The ravages of 40-plus years of weather, bugs, flying objects, and road grime are unforgiving to any windshield glass.
Even if the glass escaped cracks or the all-too-common perfectly gouged semicircle impression left by a spent wiper blade, it is likely full of unsightly pits that detract from the overall look of your build. These days, replacing the windshield isn't all that difficult with readily available glass, and doing it makes a huge improvement to any project car.
Our installation is on a '64 Chevelle convertible that had just finished getting sprayed at Starbucks Customs in Riverside, California. Since the glass had already been removed, we enlisted the expert services of Julio Castro from Rhino Glass for the installation. It isnt an extremely difficult project, but there are some tips and tricks that the pros use for a perfect fit and seal every time.
Removal is fairly simple, requiring you to remove the molding and take the old glass out of its frame. As with any specialty job, we definitely recommend using the proper tools to avoid any unnecessary damage. Case in point: A molding removal tool will save your high-dollar trim components, not too mention keep you from having to scour the classifieds or junkyards for those trim pieces that aren't readily available off-the-shelf. Also helpful is a windshield seal tool. In our case we used a length of wire wrapped around a pair of screwdrivers and placed it between the glass and frame. This allowed us to slide all the way around the perimeter and separate the two. After the seals broken, the glass easily lifts out. The entire process took a little over 30 minutes, and that was with us taking the time to be extra cautious.
Follow along as we show you how to swap out the old glass, and take pride knowing that your Chevy will not only look cleaner, but you'll actually be able see what's down the road on your next cruise.
What We Did
Replaced a pitted windshield
We no longer have to squint to see the road
We started with a windshield...
We started with a windshield frame that had already been cleaned of old seal residue and contaminates. In our case the Velle was fresh out of the paint booth, which made the initial cleanup a breeze.
While it isn't required, it's...
While it isn't required, it's a good idea to install new molding clips. They don't cost much, and doing this now will ensure a tight, clean fit after the moldings have been installed.
The new molding clips are...
The new molding clips are held in place with one Phillips-head screw per clip.
Always trial-fit the window...
Always trial-fit the window to the frame. On cars 40 years and older, a lot of things can cause fitment issues. Look for bumps or sags in the channel that can reduce sealing, and check for equal clearance around the perimeter. In our case, the glass fit perfectly.
Julio Castro used a number...
Julio Castro used a number of small wood spacers to center the glass into the channel. If you do this correctly, you should have an equal distance between the glass perimeter and the inside edges of the frame's channel.
For a clean look and a weather-tight...
For a clean look and a weather-tight seal, Castro applied an even stripe of self-priming sealer. Similar to glass on new vehicles, this is a slick trick that produces great results.