By the late 1960s, most passenger cars were using glue-in windshields. They provided better seals, additional structural rigidity, and increased speed of installation over their rubber-mounted predecessors. Unfortunately many auto restorers are uncomfortable removing and installing an auto windshield, but that reluctance is often nothing more than being unfamiliar with the process.
The simple fact is that the good restorations are separated from the bad by their attention to details. Removing the old windshield, cleaning up any corrosion, repainting the window opening, and installing new or reconditioned glass is one of those details that deserves attention. Nothing can be more disheartening than to invest thousands into a car restoration only to find out months later that corrosion has begun to creep out of your window openings. Adhesives do break down over time and windshields do develop leaks; it is only good practice to reset the glass when restoring a car.
To complete the windshield installation on our 1968 Chevelle SS, car owner Ross Kiehl teams up with professional auto body technician Terry Wright. With the old windshield already removed and the window opening cleaned and primed, they are ready to set the new glass. Wright shares a few tips for safer glass handling, including a tip on building your own glass handles to aid in positioning the windshield.
He also stresses the importance of keeping all surfaces as clean as possible to ensure a good bond for the new windshield. Terry then installs a foam dam on the glass much like the factory did decades ago and primes the glass to prepare for the adhesive. He also shares some helpful tips for applying the foam dam for best results.
Applying the correct amount of adhesive is key to setting the windshield. Wright demonstrates the proper method of trimming the adhesive tip to achieve good and consistent results. Then he demonstrates the process of applying the urethane to the glass to get an even and consistent layer and ensure good adhesion all the way around.
Terry also shows how the adhesive can be used to fill low spots before setting the glass, and urges restorers not to use body filler on mounting surfaces. Ross and Terry set the glass and “tool out” any adhesive the squeezes out and checked for fit. With the windshield set the team demonstrates the process of installing the trim pieces and completing the windshield installation process.