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55 Chevy windshield install. Can I do this myself?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Edelbroke, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Edelbroke
    Joined: Dec 12, 2008
    Posts: 767


    I have an appointment for friday for a glass guy to come out an install a windshield in my 55 Chevy. I'd like to do it myself tonight and cancel the app. I have my own glass and a new seal. I'm not going to put the stainless trim back on it just going to be the seal and glass.
    Are there any special tools to do this? I'd really like to do it myself and save a few bucks. Any tips would be great! Thanks

    Attached Files:

  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,702


    It's not very easy to do it by yourself, especially if you've never done it before. I've only done it once, and I got help from a friend who'd installed a few.
  3. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    You need 2 sets of to hold/push the windshield tight against the seal from outside the car, while the other set of hands (inside the car) pulls the rope around to set the glass into the seal. I don't advise trying it alone. This shouldn't take the 2 of you more than 10-15 minutes, tops.
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,702


    On these I seem to recall that you put the seal on the glass, then set the assembly into the opening with the bottom of the seal on the pinchweld, then pull the rope to work the seal onto the pinchweld.

  5. Chevy Gasser
    Joined: Jan 23, 2007
    Posts: 696

    Chevy Gasser

    Yes you can do it yourself but it will be much easier with the help of a friend or two. I think squirrel might be right about the seal on the glass first, and I think you pull the cord around from the inside of the car. Besides the rubber channel you will need a rubber sealant that goes between the body and the rubber seal, this is an important step. If you want a good water tight seal it would be best to help and observe the glass guy.
    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 3,254


    I have a windshield for sale.
    (see if the glass man won't help ya)
  7. caseyscustoms
    Joined: May 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,031

    from st.joe, MO

    If you've never done it before, then no. Hard enough with two people let alone one that's never done it.
  8. Chevy Gasser
    Joined: Jan 23, 2007
    Posts: 696

    Chevy Gasser

    Like VooDoo said it wouldn't take 2 experinced guys long to seat a windshield but this is not a job to try to beat the clock. If you are changing the windshield on a finished car the job will take 4 hours. Unbolting the trim from the inside, removing the inner garnish molding and more. Also, for anyone who is replacing the stainless the upper trim goes in the channel before the windshield is installed. If you want a really nice car this should be polised before the windshield goes in also. A show quality finish on the stainless will take an hour or two.
  9. Boeing Bomber
    Joined: Aug 5, 2010
    Posts: 1,079

    Boeing Bomber

    The rubber goes on the glass first, then the cord is pushed into the outer channel of the rubber, followed by a liberal amount of glass cleaner as a lubricant. The cord starts, and ends at the bottom, overlapping by several inches. Then the whole thing is set into the lower pinch weld with the extra cord on the inside, and pushed up against the window opening as close as possible. as you slowly pull the cord from the inside, the rubber will fold over the pinch weld. With the help of some one on the outside MILDLY pounding on the glass, open handed in the area you are pulling the cord from, the two of you will walk the rubber over the pinch weld. First a little on one side, then the other, until you meet at the top center. Some times you may need to work the cord in a circular motion (like 'Wax on") as you walk it along.
    All that being said, it is FAR better to help a professional do this for your first experience, and learn from him. PLUS, after it's in you will still need to use a sealant to keep out the water leaks. If you try it with a buddy, and it leaks, it's all on you. If you pay to have it done, and it leaks, you can take it back to him and he'll have to fix it.
  10. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,152


    Once it gets started, you may lube (WD-40) it, to help it slide in.
  11. Blackmaria60
    Joined: Apr 30, 2008
    Posts: 532


    Yeah, and that black good gets everywhere. I put my rear window in a '62 Olds and yuk
  12. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,055

    Special Ed

    Perfect description. That open-handed "pounding" on the glass is more than a little tricky. If you've never seen a guy who has done it, it can end poorly for you.
  13. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    I put a back glass in a 55 by myself, I also bought and took a windshield out of a 55 without breaking it by myself ........... I then gently laid it on a peice of foam in the back of my truck,I then saw a crack line ease gently across the middle of it:rolleyes: I then gently picked it back up and took it back to the car I took it out of and threw it back in it:D
    (50 bucks shot:eek:)

    I hate to say it but it might be cheaper to pay the guy to do it than to buy 2 windshields, winding up paying him to do it anyway.

    Since you are paying him,will he be responsible if he breaks it?
  14. _ogre
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 127

    from Motown

    do like squirrel and bomber say. 2 of us put the front and rear glass in my truck. it's easy enough to do. a 3rd hand helps to push on both sides from the outside. use glass cleaner as lube not wd40.

    the glass shop guys don't know how to put them in right. we had to re-paint a 63 vette from the glass shop guy messing everything up.

    you are the best man for the job.
  15. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137


    I always liked the fact that if the glass cracked, the installer/company buys you a new one. I think Danchuk has a how-to article on their web site. And you can get the trim in afterwards it just takes a lot of silicone spray and open palm hits.
  16. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    Yeah, you're right. I misremembered. :) Gettin old sucks.
  17. Edelbroke
    Joined: Dec 12, 2008
    Posts: 767


    Thanks for all the replys. I'll learn on friday with the pro.
  18. tooljunkie
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 209

    from manitoba

    done lots,broke one.My co-worker was in a hurry.i have roped in quite a few,the open hand is like a gentle slap.centre outwards and patience.outside on a warm sunny day doesent hurt,just more glass cleaner for lube-you dont want to use anything else as it can be difficult to clean off later.a bead of butyl sealant under the molding and you are done.butyl will ooze out in very hot climates.check with your local glass supplier.
    as mentioned earlier,learing from a professional may be in your best interest.
    it will be money well spent,you wont have to spend it again.thats how i learned a few procedures in my past.
  19. 60galaxieJJ
    Joined: Dec 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,525


    Just out of curiousoity about how much do they charge to come out and do that? I ask because I'm in the same boat and wanna know what I'm getting into
  20. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,791

    from Indy

    soapy water, a plastic putty knife, twine and the old lady to help. it's not that hard on a 55 chevy. try looking on youtube for a video
  21. brad chevy
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    brad chevy

    Good idea to just let the glass guy do it and pay attention,hell shoot a video of him installing and you got a tech week thread. Do it yourself,bust it ,your problem,pro does it,busts it hes responcible.
  22. Mike Rotch
    Joined: Jul 15, 2010
    Posts: 166

    Mike Rotch
    from Easley SC

    "Whether you think you can or can't, you're right" - Henry Ford
    The first one I've ever installed was for a 57 Chevy, did it myself, no problems.
  23. Edelbroke
    Joined: Dec 12, 2008
    Posts: 767


    They said around $125 to come out and install with my glass and seal which I think is very reasonable. This will be the 3rd windshield I had them do this year. 90 Vette was $245 and an H2 Hummer. The Hummer was a 4 hour job and cost $400 bucks. Maybe the 4th one will be free:D
  24. Short answer is yes...I use liquid dish soap for lube when installing glass.
  25. Dawai
    Joined: Oct 1, 2007
    Posts: 263

    from North Ga.


    I hung a sandbag against mine to hold it in,

    I installed the rubber onto the glass, flap side down and inside.. laid the windshield into the frame on top of two twine cords across frame, got inside and started the rubber lip on top, got outside and lifted the glass upward seating it there.. Sawed the cord back and forth pulling the lower lip onto the edge of the frame.. inside and outside a million times.. slapped it with the flat of the hand a million times..

    It finally seated. THERE on the drivers side of my truck there is damage to the post, I mig welded it back.. and had to port a power it into shape. ALL the while awaiting the glass to break..

    LUBE, I use "sex lube" on Harley tires to get the bead over the rim. KY jelly was designed to put rubber wet suits on Navy divers.. not sex.. It'll make a harley tire pop onto the rim so quick it is not funny.

    My first windshield install was yesterday.. I can tell you I am sore.. (virgin??)... Hmm, the talking part is over now huh?? I saved $85. THE installers gave me crap.. what they meant to say is "it does not pay well" to install curved glass.. it might take all day.. And they just want to "glue and go" these new cars..

    My new windshield was chinese made.. I'm not real happy about that. I am not 100% sure the cab was straight and the windshield was crooked.

    (see my 57 gmc build for more pictures..)
  26. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    from Slow lane

    ^^ i always used the 2 set of hands and cord method, but this is intresting and i might just try it, as ihave to re install my windshield rubber.
  27. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073


    I did one on my 57 F100 by myself with no prior experience.
  28. budssupere
    Joined: Sep 19, 2007
    Posts: 8


    Acording to LMC Windshield and rear wwindow installation Tips :
    1. Fit your window rubber to your cab first. then install the window glass.
    2.use a rubber friendly Lub such at WD-40 and the Windshield stick took to ease installation and avoid damaging your new window rubber.
    3.Window rubber shrinks, your new rubber may appeare slightly larger that the original prior to installation.
  29. I've done a few curved winshields on trucks. It helps to lay the gasket out on the hood in the hot sun for a couple of hours first. First, install the glass in the gasket. Then I lay a piece of 3/8" nylon rope inside the gasket, all the way around, let the ends come out on the bottom side, in the middle. The rope is sprayed with silicone spray, so is the inside of the gasket channel.

    Like others said, drop the assembly over the lip and work the rope out as you go. One person on the inside and one on the outside works best. The outside person leans on the glass at the gasket line, the inside person works the lip over the channel.

    Handy tools to make up are hard wood shims or modify a plastic ice scraper to help things along. I have about 5 of these under my belt, but it may pay to have a glass guy come out and take notes while he works.. most of these guys come out solo. It would be a neat feat to see him do this alone.

  30. I'm glad I don't have to figure this out from the info given. I don't know how you can seal it without the bottom stainless there are several holes there. it is a simple windshield install if you get everything in the right order.

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