Meddlesome moldings, tough installs
2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
To remove the bottom windshield molding, cut the two adhesive strips at the corners, using a small razor knife and pulling in an upward motion toward the windshield, says Gilbert Gutierrez, senior technical adviser for Equalizer Industries, Round Rock, Texas. This will disengage the molding at the base of the windshield from the six clips on the glass. Using a small razor knife, cut loose the six urethane beads from the upper one-piece reveal molding at the top edge of the windshield. "When re-installing the molding, be sure to apply urethane in the same spots that the old beads occupied to secure the top molding to the windshield," Gutierrez says.
2008 Toyota Land Cruiser
The A-pillar moldings on this vehicle have an aggressive bite. Use a plastic pry tool to remove the first molding. If you break the clips in the process, use normal door-pad retainers as replacements, says Bob Beranek, president of Automotive Glass Experts, Sun Prairie, Wis. "They fit in there perfectly," he says. "Once you've got one molding off, you can pop the rest of them off with an aggressive pull. It's just a matter of overcoming the fear that you'll break the moldings."
2008 Dodge Grand Caravan
As you pull up the A-pillar moldings on the 2008 Dodge Caravan, you'll notice the molding flange fits into a retainer on the wall of the pinchweld. When you pull the molding up, that flange curls, making it impossible to get back into the retainer during re-installation, Beranek says. "Because the flange curls up, you'll have to replace those moldings every time." So have replacements on hand before tackling this vehicle.
2008 Jeep Wrangler
"The new Wrangler is a real bear," Beranek says. "The windshield doesn't have moldings on any of the four sides and [the glass] is very tight [to the vehicle body]." He suggests using a Fein power tool with an adjustable blade with depth stops. "The blade is adjustable to just the right depth, so if you pre-measure the distance from the edge of the glass to the inside where the urethane is and adjust the blade accordingly, you may be able to cut it out without damage," he says.
2008 Jeep Liberty and Commander
These vehicles don't have a top molding, and the windshield is in close tolerance to the vehicle body, Beranek says. To avoid scratching the vehicle, have a partner help you on the install. Cut the sides and bottom of the windshield. Then, attach a suction cup to the glass and have your partner pull down on the cup while you pull your cold knife across the top, Beranek advises. Using this technique, "you can sometimes get enough clearance for the blade to avoid damaging the wall of the pinchweld," he says. "A power tool will scar it up."