Windshield Replacement

Tips, tricks, tools...

Moderator: Moderators

Windshield Replacement

Postby 75spyder » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:15 pm

Hello all,

First post here... Been coming to this site for years, love all the info & the community is awesome.

I've got a running project '75 Monza 2+2 hatchback that I'm looking to replace the windshield on. Turns out, I have a '76 Spyder as a parts car with a good windshield that I would like to use. I know it's best to leave this type of work to the pros unless you're experienced, but many of the places I've called about this say that it's likely the glass is going to break on its way out.

My dad is pretty handy at making things work. I have a feeling that we could pull the glass without any problems. I'm mainly curious what type of tool would be best for this. I've seen the T-bar with the angled blade and the wire reel that is drill powered.

Also, does pulling a windshield weaken it? During the install, would it have a greater chance of breaking just because it was pulled from another car?

What I'm considering is pulling both windshields (starting with the broken one), and then having someone come out to the house to finish the job.

I would appreciate any input. I feel like we only have one shot at this.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:45 am

1975 Chevrolet Monza 2+2

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby cjbiagi » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:38 pm

Glass does become more brittle or fragile with time so I would definitely get the old one out before trying to remove the one in your good car. I have seen pro's pull windshields like nothing, so I would still suggest having someone do it who knows what they are doing and has the right tools. It may still break but they have a better chance pulling than someone who has never done it. If you can get it out I don't see any issue with reusing it, just be real careful cleaning all the residue off of it and the car and then have it professionally installed. It's a gamble but what do you have to lose other than whatever they charge to pull it.
Clyde.........75 Monza 2+2
User avatar
Posts: 8323
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:37 pm
Location: Glenwood, Illinois

1975 Chevrolet Monza

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby Monza Harry » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:57 pm

I tried to remove a couple of windshields years ago and I broke them, but 4 hours in a warm car with no seats does tend to make normal people impatient, and I am not the most patient person to start with. But I have removed other glass successfully, so patients is key! As for the professionals I would suspect you may have slightly better success with the guy from the Auto Wreckers, most glass shops remove broken windshields, the wreckers remove ones they want to get paid for. I will have to R&R mine next year(?) or there abouts, so I will have to figure this out as well. Please keep us posted. I used a regular breakaway blade knife [OLFA] when I tried this in the past and now they sell Extra Sharp, so I am hopeful. The window moulding studs were an impediment with the handle with the "L" blade for me. I kept hitting the studs while trying to use that one and kept hitting the glass as a result, TOO scary for me now! Just some of my experience and thoughts. Harry
I'm not a hoarder I'm a preservationist 78 Monza Spyder (Soon To Be 2+2 with Spoilers)
User avatar
Monza Harry
Posts: 2369
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:50 am
Location: Windsor ON Canada

1978 Chevrolet Monza 2+2

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby 75spyder » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:57 am

Great to hear each of your views on this. I think I will end up hiring someone for the job. Just don't want to think what one of these cost new. The shop from the other day wasn't able to find one after exhausting their resources. Have yet to hear back from Safelite.

Not that it wasn't expected, finding parts for these cars takes patience in itself. Heck, just that "hope" of it being there on ebay each time I check has kind of dulled out by now. Lol

I like the auto-wrecker idea. I will have to call around to see if we could have anything arranged like that. I never considered that Safelite may only pull previously cracked windshields. I will keep you posted.
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:45 am

1975 Chevrolet Monza 2+2

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby dindin » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:11 am

Just came across this Don't know anything about them though they do have an ebay site it seems. ... d=11928163

Posts: 527
Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 10:01 am

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby mahoy78spyder » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:23 pm

I pulled my Spyder windshield just a couple of months ago (first time) and I cracked it, but it was my own fault for being impatient. I went around initially with a heat gun to soften up the seal, then used a sharp utility knife from the outside. That was a good start, but then I used an oscillating tool with a staggered flat blade and it made EASY work of removing the windshield seal. My mistake was in getting impatient in not waiting until I got ALL the way around the windshield before trying to pry the glass way from the car. Be careful here, because it is VERY brittle, so even "taking a peak" by prying up a half inch or so from one corner caused mine to crack down the middle.

Ironically, once I finally used the oscillating tool all the way around the windshield, cutting through the seal, I was still able to easily remove the windshield in one piece, even with the 'top to bottom' crack in it.

Good luck!
Ken Mahoy
'78 C06 Monza Spyder
User avatar
Posts: 700
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 5:02 pm
Location: Covington, IN

1978 Chevrolet Monza Spyder

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby cosvega76 » Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:31 am

I successfully removed a windshield from a Cosworth. I saw the procedure from one of those TV car shows. Carefully and as completely as you can cut the sealant around the perimeter of the windshield with a utlity knife, then - as scary as it sounds - lie on your back on the floor of the car (with the front seats out) push with your legs with your feet flat on the windshield with a slow, steady motion. If you've cut well enough it will slowly peel away.

If it doesn't seem to be moving, go back out and run around the perimeter with the utility knife again, just to be sure.

They showed on the program having two people push but I did it successfully by myself.

By all means, do not "kick" - slow and steady is the key, biasing your feet closer to the top of the windshield.

Posts: 2556
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:36 am
Location: Moscow Mills, MO

1973 Chevrolet Vega GT

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby Vega2008 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:05 pm

This reply may be late in the game for you...but I successfully removed my windshield in my 1975 Vega by using old guitar strings. Heat up the end of the steel guitar string with a lighter, poke the end of the string through the windshield seal. Wind up both ends of the guitar string on small wood pieces so you have something to hold onto, and have someone on the outside and someone on the inside pull slowly back and forth on the string. The friction causes heat and will cut the seal out cleanly without damaging the glass. Once you go all the way around the glass, it's free and the glass will not have to be forced out at all. Works great!
I did break a guitar string or two in the process by trying to go to fast...the string got to hot and broke, but I had plenty of used steel guitar strings and it took about 45 minutes to cleanly cut out all the sealant around the glass without damaging anything.

Just a tip for what works.

Mike - Vega2008
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 9:25 pm
Location: Excelsior Springs, Missouri 64024

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby 67shovel » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:52 pm

I get them out with wire also. Cut away as much of the sealer as you can and pierce it with a wire and a couple screw drivers to wind it up on and use for handles. I use safety wire. I've done them by myself but a "good" helper helps. The trick it to not drag the wire on the edge of the glass. Pull it right along the roof edge and have 8" of wire exposed or so to your handle. The wire should never touch the glass edge unless you don't mind breaking it.
Setting it in the sun helps soften the seal often and also solvents.
79 Monza wagon Pro street, cage tubs narrowed 9
73 GT Vega wagon street car 355 700r4 a/c
68 RS Z/28 302
67 SS 396
Cobra replica
65 Corvair Corsa midengine 301 ... =RETRIEVED
Posts: 310
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:29 am
Location: Houston Tx

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby kgroombr » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:25 am

Wire is the way to go. I have removed four windshields and having broke any. Another key component, is a buddy. It takes two people to remove a windshield properly.

User avatar
Posts: 1168
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:27 pm
Location: Evans, GA

1972 Chevrolet Vega Kammback GT

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby 75spyder » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:52 pm

Hi guys! Thanks for all of your replies and experiences. I am getting back around to this late, but I figured I would update you with the information I came across during the removal of my windshield in case it may be helpful for anyone in the future.

We used wire also, I think it was picture hanging wire. Guitar wire would be a great alternative as mentioned. We were able to pull the cracked windshield without furthering the cracks, but after getting 3/4 done pulling the good windshield, I put a nice 12-15" split all the way up due to dinging the glass with a screwdriver while trying to remove the trim clips! :bang:

Fortunately, I found a store in MA, I think Pro Source Auto Glass? They do lots of exotic windshields and I was able to buy a new one for far less than was available on ebay or anywhere else I had checked. (Although, I've now doubled the amount I actually have into the car alone...) :lol:

I also removed the hatch glass to reseal it while we are putting the new windshield in. Any tips on install? I've heard of people using a foam dam along the pinch weld to keep any urethane from getting inside the car when placed. A foam dam or even butyl rope (1/4" or 3/8"). Does anyone happen to know the factory way of mounting the glass? Were the windshield/rear hatch glass different process? I like the idea of a foam dam but I don't want to compromise the structural rigidity of the car. Also, would the foam dam compress more than the butyl rope and make the trim dangle around?

Thanks in advance.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:45 am

1975 Chevrolet Monza 2+2

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby chuck79 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:56 pm

I used the wire to get spare glass for my Sunbird from a junk Monza. Go slow, patience will be rewarded. Got specialty wire off Ebay and don't regret it.
User avatar
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:38 pm
Location: Chicopee, Mass

1979 Pontiac Sunbird

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby zeke » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:52 am

This guy can get new H-body windshields for a reasonable price. You have to call on a telephone.
16700704_1221411731279745_2719867601049214543_o.jpg (163.1 KiB) Viewed 888 times
20170522_034309 (1).jpg
20170522_034309 (1).jpg (101.3 KiB) Viewed 888 times
User avatar
Posts: 2508
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:27 am
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada

1979 Chevrolet Monza 2+2

Re: Windshield Replacement

Postby mikebrow74 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:25 am

Yes, I just bought one from them in April and they shipped it to me in California. Think it was about $275 with shipping. The old glass does get brittle and the blue tint fades to bronze. With these available for a reasonable price it is not worth trying to remove and transfer one. I have removed 4 of these. One broke while removing, one broke after I had laid it in the frame and I was lifting it out (brittle) and I have one that I got before I found a new one. My successful removals have been cutting straight down around the outside perimeter with a utility knife then poking the sealant with a sharpened putty knife. Be careful not to cut the antenna lead and do not force anything. Make sure the sealant is cut all the way around.
User avatar
Posts: 114
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:06 pm
Location: Elk Grove, CA

Return to Restoration Tips

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests