FCA offers repair tips related to Jeep windows; Ram panoramic roof
FCA drew attention this month to structures surrounding three pieces of glass on three of its next-generation vehicles. The 2019 RAM 1500, 2018 Jeep Wrangler and the 2020 Jeep Gladiator might be seeing the body shop or glass doctor!
We’ll cover the Wrangler and Gladiator here. Repair tips are offered by FCA.
2018 Jeep Wrangler
The windshield header frame on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler is aluminum,” said Dan Black, Body Development and Collision Repair Manager for FCA. “But it’s also reinforced with composite parts,” he said.
“That component must be replaced with an OEM part,” Black said of the entire structure. He said this restriction also can be found in the OEM repair procedures. We’re sure a lot of ModernJeepers will be checking out forums like ModernJeeperForum.com and web browsers as well.
Industry experts have estimated that windshields provide between 18-22% of the overall structural integrity of a vehicle and 70% of the integrity in a rollover. Having the right composite reinforcements means a safer ride for you.
“It’s the only way FCA can ensure the part works as it’s supposed to,” Black added.
This is a slide from a recent presentation by Black that indicated the composite reinforcements “must be installed to maintain roof strength standards.”
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler body design is shown. Two composite reinforcements within the aluminum windshield header can be seen here. (FCA slide provided by Great Designs in Steel)
From our friends at Repairer Driven News:
2020 Jeep Gladiator
The backlite glass on the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is mounted to an SMC fiberglass composite top, according to Black.
He said repairers only had “a minimal area to gain access” and should use either a hand tool or a ratcheting cable option to remove the glass — not an oscillating device. (Using the ratcheting cable option from inside the vehicle might give a shop a “nice clean cut” on the urethane, he said.)
The SMC is “soft fiberglass,” and a slipup with something like a pneumatic tool with an extractor blade will cut through the structure “very quickly,” Black said. Because no reveal molding exists, “it’s not forgiving,” he said.
“Bite into the composite with your tool, and your shop might have to replace the roof assembly as well,” Black said, explaining that it can be difficult to match the texture coating.
The back glass of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is shown. (Provided by FCA)
The back glass of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland. (Provided by FCA)
Black said it was “imperative” to “take your time” and only use “cold-pull hand tools.” He acknowledged this was slower, but it was the “proper” way to protect the roof assembly.
Black said the Gladiator’s rear slider glass also has a track at the bottom which must be worked around while removing the urethane bead.
At ModernJeeper we always recommend you tackle projects for which you feel qualified; but when in doubt, use a qualified repair shop. In the N. CA Sacramento area, you can always check with the experts at Cloakworks4x4.com.
Images from FCA.