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May/June 2002

The Cutting Edge
        new car installations

2002 Dodge Ram
by Phil Ochs

1. Getting started:
Start by protecting the interior of the vehicle, seats and dash area. Remove the mirror by loosening the Torx screw (there are no wires attached to the mirror of this one). Next, protect the exterior of the vehicle around the fender area. Remove the bulb seal along the side mouldings, which will expose the Torx screws that need to be removed. Remove the screws and the side mouldings. Remove the wipers by swinging them up and pulling out the lock on their side. Then lift it off of the post. The cowl is held in place with screws at both of its ends and plastic plugs along its front edge. As you start to remove the cowl, there are plastic fingers along its top edge that go into the metal under the windshield. The top of the windshield does not have a moulding.

2. Removing the original windshield:
The bottom and both sides of the windshield can be cut with a standard cold knife in most cases. But in other areas you may need the longer blade to cut through the urethane. The top edge has exposed paint and glass edges, so you will need to be very careful. The cold knife will scratch the lower portion of the vertical leg of the pinchweld. A better option may be to use a power knife. Start by marking the blade of the knife. Use the frit band to mark the length that you want the blade to cut from the inside. Then cut along the line marked on the blade and the frit. To prevent scratching on the top edge of the vertical leg of the pinchweld you may want to use sunroof tape. We recommend using the full-cut out method. Using a sharp chisel or utility knife, remove the adhesive to leave a thin skin of well-bonded urethane on the pinchweld. Be careful not to disturb the body paint.

3. Preparing for the new windshield:
Prime the pinchweld according to your adhesive manufacturer’s specifications. Concentrate only on any areas of the paint that may have been scratched or damaged during the removal process. The freshly cut urethane bed provides the best bonding surface. Allow proper time for the primers to cure. Clean and prime the windshield according to adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations. Make sure to cover any primed areas with urethane to keep the vehicle from rusting. Always use the same urethane to cover the primed scratches as you use to set the windshield.

4. Placement of the new windshield:
Replace the dissolvable setting blocks and dry set the windshield into the opening, being sure to adjust for proper alignment. Use a properly cut V-notch tip to duplicate the original bead size. Apply a high-viscosity, two-part adhesive to the glass. The urethane on this windshield is slightly inset on all four sides. The bead will need to duplicate the original size and location. Set the windshield into the opening using your dry set marks for proper alignment. Be careful not to slide the windshield once it makes contact with the pinchweld.

5. Finishing touches:
Perform a leak test on the installation. To replace the cowl, insert the plastic fingers into the holes in the metal below the windshield, replace the buttons along the front edge of the cowl under the hood and replace the screws on both ends of the cowl. Next replace the wipers. Follow with the side mouldings and the door seal. Replace the mirror, test the wipers for travel and test the defrosters. Clean and prep the interior of the vehicle. Check the exterior for anything that needs to be cleaned up. Clean the exterior of the windshield. Return to the customer.    

Phil Ochs is a technical trainer for the Performance Achievement Group (PAG), an auto glass training company in Madison, Wis. This info is reprinted from TechPoints, a bi-monthly newsletter available from PAG


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