The proper alignment is achieved by moving the hinge assemblies and/or the latch assembly.
The trunk lid and tailgate seam alignment and tailgate height are adjusted by moving/adjusting the hinges as follows;
- Close the trunk lid or tailgate and check the seam alignment. The seams should be properly centered and flush with the rear body panel when closed. On tailgates, the top of the tailgate should be flush with the roofline.
- To adjust the seam and/or tailgate to roof height, loosen the fasteners and position the hinge as necessary, then snug the fasteners and recheck. Continue the process until properly centered, and on models with a tailgate, until the tailgate is level with the roof line, then check and if necessary, adjust the trunk lid height or tailgate rear panel alignment.
The trunk lid height and tailgate rear panel alignment are adjusted by moving/adjusting the stop cushions and the latch assembly as follows;
- On trunk lids,
- Close the trunk lid and check the top rear trunk lid to rear fender alignment. The trunk lid should be flush with the rear fenders when closed.
- To adjust, open the trunk lid and adjust the threaded cushions as necessary, and close the trunk lid. If necessary, repeat the adjustment. Once the proper alignment is achieved, check the opening and closing effort. If necessary, adjust the latch assembly.
- On tailgates,
- Close the tailgate and check the rear tailgate to rear body panel alignment. The tailgate should be flush with the rear body panel when closed.
- To adjust, open the tailgate and adjust the threaded cushions as necessary, and close the tailgate. If necessary, repeat the adjustment. Once the proper alignment is achieved, check the opening and closing effort. If necessary, adjust the latch assembly.
Removal & Installation
If your windshield, or other fixed window, is cracked or chipped, you may decide to replace it with a new one yourself. However, there are two main reasons why replacement windshields and other window glass should be installed only by a professional automotive glass technician: safety and cost.
The most important reason a professional should install automotive glass is for safety. The glass in the vehicle, especially the windshield, is designed with safety in mind in case of a collision. The windshield is specially manufactured from two panes of specially-tempered glass with a thin layer of transparent plastic between them. This construction allows the glass to "give" in the event that a part of your body hits the windshield during the collision, and prevents the glass from shattering, which could cause lacerations, blinding and other harm to passengers of the vehicle. The other fixed windows are designed to be tempered so that if they break during a collision, they shatter in such a way that there are no large pointed glass pieces. The professional automotive glass technician knows how to install the glass in a vehicle so that it will function optimally during a collision. Without the proper experience, knowledge and tools, installing a piece of automotive glass yourself could lead to additional harm if an accident should ever occur.
Cost is also a factor when deciding to install automotive glass yourself. Performing this could cost you much more than a professional may charge for the same job. Since the windshield is designed to break under stress, an often life saving characteristic, windshields tend to break VERY easily when an inexperienced person attempts to install one. Do-it-yourselfers buying two, three or even four windshields from a salvage yard because they have broken them during installation are common stories. Also, since the automotive glass is designed to prevent the outside elements from entering your vehicle, improper installation can lead to water and air leaks. Annoying whining noises at highway speeds from air leaks or inside body panel rusting from water leaks can add to your stress level and subtract from your wallet. After buying two or three windshields, installing them and ending up with a leak that produces a noise while driving and water damage during rainstorms, the cost of having a professional do it correctly the first time may be much more alluring. We here at Chilton, therefore, advise that you have a professional automotive glass technician service any broken glass on your vehicle.
- Open and support the panel.
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Protect the body and panel with covers and or protective tape to prevent damage to the paint.
- Use a suitable marker, or scribe marks around the mounting locations for reference during installation.
- Remove the inside trim panel as necessary and unplug any electrical connectors, windshield washer hoses, and central locking system vacuum hoses that would interfere with the panel removal.
- While an assistant helps secure the panel, if necessary, disconnect the gas charged shock, then unfasten the attaching fasteners, and remove the panel from the vehicle. Place the panel on cardboard to avoid damaging the finish.
- Place the panel into position. Install and partially tighten attaching bolts.
- Align the mounting points with the reference marks and tighten the attaching fasteners.
- Check the panel for an even fit between the fenders and for flush fit with the rear of the vehicle and on models with a tailgate, with the rear of the roofline.
- Apply a small dab of grease on the retaining ball, then install the gas support shock making sure the shock and retaining clip is installed and properly seated.
- Attach any electrical connections, washer hoses and central locking vacuum hose disconnected during removal.
- If removed, install the interior trim panel.
- Check the alignment and latch operation, and adjust as necessary.