by Bob Beranek

Now that we know the two types of gasket styles, let’s address the first of three methods of installation, the rope-in method.

The name “rope-in” comes from the tool you use to install the glass into the opening, a length of braided nylon rope that is 25 ft. long and usually ¼- or ⅛-inch in diameter. I always wanted to install using the rope-in method over the lip-in because it was less likely that breakage would occur during installation. The edge of the glass was protected by the gasket that was attached to the edge before the glass was placed into the opening. The rope-in method requires that the glass and gasket be removed and re-installed as an assembly and not two separate parts.

Here is the rope-in process step by step.

  1. The glass/gasket assembly is removed by applying pressure to the inside of the glass while manipulating the interior lip of the gasket downward to force the assembly free.  The pressure is usually started in one of the two upper corners. The passenger side gives you more room to maneuver so I usually start in the upper passenger side corner. The glass/gasket assembly is usually easier to push out when the first corner is separated from the body. Once the corner is free, simply push along the pinchweld and separate the assembly from the body. It may be necessary to break the seal between the gasket lip and the vehicle body with a hook tool before applying interior pressure.
  2. Once the glass/gasket assembly is out of the opening, separate the gasket from the broken glass and attach it directly to the new glass part. If the gasket has chrome molding accents, it is necessary to re-insert the chrome molding into the gasket before it is installed into the vehicle. This is the most difficult part of the job. The most difficult of all is the old Ford windshield DW819 with chrome molding accents. There are six pieces to the chrome moldings; two on the top, two on the bottom, and one on each side. Here is one of the tips I promised.
    1. Take the side molding “J” flange and slide it into the molding groove manufactured into the gasket and use the hook tool or pick to lip the remaining gasket groove over the molding flange.
    2. Then take the lower half molding and slide the small corner flange into the gasket and join the bottom piece to the side piece already inserted. Then lip the longer “J” flange into the gasket groove with the hook tool.
    3. Repeat on the other side.
    4. Then take one of the top halves and slide the larger portion of the “J” flange into the top gasket groove. Then lip the top corner into the gasket and join the side with the top chrome piece.
    5. Repeat the procedure with the other top chrome piece.
  3. Place the new glass/gasket assembly on a work surface and insert the rope into the “U” channel that wraps around the pinchweld. I usually start on the bottom center with about two to three feet of excess rope for pulling purposes.
  4. Apply a bead of sealant/adhesive on the gasket lip that contacts the body. I apply it before installing it because it is less of a mess.
  5. Take masking tape and apply the tape to the outside glass surface and wrap it around the gasket, chrome, and rope and stick it to the inside surface of the glass at every chrome seam. This will hold the chrome into the gasket while the assembly is roped into place. The rope will tear the tape while it is pulled and the excess tape can be easily pulled out.
  6. Take the glass/gasket assembly and set it into the opening making sure that the excess rope ends are accessible from the inside of the vehicle.
  7. Apply slight pressure on the outside surface of the glass assembly and grasp one of the rope ends and pull the rope upwards with your knuckles against the glass surface. DO NOT pull the rope outwards because it causes a scissor type action that will tear the gasket’s inner lip.rope-in
  8.  Pull the rope along the bottom and half way up the side on both sides of the glass assembly. Stop and seat the gasket over the pinchweld by using your fingertips. You will feel the gasket seat onto the pinchweld. If it does not seat correctly, use a hook tool to lip the gasket over the pinchweld until the entire bottom is seated.
  9. Now grasp one of the side rope ends and pull the rope always towards the center of the glass and knuckles on the glass. When you get to the top corner use your outer hand finger tips to apply pressure and while pulling the rope twirl the rope in a small circular fashion. This “walks” the rope around the gasket corner and allows the assembly to fall into place. Repeat on the other corner.
  10. Pull both ends of the rope at the same time and pull the inner lip around the remaining pinchweld. The assembly will then fall into the opening and the out lip will seal automatically.
  11. Then seal between the glass and gasket and you are done.

I highly recommend that if you can rope-in rather than lip-in, it would be to your best interest to do so. It is easier and safer for the vehicle, glass and technician. Next week will be the lip-in installation method.

Comments (5)

  1. Thomas Garrison said on 03-01-2013

    Why do you seal between the glass and the gasket after installation? Wouldn’t it be easier add the sealant before you insert the glass into the gasket?

  2. Glasseye said on 03-01-2013

    I would also recommend smearing lubricant ( e,g, washing up liquid) all round the inner lip to help the pull and reduce pinching/ripping risk against the pinchweld. Also in an ideal world the glass will slip into the aperture easily, but sometimes you need to “slap it in” to get achieve a good seating. Knowing how, where and how much to ” slap” is important.

  3. Brian McKelvey said on 04-01-2013

    Lubricant and adhesive contacting the same bonding surface is a risky proposition, since the former will compromise the effectiveness of the latter. Particularly, in the case of an installation where it is impossible to seal the gasket after the glass and gasket have been roped in; how do you suggest one would properly negotiate around this dilemma, to preserve the integrity of the adhesive bond to the pinchweld?.

  4. Glasseye said on 04-01-2013

    The lubricant is smeared on the inner lip of the gasket. It only contacts the inner lip of the pinchweld. This is not the point of seal for the gasket. The type of sealant recommended for this type if fitting ( e.g. Arbomast Autograde) is designed to stay pliable, because of inherent body/glass movement, so it only surface skins. The rest of the sealant stays permanently flexible. Use of washing up liquid as a lubricant has been used widely in the glass fitting business prior to polyurethane bonding, for indirect glazing.

  5. rookie said on 29-10-2015

    How would I negotiate square corners? Also the vehicle I’m doing has a very old and rusty pinchweld. Will that inhibit the gasket from slipping on nicely? I gave it a good effort today put couldn’t negotiate the square corners on the top with the rope. I destroyed the gasket and have to get another one and give it another go. Should I have the owner clean the weld before I give it another go?

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