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Old 10-30-2009, 10:49 AM   #1
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Windshield Cowling Replacement '94 wrangler soft top

I had the windshield frame replaced last year, and the idiot who did it failed to replace the cowling, so now everytime it rains, I have a flood in the dashboard and all over the floor. The last one fried my stereo unit. I have seen the replacement cowling for about $30 at several sites, and for $50 at a few others.

Is there a difference? Any recommendations or warnings?

Also, can anyone direct me to a set of directions to tackle the job myself? In another forum someone pointed to apple auto glass, but without a link, my google-fu was too weak to find any such step-by-step instructions.

I have the tools, and maybe could simply figure it out (It doesn't appear too hard) but like with Ikea furniture, it's often better to have instructions to be sure I don't do things in the wrong order and break aomething or make something else worse.

Thanks from a noob to the site.

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Old 10-31-2009, 11:28 AM   #2
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I checked my Haynes for this, and found minimal help there. Does anyone have any help for this? Even a suggestion or two about what to watch out for? Thanks.

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Old 10-31-2009, 01:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWrangler View Post
I had the windshield frame replaced last year, and the idiot who did it failed to replace the cowling,
Cowling? What does that mean? He forgot to put the windshield seal back in? Or are you talking about something else?

The WS is not hard to take down. Undo the top roll bar and one bolt on each side of the dash. Then undo one side of the sun visor for each one. You will see why. Undo the top if soft top just pop the button and pull the front seal out of the groove. Then lay the WS down. the seal is right there on the bottom of it. Really only issue is getting those Torx bolts loose. Mine were real tight and popped when they came loose. But then were easy.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:48 PM   #4
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No, he means the seal under the windshield frame (it is called a cowel seal). Mine has the exact same problem and I will be replacing shortly. IT leaks so badly that my left shin gets wet if it is raining.
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Old 10-31-2009, 06:04 PM   #5
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Well then it is not that hard to replace. Just make sure you got the right Torx bits before starting.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:39 AM   #6
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Thanks and a warning

Well, if all it takes is dropping the windshield, that shouldn't be too bad. I have the tools, and it sounds like it's just a few screws, fold it down, pull out the old dried one and slip in the supple new one. Does anyone have a recommendation on whether to use a sealant such as RTV?

I will need to lay a bead of silicone on the outside top, as the roof rack I installed has brackets that use the windshield screws on the front. The brackets create a small channel on each side that directs the water from the wipers right down onto the cowl rubber. This has made the leaking that much worse.

Also, just a bit of a warning to NE jeepers. I had a brakeline blowout this summer. apparently the liquid ice melter the DOT lays down in winter is particularly corrosive to brakelines. Fortunately, my line popped (it sounded lie a small explosion under the hood.) when I was just starting up. The rupture was about a foot from the master cylinder and sprayed brake fluid all over the engine. If The engine was already hot, it would have started a fire, and if it had gone while underway, I would have had very little brake pressure and likely would have smashed. I wound up replacing all of the lines as two others showed signs of serious corrosion. Take a look at yours. Replacement is relatively inexpensive and not hard to do.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:17 AM   #7
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we just replaced ours...pita to do! some bolts just didn't wanna come out, then we found rust galore on the dash due to water. The old one was so compressed that the new one just didn't want to sit right. Finally got it in with 3 guys pushing the frame back while putting the screws back in...then the doors gave us ALL kinds of problems closing. Had to re-adjust them for some reason...
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:51 AM   #8
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I got a 94 and the gasket looked brand new. I had to drop the WS to repair the wiper motor.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
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crown auto has them. but they r wholesale only so go to Tonneau Covers, Lift Kits, Winches, Leveling Kits, Tires, Wheels & Tonneau Cover Parts by 4 Wheel Parts. its a cake walk to do, fold the windsheild down and remove the screws on the seal VWALA done
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:51 PM   #10
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wtf happened there. sorry 4wheelparts dot com
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:32 AM   #11
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Thanks for the link. I've found OEM for $50 at Whitney and the OMIX-ADA for $30 at various sites. I wonder if anyone has any feedback on quality issues. I like using Whitneys because of free shipping and no tax. Quadratec is in PA and adds tax to the order, plus they've really gouged me on shipping in the past. The CSR at Quadratec I contacted tried to tell me the shipping costs were actual UPS costs. When I pointed out that the published UPS costs were about half what they charged, he got all defensive and refused to give me a straight answer. So, I try to avoid buying anything from them anymore.

Also, does anyone have any advice about using RTV when replacing the rubber? I've seen several folks suggest it was necessary to get the leaks to stop. I'm curious if a bead along the edge is the best method, or should you use it more like paste to create a seal all along the contact?

I am also replacing the stereo unit with a marine unit. With the coated boards, I am hoping to avoid frying another unit if the leaks continue or I get caught in a monsoon with no top on board.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:55 AM   #12
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Hey rcajper,

Thanks again for that site. I went to Tonneau Covers, Lift Kits, Winches, Leveling Kits, Tires, Wheels & Tonneau Cover Parts by 4 Wheel Parts, found the OMIX-ADA part at just over $30 with no tax and no shipping. I will add them to my list of vendors to patronize.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:56 AM   #13
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Hey! The same thing happened to my post with the link. The site is
4wheelparts.com.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:49 PM   #14
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Follow Up - Replaced the seal today, and the job went smoothly. A few observations. thanks to the person who mentioned removing the sun visors. As you noted, the reason is obvious, but going into it expecting to need to do this made that part of the task seem less onerous. Also, for anyone else doing this, I needed to nudge the plastic rain gutter/window seal thing out of the way in order to clear the sport bar bracket. When reconnecting the sport bar brackets to the windshield, getting the screws back in was also a small challenge, as I was doing this alone. Fortunately, I was able to use my shoulder to push up and out on the bar, one hand to pull back on the windshield, and the other to guide the screw into the hole cleanly. It looked like a recipe for cross threading, but ultimately, it all went back together without too much ado. It is a PITA that you need three different torx bits and a philips head to deal with the various fasteners.

Finally, I ordered the OMIX-ADA seal, and it installed perfectly, but I noticed that the front rubber flange is smaller than the OEM. It is a little wobbly looking (Not perfectly straight across) and there are small gaps in places. This will not present a problem once I apply a bead of RTV to the top, bottom and around the hinges, but if I were doing this again, I would seek the OEM part rather than the OMIX-ADA. Once it's RTV'd and we have some rain, I'll post another FU on how it did.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:41 PM   #15
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Looking forward to your post.

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