We have gotten quite a few requests dealing with
windshield (windscreen) replacement. Most every
question deals with the fear of breaking than
anything else. With a caution, your windshield can
be removed and replaced with minimal hassle and
without danger of breakage.
The first process is to remove all the items
near the windshield that would be in the way. Start
with the interior. Remove the mirror by unscrewing
one of the two screws in the mirror's base. The
retaining block and mirror should be able to be
slid out. The sun visors do not have to be removed
but it is a good idea (one less thing to be in your
way). They are held on with a single screw at each
end. Mk1-3 also have a center screw holding on the
mounting bar that will need to be removed.
Before removing the wipers, take note of the
position of the blades relative to the frame. This
will help get them into the correct position when
reinstalling. Removal is accomplished by lifting
them to the "cleaning position." Using a large,
flat screwdriver between the large nut and the arm,
pry up while rocking the arm with your other
is the removal of the chrome strip running around
the windshield, assuming it is still there. Many
cars I have seen lately no longer have it still in
place. Start by sliding the center finisher covers
over out of the way. Then use your wooden stick to
gently pry out the strips.
Use masking tape to seal the interior heater
vents during windshield removal. If the glass is
broken or gets broken during removal, flakes of
glass won't fall down into the vents and blow out
into your face later.
Glass removal can be easy or difficult depending on whether the windshield gasket be used again. Some car insurance providers also put restrictions such modifications, so make sure you double check the documents before doing anything to your car. If not, the process is easy. Using a strong knife, like the ones used for carpet or a box cutter, cut the rubber gasket away from the glass. Push the blade into the center of the rubber, carefully feeling where the glass stops. Cut all the way around. The glass can easily be pushed out from the inside. If the gasket is still in good shape, things get a little more difficult. The rubber is supposed to be soft having no cracks. If there is any doubt, replace it. It's not very expensive, under $30 (£20), and will be more flexible making installation easier and less likely to leak.
the wooden stick around the circumference between
the gasket and frame to break the sealant applied
at the factory.
Sitting in the passenger's seat, using your foot
(soft, flexible shoes work best), gently push the
glass. Don't KICK! Remember, the more evenly the
pressure on the glass, the less likely you are to
crack it. Your helper should stand in the engine
bay, on the tires. Using the stick again, push it
under the inside lip at the top, prying just enough
to get the rubber started through the frame, all
the time being ready to catch the glass when it
comes out. "Toughened" glass is less likely to
break using the "foot" method. Laminated glass is
very fragile so cutting the gasket is the preferred
Marshall Pease suggests installing the
windshield is easier by removing the frame from the
"From underneath the dashboard, undo the nuts
pertaining to the two triangular washers that
appear on the top. The defroster vents are
considerably in the way, they can be removed or an
extension ratchet wrench can be used.
At the corners of the windshield, below the
dashboard, locate the rods that extend downwards
near the driver's & passenger's outside knees.
Remove the nut from the end of the rod, and loosen
the bolt to release the clamp.
Gently insert a lever between the windshield frame
and the top of the dashboard and gently pry the
frame upwards; it may be desirable to slide a blade
around to separate the black rubber gasket from the
paint on top of the hood on the outside. Lift the
windshield frame upwards until the rods are free,
and remove it to a secure location for further
disassembly as desired."
it is out...
There are a few things that should be done
before reinstallation. Number one is to clean the
glass. All traces of sealant must be removed before
the new gasket goes back on. This is easily done by
rubbing with your finger. A suitable window cleaner
should remove dirt and grease.
Fix the Rust
Another area to check is the windshield frame
for rust. Spitfire/GT6's often rust there and it is
much easier dealt with the windshield out of the
car. A wire brush and your favorite spray rust
converter will do the trick.
Polish the Glass
Having the glass out of the car is the perfect
opportunity to polish the glass. Years of abuse by
the wiper blades and ice scrapers take their toll.
However, there is a way to remove scratches from
the glass. Specialty automotive glass companies and
Company (1-800-820-9042) sell polishing kits
that will remove the haze. Using a special
polishing compound (Rhodite) and buffing wheel
attached to a hand drill, you will be able to buff
out all the glare causing swirls.
Clean the Dash
Don't forget to clean the dash while the
windshield out. A vacuum cleaner will remove all
the trapped dust around the vents.
One trick I learned revitalizing a very
sun-faded dash it to "paint" it using shoe paint.
Not polish but the paint used to fix badly scuffed
leather (my wife bought it to fix the heels of a
pair of dress shoes.) It is durable, easily put on
using a rag, opaque enough to hide most blemishes
but not look unnatural. It is sold at most shoe
the process by fitting the gasket to windshield.
Run a bead of sealant along the channel on the
bottom half of the gasket. Because of its bowed
shape, it goes on easier by slipping it on from
what is the inside of the windshield. The heavy
side goes to the inside, the side with the slit
goes to to outside.
The chrome strip is possible to install; do it
while the gasket/windshield is off the car. A
little soap and a finger is all you need to ease
the lip into the back of the trim. The remainder of
the installation is as described below.
Leave the gasket in the sun prior to
installation. This will warm the rubber and make it
your finger, rub petroleum
jelly*** in the groove where the rubber meets
the car. Put a little extra at the top and bottom
at the center. Next starting at the bottom center,
feed the heavy nylon cord around the same groove
you just rubbed the jelly. You will need to have at
least 2 feet extra overlapping in the center. The
petroleum jelly serves two purposes, to help
lubricate the gasket and keep the cord from sliding
out of the groove. The windshield can now be laid
in place from the outside of the car with the loose
cords to the interior. With the assistant firmly
pressing the rubber against the car to prevent the
lip from slipping off, you slowly pull one cord out
moving around the frame. This will draw the rubber
lip over the flange of the body.
When the it is in you will need to clean up any
excess petroleum jelly, reinstall the mirror,
visors, chrome strips and wipers. Use the diagram
below to get correct position of the wiper
reader recently informed me that black masking tape
in place of the petroleum jelly works well. It
holds the cord in place equally well and is less
messy. It tears easily allowing the cord to pulled
from the groove with little effort. The reason for
black it there will be some tape that you won't be
able to remove and black hides easier. I have been
told that method can be accomplished with the
chrome strip in place.
lay the windshield outside down on a
soft surface, fit the rubber around the windshield,
tape it in place, run the cord around the groove,
tape it in place. The rest of the installation is
the same as above.
Update: I have been told KY
Jelly works better than petroleum jelly. Sold in
drug stores in the birth control section, it is
VERY slick, water soluble, and will not damage the
rubber the way petroleum based products do
(originally designed for use with condoms). Cleans
up with ordinary water and brings to mind all sorts
of the possible post-installation celebrations
Chrome finishing strip
If you look around you will notice not many
Spits still have the chrome strips and I am sure it
is because it is just too hard to put back in. In
fact, I don't have them on both of my cars and have
never done it.
That been said, this is what the Bentley and
Factory Workshop Manuals say about the process:
1. Using the "special
tool", locate the tool in the recess with open
end uppermost and in a vertical position.
2. Keeping the hook firmly engaged in the
recess, draw the tool along to engage the inner
flange of the weatherstrip with the finisher.
The homemade "special tool" should be made from
mild steel rod. The tip should be rounded and free
of rough edges.
If you are installing the whole windshield then
it is much easier to fit the strip before the
gasket is on the car (see
above) otherwise here are the instructions.
Also see this
link for another How-to for installing the
to Articles Page