In this guide we will talk about how we approached the aftermarket window installation. Our Promaster had no side widows, only 2 non-opening windows on the back of the van. In hindsight, I do wish we had ordered the “opening” windows for the pro-master, but it is a small issue and we are happy with the current setup.
Based on our research (and somewhat limited information) we went with a CR Laurence FW385RFG fixed window which we ordered through Cal-Alta Auto Glass in north Calgary. The window cost ~$450, and we picked it up ourselves from the warehouse in the SE. On a side note, I HIGHLY recommend both Cal-Alta, and CR Laurence based on the experience we had. Very high quality products, and very easy to install.
The window game with a bead, and a bunch of screws. The window is OEM, and is designed to fit perfectly into the window outlines in the van itself, making it VERY easy to align and cut.
Step 1 – Cut a template out of cardboard
The first step we did was to cut out a template using the window as a guide, and cardboard as the medium. Surprisingly, the window is larger than you might think, and finding good quality cardboard was a bit tricky. The cardboard cutout is mainly to limit the gap around the corners.
Step 2 – Drill Pilot holes from the inside
While the metal outline on the inside of the van makes it easy to see where to cut, you can’t fit a jigsaw on the inside, so using the cardboard cutout, in conjunction with the outline on the inside of the van to drill pilot holes is a key step. Make sure the pilot holes are large enough to fit your jigsaw blade into.
Step 3 – Draw an outline with a Sharpie
Using the cardboard cutout, and the pilot holes for alignment, trace a guideline to follow when cutting
Step 4 – Mask off the cut lines
This is important as it will help prevent tearing of the metal, and any additional scratches from the jigsaw.
Step 5 – Take a DEEP breath, and start cutting!
We used a jigsaw with a very high quality metal cutting blade (don’t cheap out!), and had no problems at all. Go nice and slow, and get a friend to help grab the metal once you get near the end.
Step 6 – Install the Window itself.
It’s very easy to install the window, as you simply get a friend to hold the window in place, and you screw in a tight metal bead into the back which serves to make the seal permanent. Be sure to go slow, and start by tightening each screw a bit of a time, and then continue to go around multiple times, adjusting each screw a few turns each go. This will help ensure you don’t warp anything, and you end up with a nice even, tight seal.
Step 7 – Enjoy!