by Bob Beranek
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Saturn VUE DW1738 vs. DW1762

Thanks to Brian Sieminski from Cascade Auto Glass in Boise, Idaho for bringing me this problem with the Saturn VUE windshield. According to Brian, the only glass part he can get for the Saturn VUE is the DW1762 which is the second generation rain-sensing windshield for that model. It supposedly replaces the DW1738 which was only used on the 2008 vehicle model. The problem is that they do not interchange in a couple of ways: the mirror bracket is a different style and the rain sensor is positioned to the right of the mirror and not underneath.

The mirror bracket on the DW1762 is the aluminum-pad style where the mirror slips off; we’ll call that the GM style. The DW1738 has the spring-retaining type of pad like the Mitsubishi pads. Removing these pads and interchanging them are very difficult because of the mounting adhesive used on black mirror frits or on the third visor matrix pattern. In addition, the mirror pad is mounted five inches lower on the DW1762 than on the DW1738.

DW1738 Mirror Bracket

DW1738 Mirror Bracket

 

DW1762 Mirror Bracket

DW1762 Mirror Bracket

The rain sensor on the DW1762 is directly to the right of the mirror bracket (see above) but is directly underneath the mirror bracket on the DW1738 (see below).

Mirror Bracket and Rain Sensor

Though you may be able to get the sensor to mount to the 1762, the interior decorative cover will never reattach due to the mis-positioning of the units.

DW1738 Interior Decorative Cover

DW1738 Interior Decorative Cover

FW3102 Mirror Brackets

Brian had another problem with the 2010-13 Subaru Outback and Legacy models, FW3101 without a rain sensor, and FW3102, with a rain sensor. It seems that Subaru made changes to these two windshields and didn’t tell anyone. Both these windshields have two different designs, but only one NAGS number. The latest design has the mirror pads about six inches from the top edge while the original design had the mirror pads a little over seven inches from the top edge. Subaru themselves didn’t know they had a problem until Brian brought it up to them and showed them the difference.

High Mounting 6 inches

High Mounting 6 inches

Low Mounting 7+ inches

Low Mounting 7+ inches

Originally, the vehicles equipped with an electrochromic mirror had the higher mounted pad and those vehicles without the electrochromic mirror had the lower mounted pad. The problem for us in the aftermarket is that all of the FW3101/2 windshields ordered from our distributors have the lower pad positioning. This means that the wiring needed for electrochromic mirrors will not be long enough to allow for the mirrors to attach to the lower pad and allow the wire cover to fit.

Here is the reality: all aftermarket glass will probably have the lower bracket placement and all of the dealer-purchased parts will have the higher mounted placement due to internal correction of the problem. If you have a vehicle that has the electrochromic mirror and you purchase your glass from an aftermarket manufacturer and/or distributor, the wiring can be attached if the wiring retainer is released above the headliner but the wire cover will not fit properly because the wiring harness is extended.

Note: All Carlex, the OE supplier, FW03101/2 windshields now have pads that are at the higher 2013 model year position (which is about 5 mm lower than the original position for vehicles equipped with electrochromic mirrors). Therefore these can be used to backfit all the way to 2010 model year regardless of whether the vehicle was equipped with the electrochromic or the standard rear view mirror.

Last week we talked about the equipment necessary to successfully fabricate glass parts, the proper handling of the glass to the cutting table, the different thicknesses of glass and where they may be used. This week we want to address the actual preparation of the glass and use of the equipment in set up.

Once you have the glass positioned on the cutting table and the pattern placed beneath it, the next step is to prepare the glass for the score and break. Line up the glass so the bug etched in the glass will be visible on the finished part. If this is a leftover piece of glass or if the monogram will be cut off, partially or completely, by the fabrication, the cutter must re-etch or emblazon on the glass the labeling required by FMVSS 205/ANSI Z26.1. This must include the DOT# and the AS grading of the glass cut. The only exception is if it will not be used in a vehicle for the roadway.

Next, line up the straight edge to the pattern and clamp it to the glass on the table. Don’t forget to allow for the thickness of the glass cutter at the wheel. The body of the cutter can change the actual size by as much as 1/8 of an inch on each side, which can make a significant difference in the installation of the part.

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Now apply a coating of lightweight oil to the surface to be scored. I use an old peanut can with a sponge cut to fit the base. Then I soak the sponge three-in-one oil or leftover motor oil. I store my cutters and I have a cotton dauber resting in the can. When I am ready to apply oil to the score line, I use the dauber to apply a coat of oil directly over the score line. Then I grab a soaking glass cutter and make my score. The oil “cools” the score and lubricates the wheel of the cutter to make a smooth and accurate score.

Make your first score and then break that score immediately. The longer you wait between the score and the break the more possibly of the break running away from the score. The reason for the score is to control the break. The score creates a fissure in the glass surface and controls the direction and travel of the break.

pic_2

The score is very important to the success of the cut. If you score too lightly, the break has no guidance and if you score too “hot,” you can cause the glass to break erratically. With a perfect score you can hear the score and feel the drag of the tool, but it does not result in the flaking of the glass surface.

The proper way to score glass takes practice and a steady hand. It is always better to move your body than to move your hands. If you stand still and move your hands you are likely to have an uneven score line. It will be light on the ends and “hot” in the middle. Once the score is commenced, do not stop and do not score over another score. Know what is around you before beginning the score and move items that will hinder movement.

Use the straight edge as the guide and run the cutter along the edge of the straight edge. Once you start the score, lean back or step back to keep the score smooth and with even pressure applied to the cutter. Do not stop and start.

pic_3

Repeat the above procedures for all scores on the same side of the glass. Then turn the glass over and carefully line up the straight edge on the opposite side using the score and break from the other side for alignment. Make sure the opposite score is directly above the opposite cut.

Next week we will discuss the different methods of breaking the score and separating the lamination.

When I first ventured out with my own company, I formed a partnership with a local glazing company in my hometown. They did flat glass, storefronts and shower doors, and I was able to add auto glass to their business offerings. Early in our partnership, a tempered tractor windshield came in and I was asked to install it into the frame. I asked my partner why they had ordered this piece tempered rather than cutting it from laminated safety glass. He told me their policy had been not cut laminated glass because they never had success fabricating parts without breaking or chipping the glass. My partner was a professional glass cutter with 40 years of experience and 30 years of shop ownership. It surprised me that he would rather pay more for a part than fabricate it from laminated glass. To make matters worse, the part they had ordered was too big and had to be re-cut and tempered. Lesson learned: make sure of your pattern and measure twice, cut once. But there was another lesson here as well. If they had cut the part from laminated safety glass the part would have been much cheaper and the glass, if cut wrong, could be adjusted and installed rather than re-cut and sent out for tempering.

So, let’s learn how to cut laminated safety glass.

First you need the tools and equipment to cut the glass efficiently and safely. You will need:

  • A cutting table, either homemade or professionally manufactured (To comfortably cut the tractor windshields and larger parts I suggest you get a 4’ x 8’ table.)
  • Straight edge and square
  • Clamps
  • Glass cutters, self-oilers or disposable cutters work fine
  • Oil
  • Marker or wax pencil.
  • Glass pliers, I prefer drop-jaw pliers but any glass pliers will work
  • Lamination cutter, I like an old tape measure blade but a single edge razor blade will work too
  • Edgers, manual or power depending on budget and frequency of use
  • Leather apron, safety glasses and glass handling gloves for safety

Next, you will need the glass. Laminated safety glass usually comes in two thicknesses which are determined by the thickness of the laminate, .015″ (1.5mm) sometimes referred to as “sheet” and .030″ (3mm) called “plate.” The plate glass is graded AS1 glass while the sheet glass is graded AS2. You would use the sheet for uses other than windshield applications and the plate for the windshield.

Handling the glass properly is very important for the success of fabricating a part. Before cutting the glass, make sure that it is at room temperature (65⁰F – 80⁰F). If the glass is too cold or too warm you will limit your chance of success. Most glass used for auto glass fabrication is of a smaller block size and can be handled by one man. However, if a large part is needed for off-road equipment or a tractor, a second man or a glass trolley may be needed to transport or handle the glass. Before placing the glass on the cutting table, clean the surface completely. Small chips or slivers can scratch or damage the glass even before beginning the cutting process. If you are placing a large glass sheet on a cutting table, place the back surface of the glass on the table’s edge and pivot the glass down onto the table. This assures that the glass will not prematurely fracture while it is being manipulated on the table.

laminated glass Word Image

Once the glass is positioned on the table and cleaned, the next step is to add the pattern to map out the cutting. Next week we will look at the process of prepping the glass for fabrication so the cut will be accurate and smooth.