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Volume 7    Issue 3            May/June 2005

The Cutting Edge
     New Car Installations

2003-05 Saturn Ion
by Steve Coyle

1.  Getting started:
Remove the mirror; this one has a #15 Torx screw and there are no wires attached. Test and mark the wipers to make sure that travel is not altered after replacement. The glass should have indicator marks in the frit to help position the wiper blades.

2.  Removing the original windshield:

Begin by removing the exterior A pillar moldings that are held in place with five #15 Torx screws. There is a small piece of Velcro® near the bottom of the molding.

Release the Velcro, lift the molding upward and slide forward to release the tab that slides into the rear molding.The top molding is a pre-applied molding and should be attached to the new glass. Next, remove the wipers that are attached with 13 mm nuts. 

Open the hood and remove the two 7 mm screws in the center and the push-pin retainers located at each end of the one-piece panel. Do not attempt to remove the end portions of the cowl panel because they are glued onto the remainder of the panel. They do not need to be removed. Next, disconnect the washer hose located on the driver’s side of the engine compartment. Remove the 10 mm nut that is fastening the fender to the A pillar and pull the fender back away from the cowl. Place a wedge between the body and the fender to hold the fender out during removal of the cowl panel.

A cold knife may be used to cut the sides and bottom but a power tool will be required to access the adhesive along the top. The adhesive bead is recessed approximately 1¼ inches from the top edge of the glass. Be careful not to damage the setting blocks during cut-out.

The Performance Achievement Group LLC recommends, and AGRSS requires, using the full-cut out method. Using a sharp chisel or utility knife, remove the adhesive, leaving 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 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 the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations. The urethane path is at the edges of both sides and the bottom. The top, however, is recessed in from the edge. Be sure to duplicate the original bond line.

4.  Placement of the new windshield:

Dry set the windshield into the opening, being sure to adjust for proper alignment. Remove the windshield and set it on a cradle with the inboard lite in the upright position. Use a properly cut V notch tip to duplicate the original bead size. Apply a high viscosity adhesive to the glass. Be sure to duplicate the original bead line. Set the windshield into the opening using your dry set marks, being careful not to slide the windshield once it makes contact with the pinchweld.

5.  Finishing Touches:

Replace the cowl, wipers and exterior moldings. Test the wipers for travel and perform a leak test. Run the defrosters to clean any glass or debris that may have been present, replace the mirror and clean the interior of the vehicle. Return the vehicle to the customer. 

Information submitted by Jeff Ritchie, Performance Achievement Group, Jeff Schmude, Auto Glass Specialists, Inc. 

Steve Coyle is a technical trainer for the Performance Achievement Group in Madison, Wis.

Reports from the Field:
Always wear eye, hand and wrist protection while working on the vehicle.  Inform the vehicle owner of the cure time and any other additional precautions before installation.  Always return the vehicle to the manufacturer's specifications.  Protect all interior and exterior portions of the vehicle to prevent any damage.

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