There are many reasons you need to have a Jeep Wrangler Hardtop side window replaced.
Over the car’s lifetime of usage, the window is also at risk of being weaker than it originally was.
Other than that, the vehicle may have a damaged, tampered, or broken side window glass because of varying reasons like a burglary, a local prank, or a heavy object or debris that hit the window during your travels.
If this happens, have the side window immediately replaced to ensure the safety of the passengers.
Provided in this article is all there is to know about replacing a Jeep Wrangler’s hardtop rear window.
What is the Jeep Wrangler Hardtop Side Window?
The Jeep Wrangler Hardtop side window is the window or glass at the car’s rear, located by the passengers’ sides.
Required Materials & Tools For Jeep Wrangler Hardtop Rear/Side Window Replacement
Keep in mind that when you replace the side window of any Jeep Wrangler model, you have the necessary equipment and materials to complete the task.
Some of the listed things can be found in a local hardware store, but the best way to ensure that the kind and style is appropriate to use is to consult car mechanics, online forums, or those who have done it before.
In some cases, some specific brands and products are needed when replacing the side window glass.
Most of these items can be found in online shopping stores that sell car accessories and parts.
We will provide a list of things that have been tried and tested by customers and basic tools to ease the installment process.
Use newspaper, plastic sheets, or any covering to protect around the car window if you accidentally chip off paint or apply too much solvent so that it doesn’t run down the car.
Prepare a razor knife for cutting the molding and a cold, sharp knife for cutting the urethane.
The pencil will be used for simple markings to remember which side goes where when installing the window.
Have an ammonia-based cleaner, naphtha or a similar product, and two lint-free cloths that are dry and clean to be used when cleaning different parts of the window.
If your replacement does not have molding, secure one first before installing as it will not be possible to place the window without the molding.
The following are solvents you need to procure for installation: glass prep adhesion promoter, glass primer, and pinchweld primer.
For safety precautions, this will be used to stabilize and hold the window in place in the end.
Step By Step Guide to Jeep Wrangler Hardtop Rear Window Replacement
Some window replacements already have instructions provided upon purchase, but if a manual is not included, a step-by-step guide is below to help.
Removing the window
1. Cover the surface area
With a protective covering, cover the surface area of the window to avoid damages to the car’s paint and less time for cleaning it up after.
2. Cut around the inside of the molding
A razor knife will help you in this task. Cut between the inboard side of the molding and the quarter class. Afterward, cut around the inner perimeter of the molding, then its cap.
3. Removing the glass
Now, with a cold knife, slice the urethane around the quarter glass. From the opening, you can remove the window.
Installing the window
4. Trim urethane
On the glass’ opening fence, trim the urethane while leaving a three-millimeter level base.
5. Install the glass
Get your replacement window and place it in the center of the opening. Make sure it is against the fence.
6. Verify the measurements and fit
Check its fit all around, and use a grease pencil to make marks on the glass and top for alignment. It should lay in place evenly.
7. Clean the glass
Afterward, take the glass away and use a lint-free cloth and ammonia-based cleaner to clean the inside. (Caution: DO NOT use a solvent-based one!) Use naphtha for cleaning the outer edge.
8. Prep the glass
Place a molding around the glass with its butt weld being at the center of the bottom edge.
Apply a glass prep adhesion promoter around the glass’s perimeter, then wipe it with another lint-free fabric that is clean and dry until streaks aren’t seen.
Next, do the same with the glass primer and do not wipe it, but let it dry for three minutes.
9. Prep the fence
Place pinchweld primer (15 mm wide) around the whole fence, and let it dry for three minutes before applying a bead of urethane (10 mm diameter) in the middle of the surface area of the glass fence.
10. Placing the window
Align and position the glass with the grease markings on the fence and immediately, but carefully, install the window by pushing it inward until the molding sits perfectly on the hardtop.
After, open the windows and liftgate as this prevents the build-up of pressure during the urethane curing.
To keep it in place, place masking tape (six inches in length, two inches in width) around with ten-inched spaces between.
Once it has cured, remove the tape and do a water test to ensure its fixation.
Ups and Downs of Jeep Wrangler Hardtop Side Windows
|● High durability
● Increased protection
● Longer longevity
|● Less easy removal compared to soft tops|
How much does a Jeep Wrangler Side Window Replacement cost?
A Jeep Wrangler hardtop side window replacement costs from $60 to $160, depending on where you buy it from and it’s quality.
Expect to have additional charges (like labor fees) when having it done by a third party.
There is always the option to have the car’s window replaced in a trusted Jeep Wrangler shop, but there are those who would prefer to save the extra money for a quicker and more affordable job by yourself.
The quality of the original engineering manufacturer or OEM is almost unnoticeable compared to an aftermarket copy as a replacement.
The only difference is the original one’s evident sticker, but the label can also be bought in online stores.
3 Product Reviews of Jeep Wrangler Hardtop Side Window Replacements
01. PRR Industries – 309903 97-02
- Back window glass is non-defrosting
- Tempered Glass
- High-quality rubber-sealed glass
- Fits perfectly on Jeep Wrangler Hard Tops
- Same green (clear) tint as original
This Jeep Wrangler Hardtop side window replacement glass by PRR Industries is made with durable tempered glass and comes with a rubber seal molding around it to keep it tight, fit, stable, and protected.
It is compatible with original frames of OEM Jeep Wrangler Hardtops from ’97 to ’02.
The glass has a clear and slightly green tint, allowing anyone from inside or outside to easily look through the car window, with things and people inside being protected by the solar radiation.
- An identical quality to the original
- Easy installation
- Fits well with said models
- Only fits 1997-2002 models
- No instruction manual included
02. Make Auto Parts Manufacturing Passenger Hard Top Quarter Glass
- Compatible with 1987 to 2006 Jeep Wrangler models
- Air filter-type material
- Tempered glass
- Gray tinted to 50%
- Easily customize the vehicle to your preference
- Certified by the DOT
This glass replacement is perfect for those who need or enjoy the luxury of having privacy because of its gray tint.
Make Auto Parts Manufacturing has made a hard top glass of the highest quality to grant the driver and those in the car safety with a window that is good as new.
Other than that, it gives a sleeker appeal to your Jeep Wrangler as it allows you to discreetly place things on the back of the car and protect the passengers from being seen by others.
The product is DOT approved, which ensures that the glass has passed through multiple safety tests. Lastly, the glass only fits OEM frames and not aftermarket replacements.
- Fits perfectly with the original frame
- Great for privacy
- Comprehensible installation
- Not versatile with non-OEM frames
03. Make Auto Parts Manufacturing Hard Top Quarter Glass (Green)
- Approved by the DOT
- Fits 1987 to 2006 Jeep Wrangler models
- Great quality
- Glass is green-tinted
- Tempered glass
With another version of a hard top side window replacement glass, Make Auto Parts Manufacturing also has another version for those who prefer the green tint over the gray one.
The main difference between the green tint with the gray one, other than the change of color, is that it has a lesser opacity than the gray shade.
With this, you can protect the passengers from the harmful ultraviolet sun rays while having a tint for privacy concerns.
- Easy installation
- Fits like a glove
- Fits models as described
- Not compatible with aftermarket replacement frames
Maintenance Tips to Help
After replacing the old one with the new one, now, it is important to know how to take well care of the windows and maintain them.
- Do not use bleach or household products as these have strong solvents that can destroy the hardtop itself and the window. This may deteriorate the film and material of the window, which would be a waste.
- Use water and a mild cleanser to clean the car.
- Rinse the windows and car thoroughly to remove the cleaning agent you used well.
- Dry the car with a towel, a cotton or soft terry rag. Using paper towels and other objects with rough surfaces will scratch your windows.
- Wipe in circles or swirls as this will prevent further scratching of the car.
- Apply a good window protectant to maintain the quality of the window.
Frequently Asked Questions of Jeep Wrangler Hardtop Rear Window Replacement
Would I need to drill a hole into the frame or the glass?
No. The rear or side window of a Jeep Wrangler Hardtop does not need a drill to remove the glass. In fact, a knife is only required to cut through the molding cleanly.
Will the paint of my Jeep Wrangler get destroyed from replacement?
By carefully following instructions, you cannot tamper or ruin the paint. If you decide to have a third party replace it, make sure to watch over them if they do so.
Is a metal trim around the glass needed?
No. Metal trims are used for aesthetic or decorative purposes, so using one is optional.
Are all windows defrosting?
No. Other windows are non-defrosting. Although there are non-defrosting options available in the market, buying defrosting windows should be considered, especially if your environment easily fogs up car windows.
What does tempered glass do?
Tempered glass is a highly durable material that prevents complete shattering. Instead of the usual breaking of glass into a million pieces, tempered glass only shatters into miniscule pebble-sized pieces and can barely puncture you unless with great pressure or force applied.
Can’t I just have it repaired in a shop?
This decision is all up to you! There is always the convenience of having it fixed by people who know what they’re doing, but like mentioned earlier, doing it yourself is less costly.
Could I buy an aftermarket side window replacement?
You can, but you would have to guarantee that it would fit well with your Jeep Wrangler model as some aftermarket replacements have a loose fit or do not fit the window frame at all.
Replacing a Jeep Wrangler’s Hardtop windows can be tricky for some, but you can easily manage through by reading instructions on replacement provided by the seller, here, or other parties.
When finding the best replacement, have a list of all your options before narrowing it down to the one that suits you best.
In the end, it is always important that the car’s window is functional, durable, and present, as keeping it damaged or temporarily removing it can lead to harm.
Additional Videos to Help
Rear Window Removal Instructions
Mopar is the trusted customer care and car service brand for the leading car brands like Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, and Jeep.
This instruction video teaches how to flawlessly remove the rear window for recreational purposes or for replacement.
Installing Rear Side Window Panels
Interested in adding window panels on the side? In this video by Hothead Headliners, the instructor teaches you how to install the Jeep Wrangler’s rear side window panels.
Additionally, he adds in a trick to keep it in place by using Velcro.
Jeep Wrangler Side Glass Window Replacement
Learn how to replace the side glass window in this instructional video by David Van Voris. He shows the process from unboxing his newly bought replacement to ensuring the newly installed window is secure.