Windshield replacement

Discussion in 'Body Restoration' started by 71 Camaro, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. 71 Camaro

    71 Camaro Veteran Member

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    Want to get one out and another one installed. Interested in hearing from those who have been successful at this. I know it would be easier to pay a glass company, but this is not an option I'm open to.

    If a guy from the glass company can pop one in and out quickly and easily, seems with proper technique us shade tree mechanics should be able to as well. I'm going to see if anybody has videos of this on youtube. Some guys say it is ez, some say impossible. Then again for most all the stuff we do to these cars 99% of the public would say impossible, eh? A patient man with proper tools can do most anything.
     
  2. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Is there any rust around the channel or cowl area which will need work beween removal and replacement?

    I have done the job but the professionals have all the tools to do it quick and right.
    (Add up the cost of the windshield, shipping and seal... It probably won't be much different than buying a windshield from a profesional glass place and having them install it.)
     
  3. BondoSpecial

    BondoSpecial Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I have done a few including urethane setting 2nd gen glass on a rust free windshield channel...getting the height right is not easy and if you screw it up you have to cut it out and try again. If it's on a beater car I'm all for trying it yourself but if this is for a resto and you need it right, pay someone to do it. I mean I bought my own tire machines, alignment tools, valve and seat grinding machines and what not because I agree a patient person w/ the right tools *can* do anything but glass is something that I think takes multiple attempts to get right if you haven't done it before. Will I do more DIY glass installs on future cars, yep. Will they be on piece of junk only cars, yep. Will I get the heights wrong again, probably.
     
  4. 351maverick

    351maverick full time Ebay seller/hustler/car killer

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    the pros have all kinds of pro tools - heated knives, huge suction cups etc - let them do it
     
  5. BondoSpecial

    BondoSpecial Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    you can get the suction cups for like $3.99 each from harbor freight or even auto parts stores (they sell the same exact locking suction cups for dent pulling). The major thing I lacked doing the ones I did was EXPERIENCE and you can't gain that until you screw some up.
     
  6. 1971CamaroGuy

    1971CamaroGuy LS Swapped 1971 Camaro

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    FWIW I installed the windshield myself in my 82 corvette the first time, Thinking I could save some cash..spent $100 for the glass, and $$ for the urethane.

    I screwed up the gap between the moulding and windshield. I tried to remove the windshield to adjust and cracked it...:confused:

    Called safelite...guy came out, used his heated tool to remove the cracked one in less than 10 minutes....had a new windshield installed correctly in around 30 minutes. Best $179 I ever spent.....you can't put a price on skill.

    My wife and I removed the rear glass on my 76, and we did so without cracking it....took us a half a day and a lot of cussing...
     
  7. POS71RS

    POS71RS Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    lol... I know the feeling.

    Harbor Freight sells a tool to cut out your windshield. It's handy, and I used it several times in the past. (buddy stole it. :( )
    The last time, I had an OK windshield, but it was cracked/smashed in a lower corner, and I only had mig wire on me. I figured I'd try to cut it out with the wire.
    Spent WAY more time than I'll admit cutting the sides and top. Then, I looked at the bottom... and I couldnt figure an easy way to get that lower portion cut out. I ended up scratching the hell out of the dash paint, which pissed me off... cause that meant I got to re-paint that, and it was pristine.
    Tried several other methods, (minus going back to HF to replace my damn tool) and finally speculated that the years the windshield DIDN'T crack from the damaged lower corner would catch up, and the bastard would likely crack again. The glass also had some minor welding spatter from way back when I was stupider.
    So, I made the decision to just pop it out with my feet. Figured I'd clean up what little glass shrapnel was left. Camaro was barely a shell anyways... who cares?...

    Man... that thing was welded in there SOLID. I was pushing with my legs HARD... all the while, way more glass shards flying/popping off than I counted on. I was showering in the crap.

    Then, the coupe de grace was when the glass/urethane/dash panel began separating. I heard some ugly noises, and realized the urethane held on STRONGER than I ever would have expected. It ripped out the filler/FIBERGLASS that was used to fix/smooth the dash out 10 years prior.

    So, all told, because I didn't want to hire a professional, or re-attempt with the proper windshield tool HF sells for around $5... I ended up with:
    New windshield replacement, about $180-$200.
    New satin paint for dash top to repair scratch from mig wire attempt.
    filler to re-repair dash corners.
    still finding the occasional micro-shard of glass.
    and of course, the joy of grinding, welding, filling, repainting and re-repainting, etc.
    Total cost?... Priceless. :mad:
     
  8. Marks71BB

    Marks71BB Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Sure ya can...


    I agree, pay a pro to do it right and save yerself a headache.
     
  9. 76 camaro car 1

    76 camaro car 1 Veteran Member

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    If its the factory urethane holding it in hire a windshield guy to remove it,but keep in mind they do not guarantee not to break it. Only advantage of having them do it is thats their job and they have done hundreds. If its not the hard urethane get some piano wire. The paint and body supply stores here sell it . Remove the chrome mouldings and the wiper stops at the bottom and also the windshield props and antenna wire.Save the rubber blocks on the props to assure propper height when reinstalling. Cut a piece of wire about 6' long.Push your wire through the top of the seal about in the center and the other end out the bottom of the seal in the center. Clamp the end of the wire in a pair of vice grips on each end of the wire.Wrap the wire around the vice grips several times and pull it to you at the top,then on the bottom working your way to the bottom corner. Make the lower corners the last to cut. Use a new piece of wire and do the same on the other side. When installing put the props back on and put the rubber blocks on top of them. Center the windshield and get a buddy to hold the other side. Position it above the blocks on the props ans carefully set the bottom down and drop the top in.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  10. gordonquixote

    gordonquixote Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Mandatory free replacement (per vehicle per year) in FL. Check your insurance...you may be eligible.

    I took my cracked windshield out, fixed some rust, and then let the pros take it from there.
     

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