Q: What's the best way to install my coupe windshield. I know that I first have to install the rubber around the glass, but then what?
A: Here's a 14-step process to install your windshield.
1. Get a someone to help you because this is NOT a one person project.
2. Mix up a solution of 60% dishwashing liquid and 40% water. This will be used as a lubricant. Place solution in a squeeze bottle so that you can dispense the solution down into the grooves of the rubber seal.
3. Inject a moderate amount of the lubricant solution into the grove for the windshield. Place a new rubber seal around windshield, there should be some stretching required.
4. Collect the polished aluminum deco pieces that go around the outside of the windshield. Make sure that you have the two cover pieces that go over the joint section of the deco pieces. Having your assistant hold the windshield steady, peal back the grove where the deco strip goes and inject a moderate amount of lubricant solution down into the grove and push the solution along the grove to make sure that it well coated. Continue all around the windshield.
5. With the assistant holding the windshield steady in a vertical position, take one of the deco strips and position so that it generally lines up so that the leading edge of the top piece will fall right in the middle of the upper part of the windshield. Note that the part of the deco strip that fits into the grove has a small hook edge which grabs the rubber. Peal back the rubber exposing the grove and firmly press the leading edge of the deco strip into the grove. It will be a bit difficult to get it started but be patient and work the area until you see the strip go all the way into the rubber. You will have to go back and forth over the same area working the
strip to get it to go in. If you have it or can get it, use rubber or plastic covered jaws of pliers or clamps to assist in getting the deco strip to seat properly. My assistant and I used all four hands to work the thing in. It can be frustrating, just keep working it and it will go.
6. Place the deco cover over the freshly installed deco strip so that it can be slid across the gap later.
7. Repeat the procedure for the other deco strip and then push the deco cover across the gap.
8. You will need some heavy cord, preferably with a slick surface like nylon. The cord thickness should be between 3/16 to 1/4".The cord or rope that you use should be very pliable. Anything stiff will tend to fall or push its way out of the groove when you are attempting to install. I've always liked cotton rope that can swell a little when wet and will flex easily around the corners--the hardest part. Saturate the cord with the lubricant solution by making a puddle of the solution in one hand and pulling the cord through it with the other.
9. Starting at the middle of the top edge of the windshield, lay the cord into the grove where the rubber fits around the body work. Overlap the cord at the top about 3" on each side. Form a loop of your rope at both the top and bottom of the center of the windshield.The reason for the double loop is that sometimes your rope/cord will get stuck...usually at a corner. If you pull hard it is possible to tear the
windshield rubber. The double loop gives you four starting points that you can work from that will relieve pressure at the stuck point.
(Optional) You don't have to do this but it makes it a whole lot easier--remove the dash cover so that you will have some extra room as you pull the cord across the bottom.
10. Generously lubricate the outside of the rubber seal where it fits into the windshield opening.
11. With you or your assistant on the inside of the car, the other person takes the complete windshield assembly with installed deco strips and cord and sets the bottom edge in so that the lip from the body fits into the grove where the cord is.
Start at the bottom with the assistant pushing firmly but gently down on the glass. This allows gravity to help you seat the windshield at the bottom and also pulls the whole assembly down making it easier to do the top.
Lay the windshield the rest of the way down into the opening and carefully but firmly start pressing and gently but firmly tapping all around the windshield to get it initially seated.
If you start "pulling in" the windshield, and notice that it's not centered, don't try and shift, slide or force it back to center. Take it out and re-center.
12. The person inside the car takes either the right cord or the left, it does not matter and with the outside person pressing firmly down in the top middle, pulls the cord in a downward motion while moving in the direction of the cord. This pulls the rubber up and over the lip which also covers part of the ceiling liner. The person on the outside will alternatively firmly tap and press the windshield as it goes in. You will be able to see the process take place once you get started. It does not go as fast as it does in the movie but it is essentially the same process. Take your time and don't rush it - sure and steady will see a good result here.
Should you get stuck, you'll find that if you get the bottom loops pulled correctly around each corner it is then easier to pull down on the top loop, left and right, than to pull up on the lower portion of the rope.
13. Once you have it in, carefully go around the edge of the rubber on the outside and make sure it is not curled in. Gently lift it up so you won't scratch the paint and set it in. Take a rubber mallet it if you have one or use the palm of your hand and go around the outside of the windshield and bump the whole thing further in place until you are sure that it is fully seated. If you can get your hands on a windshield rubber tool to help pull the lips of the rubber out....do. This is a screwdriver looking handle with a round shaft that goes up over a barrel roll and out at about a 45 degree angle. Great for picking up the little bits of folded rubber without chipping your fine paint job underneath.
14. Clean up as required to get rid of the soapy solution.
There you have it. This procedure will also work for the rear of the car too.
Comment by Dave Wildrick
Before you start, you should remove your sun visors and inside rear view mirror, to give enough room to pull the cord later.
The main thing is to take your time. If you are not reusing the old glass, I find it easier to lever the old rubber seal and windshield out with a screwdriver from inside the car instead of cutting the old seal off (as described in the shop manual). Just place the blade under the rubber and gently pry it down to get the seal to "back out" off the headliner and metal edge; the secret here is to slowly work your way around the seal. I usually start on the driver's side at the upper left and work across the top. If you are careful, you won't damage the glass either, but don't try pulling on the windshield to speed up the process or it may crack.