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Old 10-30-2017, 07:06 AM   #51
2014 2500 I4 144"
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Default Re: Installing a CR Laurence window in the sliding door

Originally Posted by Sthomas35 View Post
Has anyone had to cut the interior sheet metal that defines a Sprinter's factory window cutout to install C.R. Laurence windows in the sides of a Sprinter (sliding door and driverís side)? We've cut out the sheet metal to the factory stamp cut-line and the CRL windows do not fit. The vertical portion of the aluminum window frame is supposed to be straight, but the vertical portion of our window frames that is located towards the front of the van where the window frame is joined together bows out more than a 1/4" per the first attached photo.

The top, bottom and back vertical window frame members are all straight and seem to fit the van's cutout fine, but these windows will not fit without cutting more than a 1/4" into the second layer of the van's sheet metal that defines the factory window cutout as seen in the second attached photo showing the window sitting in the opening.

So our options are cutting more than a 1/4" into the second layer of sheet metal that defines the van's factory window cutout so the CRL windows we have fit, or returning the windows and requesting replacement windows that are straight because this seems to be a manufacturing defect.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with C.R. Laurence windows? If so what did you do? Thanks!
My windows have the same bend on the forward edge. I was conservative on the slider cut and wound up spending ample time with an angle grinder and file taking the edge down. I did take it into the second layer of metal but not more than 1/8". From what I could tell, the window was being pushed forward because I hadn't cut the back corners well enough.

I would revisit those rear corners and make sure you've dialed in the cut to the OEM stamping. I used a 120 grit disc and it worked well. Good luck.
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:03 PM   #52
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Default Re: Installing a CR Laurence window in the sliding door

Grab the grinder - just make sure you take material off in the right places!!!

I was fretting over my install too - it seemed like the whole endeavor was a lost cause as it looked so out of whack when I first cut it. Thankfully I just took my time, had the window go up and down 12-20 times trying to see how it would fit and where I needed to remove slightly more material. Work slowly and try to visualize how each time you grind will affect the tilt of the panel. I had near an inch and a half gap on one side on my first cut - thankfully it all shifted in to place after trimming up the sides.

Not much more advice than that - use a grinding wheel and work slow! Having someone who is understanding with the project to help is nice!
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Old 10-30-2017, 03:10 PM   #53
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Default Re: Installing a CR Laurence window in the sliding door

Ironic to see this pop up this AM...I installed the first of four windows yesterday, which happened to be the slider.

I had read lots of threads and watched several videos. Everything went well until the window wouldn't fit in the opening. As mentioned, the front of the window has some curvature that does not match the factory opening. I recall seeing this (and other potential issues) mentioned elsewhere, so I wasn't too surprised when I did the installation.

I was able to hold the window up to the opening, with the back of the window engaged in the opening. You can get your eyes, hand, and a marker into the front gap and trace the bowed out portion and then grab the angle grinder and go to town. I probably removed nearly 1/4" in the worst part of it. Sorry, no pictures but would have been nice in retrospect.

Other than that, pretty happy. And yes, the back of the window sticks out slightly and doesn't sit 100% flush. It isn't the mostly unsightly part of the van.
2010 2500 144 High Roof Cargo Weekender
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Last edited by Wheeljack; 10-30-2017 at 03:13 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 10-30-2017, 03:49 PM   #54
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Default Re: Installing a CR Laurence window in the sliding door

My 2 cents: I've installed 4 of the side windows so far and had minimal issues. I seriously considered cutting from the outside and rather than drill holes to transfer the inner "line" I used an automatic center punch. That way the metal remains intact and won't flex or vibrate as much under cutting stress as it would with all those extra holes in it. But this method proved tedious (for me) and I decided to cut from the inside.
I made a quick template of the CRL window (using heavy wrapping paper and a soft pencil) because I didn't believe for a second that it would follow the "factory" lines and I was right. Realizing I would have to cut into the inner second layer of metal I did a trace adding about 1/8" extra on the cut line.
I used a rotary cutter (round blade mounted on a die grinder) to make the initial cuts, then used a reciprocating saw for all the rest of the cutting as I had better straight line control with it. NOTE: because recipro and jig saw use a back and forth cutting motion, it can set up wicked vibration on the sheet metal, especially if holding the saw off the surface. Therefor I used copious amounts of blade lubricant (available on line or at a real hardware store) to help alleviate the chatter and make the cutting go fast.
When I was done with the rough cut out, we held the window up from the outside and used a Sharpie to mark all the areas that needed extra relief, finishing those up and all of the edges with a rotary drum sander. This left a nice smooth surface that required minimal handwork to get rid of any left over sharp edges.
I used an oil based paint to thoroughly coat all the edges, and allowed it to dry.
Installing the window I found the screws that came with it were pretty soft, so using a brand new phillips bit was crucial, as was easing the self tapping screws a little at a time as you go around was very important; about 2 turns per screw, starting at the top and working from the top in opposite directions, left then right the left then right, etc. Took about 3 go-rounds to seat the window and have the inner clamping frame tight against the body. I also added a few screws on the corners (had to get the black pan heads from a specialty hardware store but they are available on -line)
My windows came with a thick rubber gasket installed. I used a little soapy water on it to help "lube" it into it's proper "squish". No leaks at all!

It took me about 7 hours to do the first one, then about 5 for the rest. "Slammit" told me up front it would take a day per window so I knew it would be time consuming; not have expectations relieves a lot of stress! Also talked to a pro installer who does 4 in a day but he has hard templates, and uses a sheet metal nibbler which leave very clean edges eliminating the fitting and clean up.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of masking everything off to keep metal shavings out of everywhere. New vans have a yellow wax sprayed inside the body and that stuff just holds shavings against the strongest shop vacs so cover and tape all the holes, even ones you think won't get crap in them! This is where the pros cut time as nibblers don't produce shavings and templates make the holes perfect, so no dickin' around with all that fit and clean-up ;)
As shouldbeeasy mentions, just work slow and carefully, you'll get it.
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:38 AM   #55
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Default Re: Installing a CR Laurence window in the sliding door

swolltaire, shouldbeasy, Wheeljack, and Vanzer Pagen -- Thank you all very much! I just figured that we got a bad batch of windows, but it seems that most CRL windows don't fit the factory cutout.

Also thanks for the window cutting and installation tips. I've had good luck cutting and even trimming the sheet metal with a high quality Bosch 30 teeth per inch metal jigsaw blade. It throws a few shavings, but nothing like the angle grinder I tried! I just picked up a rotary drum sander to smooth the sharp edges and will give that a try. Can't wait to get to the point where the windows fit and we're screwing the inner clamping frame tight against the van's body.
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Old 05-06-2018, 02:41 AM   #56
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Default Re: Installing a CR Laurence window in the sliding door

Originally Posted by veggiePNW View Post
in case anyone is working on a T1N, and was having similar questions as I was having this site seems useful.


One thing I'm still having trouble visualizing is where exactly I'll be pre-drilling into.... it seems like how the pieces line up now I'd be drilling not into a single frame but a mess of metal on the window side, which doesn't seem right... anyone have a photo of where on the window side your pre-drill holes ended up?

picture of frame on top of window:

picture of frame pulled to side so you can see window framing more clearly:
Has anyone found a solution to this problem? Same issue on my NCV3 passenger sliding door install. Screws line up only with the groove on the outside of the window, not the window frame.
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:29 PM   #57
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Default Re: Installing a CR Laurence window in the sliding door

It's been a while, but I believe I drilled right into the groove, 'metal mess' as I described... it's been holding just fine going on a year now.
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Old 05-10-2018, 04:12 PM   #58
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Default Re: Installing a CR Laurence window in the sliding door

Any thoughts on Peninsula vs the CRL windows?
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Old 06-18-2018, 04:08 AM   #59
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Default Re: Installing a CR Laurence window in the sliding door

Putting in my experience since this thread really helped me with the install today.

2011 2500 170 Passenger - driver side window had the CRL (or factory / dealer?) emergency exit window in it when I bought it. Just replaced it today with the CRL T-vents.

Fit and finish not awesome - center gap on the T-vent windows don't match the rear gap and the rear top and bottom don't align. But... could be worse. After reading a bunch of reviews, it seems this isn't uncommon. I was concerned at first that the rear t-vent window would hit the center panel; but as it all snugged in, it's fine.

With me and my two boys working together, we held it in place from the outside - against the factory opening - and played with the position until we felt pretty sure it would work and look decent.

Held the interior trim up to the window until the alignment looked good and drilled pilot holes into the channel and put a screw into each - starting at center sides, then center top and bottom, then filling in between. Only got them to bite a bit - maybe a few threads in - and moved on to the next one. Didn't tighten any screws until they were all started. Then went back through and half-way in for all - in a similar pattern. The window started to seat itself well. Finally, screwed them tight - following similar pattern - and the trim sucked all the way to the window for a strong seal. Snugged them all tight with the impact driver and it looks pretty good.

We live in southern California, so not much rain here to test. Maybe we'll throw a hose on it to see that it's good. But it seems fine.

Not that anyone else is likely to have this same issue; but since the emergency-exit window had screws going through the top metal, we taped them shut with metal-backed ducting tape. I've used that stuff on surfboards and had it stay sealed for years, so I'm pretty confident it'll work. There was no exposed metal (was all painted), so only worried about possible leaks.

Last edited by gregoryx; 06-18-2018 at 04:15 AM.
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