How to Replace the Rear Window in a Jeep Cherokee


Replacing the rear window glass on the Jeep Cherokee in the event of breakage or for upgrade can be completed with a little patience. The glass on the older Cherokee (pre-1996) was installed with a rubber gasket that made changing it easy for even the most novice home mechanics. You can purchase a replacement piece of glass for your Cherokee at a salvage yard or check with a windshield repair shop. Windshield repair shops can often get new glass for you and will sell it uninstalled without a warranty against breakage.

Things You'll Need

  • Trim stick
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Nylon cord
  • New glass
  • Open the rear hatch of your Jeep Cherokee and remove the trim panel. The panel is attached to the hatch with plastic clips around the edges. Work around the edges using a trim stick or wide, stiff tool to pop out the clips. Remove the panel from the Jeep through the cargo area and set it aside.

  • Close the hatch and locate the retaining clip on the rear window wiper arm. The clip is a small, flat metal piece on the side of the arm where the arm attaches to the wiper motor. Insert a flat screwdriver between the clip and the arm and rotate the blade either direction to force the clip away from the arm. Pull the arm straight off the motor.

  • Move into the cargo area of the Jeep and insert a wide, flat screwdriver or similar tool under the edge of rubber window gasket, prying it up and off the lip on the rear hatch. Continue around the window pushing the gasket up as you go. Push out lightly on the glass as you work until the glass is free from the opening. Remove the glass from the outside of the Jeep.

  • Remove the gasket from the old glass and reinstall it on the new glass. Wrap a long piece of nylon cord around the gasket, in the channel where the gasket sits on the mounting lip of the rear hatch.

  • Coat the mounting lip on the hatch and the rubber gasket with soapy water to help lubricate the gasket, making it easier to install and seat to the frame. Position the glass and gasket in the window opening so the bottom of the glass is sitting on the lip.

  • Pull the nylon cord up and out, slowly working around the gasket while a helper holds slight pressure on the outside of the glass. The gasket will pull over the lip as you work your way around the gasket. Continue around the window until the entire gasket is seated over the lip on the hatch and the window is secure.

  • Tap on the outside of the gasket with the palm of your hand to help seat any problem spots where the gasket hasn't quite pulled out and over the lip. A little pressure will often help the gasket pop loose in those areas.

  • Reinstall the window wiper on the arm by pushing it straight onto the motor and push the locking tab in with your flat screwdriver. Open the hatch and reinstall the plastic trim panel on the hatch. Line up the plastic clips with the holes on the hatch and push in to engage them.

  • Close the hatch and check the gasket one last time to be sure there are no folded edges and it is properly seated into the hatch.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are installing a used piece of glass, be careful when installing it. The older the glass is, the more brittle it may be.

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  • Photo Credit Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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