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Rope-in Installation

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.