Ford F-150/F-250: How to Replace a Cracked Windshield

If your truck's windshield is cracked beyond repair, read on and replace it yourself.

By Alan Tast - November 13, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150 (2004-2014), and the F-250, F-350 Super Duty (2005-2014).

A linear or spiderweb crack forms on the windshield and it keeps growing to the point that you run the risk of getting a "fix-it" ticket. You can go to a repair shop, but it could get quite pricey. Here is how to replace the windshield yourself on your Ford F-150 or F-250 Super Duty and save some labor money.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • New or used windshield
  • Windshield removal tool (double-handle draw knife, cutting/piano wire)
  • Automotive trim removal tool
  • Gasket scraper or putty knife
  • Large suction cups
  • Windshield tape, primer and setting blocks, automotive-grade urethane sealant
  • Solvent (i.e. Naphtha)
  • Rags

Pro Tip

For the specialty tools and materials, a discount tool house, auto body supply house, or larger auto parts store should have the trim removal tool, cutting wire, and knife; for sealant and tape go to the auto body supply house. You can find a used windshield on Craigslist or in the local U-Pull-It yard. New windshields can be purchased from an auto glass distributor or ordered online (but this may not be a bargain by the time you calculate crating/shipping charges). If you have the rain-sensor option, expect to pay more - you may be better off having an experienced shop do the replacement.

Step 1 - Remove trim and clips

Pry off the black, plastic trim and clips with the trim removal tool, starting with the top molding, and work your way around the windshield.

Figure 1. The trim removal tool loosens the retaining clip.

Pro Tip

You may need to get new clips to replace rusted ones. Take a good clip to your auto parts/body store and find a replacement, as Ford dealers may not have them. You may also need to replace the black plastic trim strip surrounding the windshield.

Step 2 - Cut out the windshield

Using cutting/piano wire or the double-handled knife, cut into the existing sealant. If you are using a cutting wire, perform a sawing motion with one person inside the cab and the other outside. If you are using the double-handled knife, pull it towards you starting at the top of the windshield, and work your way around. Once it's loose, pull it out using suction cups.

Figure 2. Cut the sealant with a double-handled knife.

Step 3 - Remove old urethane sealant

Using a gasket scraper or putty knife, remove the old sealant; clean up with a rag soaked in naptha or a similar solvent.

Figure 3. A scraper or putty knife removes old urethane.

Step 4 - Clean the glass and apply primer to edges

Wipe down the new windshield with a cleaner and paper towels. Apply primer to the edges of the glass.

Figure 4. Make sure the new windshield is cleaned before applying primer.

Step 5 - Prep the opening for the new windshield

Apply the primer to the edges and let it dry per product directions. Follow up by applying butyl rubber caulking to the edges where the new windshield will sit. Place the setting blocks to support the base of the windshield.

  • Figure 5. Apply primer about 3/8" from the edge.
  • Figure 6. Apply butyl rubber caulk to edges and overlap any gaps.

Step 6 - Install the windshield

Push down on edges until the glass is flush with the body. Trim the excess butyl with a knife, and clean the inside with a rag and solvent.

Figure 7. With the suction cups secured, push down on the glass until in place.

Step 7 - Finish sealing and re-install trim

Run a bead of sealant between the edge of the glass and the body. Re-install the surrounding trim by pushing clips back over the studs; and remove excess sealant with a rag and solvent.

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