How to Remove a Rear Windshield

by Kimberly Johnson

Although many people refer to the back glass on a vehicle as the rear windshield, the proper term for it is the back light, since it doesn't actually deflect wind. The back light is installed and removed in exactly the same way as the windshield on the front of the vehicle. Most vehicle back lights should be removed by professional auto body or glass repair professionals. However, if you are restoring an older vehicle, you may need to perform the task yourself.

Wrap a wash cloth around the handle of a trim removal tool to prevent the handle from scratching the glass as you remove it.

Place the hooked blade of the trim removal tool flat against the glass at the upper right corner. Push it up until the hook slides under the metal trim at the top of the glass.

Rotate the handle of the tool one or two degrees to the left so that the hooked part of the blade can grasp the clips under the trim better.

Slide the trim removal tool to the left until you feel resistance, which means it has hooked onto a clip. Rotate the handle of the tool downward toward the center of the glass until you hear a pop, indicating that you have dislodged the clip.

Slide the tool to the left, repeating the same motions each time you meet a clip until you reach the other side of the glass. Repeat the same procedure to detach the clips from the left, right and bottom of the glass. Pull the loose metal trim off the vehicle.

Place the blade of a utility knife at the upper left corner of the glass in the location that was previously covered by the metal trim. Move the blade all the way around the perimeter of the glass to cut the seal that holds it in place.

Insert the blade of a cold knife at the upper right corner of the glass with the curved blade facing downward. Pull down on the main handle of the knife until the blade slips under the glass. Keep the main handle perpendicular to the glass.

Move the T-shaped handle of the cold knife to the left of the main handle until it is straight out to the side. Hold onto the main handle to provide stability and pull the T-shaped handle to the left to cut the seal that is under the edge of the glass. Repeat the process on all sides of the glass.

Ask another person to get inside the vehicle and have them push on the top center of the glass to pop it out. Grasp the edge of the glass from outside the vehicle and pull it away.

Tip

  • check You can also cut through the seal with tools such as a windshield chisel, a windshield scraper or a windshield knife.

Items you will need

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera on reflection image by kenny123 from Fotolia.com