   out   with   a   revised   window   that   solved   the   problem.       To   our   knowledge   Ford   did   not   actually   recall   these poorly   designed   window   units,   they   just   happened   to   replace   them   with   a   new   and   improved   type   of   window   unit   with   a   totally   different type of construction. If   you   have   this   type   of   unit   installed   in   your   vehicle   (and   it   does   in   fact   prove   to   be   that   the   water   is   entering   between   the   unit   and   the seal to the cab) unfortunately you are still looking at having to purchase a new window unit. The   problem   now   is   that   the   unit   is   installed   with   a   bubble   gum   like   adhesive   called   foam   core   butyl   tape.      This   adhesive   is   extremely limber   in   that   as   you   try   and   cut   through   it,   it   re-adheres   to   itself.      In   addition   to   that   problem   you   cannot   access   the   adhesive   to   cut   it where   the   nine   or   so   bolts   go   through   the   cab   from   the   unit.      All   one   can   do   is   apply   extreme   outward   pressure   to   the   window   unit   and cut   the   adhesive   as   it   allows   access   to   it.      What   this   does   as   a   rule   is   that   it   flexes   the   window   units   brittle   inner   plastic   frame   causing,   at best, small unseen micro cracks and at worst large gaping cracks. The   bottom   line   is   that   reusing   this   type   of   unit   no   matter   how   good   it   looks   after   it's   removed   is   not   recommended.      Even   if   the   removal of   the   unit   appears   to   have   went   well,   the   stress   placed   on   the   unit   during   the   R&R   procedure   helps   accelerate   the   plastic   frames cracking process it does on its own.
Cracks in the plastic back glass retaining ring Cracks in the plastic back glass retaining ring Cracks in the plastic back glass retaining ring
4.  Water can be entering the cab through the seal between the back glass unit and the vehicles pinchweld.
Water entering the cab anywhere above (body seam, trim ring, 3rd brake light) the pinchweld can exit from between these two layers, between the spot welds, and make it appear that it is leaking from the glass seal. There's a very fine line to look at between the two spots so be sure of what you are seeing. There's nothing like assuming it's the window and some 3 hours and a bunch of hard earned dollars later find out that you still have a water leak and find yourself back at square one.
The   pinchweld   is   actually   constructed   in   two   different   layers.      The   layer   on   the outside   is   the   one   the   window   unit   is   actually   bonded   to.      The   outside   pinchweld layer is attached to the second layer by spot welds.
3.      Water   can   be   entering   the   cab through    a    body    seam.    Once again    make    note    that    the pinchweld    body    seems    also run   up   to   the   top   corner   of the   cab   under   the   plastic   trim ring   which   could   be   where   the water is entering.
If   the   trim   ring   mounting   holes   look   ok,   it   may   be   that   there   is   a   body   seem   hole   under the   trim   ring.      The   only   way   to   absolutely   find   out   is   to   R&R   the   trim   ring   which   will require removing the window unit as it lays on top of the trim ring inner flange.
2.      Water   can   be   entering   the   cab   through   the   grey   plastic   trim   ring where   one   or   more   of   the   16   foam   gasket   sealed   alignment   pins, clips   and   mounting   bolts   that   attach   it   to   the   cab.      It   may   be possible   to   seal   the   bolt   hole   by   removing   the   nut,   apply   sealer   to the hole and replace the nut.
1.       Water   can   be   entering   the   cab   through   the   3rd   brake   light   gasket.      We   have seen   several   of   these   lights   warped   from   heat   producing   an   opening   between the light and the gasket.
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