The windshield helps provide the overall structural integrity of most modern vehicles, thus, essential for the safety and reliability of proper automotive glass installation. Waterproof adhesive joints urethane the glass of the car in the vehicle so they act together as a single unit to strengthen the body. The process of replacing a windshield is not difficult, and can be done at home with the proper tools and the proper procedure.
- Wear safety goggles and gloves at all times when working with car glass. Cover the dashboard and cab seats with protective cloth in case of broken glass. Remove the wiper blades with a socket wrench, and window moldings all over the windshield with an attachment of an electric drill screwdriver. Also remove the hood with an electric screwdriver. The fairing is a rubber seal that acts as a water barrier to get into the vehicle behind the hood.
- Cut any weather strips with a windshield knife and pull it out of the cup. Lubricate the edge of the windscreen, inside the vehicle and out, with lubricating spray. Trim the urethane cord around the cup. The urethane heel is the original adhesive used to install the windshield. Insert the windshield knife between the body and the glass, and hold the knife so it is held upright while at the same time pulling towards you. Then go in the vehicle and repeat, cutting the urethane cord with the windshield knife. If necessary, use a lever to loosen the glass windscreen. Lift the glass with a suction cup.
- Prepare the new windscreen for installation by cleaning the edges with acetone to remove any remaining dust or dirt. Also clean the edge of the body panel where the glass comes into contact with the vehicle. This structure is called the flange. Apply primer to the edge of the cup and around the flange. Then apply a new bead of urethane adhesive around the flange, a long and continuous strip of adhesive that will spread and bond with the glass and bodywork. The amount of adhesive to apply is equal to the depth of the flange, where the glass seats against the vehicle.
- Put the glass on the urethane drop without delay. The urethane sets up almost immediately. Lower the windshield with a suction cup. Check for leaks around the windshield with water from a garden hose.
- Replace the insulation tape around the outer edge of the windscreen if the vehicle had one. Insert the tab at the bottom of the gap into the gap between the glass and the vehicle, and remove the strip to expose the self-adhesive at the bottom of the strip. Reinstall hood, wipers, and trim. Remove the plastic from the cabin, cleaning the new windshield, and the vehicle is ready to drive.