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Hello!

We are at the point of installing the new Pilkington front windscreen (from classicalfa.com) with new rubbers, when we fit it without the lower rubber the clearance looks tight in regard to the thickness of the rubber. See photos.

Our fitting sequence now is as follows but we are unsure if this is the best way:
1. Fit upper u profile with rubber to window on bench
2. Screw pillars with rubbers on to it
3. Hold everything in place with ducttape.
4. Lower it on to the car in to the holes in the bulkhead.
5. When and where to fit the lower rubber and chrome strip in this procedure?

What works best?

The lower rubber seems quite thick to fit below. We have the 3mm rubber gaskets fitted between the bulkhead and pillars they seem to be too thin as the glass already hits the bulkhead now.

If you have some experience or practical tips how to approach and fit this would be very appreciated so we can finish this job and hit the road!

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The entire screen, rubbers, chrome beading & pillars should be fitted as a unit. It takes several hands and a lot of duct tape to hold it together. We did this with Dad's '57 Spider & with Colin's '62 - not easy as you are trying to lift and install 9 pieces all held together with duct tape, then feed the 4 mushroom bolts through the lower rubber.

The pillars are fastened securely, the chrome bead across the bottom with the 4 mushroom head screws needs thin tubes under the dash with a 45* cut - these go ahead of the nuts & take the load of the pulling force at the right angle - these must be finger tight & then just nipped a fraction with a spanner. Use Locktite or contact adhesive on the threads to stop the nuts coming loose - Do NOT tighten this down, you will crack the screen. The mushroom bolts just stop that chrome beading from falling off. You will need to inject sealer under the lower rubber - originally Pininfarina used a thin round tube that was a loose fit lying under that rubber & basically filled the void & gave the sealer something to sit up against. There are arguments for the little fingers on the ends of the lower chrome bead being tucked into the lower portions of the pillars, but on my car they are outside the pillars - it will depend on your rubbers, space pressure & thickness.... rather leave the fingers outside on top of the lower pillar than force things & crack the glass. The 2 side pillars have a certain amount of rotation as well - be careful when you tighten them that they don't twist & load the screen of it will get a stress crack from the lower corners.

The 2 variables I cannot vouch for are your actual glass screen - if it is not the correct shape / size you will battle. Ditto if the metal cowl panel has a thick layer of filler on it... Your pictures show the screen contacting the cowl before the pillars are seated, this isn't right - can you test with the old screen to see if that fitment is any different ??



Ciao
Greig
 

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To make it worse, IF your car had a padded dash top, and you plan to re-create one as original, foam and all, the fabric on top of the dash is held in place by the lower windshield rubber! REALLY! I've done a few of these. As Greig mentions, it's a multi man job and I use rubber bungies and sometimes a wide nylon ratchet strap to hold it all together for install. There was black "dum-dum" (3M) used under the pillars over the rubber pads, and at the header. You often see it elsewhere as well. With some rubber components I've used, a heat gun helps them conform to correct shape (not much though) pre-install.
This may be the hardest install on the Guilia / Giulietta spiders to do correctly. Take your time.
From my own experiences over time, as usual.
 

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Gordon,

I really hate it when you start a post with, "To really make it worse,..." Who wants to make it worse?! Sweet Mother of Pearl, we need to figure out how to survivie it as it is; not make it worse 😳 :eek:

I have read a number of these threads and they scare the dukie out of me! By the time you read thrrough these with all the various comments (ALL very trustworthy) you get the impression that mere mortals aren't up to this task. I thought installing the engine was the job that produced near-death scenarios, but this...?! Hey, I'm all up for jumping in and learning how, but this is way beyond bravado-level antics!

We need a "Now, from the beginning..." thread/or video showing everything in sequence. While we do have some world-class videographers here on the BB, I'll let them identify themselves.

You gurus who have done this numerous times have all the sequential pictures from A to Z in your heads. All I can imagine is either shattering a windshield or several souls frustrated to the point of throwing the car, or each other, into the closest lake, pond or river!

Ray
 

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Did anyone else finally get their windshield in feeling like they’d just run a marathon, maybe, or maybe not, with the throwing up part from exhaustion?

I had to walk away four times, bought some of the rubber pieces 3 times, and only after it finally went in (with the chrome strip tips under the pillars thank you) I wished I had screwed in the defrost vent deflector trim piece first. Padded dash folks, you know what I mean.
I had asked a local shop who has done a few of these what it would cost to have it done. It seems like a deal now. I now consider it a right of passage, but that windshield is the bugger of all buggers. Words will come out you didn’t know you used other than while driving in Massachusetts.

Can’t add any more than what is read above, but get a real friend who is real patient to help. And don’t cut any and every rubber piece until you’re sure you know how it’s going to end up. Filling big gaps with 3M putty is throwing up the white flag.

Btw, I was too frustrated to shoot video or take many pictures until it was in...the final time.

Good luck to all on this journey. I still have the thick original windshield glass for anyone with a “driver” who wants it.
 

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Well we did Dad's '57 over 2 days, a trial fit with all the trimmings and adjustments of the rubbers etc, followed by a careful taping of the body either side of the rubber to leave a gap in the middle for the sealant. By then it was late afternoon and this isn't a job you want to rush, so the screen assembly went back onto the thick folded blankets across the rear deck. Blankets across the bonnet / hood as well so that the screen can be rested there if need be

Day 2 saw a bead of sealant between the masking tape lines and the fitting & bolting down of the posts followed by the 4 mushroom head bolts. then a bit more sealer in the corners, wipe clean & walk away. I got the sealer from my local glass place. Next time I'll go with a 3M sealer as this one had a tendency to sag a bit over time.

One thing that is critical is to clean out the tapered post holes on the deck - the tapered pins of the screen posts absolutely have to be able to seat fully down into these post holes - this is what determines the correct placement & secure location of your screen. paint tends to clog the post holes and excess plating tends to make the pins thicker. A good snug fit between the 2 parts is your goal, then when you tighten the nut underneath it pulls the post onto the teardrop gasket & creates an interference fit between the tapered post & hole.

Alas Ray, no video, we're always too busy doing the work ;)

George Kraus did a bit of a write up on screen fitments on his '60 Veloce, his thread is well worth the read - My Veloce restoration nearing completion.

Ciao
Greig
 

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Greg,

I've read George's thread a good half-dozen times. Also, I remember he had to replace a number of windshields, but I don't know/remember why.

I had to put on and take off the front suspension so many times I was almost beyond the reach of human kindness. I can't imagine how one recovers from the dreaded windshield installation.

We need to arrange for a mass "drive in" and schedule a BB windshield guru to give a clinic on this. Those of us who need this done could gather up all the stuff we need and come together (masks and all) and work, and learn, on each other's cars. We'd get our windshields installed and meet some great folks that we probably never meet, otherwise.

Ray
 

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My brother and I managed to fit my new screen (a locally manufactured repop sourced through Greig) in an afternoon. But it had taken a good few hours of pre-planning around 2 issues:

1. As noted by Greig, the seating of the pillars.in their tapered holes.is critical.

2. The thickness of the repop pillar rubbers (mine supplied by ClassicAlfa).
The repops I got were simply too big and fat. Fortunately my original pillar rubbers were in fairly good condition, so the decision was made to clean up and reuse them with the new repop top and bottom rubbers, as we felt that the fit of the bottom corners of the screen in the pillar rubbers has quite an effect of the overall pitch of the glass. The screen fitted much deeper into the old rubbers than the new ones.. The new rubbers would have taken ages of fettling and trimming to achive the same result.

After that the fitting was just as described above. The new thick repop rubbers now adorn a shelf in Greig's store - he has much more patience than me :)

Mike
 

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Getting the holes punched through for the exact location for those mushroom bolts for that bottom rubber was one of the most difficult for me. First, the chrome strip as to be dead center on the glass. The chrome trim strip has to line up perfectly with the chassis holes...and they aren’t easy to find with an ice pick-type tool. The angle through the rubber isn’t a straight shot. That’s where one can nick the paint if not careful. Pushing the bolts through at just the right angle requires someone under the dash with a bright light to eyeball them to each hole, another on top pushing down. I used another pick tool and needle nose pliers to help gently pull each to the hole’s location underneath.

I found it best, not saying it’s right, to do that job first with only the chrome strip and bottom rubber on the glass...after the pillars’ location were determined and marked for cutting the pillar rubber. Because those twist in to fit and move to change the new rubber position it can really throw off the final rubber trimming for all three rubber pieces. Go slowly on those.

I now realize how much of a serious balancing act getting all four chrome parts, with their rubber parts cut to fit and exactly right to just stay together. Duct tape or bungee cords, it all wants to fight you and fall apart. As one friend on my first try said, “This thing is ten miles of hard road” and he owns a glass shop. For fifty years.

I read here somewhere that the factory filled the chrome parts with dum-dum, so I tried that. Big mistake for glass fit and clean up. My local Alfa restoration shop told me to not use anything. It was a good tip. I finally only used it under the pillars and the bottom rubber. You can seal it all later if you wish.

All of that was for just the sides and bottom to get right. Now you have the top piece which has to slide in to each pillar...with the pillar side rubber cut just right to have a flap go over the top chrome and tuck into the trim cap on top. This is another part of the balancing act. I found keeping everything loose and tightening slowly while that patient friend, paid off with lots of beer later, helps squeeze things while the final screws are applied and the mushroom bolts are only tightened enough for alignment is where success happens.

There are many threads on this, and just as many methods. Until you dig in, you won’t know which way is best for you, truly. The glass just loves to leave the rubber, remember that.

If you have a new Pilkington glass, make sure you have a glass shop use their belt sander to go over ALL the perimeter edges for you. The top two corners need rounded so that your tiny trim cap screws will not hit the glass. That’s where I can see a crack may start. Now, you can fight with the pillars’ fit to your side glass alignment if you have a 101: More of the Wallenda balancing act.

Hope some of that helps. My apologies to those who have done dozens of windscreens. It’s definitely many hours of your life you’ll never get back. Payback is on the road without bugs in your face.

When I get my top frame in, I’ll report back if all of this failed and it cracked!
 

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How on earth did Alfa produce these cars back in the day, if this particular job is so difficult and time-consuming? They either had a large goup of people putting windshields on or things would have been backed up forever. Has anyone read any Alfa historical documents on how they approached this problem?
 

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3 guys did it. One fit rubber while the other 2 prepared the chassis. One then moved to the rubber fitter and caulked there while the had a factory holder that slid over the assembled windshield frame/rubber assembly to hold it together. This tool (appeared wood?) had hand tightening clamps to "squeeze" things to approximate correct size. Three guys lifted it over the car, where each had an assembly position, cowl, and each side post. With experienced jiggling, eventually the the holding fixture was removed. then everything was tightened down.
I IMAGINE after these same 3 men did about 10 together, they had it pretty much to a system. Probably could install one in about 15 minutes or less.
Now... Where did you...? I saw this in an Italian brochure sent to dealers in about 1964. It was in Italian, but the photos made it understandable. BTW, it was a throw-away brochure that came with some parts from Alfa. I'm sure now gone forever. The parts man at Knauz handed it to me. Now all long gone.
 
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Gordan,
That makes perfect sense. .I can only imagine how many cars these guys did in their career as a team? Now THIS is the video someone needs to make! 👍 😄

We need to form a 101 Spider Windshield A-Team to travel around the country doing this job!
 

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This keeps being mentioned, so what is the thickness of an OEM windshield? Are all reprops different and is a Pilkington the same as an OEM item?

Thanks
 

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The entire screen, rubbers, chrome beading & pillars should be fitted as a unit. It takes several hands and a lot of duct tape to hold it together. We did this with Dad's '57 Spider & with Colin's '62 - not easy as you are trying to lift and install 9 pieces all held together with duct tape, then feed the 4 mushroom bolts through the lower rubber.

The pillars are fastened securely, the chrome bead across the bottom with the 4 mushroom head screws needs thin tubes under the dash with a 45* cut - these go ahead of the nuts & take the load of the pulling force at the right angle - these must be finger tight & then just nipped a fraction with a spanner. Use Locktite or contact adhesive on the threads to stop the nuts coming loose - Do NOT tighten this down, you will crack the screen. The mushroom bolts just stop that chrome beading from falling off. You will need to inject sealer under the lower rubber - originally Pininfarina used a thin round tube that was a loose fit lying under that rubber & basically filled the void & gave the sealer something to sit up against. There are arguments for the little fingers on the ends of the lower chrome bead being tucked into the lower portions of the pillars, but on my car they are outside the pillars - it will depend on your rubbers, space pressure & thickness.... rather leave the fingers outside on top of the lower pillar than force things & crack the glass. The 2 side pillars have a certain amount of rotation as well - be careful when you tighten them that they don't twist & load the screen of it will get a stress crack from the lower corners.

The 2 variables I cannot vouch for are your actual glass screen - if it is not the correct shape / size you will battle. Ditto if the metal cowl panel has a thick layer of filler on it... Your pictures show the screen contacting the cowl before the pillars are seated, this isn't right - can you test with the old screen to see if that fitment is any different ??



Ciao
Greig
Over-tightening any of the fasteners can't be stressed enough..I'll volunteer this blasphemous comment.. Think twice about replacing the rubber.. any of the rubber. I have installed two windshields in my 73 years of doing these cars . I started at 2. In the day, none of the rubber was available. The original stuff was not brittle nor split .. it was as good as new after a thorough cleaning and treatment with glycerine. It all went back together like a hand in glove. Secondly the rubber is not a sealant .. it is a cushion for the glass a soft 3M dum-dum is used to seal and cleans up with mineral spirits that won't harm paint. If you use the dum-dum in the channels and the pillars , you shouldn't even need tape to hold everything together in the move from the bench to the car. ...One last thing.. re-chrome in gobs and paint in gobs was not how these were assembled in the factory. The major holes for the pillars were not all dammed up with primer and paint and compound .. these should have been test fitted with each pillar as a stand alone piece without the glass. They should bottom out without any effort and if they don't, the hole needs to be reamed because you have too many layers of chrome, and crap in the holes which is a recipe for a cracked windshield. as always, smuggly, uncle
 

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Dave,

Do you have a measurement of the thickness of an original windshield? I have an older one, but have no idea if it is an OEM item.

Thanks,

Ray
 

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Hum! Good to know! I've only fitted original glass, from two manufacturers, only used NEW rubber once, which was SO-MUCH-HARDER than used rubber, but... I did get to do that one twice due to a bodyshop dash paint issue, and the second time, was much better as the rubber had a vague idea of what it was supposed to do. Thin glass easier or harder? Rubber channels intended for OEM glass or thin? Possibly my issue with the one I did twice? thick glass with thin channel? I wasn't aware that it was a skinny channel on trial fit, so maybe all rubber is for OEM thick glass.
 

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Hum! Good to know! I've only fitted original glass, from two manufacturers, only used NEW rubber once, which was SO-MUCH-HARDER than used rubber, but... I did get to do that one twice due to a bodyshop dash paint issue, and the second time, was much better as the rubber had a vague idea of what it was supposed to do. Thin glass easier or harder? Rubber channels intended for OEM glass or thin? Possibly my issue with the one I did twice? thick glass with thin channel? I wasn't aware that it was a skinny channel on trial fit, so maybe all rubber is for OEM thick glass.
Yes, I too was lucky and used the original glass
 

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Ray you & I could fit the screen to your car in a morning on the assumption that nothing is out of spec, as has been said, if you have repop rubbers and a repop screen you already have variables & it's a matter of adjusting those variables to have the least cumulative impact on the assembly.

So some glass may need edge polishing, repop rubbers need trimming, the post pins need to be free of excess chrome, the post holes need to be free of excess paint & one thing we haven't mentioned is that the dash top must be free of filler, so no thick layer of the stuff slathered between the windscreen wiper holes

Trial & error is the only way & for that you need to be able to fit the screen as an assembly - so break out the duct tape and the ratchet straps and assemble that screen

Ciao
Greig
 
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