by Bob Beranek
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The gasket (weatherstrip) installation is quickly becoming a thing of the past. However, there are a few gasket sets still out there. The vehicles they are mounted in are being used every day to transport families and friends. The ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard 003-2015 is written to cover all vehicles with safety glass mounting, no matter what kind.

7.2 of the ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard addresses gasket set installations.

Old:

If the OEM gasket installation did not include adhesive and the vehicle is licensed for highway use, the installation shall include polyurethane or an equivalent adhesive bonding system. The following are permissible exceptions: egress applications, antique restorations, the customer’s requirements differ even after being informed about the safety implications, or in cases in which this practice conflicts with current vehicle manufacturer specifications.

New:

If the OEM gasket installation did not include adhesive and the vehicle is licensed for highway use and is less than 10,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), the installation shall include polyurethane or an equivalent adhesive bonding system. The following are permissible exceptions: egress applications, antique or classic vehicle restorations, or in cases in which this practice conflicts with current vehicle manufacturer specifications.

The key issue here are the phrases, “licensed for highway use” and “under 10,000 lbs. GVW”. This means that the vehicle carries a license plate that gives the driver unlimited use on America’s roadways, and is considered a passenger vehicle. It is not a service or commercial vehicle.

The glass parts of large trucks and service vehicles are not regulated under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Truck and service vehicles are required to meet different regulations monitored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Though the glass used in these vehicles must meet FMVSS 205 for the manufacturing of safety glass, they do not have the requirements for glass retention, airbag deployment, or roof crush that passenger vehicles require. So, this means that we are to follow the directives in our ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard in respect with passenger vehicles only.

Now don’t get me wrong, we still have the responsibility to install all glass safely. However, we have to recognize that larger service vehicles do not have the safety issues that smaller, passenger vehicles have. Plus, the larger vehicles are working vehicles that usually need to be put in service sooner rather than later. Because of this, many times, immediate use (like gasket mounted glass parts) is built into the design of the vehicle.

What is a classic or antique automobile?

The Classic Car Club of America maintains that a car must be between 30 and 49 years old to be a classic, while cars between 50 and 99 fall into a pre-antique class. Cars that are 100 years and older fall into the antique class. While the Antique Automobile Club of America defines an antique car as 25 years or older. A classic is defined as 20–49 years old.

As you can see, there is no definitive definition of these types of automobiles, so I use the license plate definition of classic or antique. All states have licensing of special older vehicles, but the criterion used to designate one from another is different from state to state. The key point is the mileage restrictions.

Older vehicles exist because either they were well taken care of or they are vintage collectable vehicles. Antique or classic vehicles are usually pampered and driven few miles because the owner wants to enjoy the era that the vehicle represents. Or it is kept for investment purposes. Either way it is usually tagged with a special license plate that has a wide range of restrictions that limits its use and miles driven. These specially licensed vehicles are exempted from our ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard.

However, if the older vehicle just happens to be well taken care of, is licensed for the roadway like any other vehicle, is under 10,000 lbs. GVW and utilizes a gasket for its glass mounting, then the ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard applies and the glass installation must meet the standard as written.

Simply put, vehicles that have gasket set stationary glass and are licensed for the roadway as unrestricted must follow the Standard. Those that are specially licensed do not apply.

I am interrupting my series on the ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard 003-2015 to discuss the use and the slow obsolescence of (some types) of glass dams. A glass dam is a device that holds back a material from going where it is not supposed to go. Dams in our industry are used in three different ways: as a positioning device, an aesthetic feature to hide unappealing material or as a sound barrier between the engine noise and the quiet interior.

Most of the dams used in automobiles are made of an open-celled foam extrusion and are placed between the urethane bead and the interior of the vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers use dams to solve a dual problem. They can help to position the glass a distance away from the pinchweld metal to allow movement to the glass in the opening. They can also keep the glass from flattening out the low viscosity urethane used in the manufacture and keep it from oozing into the passenger compartment. Carmakers decided on open-celled foam to allow good air flow for curing purposes.

The third use of a dam is acoustical. The acoustical dam is always found at the bottom of the windshield mounting area. It can be attached to the glass, pinchweld, dashboard or firewall. Many times this dam is damaged upon removal of the glass by inside cutting tools such as long-handled utility knifes, power tools and wire out tools and/or the lack of care taken by the technician. Unfortunately, these dams are rarely replaced when damaged. This is due to the unique style, cost, availability and the lack of reimbursement by insurance companies.

So, what happens if the technician fails to replace the dam? Usually very little. The positioning dam is not needed as long as the technician uses a high-viscosity urethane. The aesthetic dams are rarely used anymore because of decorative interior trims and mouldings. However, the removal of an acoustical dam is one area where the end result could be complaints about air and engine noise. It is recommended that acoustical dams be salvaged or replaced to save the expense of a customer calling you back to fix a noise problem.

Here is a little hint that I have used for many years that may help you with this quality issue. The biggest problem with replacing acoustical dams is the uniqueness of design and the cost. I have a solution that may help. It is called backer rod or glazing rod. You can find it in most hardware stores or online.

A backer rod is an open or closed cell foam extrusion that is used in the building trades to fill the gaps between the millwork and the walls of a building. It allows for the expansion of joints, but seals from weather and noise. Usually it is inserted in the joint and then covered with a caulk or sealing compound. Our use is to provide a sound barrier from the engine compartment.

NOMACO Engineering Foam Solutions.

NOMACO Engineering Foam Solutions.

I use a round open-celled foam of about ¾ or 1 inch in diameter. I try to find a black or dark grey color to provide a neutral palate. Once the glass is placed in the opening, I push the rod between the glass and the dashboard. The rod will compress and then expand when it reaches a gap or cavity. It is very easy to install, it is inexpensive and it forms to the unique shape of the vehicle.

Even though positioning and aesthetic dams are going by the wayside, acoustical dams are becoming more important due to the increasing number of voice activated systems in the interior of today’s vehicles. It is important for us to restore the acoustical integrity of the vehicle’s interior. Backer rods are a way to do this easily and economically.

Part four in our series of ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard 003-2015 changes is related to adhesives and their importance to the safety of the installation.

6.4 The vehicle owner/operator shall be notified prior to and after the installation process of the minimum drive-away time under the circumstances of the replacement.

The Safe-Drive-Away Time (SDAT) is one of the most important issues the mobile technician must communicate to the vehicle owner. If the vehicle is driven pre-maturely, there could be safety and performance problems with serious ramifications. We all know that the adhesives must be cured to the point of providing safety as defined by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 208 and 212. We must communicate to the customer that driving or moving the vehicle could cause the glass to shift, thus creating possible leaks and bonding problems as well.

This portion of the Standard assures that there is no mistake in communication when it comes to the customer’s use of the vehicle. Notifying the customer before the installation commences ensures that the customer is prepared to keep the vehicle stationary as prescribed by the cure rates and climatic conditions of the day. It also ensures the customer’s schedule will not be in conflict with the requirements. Reminding the customer after the installation reinforces the importance of SDAT and demonstrates its importance.

6.5 Adhesive must be applied so that the finished bead cross section profile and dimensions meet or exceed original equipment configuration or recommendation of adhesive system manufacturer.

Section 6.5 is the directive to replicate the original installation as closely as possible. However, all technicians know that obtaining the exact bead configuration and dimension can be difficult to do in the aftermarket. A robot can be programmed to extrude a specific amount of adhesive at the point of application. However, as the vehicle continues down the assembly line, the glass is leaned on and pressed in areas where other parts are assembled and the exact width and height can be changed. This directive is meant to ensure that the technician matches the original bead as closely as possible.

The change in this directive reflects the adhesive manufacturers’ role in determining the urethane’s proper performance features as designed by the automaker. Due to this involvement and the knowledge put forth in design, we, as aftermarket service providers, must respect their recommendations and follow their instructions to insure proper results.