Windshield Installation Hurts My Fingers
Gasket-seat windshield installations were common on cars made until the mid-late 1960’s. At that point they were slowly eclipsed by the much-easier-to-install glue-in variety we use today. But before people were taking the easy way and gluing the windshield in, the glass was held in place by a thick rubber gasket. The most tedious and painful part of installing a windshield is getting the gasket on the glass. I’m not quite sure how guys in glass shops installed windshields every day…the feeling is just starting to come back in my fingers and my hand hands are still all cramped up. The good news is that the windshield is now in the car. The bad news? It has to come out again.
Unfortunately as I pulled the string around the top, it dug into the “spliced transfer molded” corner on the driver’s side and cut a chunk out of the inside of the gasket. Right there at the corner that I’ll be staring at as I drive. Leaving it obviously isn’t an option…I can’t stare at it for the next 40 years, it’ll drive me nucking futs.
Truth be told, though, I’m not upset, in fact I’m happy it didn’t go worse. I could’ve cracked the windshield putting it in, and that would have pissed me off. The gasket costs just under $27, so my only real loss here is my time. Of course, pulling it out and putting it in again will open me up to danger, so hopefully I can get lucky a few more times. Let’s not forget, I’ve gotta put the back window in too!
All You Need is Love…and some molding clips
Before I put the windshield in, I installed all the molding clips on the front and rear window openings. I haven’t cleaned up the back window yet, but I had the installation tool out, so I figured it was as good a time as any. After getting every clip installed on the front without issue, the back studs fought me. I broke two studs off, and another was already broken from when Bill took the clips off before he painted. Like my windshield gasket problem, it’s not the end of the world. I can use some 1965 screw-in clips instead, no big deal.
If You Wanna Be Happy For the Rest of Your Life…
Knowing what I know now, my biggest recommendation would be to use your fingers on the top corners rather than the string. The corners are too delicate to stand up to the string method. Secondly, if you want the installation to go smoothly, run your string completely around the windshield in the normal fashion. Then take a second piece of string and run it along the bottom and up the sides halfway. Start with that bottom string, try to get the windshield to sit down in the channel, and then begin pulling your main string elsewhere.
For more on windshield installation, watch this excellent video by Jeff Ford at AutoRestoMod.