Windshield replacement has changed over the years, and the older your vehicle, the more chance your windshield is held in place with a rubber gasket. When you are replacing older glass, there are some things you need to watch for and deal with before the glass is installed in the vehicle.
Restoring an older car or truck may mean doing some windshield repair, especially if the original glass is still in the vehicle. The glass may be leaking around the seal or be hazy and hard to see through, but getting new glass and installing it can be tricky.
If the vehicle is old enough, the glass may be out of production, so the auto glass shop will need to search for glass that will fit before the windshield replacement can begin. If the glass is still in good condition and the seal is leaking, the glass shop may recommend saving the glass and reusing it while replacing the seal to stop the leak. Working with the old glass requires meticulous handling so that it is not damaged coming out of the vehicle or waiting to go back in, especially if it is rare or hard to find.
Rubber Seals And Rust
The rubber seal that holds the windshield glass in place sits on a ridge that runs around the inside of the windshield opening. It is critical that the ridge is checked for damage or rust while the seal is out of the vehicle because any material under the seal can allow water to get through.
If the ridge is bent or rusted badly under the seal, it may require some repair before the glass tech can install the new seal in the vehicle. Many times on older vehicles, some rust will appear, but if the damage is not structural, the glass tech can sand the area down, coat it with a rust inhibitor and some paint to seal it, then reinstall the gasket and complete the windshield replacement or installation.
If there is extensive rust damage under the rubber seal, it is critical that the vehicle goes to a body shop for repair before the windshield replacement is completed, or the new glass and seal with likely still leak. The body shop may need to cut the rusted metal out of the windshield frame and replace it with new material, but once the work is completed, the entire windshield frame will be stronger and better able to support the glass and seal.
The body shop can then do the windshield replacement or send the vehicle back to the auto glass shop for the final windshield repair.