Windshield replacement: a DIY project?

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  #1  
Old 02-07-08, 07:44 AM
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Windshield replacement: a DIY project?

A friend has inherited a 96 mercedes benz- a long story. The windshield has a star crack in it, and clearly won't pass inspection, which is due this month.

Is windshield R&R a DIY project? More hassle than it's worth (finding a windshield, doing the work)?

Anyone done this? Your thoughts and ideas welcome!

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 02-07-08, 08:28 AM
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My take on it is - a determined DIY'er can do it, but I wouldn't bother. Some salvage yards put in used windshields, and glass shops compete with some pretty good prices on windshield replacements.

There's the hassle getting it out and more hassle getting it in so it doesn't leak.

I would let the guys that do it all the time take care of it.

Bob
 
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Old 02-07-08, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by CycleZen View Post
A friend has inherited a 96 mercedes benz- a long story. The windshield has a star crack in it, and clearly won't pass inspection, which is due this month.

Is windshield R&R a DIY project? More hassle than it's worth (finding a windshield, doing the work)?

Anyone done this? Your thoughts and ideas welcome!

Thanks
Nope not a DIY thing , sorry.
 
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Old 02-07-08, 08:53 AM
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Yeah, you really don't want to DIY that one
 
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Old 02-07-08, 11:40 AM
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I've installed a windshield before. With the proper materials installation is not a big deal.

But this was on an old car where the windshield was mostly delaminated from the frame. So I didn't have to deal with wrestling it from a good seal, nor did I have to find a replacement windshield. I imagine the toughest part of the job is removing the old windshield.

How bad is the crack? My insurance company will repair a windshield for free if it is repairable; $100 deductible for replacement. It may be repairable if it doesn't have a long crack emanating from the star crack. It may be fruitful to discuss this with your insurance company or the local glass shop.
 
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Old 02-07-08, 07:49 PM
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Thanks

That's just the kind of info I was looking for- thanks. Whenever I start thinking "That shouldn't be too tough" it always winds up being really really tough.
 
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Old 02-08-08, 04:08 AM
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As Kestas mentions, check your insurance; down here windshield replacement is at "0" deductible as long as you have the endorsement on your policy (think it costs me a few bucks a year).
 
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Old 02-08-08, 04:50 PM
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Since the windshield can be part of the protection system of the car, different kinds of glues are used to bond it to the car; using the wrong kind could reduce the windshield's contribution to passenger protection (breaks out too soon or too late).
Get a pro to do it for your own safety.
 
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Old 02-08-08, 05:10 PM
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I've done a half dozen windshields over the last couple of years. The hardest part is getting the old one out but I bought a power cut out tool on Ebay so it only takes a few minutes. With a manual knife it may take a bit longer. If you can find the glass at a junkyard you can save probably $200 if you do it yourself. I have an account at a glass warehouse so even if you have to buy a new one, you can still save $150. I have a few extra tubes of urethane laying around I'll sell just above cost if you wanted to install it yourself. I just bought a case today for a Nissan Altima windshield I want to replace this weekend.
 
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Old 02-08-08, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Since the windshield can be part of the protection system of the car, different kinds of glues are used to bond it to the car; using the wrong kind could reduce the windshield's contribution to passenger protection (breaks out too soon or too late).
Get a pro to do it for your own safety.
Bob22 is right!
The windshield actually becomes an intergral part of the structure. So if you roll it and the glass pops out.........there goes your safety cage.
If the car was an Escort or a Cavalier I'd say go for it but ussually anything that starts with Mercedes in it's name and ends with Bens has been engineered with form and function but hey, if it's something you want to try.....go for it!
 
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Old 12-21-09, 12:56 PM
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urethane

Yes I'm planning to install a windshield & could use the urethane. Biggest problem is what to use to cut the old windshield out. I could use a box cutter but the blade may be too short or won't bend. should I use a hacksaw blade ? what to insert after the cut to prevent rebonding of the adhesive ?

Arnold in Philadelphia
I'll flying out of BWI Jan 6.
 
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Old 12-21-09, 01:28 PM
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I've got 2 tubes left, you can have both for $15. You need a cutout tool to remove the glass. Search on Ebay with "windshield knife" and you'll find manual ones under $20.
 
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Old 01-06-10, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Since the windshield can be part of the protection system of the car, different kinds of glues are used to bond it to the car; using the wrong kind could reduce the windshield's contribution to passenger protection (breaks out too soon or too late).
Get a pro to do it for your own safety.

I thought the windsheld wasn't supposed to pop out? Certianly any windsheild that has been installed properly should never pop out. It would be nice if they did, it would make it easier for DIY'ers lol.

I'm in the middle of my own DIY windsheild project on an S10 Blazer. I rolled the truck and bought a new daily so I got plenty of time (going on one year now getting it back on the road lol) I broke the windsheild, quarter window and damaged the body. I had to remove the windsheld to repair the body and thats where I'm at right now. Both windows removed and waiting for glass. I use a razor nife and a wire to remove the windshield. I take a couple strands out of the wire to make it more "rough" so it cuts through better. You can do it yourself (I did) but it would be easier with a helper. Pulling the wire back and forth is a workout and it's handy to have someone there to lift the windshield slightly while you cut it with the razor.

This is totally within the scope of the DIY home mechanic, the problem is, it really isn't worth the effort from what I see. The cheapest place in town charges $120 to put a windshield in my truck, and all said and done, I'm looking at 35 for junkyard glass, about 40 for urethane, 10 for trim piece, 5 for wire, plus gas and a large chunk of time. I'd say _at_least_ an hour for removal and an a hour for installation. So I'm not saving very much at all, maybe $20-30. And thats ONLY if I don't break the glass putting it in. Break one windshield and all the money I saved goes straight out the windows. I figured all this out before I started, and really only continued because I wanted to DIMyself, not to save money. I guess it all comes down to how much your time is worth to you. For my daily if I have a windsheild problem, it will go to the gass shop.
 
  #14  
Old 01-06-10, 08:36 PM
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I've done 4 windshields and never had a problem with air or water leaks but nowadays the cost difference is too close to do it myself anymore besides even if you do save a couple bucks you still have to dispose of the old glass which can present a challenge.
As mentioned several times in this post the windshield is part of the structure of car and you wouldn't want it to pop out if your cars decides to invert on the expressway.

I used a guitar string, fed it cold through the butyl tape seal and pulled it all the way around to seperate the glass then used a wire wheel to clean out the residual glue and rubber seal, re-bondo the seams, primer, paint and new butyl tape........a real crappy job.
 
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