by Bob Beranek

In 1998, I said that “the introduction of exposed edge glass on the VW New Beetle (FW2072) would be a flash in the pan.” I was wrong. The reason I made that statement is that I saw brand new vehicles with windshields that displayed lamination separation at the top of the glass near the rain channel and thought that the vehicle manufacturers could not accept this defect and pass FMVSS. I thought for sure that unless changes were made with the design of glass, that the future of exposed edge glass was destined for failure.  Well, it didn’t work out like I thought, as a matter of fact; it increased and became quite popular.

I overlooked one very important fact—cost of vehicle manufacture. Obviously it is cheaper to assemble a vehicle if moldings are not required to be installed. Plus, they can pass on the responsibility of vehicle appearance to the glass manufacturers and replacement companies. Why wouldn’t you introduce glass mountings without moldings?  Well, they’re beginning to find out. In future contributions to this blog I will be addressing a number of challenges that exposed edge glass poses and how we can correct and accomplish removal, mounting and troubleshooting.

We will address cut-out techniques and options, importance of bead placement, bonding and troubleshooting the ever-present air noise. I urge my readers to send me your stories, hints and fixes that you have experienced.

Comments (3)

  1. Jeff said on 23-03-2012

    Is it critical for the frit band to extend all the way to the edge on these windshields that don’t have a molding to cover the edge?

    • Daniel said on 24-03-2012

      Hey, Jeff.

      Please, allow me to display a very usual case that illustrates your present issue.
      Most of the latest Renault models ( e.g. Clio III, Symbol , Fluence—very European cars, though) have the WS frit printed some 1…1,5 millimeters from the outer edge.
      This forces the technician to perform extreme care when primering the glass and disposing the triangular section bead of urethane. Most of the European techs prefer to prime the glass all the way to the edge in order to mask the urethane bed oscillations beneath the glass, but an experienced eye will understand the after-market replacement, even with an original windshield.
      Yet, there might be solutions to mask the non-uniformity of the final urethane bead, but these occur together with the Technician’s expertise and the continuous practice ( say temporary introduction of a PJP thin line-like the one protecting the inferior margin of the Passats or latest Golfs– the line will be removed after the urethane is plimerized).
      I would add an other important note: thorough cleaning of the windshield edges edges will eliminate the traces of the silicone used for the lamination during windshield production. Sika and Wuerth offer special silicone cleaning solvents. Normal glass cleaner must be used after using the silicone cleaner.
      Hope you might find this useful.
      Good Luck !

  2. Daniel said on 23-03-2012

    Generally, this particular situation requires a very tender and delicate method for cut out the old windshield.
    We face every week the 2007 B6 VW Passat WS replacements and every job is a challenge, as some of the glasses have been already replaced, unfortunately by mid class technicians. The upper edge is so close to the pichweld edge that you may never consider using cold knife. Sometimes, even a square wire might prove risky to cut out old WS. e, here comes the expertise, wisdom and inspiration of a First league Technician. Recipes and pattern rules are far from being useful. Each and every situation shows a new challenge.
    Lucky the Old Fashion teams, loaded with heavy duty arsenals, ready to offer any reliable method of cutting out windshield without harming the pinchweld!
    As Duke Nuk’em used to say, back in the late nineties: “Hail to the King, Baby !”
    Thank God, there [still] are profis to perform proper actions. Fact is: who will take the flame and carry it further ?

    Best regards.

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