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Windshield Seam Rust

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Friborage, November 8, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Friborage

    Friborage New Member

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    Hello!

    So over the past summer, as the Explorer has been out in rain storms, my front seats, headliner, and dash have been getting wet. I traced it to water coming down from the top of the windshield. Once I took the head liner down I could see traces of rust in about a 2-4 inch length up behind where the outside temp and compass unit is.

    Initially, I was going to see if I could use some silicone windshield sealer on the inside, but I figured that while it would stop the water getting in if successful, the rust would continue to propagate and get worse. So now I figure the glass has to come out so I can sand and seal the area.

    Safelite wants to charge me essentially double to come out on two separate days to remove the glass, and then install it... almost $300 so I figure I'll take a shot at removing it myself and only have them come out once. I called a few local places but they're all booked up for weeks ahead.

    I guess my biggest concern now is getting the glass out. There's a rubber trim strip going around the perimeter that's become very hard with age and I have zero confidence of it surviving removal. Can I just cut it and toss it? Will Safelite have a replacement for it when they come with the new glass?

    Any tricks for cutting the urethane and getting the glass out? I do most of my own mechanical work, and I do detailing work on the side, but I've never done a windshield and I've never done actual body work.

    At this point Im mostly committed to buying a new windshield along with this, so Im not that scared of breaking the glass, but I dont want a huge mess either.
     
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  3. FijiBill

    FijiBill New Member

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    I replaced my 1999 Explorer Sport windshield with a Ford OEM windshield I pulled from PickNPull.

    The first thing to do is get rid of the rubber. If it is original, the gasket has an aluminum liner which makes it much more difficult to deal with than any other car. Use a utility knife to cut the outside of the gasket off (don't scratch your paint though!). Then use a putty knife and a mallet to go around the TOP of the gasket to slice off the TOP part of the aluminum liner (it will make sense when you see it). This allows you to get your cold knife in between the glass and the urethane. Otherwise you will be fighting that aluminum liner.

    With the TOP of the aluminum gasket gone, from the outside it will be easy to insert the 90 degree cold knife and blades (see below) in between the gasket, the glass, and the urethane and pull around the top and sides. Again, away from metal and paint. The remaining gasket should help you here.

    For the bottom, use some soapy water as lube and slide the long knife (see below) down the bottom of the windshield from the inside. You can tap it with a rubber mallet to get slowly through the rubber or do the horror movie slasher thing. Just try not to scratch anything! Again, you are trying to get between the glass and the urethane (the weakest bond), so no reason to get near the paint.

    After that, you can use some cheap suction cups from harbor freight to lift the glass out. Then trim the urethane down with a razor blade scraper. You don't need to trim all the way as urethane sticks best to urethane.

    Do your rust repair of choice here?

    Test fit the new windshield. It should fit into the plastic blocks at the bottom of the pinch weld. Put some tape on the outside as reference marks for final placement.

    Then use urethane primer on any exposed metal and scratches. If you have fresh cut urethane, don't cover it, as the primer won't do better than that for bonding.

    Apply the urethane primer on the inside of the new windshield. This will let the urethane bond to the glass and protect the urethane from UV. Get the new gasket and put it around the new windshield. Run a small bead of urethane on the inside of the windshield to seal it to the gasket. Some pieces of tape on the outside of the windshield will keep the gasket in place.

    Then lay down the urethane on the pinch weld using a triangle shaped bead. For the high viscosity stuff you'll need a power gun. It will take two tubes.

    Then position the windshield using the suction cups and your reference marks. Try to be accurate as it sets up quick. You might be able to move it a tiny bit after dropping it.

    Use tape on the outside to force down the gasket to the correct profile while the urethane sets.

    If you want to reuse the glass, you should cut it out with the long knife from inside the car. But I wouldn't recommend that except on a parts car. Don't use the cold knife or wire. Also, if the glass is not original Ford OEM, it will break anyway. Aftermarket glass is MUCH weaker.

    Likely your previous installer didn't use primer/made a lot of scratches and that caused the rust. Unfortunately you never know if they did it right until your car rusts out a few years later.

    There are some good youtube videos out there. Here is the list of stuff I used mainly from EBay.

    3M Fast Cure Auto Glass Urethane 08690
    3M Single Step Primer 08682
    CRL Extra Long Utility Knife Blades - 1993X10
    Equalizer Z Blade Variety Pack (Z1, Z2, Z7, Z3, Z4, Z5, Z8, Z9 & Z6) VZB10
    Precision Parts New Windshield Molding Front Glass Moulding Ford Explorer Navajo ( 371974675467 )
    ATD 24" Urethane Cut Out Knife #8563
    7pc Professional Windshield Removal Automotive Wind Glass Remover Tools Kit
    RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Power Caulk and Adhesive Gun

     
    Last edited: November 8, 2019
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  4. Friborage

    Friborage New Member

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    Jeeze, that was one of the more complete and helpful responses I've ever gotten on a forum, ha...

    Thanks a lot x1000, I'll be referencing this the whole way through
     
  5. 410Fortune

    410Fortune MUD SEASON 2.0 Staff Member Moderator

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    glass installers are supposed to take your truck down to bare metal, add a primer, then add their glue.
    If they do not you will get rust after years and years of new glass being installed, bare metal will be exposed and rust will occur
    The glass is a structural member of the body when installed properly

    The Safelite price might be higher, but those guys usually do it PROPERLY leaving you with no rust
    What I do with the cheaper guys is ask them ahead of time if they are going to sand, clean and primer
    Or like you remove my own glass and do it myself, then just have them do the install.

    DIY is the best way to make sure its done right, asking the right questions and letting the pro do it is the next best thing
     
  6. vroomzoomboom

    vroomzoomboom Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS! Elite Explorer

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    my advice, let someone that knows how to do it, do it. ive done windshields for many years and if you dont know what your doing you will either crack it trying to do it, or over time you will have another leak happen. like 410fortune said, it is structural, and if your ever in a accident, and the bags go off they will pop the windshield out, or if you roll it, the roof wont stand a chance of holding up.
     
  7. FijiBill

    FijiBill New Member

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    I'd be super interested in responses wrt/the second part of the OP's question: windshield rust repair.

    I've read a bunch of different and somewhat conflicting opinions

    1) Grind the rust back to bare metal and then apply auto glass primer on top, like 410 mentioned. This makes sense from a strength standpoint, assuming the OEM paint is the weakest layer. But I've also read that it is much better never to scratch the OEM paint, as primer only has limited rustproofing ability. How does this hold up after a few years, especially for a daily driver out in the rain?

    2) Grind the rust back to bare metal and apply POR-15, then auto glass primer on top. This makes sense as grinding the rust doesn't get below the surface and the rust will certainly reappear. POR-15 is an encapsulator that blocks air from the metal and prevents rust. But others say the rust will come through from the back side anyway, and that POR-15 is a major pain to remove when you have to redo things down the line.

    3) Grind the rust back to bare metal and apply an acid rust converter of your choice, then auto glass primer on top. Not sure on this, as I think the rust converters actually need surface rust to accomplish anything.

    4) Grind the rust back to bare metal, use automotive paint of choice, then auto glass primer on top. Touchup paint would probably be better than auto glass primer to prevent rust. Likely not much strength as an intermediate layer. Certainly less than OEM paint. Enough versus an airbag?

    5) All the above is junk. Cut out the rusty seam and weld in new metal. But cutting, grinding, and welding has its own issues like fire and yet more rust! Plus how do you treat this fresh metal (see above :).

    6) Some combination of the above or something else?

    Thanks all!
     
    Last edited: November 9, 2019
  8. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    If there was no rust issue, no leaking, than having an installer do it would be best. Since there is some metal damage, rust etc, I would not let a simple glass installer handle it. The metal channel of the glass needs to be repaired, and sealed from future moisture/rust.

    I had that issue with my 93 Explorer. I had a body shop guy do the glass, but he didn't deal with the top edge metal, some kind of exposure. After a couple of years, a leak began and I found the top left letting go(he also used a cheap sealer, not the proper urethane and primer). When I reconstructed my 99, using the 93 body, I removed the glass and carefully treated the bare metal. Mine was minor, tiny holes and no structural damage to repair. So it was treating the rust, and I used Eastwood Rust Encapsulator. I had a windshield place come out and put in a new windshield.

    Projectthread043.JPG
     

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