Cars & Vehicles Auto Parts & Maintenance & Repairs

Windshield Removal and Installation

Windshield replacement is a common repair in the auto glass industry, and is the result of many causes.
It could be from a semi-truck kicking up a rock, a cold spell increasing the size of a chip or crack, or can be from the weather, as in a hail storm.
This article will take a look at the steps involved in a windshield replacement, from the preparation, to the removal of the windshield, and finally to the installation of the windshield.
Many precautions should be in place, and only those that truly feel they have a grasp on the process should try this procedure.
If not, simply call a local auto-glass professional for all your auto glass repair and replacement needs.
Preparation: Begin my covering and protecting any area of the vehicle that has a possibility of damage.
This includes covering the front seats, the floor, and the steering wheel.
The best options are either cloth or a plastic cover.
Another helpful tip is taping up all vents so no glass or debris can enter any of those areas.
It is always important, as well, to wear eye protection and hand protection, especially when working with something as dangerous as glass.
Double check that the glass is correct, that the moldings are right for the vehicle model, and the urethane systems meet all requirements and guidelines before starting.
Next is the removal of the rearview mirror.
Many are relatively the same.
First, remove the accessory bracket cover, then remove the clips that hold in the place the condensation pad, and just let the sensor hang.
When that is done, loosen the screw, which will release the mirror, and simply slide it off the mirror bracket.
Then go outside the vehicle and remove the windshield wiper nut covers.
The next step involves the removal of the cowl panel.
This begins my removing the four push-in retainers from the front leading edge of the panel.
The locking flange is released by starting in the corner, and then pushing up from the lower cowl retainer which is found on the lower glass edge.
The top and side moldings act as underside molding that will find their place on the new glass.
Final Note on Preparation: Again, make sure everything is current, double check the specific glass, and that everything is up to glass standards, for this is very important in the successful completion of the glass installation.
Removal of Glass: The next step of the process involves the removal of glass.
An obvious reminder is making sure the blades are sharp before the cutting of the glass.
This will greatly help in the removal, and will make it a lot easier on the installer.
Before the cut, it is helpful to clean and remove any debris from the glass and pinchweld, which is important because it is essential that there is no contact with the urethane.
Now for the cutting.
A cold knife is fine for exterior cuts, but many professionals advise that a power tool cutting device not be used in the interior due to the shape of the molding, as it has a U shape.
The key is to remove the glass from the adhesive bead, which isn't very wide, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
Once it is loose, use vacuum cups to lift the glass out from its original spot, and set it down in a safe position.
A crucial tip is to not put the vacuum cup over a crack in the glass, for the outcome will not be to the installers liking.
Always put safety first.
Installation of the new glass: After the windshield is removed, make sure to clean the area, especially the pinchweld, to remove any kind of contaminants that will hamper the installation.
Then put the vacuum cups on the new glass, and place it in the opening for a dry, test fit.
Mark exactly where the glass needs to go, so when it times to install it for good, everything is properly in place.
Then set the new glass in a safe spot.
Next, read the urethane instructions on the bottle for installation.
The instructions will suggest a product to clean the inside of the glass.
Use that product for a cleaning, and remember to not touch that area.
Again, hand protection can't be stressed enough, especially working with these harsh of materials.
With the suggested product, apply the glass prep and primer.
Again, making sure the area is clean, use a tool to strip the original urethane bead, but leave 1 mm to 2 mm of the existing urethane in the pinchweld area.
When the area is fully clean, prime the pinchweld area with the recommended product, and follow all the instructions on drying times.
The new urethane has specific instructions that need to be followed.
It needs a triangular bead (with a V-notch), and needs to be applied along the same path as the trimmed older urethane in the pinchweld.
Cut the tip of the nozzle off, and then mark a 1/16 of an inch lower, and then notch the nozzle to the line, giving you a means for a triangular bead.
With the urethane in place, put the vacuum cups on the new windshield, align it with the previous marks, and place it in line with the mark on the driver's said.
The new windshield is now in place.
Put down adequate pressure to make sure it has a good seal.
It is important to check for leaks, using a leak detector.
If one is found, apply more pressure to the area or apply more urethane to the area, making sure the new windshield makes proper contact with the wet urethane.
After all is the checks are made, and everything is sound, simply re-install the moved parts from above, in the reverse order.
Again, read the urethane instructions for proper cure time before using the vehicle or before returning it to the owner.
It is very IMPORTANT to allow this cure time not only for safety, but for the functional structure of the car or truck.
After the cure time, and will everything checked, the vehicle should be good to go, and so ends the preparation, removal, and installation of the new windshield.

Leave a reply