Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Glass and Metal

I went to do my windshields and hood this past weekend, 2 projects I have absolutely NO experience with whatsoever, and they both went near perfectly.

I started out by pulling all of the glass that wasn't in the car already (which amounted to both windshields and both pieces of rear quarter glass) and following Henry Hsu's article for glass restoration. I only deviated from this in a couple of respects - I actually used a medium weight rubbing compound around the edges and on some of the heavier scratches. My glass is still far from "perfect" or "new" but its MILES better than this car has seen in its lifetime.

Example of what I started out with - water spots, paint overspray, hazing, dusty and stained:

And a compare/contrast finished product and fresh-from-the-parts bin:

The front and rear glass looked pretty similar before I started working on those. Major props (again) to my friend Joe who helped with the polishing and installation of the glass. Also thanks to my dad, who had a ton of tips that helped with making sure the glass and window seal didn't slide all over the place during install (tip: use alcohol on the edges of the glass to get the rubber to "grip" the glass as you're installing it)

Aside from the (god damn piece of shit little bastard) lockstrip, everything went in amazingly easily.

I used the "nylon rope" method spoken about a ton of times when people do their glass:

Taped the rope to the glass (another trick I read about on the FAQ) to keep it out of the way during install:

Having someone apply pressure from the outside while you pull from the inside is key, especially in the corners. I wish I could have seen it from the outside - Joe and my sister (who was taking the really shaky pics here) said it looked like the gasket was getting "sucked into" the car. I guess thats what we're going for, right? For the rear glass, I started the rope at the bottom and worked up to the top - bottom first, then both corners (one at a time), then both top corners, the both sides to the middle. I tried to keep things as symmetrical as possible because... well... it makes sense I suppose.

Finished product! (lockstrip is there, its a black Turbo one)

The front followed the same direction, but I found that (after a first failed attempt) the rope works better pulling from the top down to the base. I don't know if it just wasn't seated properly the first time but the upper corners wouldn't pull in when we tried the rope at the base on try #1. Not many pics of this, my "photographer" has left to get pizza.

(ignore the rope placement here, we moved it to the top after this shot was taken)

Finished product!

You may notice something in the above shot that wasn't there before: a hood. On a high from getting all that glass in, Joe and I decided to toss the hood on while we were at it for good measure. Getting the bolts threaded up with only 2 people was a bit of a pain, but everything lined up well and we had it on there in under 10 minutes. It still needs a lot of adjustment, but that will come this weekend.

Time to whore out some pics: Phoenix looks like a real car!

Next weekend: hood adjustment, center console wiring, quarter glass install (maybe), continued seat belt install, possible sunroof install, other fun stuff. Money is tight right now, so I have to make due with the parts I already have until I have a few bucks to spare on the remaining parts I need to finish everything up.

Stay tuned...