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Exposed Edge Glass (Part One)

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.