How to replace the side window on a ford

Updated April 17, 2017

Replacing window glass is one of the more expensive repairs you can make outside of drive train-related items on a Ford. Due to the expense of the glass itself, and the speciality nature of your particular application, manufacturers charge a premium for replacement windows. However, you can save a few dollars by doing the actual replacement yourself. Once you have the replacement glass, grab your tools and prepare to spend the next few hours replacing a window.

Use the socket set and screwdrivers to remove all of the door fasteners. Depending on what model and year of Ford you are working on, you may need to remove trim covers to access the fasteners.

Use the trim pin removal tool to get between the door panel and the door and pull the trim pins out of their mounting holes. This is easiest if you begin at the bottom corner of the door panel and work your way across, removing the pins as you go.

Lift the door panel up and away from the door far enough to allow you to reach in and disconnect the window and lock switches from their wiring harnesses. On some models, such as the newer F150s and SUVs, you can remove the switches before removing the door panel, which makes life easier. Set the door panel off to the side when you are done.

Remove the majority of the door insulation by peeling it back from the top. It is best to leave a little attached so you can easily put it back in place later. It should be held on with some black adhesive. Be careful not to get dirt on the insulation or adhesive.

Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the window wipes from the door with the window glass fully down. Set the wipes aside.

Move the window to its fully upright position and run the clear packing tape from one side of the window glass, over the top of the door and back down onto the other side. Do this in two places and make sure to have at least 3 inches of tape adhered to the glass on both sides. This will prevent the glass from falling down before you are ready to remove it.

Use the socket set and gear wrenches to remove the fasteners holding the window regulator to the bottom of the window glass. In some models, you may need to loosen the packing tape and move the glass back down a bit to gain access to the fasteners.

Remove the packing tape from the glass, using care not to let the window fall into the door. Now you will need to jockey the glass a bit to get it to come up and out of the door by lifting it away from the window frame and away from the vehicle. This may require angling the glass one way or another, depending on the year and model. Be patient with this step, as you can easily damage the door, or yourself, by rushing. Keep note of how the glass comes out, as you will need that information for Step 9. When the glass is out, carefully set it aside.

Unpack the replacement window and inspect it for damage or flaws. Once you are satisfied it's good, jockey it into the door using the reverse method of how you removed the old window. Once it is in place, lift it to the fully upright position and tape it in place the same way you taped the old glass before removal.

Attach the window regulator to the new glass. Hook the window switch back up and remove the tape, then test to make sure the window moves up and down precisely. When done, leave the window in the down position.

Reinstall the window wipes, door insulation and door panel.

Use the glass cleaner and rags to clean the window on both sides, as well as the door panel and trim.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket set
  • Screw drivers (both standard and Philips)
  • Trim pin removal tool or putty knife
  • Clear packing tape
  • Gear wrench set
  • Replacement window glass
  • Glass cleaner and rags
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About the Author

Allen Moore's career includes awards in poetry and creative fiction, published lyrics, fiction books and nonfiction articles as well as a master certification in automotive service from the Ford Motor Company. Moore is a contributing writer for and various other websites, a ghostwriter for Rainbow Writing and has over a dozen works of fiction currently in print.