Window rubber seal replacement

84 XJS. I need to replace the rubber seal on my windscreen due to dry rot and leakage. I was able to order the rubber from rockauto for $40. I’d like to have a mobile glass put it in for me but I’m concerned that they haven’t done one like this before since it seems quite different than on modern cars. Hopefully the window can be removed without breaking it. Does anyone have experience installing an XJS window and rubber seal?

While it is very different from most modern cars, it’s actually pretty similar to RV windows. Find yourself an independent shop and I think they will have no problem at all.


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Did you also buy the locking strip? RockAuto doesn’t offer that but I would suggest not trying to reuse the old one.

I need to have my front windshield rubber seal replaced.
I have been getting the run around for the typical glass shops in Greater Boston area. Even from the ones that have workers that worked on Jags in the 80’s and early 90’s.
One guy hinted that there will be rust that is currently covered up by the existing seal.
I have been thinking about doing it myself.

What year is the car? Early cars have a much different seal style. I used Granite State Glass in Keene NH (but they have locations much closer to Boston) on my 95 XJS and the guy who did it commented how it would have been nice to see my 87 XJ12 earlier because he recently had to install one with out getting to remove the old one and see how it goes together. They had no trouble tracking down glass for the 95 and I think all in it was $224.


My car is a 1989 XJS.
I went back and forth with JN Phillips Glass in Wakefield and Chelsea, MA.
Each one saying the other location will do it.
Until no one wanted to do it.
I bought the seal and the strip for about $150. The current windshield looks in great shape.

On my 84 xjs I ended up doing it myself. Took all afternoon & evening as I didn’t know what I was doing but I got it in. The glass place I usually use was reluctant to do it. At least I saved myself $150 that they suggested it would cost, even with using my own seal. I was wondering about the locking strip. I didn’t know the lock strip wouldn’t come with the seal from rock auto. I reused the old one but it seemed to go in way too easy. Pushed right in by running my finger along it. The old strip was soft & pliable and didn’t show any sign of dry rot or cracking. But it did not seem tight enough, especially at the bottom. I’m hesitant to get a new one if it’s not going to be any fatter than the original because it’s a pain to have to remove the wiper assembly and all of the chrome trim and get it back in the little slots of the seal, especially the top one. But if the new one is going to be tighter I should probably do it. FYI. There was no rust under the old seal. Only some sealant that I tried to scrape off. I made the mistake of putting some silicone on the metal under the seal first, which got all over the place and on the window while installing it. I should have waited until the window was in. After installing the window I added a small bead of black sealant to the bottom edge of the glass inside the rubber and a little more at the corners where the seal wanted to buckle and gap. But after the locking strip was installed the corners looked pretty good.

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This is an interesting thread—I’m very likely facing the same thing with my '84 XJ-S soon. I have not water-tested it yet but I’m quite sure I’m looking at leaks as the seals are extremely dry-rotted.

How is today your seal? Still keeping the water out with the black sealant?
Next days I have to add some black sealant on the lower part of the windshield to my 1984 XJS. The seal was replaced last year and looks good but no sealant was added at the bottom (or anywhere) and I’m getting water on the left lower corner each time I wash the car.
I got to the point that I don’'t drive when the weather station shows rain and I feel ridiculous.

So I am in the process of replacing the windshield seal and locking strip myself.
I’m confused about if I should be using some type of sealant on the metal lip of the car where the rubber seal and the metal lip. I noticed original dry grey sealant between the rubber and metal lip. Do I need to add sealant in the same area? Or do add the sealant once the rubber seal and windshield is in and I add on the out edge of the rubber seal?
Happy Thanksgiving!

I removed the windshield and seal when I painted my ‘88 XJ-S, and used a new weatherstrip from Rock Auto when I reinstalled it- if you are careful the glass will be fine. I installed the weatherstrip in the opening dry, installed the glass dry, then used non- hardening butyl before I installed the lock strip. Easy to roll the lip of the seal to inject the butyl with a caulking gun between the seal and glass, and the seal and body. That way you won’t get the butyl all over your interior. Stuff is very messy.

Thanks for the info Robert!
I’m going to tackle the window seal replacement soon.
Did you have any issues re-installing the chrome pillars?

Use a lot of tape to protect your paint, they are kind of fiddley- have your pop rivet gun loaded and ready so you can get a rivet in place as you hold the molding in place. The upper and lower molding are easy, Pozidrive screws. You do have to remove wiper assembly to access the lower screws.