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How to Fix Leaky Rear Window 97-03 F150

30214 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Polaris425
This is an excellent write up by 1clean42 on the forums.... Here's the link to His thread < clicky

Going to be doing this myself this weekend, as mine leaks HORRIBLY!! My 97 leaked a little but this 03 leaks a LOT.

How To: Replace rear window surround/fix leaking rear window

The rear window surround on my truck was broken right where it was supposed to bolt to the cab. Because of this, there was a hole going straight through to the cab, causing water to leak into the cab. To get to this piece, you have to remove the rear window. So since I've heard I'm not the only one with a leaking rear window, I decided to make a how-to of the process - removing the rear window, replacing the surround, and resealing the window.

Let's start off with the tools and materials needed to complete this project:
  • Ratchet
  • 3/8 socket (they're actually metric nuts, but I don't have any metric tools. 3/8" works fine)
  • T47 star bit
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Knife/putty knife - something somewhat sharp to cut through factory sealant.
  • Some kind of heavy duty cleaner/degreaser
  • Interior fasteners - bought mine from Autozone. Will need these because the factory ones cannot be reused after removing interior panels and headliner.

pic of tools:



AutoZone fasteners:

Now on with the process!

1.) You will need to remove the rear seat. You do this by putting one hand down at the bottom and one hand on the side and by pulling up and out. These pics show you where I put my hands. You will struggle with this a little bit but they will come out.
**I've been informed that there are two 10mm bolts at the bottom of the seat that will need to be removed on 1998 models. I'm assuming this also applies to 1997 models, and possibly some other years.

2. The door weather strip needs to come off to gain access to the upper rear interior panel.

3. Unbolt the rear seatbelts - they're also holding the panels in place. This is where you use the T47 star bit.

4. Remove said panel. Its just clipped on. Just pull it off, but be careful - the clips will break if you're too rough. The way I took the picture doesn't really reflect how I had to pull it to get it to come off. I had to put one hand up top and pull down while pulling out a down low.

5. Unscrew clothes hangers

6. Pull back headliner - two fasteners are holding it in. Remove these and pull the headliner back slightly so you can get to the top bolts holding the window in. It will wrinkle a little, but will go back to normal after finishing the project.

7. Remove all nuts holding window and surround in place. Feel around in the holes up under the headliner and you'll find some more hiding.

8. Cut factory seal with cutting tool of choice.

9. Push rear window out. Have one person inside pushing and one person outside to keep it from falling. I have no pics of this step, as it was hard to do so while pulling the window :lol:
The surround will come off with it. The surround has a few clips that you'll need to squeeze from the inside to get it to separate from the cab.

10. Now that the window is out, clean the factory sealant - it's some pretty messy stuff. I scraped first, then used some Orange Blast shop degreaser to get the rest. While I was cleaning the cab, my dad was cleaning the window - he used diesel after scraping and it worked good too. Stripped it right off.

11. Put the replacement surround in place and bolt it up. You must do this before putting the window back in! You can also put the 3rd break light back now (or later, doesn't really matter).

12. Now you can start applying the urethane to the window. It has some tracks where the factory seal was - I followed these lines when applying.

13. Have one person on one side of the pickup and one person on the other and push the window back into place. No pics of this step either, sorry :eek:

14. Now you can put all the nuts back onto the bolts. This sucked it up closer to the cab, sealing it completely. Reused the before pic, but you get the picture :lol:

15. The window and surround are now installed and repaired! Now you can start putting the interior back into place. I bought some clips from Autozone since the OE ones were not reusable after removing the headliner and interior panels. They don't match, but that's all I could find so I had to make do.

Tips and troubleshoot:
If replacing the surround, make sure you get one specifically made for your cab config. I stripped one off of a regular cab in the junk yard and learned that the bolts were in different places and they didn't match up to the cab, so I had to go back to find a supercab. Also, where the brake light goes, mine says "supercab" and the one off the regular cab had an "R" written on it.
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Good write up. Im going to have to do this to my 03. It didnt leak till the cab had to be reskined thinks to some hail damage. Its goin to the body shop for the 6th time since it was bought new in 03 and the 3rd this hear. I hope when thy do it this time that it seals off and dont leak.
It's fairly easy to do, a little messy but pretty easy. The most time consuming part is cleaning all the gunk off. It has rained 2 or 3 times since I re-sealed mine, and it rained HARD, and no leaks yet.
Good write up .....but ain't no dang way that clumsy me could do that without breaking the glass!
It's easy, glass is fairly well protected inside the frame (edges and all..) Just takes 2 people. I laid an old quilt on my tool box and we popped it out and laid it on the quilt.
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