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Can I replace windshield lockstrip with the seal installed?


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I bought enough of chrome windshield trim to do both front and rear windows.

I also bought a new OEM windshield seal (via Blunt) in preparation for replacement of my front windshield.

I just got done putting the trim in the windshield seal (the manuals i have say that it should be installed before the glass...) and i'd like to replace the brown and cracked trim in the rear windshield too. I know how much they improve the look of the car!

Can this be done with the seal installed?

I replaced the trim on a MK1 Golf with the seal/glass installed using a tool i made out of a coat-hanger, but the shape of the BMW lock strip is a lot different and i don't see how i could make a tool to suit.

I'd really rather not remove the rear window unless i absolutely have to!

Any help would be appreciated, even a link to a tool i could buy.


- Jace

(search tags: windshield wind shield windscreen screen glass seal lock strip lockstrip gasket trim )

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Well, the lock strip is just that...a lock to hold the gasket in place. It should be installed after the gasket and windshield is in place. So, yes, you can and should install it after...not before.

I'd suggest you either buy the correct tool to install or take it to a glass pro. Mine charged me $10 to install mine yesterday.

'71 Agave, '71 Verona, '74 Inka, '73 Chamonix

"FAQ Member Number 60"


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The book says install lockstrip before installing window, seemed like a pain so i opted to install lockstrip arfter window, sage words, listen to the book.

Happy Trails to u~ Dave Miller
76 Golf~Rhiannon~BM Mascot~*~97 328is~Silver Ghost~*~68 1600~Wisperin Beast~*~70-02~Bumble Beast~*~76 02~Beast~

Keep smilin all the way

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(search tags: windshield wind shield windscreen screen glass seal lock strip lockstrip gasket trim )

Seeing that you are kind enough to tag your thread for future searches, I take it you searched and found nothing ?

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I have helped some veterans replace glass, and we/they find installing the lockstrip after the gasket is a good way. We tried the other way and failed miserably. It seems you like the method you are successful with, but that is like all things in life.

That "chrome" lockstrip seems to start discoloring as soon as it leaves the bag, Just for kicks, you can use the black Turbo strip. Only issue on that one, if nicked, you see the "chrome" underneath. But a quick dab of black paint cures that issue.

Veterans: Jim G, Bill R, and Matthew C


Black turbo strip


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I agree with Bill, its a matter of personal preference I think. I have always installed the strip first and then popped the glass in. The late departed Duke Rimmer also argued strongly for that method, as it protected the corners of the seals better.

But if you do not want to remove the glass you can install the lock strip afterwards. Particularly on the back window since its curvature is not as extreme. Just use lots of soap; a warmish day also helps.

BTW. The "lock" strip prevents the glass from going further in towards the passenger compartment , not out. Better that way in case of accidents.

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Yes, you can change the strip with the gasket in. IF the gasket's still

relatively soft.

There are several tools to aid you in this, and they do help- mine's

made by KD. And in this case, use the best lube you can find.

It's a pain- I remember it taking more than an hour, and my hands ached

for days afterwards. But it looked good.

Because of this,

I'm in the camp that installs the strip first-

while it does help prevent the glass from coming out of the gasket,

it has nothing to do with holding the gasket into the car.

That's a lip that loops around the bodywork, if you look in profile.

And as I install the gasket onto the glass, then the assembly into

the car, it works just fine. From memory, it takes 15 minutes or so to

install the strip, then install it onto the glass. Sometimes you have to tape

it on to get it to stay, if the gasket's new...


"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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THE tools


i'm on the side for installing the trim

LAST, AFTER the whole shebang is installed

if the rear seal is 10+ years old and STIFF,

try heating it up with a hair dryer well even

before pulling the old trim out, and before installing

new trim

if the back wiindow has never been out of

the car, order another rear BMW seal because

YOU WILL FIND RUST under the seal on the body

opening. Plan on time to treat & paint the metal before

installation. Same for the front.

'86 R65 650cc #6128390 22,000m
'64 R27 250cc #383851 18,000m
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'13 500 ABARTH #DT600282 6,666m "TAZIO"

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Seeing that you are kind enough to tag your thread for future searches, I take it you searched and found nothing ?


Thanks guys.

The rear seal would be the original one, so after 38 years of australian sun it's probably quite stiff.

We are in summer so I could just wait for the next 35˚C (95˚f) day to have a go at it.

When i order my new front windshield, i'll ask the glass-guys about the tools they have. I know they have them, but the profiles might be wrong.

I searched W&N but couldn't find a tool, does anybody have a link for me? :)

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I did this with the rear window last summer -- just replaced an old, discolored, and broken lockstrip with a new one for cosmetic reasons. I was surprised how easy it was, after expecting it to be a real chore. I think the key is:

1. having a helper

2. using the right tool (there is one made by Leslie that works well)

3. Placing the lockstrip in a bucket of hot water to soften it up.

I chose the hottest day in summer to do the job, in the midday sun.

Good luck!


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Use lots of lube (dishwasher soap diluted in water in a spray bottle or Lexol leather cleaner -it has glycerine), pick a warm day or warm garage, soak the strip in hot water to soften, and bribe a friend to help with beer...

Try this tool. I had one of the autoparts store tools (I think it was Lisle) the first time I did a lock strip and spent a couple of miserable hours. I found this tool (which has a roller like the offical BMW tool to provide down-pressure while installing) and it made all the difference for the next one. Its cheap too...


Rob S
'69 2002; '04 330i ZHP; 2018 X1; 2014 535i; 2017 340i

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  • 2 years later...

I'm hoping to get some advice please. I've purchased both the rubber seals and chrome inserts to replace my old front and rear windscreen rubbers/chrome inserts.


Can I just pull out the old rubbers/inserts and install the new ones? Or do I need to pull the entire windscreen out to get the job done? 


My local window installer told me over the phone I need to take out the windscreen just to get the new rubber in. Is that right? i.e. A job for the experts?



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