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A little over a year ago, we purchased a little used, very low mileage, mid roof, 148” WB, 2017 Ford Transit 350 XLT passenger van for a very reasonable price. Before pulling the trigger on this van, I had read scores of reviews, test driven and talked with various owners who, on balance, were favorably impressed with the Ford Transit. For the most part, I have been a GM "van man" for a long time, but wanted to move to a more spacious, height accommodating van, which GM still doesn’t offer.

Save for one glaring oversight, we have been very impressed with the vans road ability and limited adaption for camping excursions; however, the oversight that I failed to research before buying it was the lack of any openable windows in this van. It was a passing thought at the time, but I thought surely someone offered direct replacement windows for some of the fixed glass windows in this van. How wrong I was.

After extensive research on line, I cannot find anyone that makes any direct replacement openable windows for the fixed glass windows in these passenger vans. I have contacted Van Windows Direct (VWD), AMA & CRL, and the only consolation I have received, after talking extensively with the cordial VWD folks, is that they are aggressively addressing this need, with promises to offer such windows in the very near future. Regrettably, this doesn’t solve the lack of ventilation (save for the driver and passenger windows) in the van for the near term. And yes, several have recommended cutting a hole in the top of the van and adding a fan, which I’m still reluctant to do.

Ideally, I would like some sort of openable/flip out windows for the most rear right and left quarter windows or both back door windows. I understand that earlier Transit vans had OEM openable windows, but due to breaking plastic parts and poor design, these windows have been discontinued on later vans. I have owned a number of Chevy Express passenger vans, and currently have one, with OEM openable/ flip out windows for the sides and rear windows, all of which have worked reliably for ventilation.

Bottom line question: Does anyone know of ANY manufacturer or distributor that can currently supply openable/flipout windows for direct replacement of fixed windows in Transit Passenger vans? Seems to me someone would offer these options with all the discussion of this issue in this forum and with other owners I have talked with regarding this issue. Anyone’s help or suggestion appreciated.
Any updates on finding any replacement windows? We're in the same boat.
Thanks!
 

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17 350 XLT HD passenger van converted
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Thanks for the info. Have you had any luck installing these?
Sorry no I don't have any experience but those are ford oem parts so at least you'll be back to oem?!?! I would use 3M window weld after you get the old unit out. 3M Window weld is no joke and is made for windshields.

I do have these windows in my 350hd extended high roof and I use them in conjunction with a maxxair fan, all the time for camping.
 

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Unfortunately I don't think they work with the 2021 for some reason. I've seen pictures of these windows on older versions like yours and it makes me jealous. Don't know why Ford would've gotten rid of that option. There was a weird egress window option for $800 and no one knew anything about it at the time we ordered, so we decided not to get it. A maxxair fan will be a MUST. Thanks again for the info.
 

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Unfortunately I don't think they work with the 2021 for some reason. I've seen pictures of these windows on older versions like yours and it makes me jealous. Don't know why Ford would've gotten rid of that option. There was a weird egress window option for $800 and no one knew anything about it at the time we ordered, so we decided not to get it. A maxxair fan will be a MUST. Thanks again for the info.
Ah sorry I missed the 2021 model year. Worth a shot to look up the part number...I think at the bottom of the Tasca parts pages they have fitment info for the part selected?!?!
 

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2017 Ford Transit 350 XLT, MR, 148" WB, 3.7L V6, Passenger Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
In answer to all with questions regarding open-able, flip-out, pop-out, tilt-out windows expressly for DIRECT (the operative word) replacement for OEM fixed windows in Transit x50 XLT passenger wagons and perhaps some cargo vans: I have searched far and wide and sad to report, there are very limited options at this time for this type window in the Transit passenger wagons. My contact at Van Windows Direct ((VWD); see reference and website link below) has explained that most of the problems with direct replacements for the OEM fixed windows has to do with the contours of the Transit windows and body. That’s the short answer, so if that’s all one wants to know, you can stop here…..otherwise, read on.

From reading many threads in this forum, plus talking to some owners, Ford did offer these type windows from about 2016-2019, but Ford experienced so many warranty claims for problems with these windows, that I understand they discontinued offering them as an option from about 2019 forward.

The problems with these factory pop-out windows ranged from cracked frames (which leaked), latching mechanisms that broke creating windows that couldn’t be closed, and in some cases the window glass actually exploded or shattered. To make matters worse, to fix the problem, Ford would actually replace the windows with the same bad design, and in many instances, after several weeks/months, the same problems redeveloped with these replacements.

Several from various sources suggested that I obtain these OEM factory pop-out windows from Ford. After further investigation, I was not convinced that these replacements were anything other than the same windows with the same defects as the OEM windows that were installed, not to mention the exorbitant cost of going this route. So I dispensed with this option.

And so here are the current options expressly for a passenger wagons with fixed OEM windows. A source I have found to be both responsive in terms of sharing information and trying to address sourcing for open-able windows for the Transit passenger wagons is Van Windows Direct (VWD). They are manufacturers of their own windows as well as distributors for CRL and AMA windows: Here is their website link:

Van Windows Direct-Shop Van Windows, Van Glass & Accessories

VWD currently offers four options for direct replacement of the OEM fixed glass windows in the MR & HR, 148” and extended passenger wagons. They are slider type windows that are actually cut into a OEM fixed glass window, which they are manufacturing themselves. The slider, in its open state, is 6 ¼” W x 14 ¼” H. There is a screen installed on the interior side of the window. The current options are for the rear door windows, right & left and driver & passenger side larger windows with the same type slider window cut into the window.

You can see these on their website. According to my contact at VWD, Jonathon, they are also working on the same type of windows for the most back quarter windows on driver and passenger side of the 148” vans, to be available later this year.

I ordered and have received the passenger side rear door window to see how it was constructed and also to install it and see how I like it. I have attached several photos to show the window and when I get it installed, I will post other pixs in this thread.

As for the pro’s, the window directly replaces the OEM window, is open-able, is screened and installation just involves removing the OEM fixed window and gluing this window in. For the con’s, I am not particularly a fan of the slider concept, however, since there currently doesn’t seem to be other options available, I’m cautiously going this route. The construction and function of the slider is good. My main objection to the slider, is that it can’t be left open if it’s raining. This as opposed to a bottom flip-out, pop-out awning type window, which if accidently left open will shed water to a certain extent.

It is both puzzling and ironic that Ford would not have re engineered and offered a good pop-out window as an option for these vans instead of discarding the option. I have several friends who have the Ford E-xxx series vans with these pop-out windows, and they have no problems with them. I have owned a number of Chevy Express vans (and have one now) with these type pop-out windows and they work great and never had problems with them. Begs the question, why can’t Ford make these type windows that work?

Bottom line, I suppose Ford never thought the passenger wagon would find favor with the RV market as they have, but instead figured they would be used primarily for airport shuttle vans with AC or heating for air circulation. Either that or they fired their window engineers or they expected one to buy the cargo vans for upfitting and cut holes in the van and install alternative windows.

Incidentally, VWD is a distributor for CRL and AMA windows, who offer a wide selection of windows for cargo van applications. HOWEVER, be aware that none of these windows will DIRECTLY (the operative word) replace the OEM fixed windows in the passenger wagons, without some major kludge adaptive measures.

Regrets for the long thread. I’ve tried to condense and summarize my findings of my searches and reading over the last several weeks and months. If you want to know more than you ever cared to know about Transit windows, just type in “windows” in the general Transit forum search.

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In answer to all with questions regarding open-able, flip-out, pop-out, tilt-out windows expressly for DIRECT (the operative word) replacement for OEM fixed windows in Transit x50 XLT passenger wagons and perhaps some cargo vans: I have searched far and wide and sad to report, there are very limited options at this time for this type window in the Transit passenger wagons. My contact at Van Windows Direct ((VWD); see reference and website link below) has explained that most of the problems with direct replacements for the OEM fixed windows has to do with the contours of the Transit windows and body. That’s the short answer, so if that’s all one wants to know, you can stop here…..otherwise, read on.

From reading many threads in this forum, plus talking to some owners, Ford did offer these type windows from about 2016-2019, but Ford experienced so many warranty claims for problems with these windows, that I understand they discontinued offering them as an option from about 2019 forward.

The problems with these factory pop-out windows ranged from cracked frames (which leaked), latching mechanisms that broke creating windows that couldn’t be closed, and in some cases the window glass actually exploded or shattered. To make matters worse, to fix the problem, Ford would actually replace the windows with the same bad design, and in many instances, after several weeks/months, the same problems redeveloped with these replacements.

Several from various sources suggested that I obtain these OEM factory pop-out windows from Ford. After further investigation, I was not convinced that these replacements were anything other than the same windows with the same defects as the OEM windows that were installed, not to mention the exorbitant cost of going this route. So I dispensed with this option.

And so here are the current options expressly for a passenger wagons with fixed OEM windows. A source I have found to be both responsive in terms of sharing information and trying to address sourcing for open-able windows for the Transit passenger wagons is Van Windows Direct (VWD). They are manufacturers of their own windows as well as distributors for CRL and AMA windows: Here is their website link:

Van Windows Direct-Shop Van Windows, Van Glass & Accessories

VWD currently offers four options for direct replacement of the OEM fixed glass windows in the MR & HR, 148” and extended passenger wagons. They are slider type windows that are actually cut into a OEM fixed glass window, which they are manufacturing themselves. The slider, in its open state, is 6 ¼” W x 14 ¼” H. There is a screen installed on the interior side of the window. The current options are for the rear door windows, right & left and driver & passenger side larger windows with the same type slider window cut into the window.

You can see these on their website. According to my contact at VWD, Jonathon, they are also working on the same type of windows for the most back quarter windows on driver and passenger side of the 148” vans, to be available later this year.

I ordered and have received the passenger side rear door window to see how it was constructed and also to install it and see how I like it. I have attached several photos to show the window and when I get it installed, I will post other pixs in this thread.

As for the pro’s, the window directly replaces the OEM window, is open-able, is screened and installation just involves removing the OEM fixed window and gluing this window in. For the con’s, I am not particularly a fan of the slider concept, however, since there currently doesn’t seem to be other options available, I’m cautiously going this route. The construction and function of the slider is good. My main objection to the slider, is that it can’t be left open if it’s raining. This as opposed to a bottom flip-out, pop-out awning type window, which if accidently left open will shed water to a certain extent.

It is both puzzling and ironic that Ford would not have re engineered and offered a good pop-out window as an option for these vans instead of discarding the option. I have several friends who have the Ford E-xxx series vans with these pop-out windows, and they have no problems with them. I have owned a number of Chevy Express vans (and have one now) with these type pop-out windows and they work great and never had problems with them. Begs the question, why can’t Ford make these type windows that work?

Bottom line, I suppose Ford never thought the passenger wagon would find favor with the RV market as they have, but instead figured they would be used primarily for airport shuttle vans with AC or heating for air circulation. Either that or they fired their window engineers or they expected one to buy the cargo vans for upfitting and cut holes in the van and install alternative windows.

Incidentally, VWD is a distributor for CRL and AMA windows, who offer a wide selection of windows for cargo van applications. HOWEVER, be aware that none of these windows will DIRECTLY (the operative word) replace the OEM fixed windows in the passenger wagons, without some major kludge adaptive measures.

Regrets for the long thread. I’ve tried to condense and summarize my findings of my searches and reading over the last several weeks and months. If you want to know more than you ever cared to know about Transit windows, just type in “windows” in the general Transit forum search.

View attachment 158206 View attachment 158207 View attachment 158208
So the summary is, if you have a passenger van or a cargo van with OEM windows, and want replacements with openable windows, VWD has a solution. However, the VWD windows are horizontal sliders, not awning style.

Do I have this correct?
 

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2017 Ford Transit 350 XLT, MR, 148" WB, 3.7L V6, Passenger Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
So the summary is, if you have a passenger van or a cargo van with OEM windows, and want replacements with openable windows, VWD has a solution. However, the VWD windows are horizontal sliders, not awning style.

Do I have this correct?
Bob, (and others)
As I currently understand it, that is correct....unless you or someone knows of an alternate option/source that I have overlooked or missed.
 

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Is the VWD slider that terrible? I guess there could potentially be issues with sealing and leaking with a slider but.... How does the rear window unit look?
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Tcaschy (and others),
To be clear, I in no way was implying nor would I characterize the VWD slider window concept and product as "terrible"....matter of fact, I didn't even say that. For what the product offers, an openable windows that allows approximately 89 sq. inches of ventilation, etc., and is a direct replacement for a fixed OEM window, it is adequate and acceptable for the time present. It is just that if I had a choice (and currently there don't seem to be many other choices), I would much prefer the bottom pop/flip-out windows that have worked very well in former Ford and GM vans that I have owned over the last several years. And, I don't understand why Ford,(who has offered this option in other than the Transits, in years past) can't offer a dependable option like this in a $40K-50K vehicle ?????

As I indicated in comments above. I have purchased and received the right side, rear door replacement VWD window unit to give it a "test run" and will have it installed in the next week or so. After I have installed it, I will give it a rain or water test to see if it leaks, plus how it performs and will report my finding in an addendum to this thread. You asked how it looks, and admittedly (in the 3rd pix attached to my above comments) it is difficult to see a lot of the design details since most of the unit is black. So to describe some of the details, the slider design concept of a framed glass window within a glass surround window, is executed very well , i.e., the slider framing, affixed/bonded to the interior side of the glass surround is good. The window slider track alignment and fit allows for a smooth operation of the framed slider window. The fit and finish of the glass in excellent and the unit looks like it should fit perfectly in place of the OEM window.

There is a slider plastic framed screen that is fitted into a separate track from the slider window allowing independent operation of the slider window and slider screen. The screen is positioned in front of the slider window as viewed from the interior side of the window. The window track seals appear to be some sort of neoprene. The latching mechanisms for the slider window appear to be designed well, and unless forcibly opened with a crowbar, the slider window latch should prevent any casual attempts at outside entry from happening.

So bottom line, I am favorably impressed with VWD. They have been most helpful when I call them regarding applications of their products, discussing the pro's and con's of their offerings, plus saying what will work and what won't....unlike some with whom I have dealt that blow you off easily!
 

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Tcaschy (and others),
To be clear, I in no way was implying nor would I characterize the VWD slider window concept and product as "terrible"....matter of fact, I didn't even say that. For what the product offers, an openable windows that allows approximately 89 sq. inches of ventilation, etc., and is a direct replacement for a fixed OEM window, it is adequate and acceptable for the time present. It is just that if I had a choice (and currently there don't seem to be many other choices), I would much prefer the bottom pop/flip-out windows that have worked very well in former Ford and GM vans that I have owned over the last several years. And, I don't understand why Ford,(who has offered this option in other than the Transits, in years past) can't offer a dependable option like this in a $40K-50K vehicle ?????

As I indicated in comments above. I have purchased and received the right side, rear door replacement VWD window unit to give it a "test run" and will have it installed in the next week or so. After I have installed it, I will give it a rain or water test to see if it leaks, plus how it performs and will report my finding in an addendum to this thread. You asked how it looks, and admittedly (in the 3rd pix attached to my above comments) it is difficult to see a lot of the design details since most of the unit is black. So to describe some of the details, the slider design concept of a framed glass window within a glass surround window, is executed very well , i.e., the slider framing, affixed/bonded to the interior side of the glass surround is good. The window slider track alignment and fit allows for a smooth operation of the framed slider window. The fit and finish of the glass in excellent and the unit looks like it should fit perfectly in place of the OEM window.

There is a slider plastic framed screen that is fitted into a separate track from the slider window allowing independent operation of the slider window and slider screen. The screen is positioned in front of the slider window as viewed from the interior side of the window. The window track seals appear to be some sort of neoprene. The latching mechanisms for the slider window appear to be designed well, and unless forcibly opened with a crowbar, the slider window latch should prevent any casual attempts at outside entry from happening.

So bottom line, I am favorably impressed with VWD. They have been most helpful when I call them regarding applications of their products, discussing the pro's and con's of their offerings, plus saying what will work and what won't....unlike some with whom I have dealt that blow you off easily!
Are you planning to do the replacement/install yourself or contract it out? I'd be very curious to see pictures of the process.
I just had my windshield replaced due to a rock(?) strike on the highway. Removing the glass did not seem too difficult, but they did break it in the process.
 

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Something worth noting on these windows - present in the photos above but perhaps not obvious: if you look at the window from the "inside" perspective, it is only transparent / see-through where the little slider is; the rest of the window is black and opaque - it might as well be a metal panel from the inside-looking-out perspective.

After installing one of these with a friend (driver's side front - cut into a cargo), this is not something I would want to do. The actual "window" in my passenger window would now be gone in favor of one of those camper-style slider windows, effectively.

One the plus side, it's a pretty large window area; but it's not the edge-to-edge of a factory window.

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Another point of note for anyone wondering: not sure about the Transit CRL, but the Sprinter CRLs we installed used a bracket and bolted right in. It was really secure and confidence-inducing. The VWD glues to the outside of the metal. A person who said they had installed these before suggested "welding" (glue) a bracket onto them instead of gluing them directly to the van body. Not sure if my buddy will be following that direction; but it is an appealing option.
 

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All the OEM windows on the Transit, including the windshield, are "glued" to the outside. This is the standard method for most, if not all, recent vehicles. With its track record, I wouldn't worry about the methodology.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
To Gregory,
Your are entirely correct about the point that the only "see through" part of these VWD windows is the glass slider portion, the rest of the surrounding glass being opaque/blacked out: this, in my view is a negative. This is one of the reasons I am looking only at replacement of the rear door windows, since I rarely use the inside rear view mirror for backing, using principally the outside mirrors and the back up camera on the my Sync screen in conjunction with the aural backup warning.

This is also another reason I wasn't keen on going with the driver and passenger slider side, windows they offer, that according to VWD are designed the same way. I did discuss this issue with my VWD contact, before I bought this one for a trial run, but didn't delve into the matter in depth. Guess I'd like to know from them why they can't make the surrounding glass transparent???

To Bob,
Don't know yet about removing and installing the window myself. According my VWD contact and reading their installation instructions plus watching several You Tube presentations on the procedure, looks like if you take your time and are careful one could do it. However, like you, I have had a number of windshields plus other vehicle windows replaced by glass shops, and they make the job look easy and they have the tools to do the job. And so I'm leaning that way....IF I can find a good glass shop.

I'm in rural Burnet County Texas, and to find good glass shops, I will have to find some in the greater Austin, TX area. Most I've contacted are a little reluctant to attempt it, but a few have said they will do it and have pricing from $400, which I think is a little pricey while couple of others, seem more reasonable in the $200 range. So I'll see which way I go with this and let you know.
 

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Thanks for starting this thread and sharing your research. I have reached out to VWD to see if they plan to make an operable rear window for the low roof passenger Transit. We have pop top, a vent fan, and a small fan for the lower bunk. The pop top is very well ventilated but the lower bunk is stuffy when we have to close the rear doors due to rain. I have looked at getting a solid rear door so that an operable vent could be installed but have put it off due to cost. With the larger upper panel on a solid door for your mid roof (or high roof) van, you may have room to install a flip out aftermarket window (e.g., Arctic tern).
 

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@Transitory Travel

Any updates yet? I am most definitely interested in hearing your thoughts, and hopefully see some photos. Thanks!

I have purchased and received the right side, rear door replacement VWD window unit to give it a "test run" and will have it installed in the next week or so. After I have installed it, I will give it a rain or water test to see if it leaks, plus how it performs and will report my finding in an addendum to this thread
 

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I think if you have no intention of framing out the slider for the window it isn't so nice but if your build plans include doing the slider and frame the window it works.
 
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