View Full Version : 2013 window install gone bad

04-22-2013, 01:59 AM
I recently bought a 2013 Sprinter without rear or passenger side windows. I was told that the after market install of windows were as good as the factory installed windows - esthetically and functionally. I am attaching photos of what was done. To me the installed windows do not look good - it just seems like very sloppy work. I asked the installer about the work and he tells me that is how it is done and so I thought I would ask... is this how it is done? I do not remember seeing paint strokes of some kind of tar goop outlining the exposed sheet metal edges. The sheet metal also does not look right. It is jagged.
So now that this is done is there something that I can do to cover this up? Some kind of rubber fitting that can go over the exposed tar gooped sheet metal?
This really kind of bummed me out after buying a very nice van to have this happen to it but if I can fix this all will be good.
Thanks for any input

04-22-2013, 04:08 AM
I'm sorry. I'm not an expert at this by any means, but that does not look right! It looks to me like who ever did this was an amateur and didn't know what they were doing. It's hard to tell from the photo if they cut part of the interior metal frame or if it is just black sloppy goo painted over it. Vans do not come with a black goo outline on the sheet metal where windows would go. You said that there were some jagged edges, but didn't indicate where the jagged edges were. The interior sheet metal outlining the window area should NOT have been cut and should not have any jagged edges on them. There would be no need to put paint or any sealant on the interior edges if they had not been cut or damaged. I'm guessing that they did not use metal shears to make nice clean cuts...

I think I'd be looking for a couple of professional written opinions/estimates from quality installers about what they did wrong and how much it would cost to fix this. I don't know if the fix would cost more than the botched install, but the first company should give you a refund and should probably have to pay for the repairs. Hopefully you paid for this on a real credit card so that you can put it into dispute if you don't get a quick and satisfactory resolution from the installer.

In addition, I've heard from others on this forum that if people aren't careful about removing metal particles, when cutting through the metal body, that could lead to future rust problems...

I don't know where you live, but you can find a list of MB approved upfitters on this thread: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16622 I'm sure there are other qualified shops that aren't on the list, but I'd sure as heck want to get recommendations from other van owners about what shops are reputable.

Good luck!


04-22-2013, 04:59 AM
In a former life I used to work for three prestigious bus makers.
One US in Hayweird Calif and two Euro makers!

From what I can see this is awful, I would be ashamed to present such a conversion job back to the customer.

I have seen better from African coach-builders in Machel's Frelimo Mozambique! And that is saying something!

These are some of my company rebuilds when I lived in Caracas for 8 years as a contractor with the Ven Gov and Metro de Caracas; AND these were total wrecks!
All at least 15 years old before I got at 'em with my 135 multi-national Latino crew.

My suggestion would be to consult a "proper" coach builder for some remedial work and hope that it can be recovered cosmetically without huge expense.
What were they doing?
Shaking my head in Denver!

04-22-2013, 05:57 AM
The internal reveal for these windows normally has the gasket over the cut edge which extends approximately 15mm over the internal face. It looks like you may or may not have those? Sealant is certainly used on the exterior panels to bond the glass but you don't see it inside.

One suggestion I have is to mask on to the paint then use more sealant to cover what's there now then shape the new sealant in the conventional (neater) way before removing the masking tape to leave a more appealing joint.

04-22-2013, 07:53 AM
Like Mean in Green writes , the interior view of the window SHOULD have a trim fitted that covers the sheet metal where it was cut & extend out over the screen printed black border of the bonded glass .

The only way to get really neat edges is during factory production , everyone , no matter how good will get a wobble in a cut line somewhere . on your model sprinter , the aperture is cut , the paint primed & the polyurathane adhesive is beaded round the hole in a pyramid shape . The glass is pressed onto the PU & held in place until the adhesive has bonded . Excess can ooze around the hole cut into the metalwork & i have known glaziers who run a sealant tool around the hole to remove any excess sealer & seal any points that did not get painted after the hole was cut .

Modern glass is bonded to the panel , older flat glass / aftermarket windows went in using a channelled rubber seal , that could also have a finishing trim inserted to lock the whole lot in place . That would hide / disguise the cut marks in the frame . go to a breakers yard ( junk yard ) & rummage around in older cars , all will become clear trust me

Normally rear windows are fitted by minibus builders or by motorhome builders ( RV's) SO they would have bought or made trims to fit internally that hide the hole edge / oozing sealant finish you have .

MB do factory build minibuses from sprinters , so speak to their parts men , got to raise a laugh if nothing else , seriously they should be able to order trims to match your headling fabric / finish

04-22-2013, 09:46 AM
If you need it, I have a large amount of leftover rubber channell trim from my window install job.


04-22-2013, 02:09 PM
Feel lucky. I got the call that the body shop had cut too large a hole for my window install.:bash:

04-22-2013, 02:20 PM
Feel lucky. I got the call that the body shop had cut too large a hole for my window install.:bash:

Oh no. That's awful. When was this? What happened as a result?

04-24-2013, 04:50 AM
For some info
As a general rule of thumb direct glazing is preferred in most body applications since the polyurethane based bonding of glass to metal sub structures provides extra body rigidity and reinforcement.

It is for that reason vehicle sub frame structures can be reduced and the overall body lightened without sacrificing overall strength & rigidity. It also reduces "drumming" a big problem with extensive panel sections on some vehicles

Furthermore it de-skills the assembly of the body structure on production as opposed to the older rubber gasket glazed systems of the last century. In collisions with direct glazing it is much more likely to contain un-belted passengers within the structure in the event of a roll over. Compared with the older gasket system that were often responsible for the ever possible risk of ejection from the vehicle when the older glass sections were used. For this reason on coach and transit bus operation direct glazing is preferred these days since seat belts in fare paying passenger applications is impractical for the most part. Combined with seat structures which contain the human frame without breaking away for the floor sub structure all give a controlled crash deceleration of less than 23Gs, thus preserving human organs from severe injury.

Much of this work was pioneered in the late 1980's by the Road Research Labs at Thatcham UK, together with adhesive bonding techniques for body structures by the 3M's company.

Indeed today the Texas built Peterbilt 579 series all have cab/sleeper sections bonded together with NO spot welding activities whatsoever. Destructive tests have proven the joints to be superior to welded seams and joints.

The Leyland National Mk1 & MK2 I refereed to in the previous submissions I made to this thread were the last in the line of gasket glazed bus structures of the 1980's. All subsequent units were direct glazed for the reasons explained.

If I was glazing a Sprinter van for extra side glass it would be direct bonding for sure with suitable body trim added to the adhesive for the asthetics.:thumbup:

04-26-2013, 06:28 AM
Watched the show how it's made and most of the Ferrari is glued together. Body parts, body to frame, fenders etc. I traced down the glue and it's a 3M product.

04-26-2013, 07:20 AM
Did you watch the other clips of them, where the adhesive ignites allegedly due to radiated heat in extreme use?!

04-29-2013, 02:40 AM
You just need to find a trim like door edge guards or similar. Pep Boys sells a trim for around $20 that would cover the jagged edges.

The windows look like they're installed correctly it's just the cut edges that need some help. Stevec may have just what you need.