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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Windshield Leaking
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:16:43 -0400

On Fri, 20 Sep 2002 01:30:54 GMT, "John" <> wrote:

>Believe me, I'd rather not do this myself.......I ascribe to the "ya can't
>beat a man at his own trade" theory.

I've always taken the opposite approach.  I figure most tradesmen got in
whatever business by chance and typically learn little more than the minimum
necessary to do the job.  I'm a skillful learner and figure that I can quickly
learn enough to do the job.  Then I can take whatever time it takes to do it
the best possible way without the pressure of making a living or a profit.

>My windshield is not held in by the
>mldg......the mldg is decorative and just covers the gap.  The windshield is
>actually glued to the body of the motorhome.....and there are several gaps
>at the top where it is separated.   I'm not sure whether it is the early
>stages of total adhesive failure....or  has always been this way.  My
>motorhome is a borderline antique so I don't think HR is gonna even give it
>a thought.  Auto-glass dealer route is the way to go, but they don't want to
>touch an RV.  Previous poster said something about I'm gonna
>start calling those guys up 'cause somebody has to work on these things!

Find out which independent local auto parts house caters to local body men.
Stop in there and tell the guy who has a clue (pretty easy to figure out by
looking around to see which guy has a line formed at his station) what you
want to do.  Tell him that you have a glued in windshield that you need the
proper material to cement some gaps in the glue.

He'll sell you one or more caulking gun tubes of windshield adhesive, usually
a butyl rubber based glop, though some cars are now using polyurethane rubber.

Clean out all the loose adhesive, cut any dangling bits and solvent wash the
surfaces with lacquer thinner, MEK or something equiv.  Carefully read the
instructions and then apply the adhesive to the gaps.  Most of these adhesives
are self-leveling and will settle to a smooth surface.  If yours isn't, wet
your finger with solvent and wipe it smooth.  let it cure and you're set.

You really don't want to take out that large a piece of glass if you don't
have to, because it is a royal pain in the ass.  If you decide to, it will be
a 3 man job and will require some special tools which you can probably rent or
borrow from the auto parts store.

You'll need at least two sets of glass handling suction cups, an adhesive saw,
a variety of scrapers and perhaps a heat gun.  The adhesive saw is a hunk of
piano wire with loops on  each end.  You stick that wire through the adhesive
and then attach a  handle to each end.  With one man on the inside and one on
the outside, you saw the wire back and forth, gradually cutting the adhesive
bond.  It's damned hard work and you're likely to crack the glass in the
process.  Once the adhesive is almost cut, you'll need a third guy holding the
glass in place with the suction cups.  Once the adhesive is cut, it'll take
two guys with cups to remove the glass.  Do NOT pry on it.  You WILL break it.
If the glass seems stuck, get someone on the inside to push against it near
the edge near the stuck spot.  Do NOT pry on the glass!!!

Now you get to remove all remnants of the adhesive.  This stuff is strong
enough to stop time so you have a job ahead of you.  That is what the variety
of scrapers and razor blades are for.

Once that work is done it's time to glue the glass back in.  Quickly lay down
a bed of adhesive in the glass frame. This needs to be done rapidly, as the
solvent evaporates rapidly.  I use a pneumatic caulking gun.  With two guys
outside and one guy inside, pick the glass up on the cups, hold it in position
over the bed of adhesive and with one smooth, fluid motion lay the glass on
the bed.  When it touches the adhesive, it's stuck so get it right the first
time.  Press the glass solidly to bed it in.  Arrange prop sticks, wedges or
whatever else you need to support the lower edge until the adhesive cures.
Duct tape the glass every few inches to hold pressure around the perimeter.
The adhesive tacks up pretty rapidly but needs overnight to cure.

I would NOT take that glass out unless I had to.  "had to" would only happen
if the glass was broken, in my book.


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