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Windshield replacements - Do it myself?


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I need to replace my cracked windshield.  I want to use glass since its safer.  The online quotes for a glass shop to replace it are $500.  The only place to buy it that I found is rock auto for $300 shipped.

 

Are there other low cost options besides lexan?  Is this a reasonable DIY project?  Car is a '91 MR2.

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7 minutes ago, Chris Shay said:

I need to replace my cracked windshield.  I want to use glass since its safer.  The online quotes for a glass shop to replace it are $500.  The only place to buy it that I found is rock auto for $300 shipped.

 

Are there other low cost options besides lexan?  Is this a reasonable DIY project?  Car is a '91 MR2.

Do you have a local glass shop or a pal at a body shop ? Sometimes the glass can be bought cheap if no labor is involved .

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IDK about the toyota, but the E30 windshields are much cheaper.  I pay $180 installed for Fuayo glass.

Dont use a national glass company, especially safelite, they are all crap and overcharge.  Find a local mom and pop shop and tell them what you are doing, they usually are good to me.

 

 

Edit:  If the glass isnt glued in, its probably DIY possible, but It will take some tools and you may break one before you get good at it.  I think my guy charges me like $50 to install it, but his price on the glass is about $30 better than mine, so its a no brainer to let him take the liability.

Edited by Huggy
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20 minutes ago, Chris Shay said:

I need to replace my cracked windshield.  I want to use glass since its safer.  The online quotes for a glass shop to replace it are $500.  The only place to buy it that I found is rock auto for $300 shipped.

 

Are there other low cost options besides lexan?  Is this a reasonable DIY project?  Car is a '91 MR2.

Like Huggy said.. you can definitely do it if it's one of the "lock strip" style windshields rather than a glue-in one.

 

I did the windshield on our e30.. I think the glass itself was $130. 

NOTE: take a sharp knife and trim away all the plastic that you can.. On my windshield, the plastic "meat" of the glass "sandwich" stuck out a little around the edges and made it too tight to properly install. The glass was the perfect size.. trim the plastic flush with the glass.

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I buy my neon windshields from the junkyard. Do a car-part search. Give them time to cut it out. 50 to 75 a windshield. 

 

Pay someone to cut your old one out. I have gotten then out with the piano wire trick and a poor soul who helped me. What a pain. The glue ia available for install from napa and is not $. 

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Note to anybody getting glass installed by a chain type place...

 

Tell them you dont have passenger or driver side windows.  Most of these places use the window and door frame for a contraption that allows them to install teh glass with 1 hand.  When the guy did my windsheild, he had to call another guy to come help him because no side glass on racecar...

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Pay someone to cut your old one out??!!  No way man, its SOOOO easy with the proper tool.

 

Find something like this, and its a 5-10 min job with two people sawing at either end:

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/powerfist-windshield-removal-kit/A-p8428021e

 

Even the most difficult ones we have done have been less than 20 mins.

 

We pay a guy to come over and install though.  For $250 CDN he brings the windshield over in advance so we can install a defroster grid before its in the car, then comes back over to glue it in. 

 

FWIW too, if you buy some of the glue yourself from napa or otherwise, pro-tip is to heat it up with hot water in a pot or leave it out in the sun on a hot day.  Otherwise its pretty much impossible to push out of the tube.

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@mcewena oh gawd.... You will be finding glass pieces in your car for the remainder of its life!

 

We tried to screw around with one of our first rear windshields and end up breaking it. Glass everywhere! Were blown away by how easy the tool made it the 2nd time around. Seriously, it came out like a hot knife through butter. 

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1 minute ago, thewheelerZ said:

@mcewena oh gawd.... You will be finding glass pieces in your car for the remainder of its life!

 

We tried to screw around with one of our first rear windshields and end up breaking it. Glass everywhere! Were blown away by how easy the tool made it the 2nd time around. Seriously, it came out like a hot knife through butter. 

 

This was during the cage build so we were all through the shell anyway.   Wimps could add a tarp to the tools list ;) 

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Is glass really that much safer than Lexan?  I have had a lexan windshield in the miata for 3+ years now after cracking glass twice in 3 races.  There have been some pretty big objects hit the windshield (a cone for example) and metal bits that have only left a ding/slight gouge in the lexan with no cracking...

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DYI  removal   at junkyard requires no piano wire, every car has a hood pop cable, clip at the hood latch and pull out using the handle as one holder, pair of vise grips on the other side after you poke through the urethane glue...

 

 Saying that, spend the $250 and buy scratch resistant Lexan, this isn't  a safety issue of one versus the other it's a lightness issue ;)

Edited by Team Infiniti
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19 hours ago, Alchemy Autosport said:

Is glass really that much safer than Lexan?  I have had a lexan windshield in the miata for 3+ years now after cracking glass twice in 3 races.  There have been some pretty big objects hit the windshield (a cone for example) and metal bits that have only left a ding/slight gouge in the lexan with no cracking...

 

it's actually MUCH stronger than glass. But a lot depends on good solid mounting, it is possible the lexan will rip off it's mounts before it actually breaks if hit by a big object.

My windshields cost under $50 each and can be installed in 10 minutes by myself with screws. (Polycarb)

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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I use normal wipers. If we use them for an extended period of time it does cause some light scratching on the windshield but you hardly notice it while driving. I also bring at least 1 full set of new spare windshields to every race so I have a fresh set for the second day, if needed.

 

I looked at getting coated lexan but it's nearly 3x the price. For that, i'll just change them out 3x as often. Never been an issue.

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2 minutes ago, Slugworks Paul said:

I use normal wipers. If we use them for an extended period of time it does cause some light scratching on the windshield but you hardly notice it while driving. I also bring at least 1 full set of new spare windshields to every race so I have a fresh set for the second day, if needed.

 

I looked at getting coated lexan but it's nearly 3x the price. For that, i'll just change them out 3x as often. Never been an issue.

Many people never get over how quickly it tears up, not to mention spilled fuel from other cars may etch. How long does it typically last before sunrise/sunset become a radio or team talking point?

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Have you ever used one? I think you'd be surprised at how durable they are. 

Light drops of spilled fuel have never left any sort of permanent/noticeable damage. I do use microfiber towels and special plastic cleaner to clean it. Other stuff is not very nice to it.

I've used windshields for 2-3 races without issue. I also have 2 windshield panels and like I said, they're around $25ea to replace. In the grand scheme of racing, that's basically free. I could also change it during a pitstop and probably be under 5 minutes as well (granted we fuel very fast).

 

needless to say, myself and teammates all agree it is the best way to go, and we'll never go back to glass windshields.

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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1 hour ago, Team Infiniti said:

What do you do for wipers?

Sonoma Feb 2017 it was pouring rain the entire weekend.  It was when Northern California was dealing with all of the flooding.  Anyway, we have lexan with the scratch resistant coating (which cost roughly $225 for a 4x8 sheet and we get 2 windshields out of it) and we didnt run any wipers, just a lot of rainX and it worked pretty well.  We didnt have a ton of cars so the traffic wasnt super intense so I could see an issue there possibly but other than that we were satisfied with no wipers.  

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52 minutes ago, Slugworks Paul said:

Have you ever used one? I think you'd be surprised at how durable they are. 

Light drops of spilled fuel have never left any sort of permanent/noticeable damage. I do use microfiber towels and special plastic cleaner to clean it. Other stuff is not very nice to it.

?without issue. I also have 2 windshield panels and like I said, they're around $25ea to replace. In the grand scheme of racing, that's basically free. I could also change it during a pitstop and probably be under 5 minutes as well (granted we fuel very fast).

 

needless to say, myself and teammates all agree it is the best way to go, and we'll never go back to glass windshields.

Our first chump windshield was the non coated, knew immediately it was a mistake, was in car for (6? events) 1-1.5 years and horrible,  about to replace it when I crashed and burned that window. Shark V2 was born with a new coated lexan, lasted the same amount of time before running the 12 chumpsionship @ Atlanta motorspeedway where quartz/mica chips decimated everyones car, there was paint missing, sand blasted radiators and chipped glass windshields to go along with the deep inclusions in our new window, but not damaged like wiper scratches, where it would mess with ones vision, that "glass" stayed in the car for 4ish years, 2ish years ago we replaced that and currently running streak free with no plans to change it.

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14 minutes ago, Alchemy Autosport said:

Sonoma Feb 2017 it was pouring rain the entire weekend.  It was when Northern California was dealing with all of the flooding.  Anyway, we have lexan with the scratch resistant coating (which cost roughly $225 for a 4x8 sheet and we get 2 windshields out of it) and we didnt run any wipers, just a lot of rainX and it worked pretty well.  We didnt have a ton of cars so the traffic wasnt super intense so I could see an issue there possibly but other than that we were satisfied with no wipers.  

Being a racecar (and street driven), bad things happen, like bumping the wiper switch with a dry, filthy windshield... No issue here.

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Ok  Ed you talked me into the scratch resistant lexan .  The Monzta has regular in it now and glass is rare and $$$$$$ .

 On another note I hate seeing screws in a race car and discourage there use where ever I see them , small bolts with nyloc nuts or rivits for mounting PLEASE .

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1 hour ago, Alchemy Autosport said:

Sonoma Feb 2017 it was pouring rain the entire weekend.  It was when Northern California was dealing with all of the flooding.  Anyway, we have lexan with the scratch resistant coating (which cost roughly $225 for a 4x8 sheet and we get 2 windshields out of it) and we didnt run any wipers, just a lot of rainX and it worked pretty well.  We didnt have a ton of cars so the traffic wasnt super intense so I could see an issue there possibly but other than that we were satisfied with no wipers.  

Ben-

 

What thickness sheet are you using? Are you using intrusion bars in the center? Can't remember if you have them or not.

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