Jim Smart
July 1, 2000

Step By Step

View Photo Gallery
A windshield professional’s tools of the trade are quite simple in scope. The trim removal tool on top pops the retainer clips. A special kind of masking tape protects the paint. Two types of sealers are used (not shown here).
Painted surfaces must be protected. Autoglas 1 lays down a special blue masking tape designed to protect, then lift off with ease. Never pop a windshield without some form of paint protection.
On a ’65-’66 Mustang, the dashpad trim inside must be removed to access the rubber gasket inside.
Removing windshield trim involves lifting the retainers behind the trim. Autoglas 1 uses the tool mentioned earlier, along with a screwdriver or razor blade to separate the trim. The clip (not visible) is lifted inside, which frees the trim.
Autoglas 1 suggests removing the windshield independently of the rubber gasket. Here, the windshield is worked outside of the rubber lip. One person works inside pushing gently on the glass while another outside carefully works the glass out of the gasket.
It’s easy to understand why our windshield leaked. Gaps like this in the sealer create avenues for leakage.
To prepare the windshield channel for the new rubber gasket, Autoglas 1 removes the old gasket and cleans out all of the sealer.
All windshield trim clips are removed next.
Somaca Butyl Pinchweld Primer is a brush-on primer designed to help the rubber gasket stick to the painted surfaces. Run a solid bead of this stuff around the perimeter.
Reinstall the trim clips and apply windshield sealer around the base of the clip. Use Essex U-418 Quick Cure, a butyl sealer that remains pliable.
The U-418 sealer, available at most windshield shops, is injected into the gap between the windshield and body. You need a solid bead to keep water out. Use this stuff carefully because it does not wash off easily.
After running a bead of windshield sealer around the gasket perimeter, marry the windshield and gasket as an assembly, then seat as shown. Autoglas 1 uses a cord around the outside gasket perimeter to pop the lip over inside the body. The cord is pulled, which pops the lip. Pressure on the outside of the windshield makes installation easy.
U-418 is also injected into the gasket between the gasket and windshield glass. Go easy here. A little sealer goes a long way.
Trim is installed next. Be careful here. It’s easy to chip the paint. Our paint was chipped in two places during trim installation. That’s the risk associated with windshield removal. When we washed the car later, we were pleased with the dry results.

Vintage Ford windshields and backlights are a great challenge when it comes to leak-free performance. Our '65 Mustang is a case in point. Despite our best efforts during windshield and backlight installation more than a year ago, they both leaked during the car’s first wash. You can imagine the language.

We decided to call the auto glass professionals at Autoglas 1 in Simi Valley, California, for insight into old rubber gasket–style windshields and what can be done to make them leak-tight. Unfortunately, rubber-gasket windshields tend to be leakers, no matter how much you do to make them leak-tight. Autoglas 1 suggests close attention to detail and a new rubber gasket when it’s time for windshield replacement. In fact, Autoglas 1 will not warranty a windshield against leakage unless you supply a new gasket with the job.