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Pulling Cowls

Another thread has mentions of cowls. Here is my question:

When you pull a cowl, why are you doing it?

Is it because that is "the right way to do it"?

Some windshields the urethane bead is above the cowl and the cowl is not any type of obstruction for the windshield installation, do you still pull them?
Just curious.
Alot of times this boards members just look for a way to degrade others and I think they are not using common sense.

obivious example:
DW01191, DW1192

Just for your information I would estimate I pull 95% or more of the cowls, but I do not pull it if I can cut out, trim, and reinstall glass without compromising job quality.

There was a time several years ago that I had two to three helpers and was installing 300 to 400 windshields a month in addition to tempered. I was leaving cowls on probably 50 or 60 % of the jobs I did. I would have less than two a month come back that would have an air leak or related problem. I usually pulled these back out and visually checked to make sure what had happened. Most of the time we had bumped something and rolled a SMALL area of the ureathane where it was barely touching or not touching. In my opionion these were not unsafe installs, but I dislike comebacks enough that we changed that method.

1. I could use statistics like several companies do and say that I had less than .006% comeback ratio. And use it like a positive thing.
2. They way I seen it though it was something that we could reduce even further so we changed.

Re: Pulling Cowls

If a cowl is on you can't set the glass on top of urethane. Some sliding is unavidable. Sliding on urethane is a BIG no no.

Re: Pulling Cowls

Do you only do certain W/S numbers that that cowl lips over the top of the windshield? I see a large variety and each one is a little different.

Grand AM(1330 & 1478), Cavaliers, Sunfires, some Saturns, as well as several others, the cowl lips up under the bottom moulding of the glass. Some the Cowl lays at the edge of the glass and a small trim piece snaps off the cowl revealing the edge of the glass. You are actually more likely to disturb the seal trying to get the cowl up under the windshield after it is in.

My opion is you either are not understanding what I am talking about or you are not using common sense.

Just for the sake of argument here is two scerenios that I have seen recently.

1. I pulled a windshield out that a body shop had installed for someone and redid the job.
The problem: It appeared they had done a one man install and slid the glass on the urethane. It was sealed everywhere, but was laying to low from them smearing the urethane.

Not a good job by them, but probably not unsafe. Defineately not a job I would have wanted done on my own car.


A Service department at the dealership did this install by the book. they ordered everything through their parts department. Every foam spacer, moulding, foam dam, bottom stop, each clip, even the new wiper nuts and thread lock glue.
Per the techs words he: Even measured the height of the urethane bead and made sure it was right."

Problem: It was leaking air extremely bad going down the highway and if you put water on it it poured in in the floor board and the headline wouild get soaked.

After checking the work and talking with the tech we figured out that he did not do two things that I believe were critical:
1. He did not warm the NEW reveal mouldings to soften them so they would shape to the glass and vehicle. So they were holding the glass up higher than it should have been. They were shipped rolled up in a box.
2. He did not press the glass.

He showed me the instructions he was working off of. It did not say anything about the moulding being rolled up for shipping purposes and causing the glass to not lay properly (especially on cold days).

Also it directly stated not to apply pressure to the glass because it could cause the seal to be flattened out to much.

So my point he did it by the book and used no common sense. If that car would have been released to the customer it could have been deadly.

The body shop, while still not a job a I would want anything to do with, was in my opinion the better job of the two.

Re: Pulling Cowls

We remove every cowl.

Re: Pulling Cowls


I'll try to be short. We pull cowls on top of the windshield. We leave cowls below the glass, unless there is risk of damaging them during removal of the glass.

Cowls below the glass that you refer to are designed to be in place as the glass is set, therefore, no issue. If we do remove these because of the potential damage issue, they are replaced before the glass is set.

I agree with your common sense approach, save for the issue of "potential" sliding. I realize your return rate is something to be proud of, rightfully so. However, if one "slide" does cause a safety problem, and someone is hurt, it won't matter that they were of only a .006% group. Only that they were hurt, and why.

Re: Pulling Cowls

Good point on some can be damaged during removal. We had that happen on PT cruiser using an express tool to cut out. Only let that happen once.

As far as return rate, 1 is 1 to many, in my opinion. I didn't mean that as something to brag about. That is why if we was not sure how come it had a problem we pulled the glass completely out and examined the job. then when we found the problem we changed our method on vehicles with that design and similar designs.

I have no problem with how each person does their job. What gets me is how a person is judge and jury for a post instead of these post being used to share knowledge and experiences.


Re: Pulling Cowls

SBOK I Think Your Lazy

Re: Pulling Cowls

I understood your point.

And I didn't think you were bragging, though I do think that you have the right to. Your 'return rate' speaks volumes about your work.

And I disagree, I don't think you're lazy. Obviously, you have the tenacity to do things right; wish there were more like you.

As to being able to 'see' beneath an installed windshield (without pulling it) to determine what's what.....that may be just around the corner. Technology is so cool.....

Re: Pulling Cowls

You're is the contraction for you are ... not your.

Re: Pulling Cowls

If only you were somewhere close I would show you lazy!!!
Your probably something like 6'8", but I'm not scared.


PS Did you all win your softball tournament?

Re: Pulling Cowls

How about a late model Land Rover Discovery? The hood
has to be removed (or unbolted & moved forward about
8 inches or so) in order to remove the cowl panel.
The cowl panel has tabs that go under the glass. It would seem very difficult to set this glass with the cowl still in place but I have done jobs where someone has cut the tabs off previously, leaving the
cowl loose at the bottom of the glass.
All cowls are removeable, & as such, they probably should be removed if they rest on top of the glass, to prevent sliding the urethane, in my opinion. I suppose some may be able to be unscrewed & taped up to the hood if it allows the glass to still be set on top of the urethane bead without sliding it. Even the Discovery cowl, requiring hood removal, I can do in about 5 mins total, & makes the actual install easier
& less frustrating.

Re: Pulling Cowls

I just found the article I was looking for in AutoGlass Magazine (Volume 13, Number7, special annual edition issue) Installation Guides 2002-2003.
On page 49 with instructions on the Land Rover Discovery, the writer recommends against removing the cowl panel "because it's too difficult".......
Seems unusual for the mag to suggest otherwise, to me.
I've done about 50 of these trucks & always remove the cowl completely.

Re: Pulling Cowls

I am NOT saying to not remove cowls. My original question was meant to see how SOME PEOPLE have arrived at the decision that ALL COWLS have to be removed to do the job properly.

I believe that many cowls HAVE to be removed to do a quality job. I also believe some cowls MIGHT can be done by the right installers without removing the cowl. AND FINALLY I believe some jobs the cowl removal is not even a part of the windshield installation process.

So really my question of "why are you removing a cowl?" was never answered.

I hoped to hear that it should be removed to expose the edge of the glass for proper clearance for the removal of the old windshield and access to trim away old adhesive and finally to allow proper clearance for installation of the new windshield.

Also I hoped to hear that if the edge of the glass or glass encapsulation is exposed then cowl removal MAY NOT be necessary.

1. If you want to make sure there is ABSOLUTLY NO sliding or rolling the urethane then I know that all the critics on this thread ARE REMOVING THE HOODS AND EVEN THE FRONT FENDERS on ALL vehicles because the hood AND front fenders go up over the edges of the glass causing clearance problems when removing and sitting the glass on some cars.

2. Also putting urethane on an existing seal and smearing it with a stick or a finger or a rag to reseal a leak would also be a no-no for those installers. MEANING YOU CAN NOT RESEAL A GLASS, IT MUST BE PULLED AND THE URETHANE REPLACED ANY TIME THERE IS ANY TYPE OF PROBLEM WITH THE SEAL OR A LOOSE MOULDING. Thats right no shooting some urethane in and pressing a loose moulding back in. Definate urethane roll and smearing under that moudling.

So do we all want to be jerks and talk about how stupid the other is or do we want to use real world common sense?????? YOU DECIDE

Re: Pulling Cowls

You can try and cloud the issue any way you wish.
Bottom Line: All cowls should be removed.

Re: Pulling Cowls

Thank you for your opinion.

Do you have any facts or explanations for ALL COWLS

Re: Pulling Cowls

read the AGRSS standards

Re: Pulling Cowls

The way I look at is that if the cowl overlaps the windshield, such as my wife's DW1137 on her Olds Achieva, I pull the cowl. 1168, 1014, 1060, etc. On the newer Cavs like the DW1270, I don't pull the cowl, put I pull off the wiper blades. It's just easier to pull anything that is or might be in my way to ensure a good job. I've gone behind too many techs that will not pull any cowl panels and I end up spending extra time cleaning up their mess.

Re: Pulling Cowls

on dw1270 do you pull the cowl after the w/s is out or what? just to say you pulled the cowl? how about 1330's can you answer any of that directly? what i am wondering more and more is if you really do any installs. how about on the new chevy cars like the malibu, or pontiac G6, after you pull the rubber strip on the cowl all of the windshield is exposed. i doubt that you will answer because i don't think you know the answer.

Re: Pulling Cowls

and actually i just renewed with AGRSS and it doesn't say anywhere "all cowls must be removed".

Re: Pulling Cowls

I agree with SBOK use comon sense, we don't pull a cowl unless it has to be. As far as AGRSS I also agree with SBOK. We also work with Gilbert Gutierrez or call him if we have questions and he is the tech writer for AUTOGLASS MAG. and the director of the AutoGlass Academy
and I know he don't pull every single cowl (unless he's changed his way in the last year.) He' trained two of my techs.

SBOK keep up the good work and don't let a few jerks get you down ,if they want to take the extra time to pull EVERY cowl that just means we get twice the amount of work done and make twice the amount of money .

Re: Pulling Cowls

If there is a removable cowl overlapping the bottom of the glass we take it off. bqa what I have forgotten about windshield replacement, you’ll probably never learn.
Ps resorting to name calling and statements of bravado just shows a lack of knowledge because you can’t back up your statements.

Re: Pulling Cowls

As heard as this is to believe I was not trying to start a war about this. The AGRSS is the best effort I have seen for the glass industry. I believe it is great.

Thanks guys it makes me feel better to know that I am not alone in my thoughts.

Mark I do not ask this as an attack, but when you say something like you have forgot more than he will know, here is a direct to the point question. No smoke no mirrors and most defineately no "clouds".

How many windows have you installed yourself, in the position of a lead installer? By that I mean not riding along checking your installers or assisting them.

Remember that is not meant as a personal attack. I just am thinking that you are probably a successful business owner and removing cowls is one of the guidelines you have established for your installers, BUT I THINK you are probably not doing installs on a daily basis when I read your posts.

Just trying to understand where each person is coming from when they post.

By the way I can prove that there is most likely going to be some rolling or sliding of the urethane for some vehicles if an installer does not remove a hoood or the fenders. It was not meant to "cloud" just to point out an issue that is overlooked by most because there are way fewer of these than cars that need the cowl removed.

DING, DING, Round 3

Re: Pulling Cowls

i'm not impressed, what about AGRSS? where does it mention cowls? i don't remember calling you any names i just want you yo back up your statements with knowledge, ifyou can?

Re: Pulling Cowls

Sorry the question was meant for Sglass not Mark

Re: Pulling Cowls

i don't ususually respond to attacks, but i will explain a little bit of my history to you. my dad owned a glass shop for 35 years, i started hanging out in the shop from the time i could walk, i started installing glass when i was 14 with help, by 16 i could do most by myself. in the early nineties i watched my dad convince insurance companies that butyl was bad, we were the first in our town, at the time boulder,co, to use sika high viscosity and full cutout method with no butyl. shortly after that harding bought him out. after high school i immediatly started working in glass again, and now have done more than 10,000 replacements on my own, so i do know a little about the glass business.

Re: Pulling Cowls

"Mark I do not ask this as an attack, but when you say something like you have forgot more than he will know, here is a direct to the point question. No smoke no mirrors and most defineately no "clouds"."

I didn't say that....did I? Another Mark?

Re: Pulling Cowls

Ooops....nevermind to my last post.

Re: Pulling Cowls

bqa and mark,

Thanks for the posts. unforunately I do not believe he is going to give a response that really answers the question we are asking?

Re: Pulling Cowls

Politics, religion, and cowls.

For what its worth, we remove any cowl that covers the glass at all. We also use only two person sets, and urethane the glass instead of the pinchweld. We dont take any shortcuts and I believe that it pays it back in terms of customer satisfaction, and comeback labor. I can only recall one leaking windshield last year (out of about 4000) and it was due to the holes Toyota uses for thier setting pins. Lately though, it seems we keep getting people come back for PPG related problems like 1505 mouldings, and distortion where they tried polishing out scratches. It should be illegal for glass suppliers to have glass polishing equipment.

Re: Pulling Cowls

So what your tring to tell people on this board is that your pulling every cowl!WOW!!!! So tell me how hard is it to pull a cowl on a dw848,914,719? On those 3 parts do you charge extra for pulling the cowl?

Re: Pulling Cowls

OK We are traveling into never..never land with that last post
I do install on a daily basis. Yes I too have been in a glass shop since the age of six.
Whether you agree or not, we remove all cowls that SHOULD be removed. Even if it is a waste of time in other people's opinions.

Re: Pulling Cowls

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH! We pull all cowls that need to be pulled!!!! HA HA HA! If the glass goes under the cowl most the time it needs to come off to trim out the urethane, prime, and gun the new urethane, and for setting reasons. If the glass or mldg is over the glass there is not need to remove it. Once in a great while we may not,(like the 1168) when it's a cheapo network, or ins job that they refuse to pay for quality, but we struggle with that because we know our customers deserve quality. but also you get what ya pay for. We do all 2 person sets. Mostly in shop! I don't mind taking a few extra minutes to get things out of the way! Just remeber there are exceptions to most all the rules! LIGHTEN UP AND LIVE!!!

Re: Pulling Cowls

Even though it took a while I think he finally admiited there is a few cowls they do not remove. And he almost admiited that it is not wrong on those certain cowls.

Now you have caught my interest. Again before I ask understand that I am not judging but curious. Are you saying that you will do a different level of work by the amount paid? If so I know where the feelings are coming from, but just for your information. I have decided if I choose to do the job, I do the actual install the same as I would do my own vehicle no matter whether it is cheaper than I would like or not.
But, there are times where we may not vacuum the vehicle as good or clean the dash, etc if the job is lower than normal for some reason. Every rag and squirt of glass cleaner is money they didn't want to spend.

Re: Pulling Cowls

LOL Yes I admit we only pull cowls that should be pulled to install that windshield. But I must also admit that my insanity goes as far as to pull the cowl on Dw1105 windshields. So no chance of scratching it during w/s removal.

Re: Pulling Cowls

that is a better answer, i was trying to get the point across that everything isn't cut and dry, you can't pull every cowl, actually on some it is easier to pull the glass to get the cowl out, for example 1270, your earlier statement of pulling every cowl through me off thats why i have responded the way i did. i pull every cowl that covers the glass but not every cowl.

Re: Pulling Cowls

Owner, you said:
Lately though, it seems we keep getting people come back for PPG related problems like 1505 mouldings,

I couldn't agree with you more. I refuse to use PPG (only as a last resort anyway) on ANY Ford applications, such as 1505, or any J type molding. I have a competitor that uses PPG regularly, and I have a steady re-do biz from him due to PPG moldings curling up backwards in the corners and just plain coming off.

I do think the coming loose problem is that the competitor refuses to use a simple PVC primer, but the curling problem is most definitely PPGs.

I hope PPG does not change a thing. I like the extra business re-installing Ford Parts, and the customer base it builds.

(Gee I hope that wasn't a sales pitch for Ford parts.....)

Re: Pulling Cowls

How many people are getting PPG glass with a raw edge? Every so often I get one of theirs without a polished edge. Useually the top of glass.

Re: Pulling Cowls

Never have problems with PPG bonded shields. Or Pilk for that matter. Carlite W1505 is 120.00, PPG brand 55.00, easy choice.

Re: Pulling Cowls

This must explain the price zones Carlite171.30 for the 1505 114.30 North star,117.92 Pil. Pluss freight.

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