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Blast from the Past

We don’t do many gasket-set windshields any more. However, while visiting my friends at Aegis Tools International last week, we talked about how installers used to use a length of nylon braided rope to install a windshield. I thought I would document a use for rope that not many technicians today have even heard of. I’m sure most automotive glass technicians have at least witnessed a rope-in installation sometime in their career but I bet few of you have seen or heard of roping-in the chrome molding into a gasket.

First of all, most foreign gasket windshields used a system of decorative chrome moldings that insert into the gasket similar to the old DW819 with chrome installation. I’m talking about the six-piece rigid chrome moldings with the “L” shaped flange that insert into a groove in the gasket and not the chrome insert that locked the gasket to the glass they used in the later models.

One of the most difficult was the older Subaru models with four-sided chrome. Like the DW819, the chrome was inserted before the glass was roped into the opening, but unlike the Ford version the chrome did not have an “L” flange to insert.  Rather it used a rubber flap on the gasket that fit over a “rolled” inner edge of the chrome.

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Getting that gasket to firmly grasp that “rolled” edge was a real challenge that most technicians would gladly skip if they could. As a matter of fact, there were guys (not me, of course) who practiced their selling skills by convincing the customer to forgo the reinstallation of the chrome saying, “it looks better without the chrome, doesn’t it?”

So, what do you do when the customer says, “No, I want the chrome put back in.” Here’s the trick:

—You use a 1/8th inch braided nylon rope inserted into the groove of the gasket where the chrome is to be inserted.

—Place the chrome molding where it is to be inserted.

—Use your thumb to apply slight pressure on the top of the chrome molding while pulling the rope outwards from the glass edge.

Move your thumb as the rope is pulled. The rubber flap is forced up and over the underside “rolled” edge grasping it and keeping it in place.

This works like a charm and unless the chrome “rolled” edge is bent or damaged, it will work every time.