Volume 12, Issue 5 - September/October 2010

The Cutting Edge
new car installations

2010 Cadillac CTS
by Jamie Browning

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 manufacturer’s specifications. Protect all interior and exterior portions of the vehicle to prevent any damage.

1. Getting Started:
For vehicle and glass preparation, please refer to the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) (ANSI 002-2002) as well as your adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations. Inspect the windshield for any defects or contamination that may compromise the adhesive safely bonding to the glass. Open the hood and remove the wipers by taking the cap covers off of the wiper nuts and remove the wiper nuts.

Use a suitable wiper puller to remove the wiper arms, so as not to damage the wiper drive assembly. Set the wipers and parts aside, noting that the left and right wiper are different. Next, remove the air inlet grille (cowl panel) by removing the rubber seal from the front of the cowl. Remove the three screws on the passenger’s side and then press down and slide it away from the driver’s side to dislodge it from the clips that secure it to the driver’s side. Next remove the screw and retainer nut from the driver’s side and remove the cowl assembly.

The next step is to remove the rearview mirror, being careful not to damage the mirror. To do this, remove the rain sensor cover and the wire cover and disconnect the wire connector. Next, loosen the set screw and slide the assembly up and off. Please note—do not turn the key back to the on position with the mirror unplugged. Remove the left and right A-pillar covers and set them aside.

2. Removing the Windshield:
The windshield can now be removed with the tools with which the technician feels the most comfortable and that allow for a safe removal. If your adhesive manufacturer does not have a cut-out lubricant, General Motors (GM) only approves water to be used. Also take note to protect the back wall of the pinchweld area as this area is very easy to scratch during removal.  

3. Preparing for the New Windshield:
Trim the existing urethane bead down to between 1 and 2 millimeters. Use your adhesive manufacturer’s pinchweld primer to cover any scratches and inspect the entire area for conditions that may compromise the installation. Make sure you follow proper shaking and drying times as instructed by your adhesive manufacturer. The only method approved by GM and the AGRSS Standard is the full-cut method. Using the close or shortcut method can have severe consequences and catastrophic failure of the windshield in a collision or roll-over.

4. Placement of the New Windshield:
Dry-fit and mark the new windshield to ensure correct placement. Prepare the glass according to your adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations and apply the adhesive. Make sure the deck height is correct and align the marks made earlier to set the glass in the correct position.

5. Finishing Touches:
Install the A-pillar covers. GM recommends replacing the tether clip at the top of the A-pillar covers every time you remove them. Make sure you plug in the wiring harness and install any covers for the mirror. Tighten the set screw to the mirror to 16 inch pounds (1.8 Newton meters (Nm)). Next install the cowl panel on the driver’s side. Install the nut and screw and tighten the screw to 27 pound inches (3 Nm). Slide the passenger’s side cowl into the passenger’s side and install the three screws to 27 pound inches (3 Nm).

Install the rubber hood seal and press firmly to ensure it will not come off. Next, install the wipers, noting the small orange circle for correct alignment of the wipers. Hold the wiper arms into position while you tighten the wiper nuts to 24 foot pounds (32 nm). Operate the wipers and any electronic device on the mirror assembly to ensure correct operation.

Lastly, check for any leaks and inform your customer of the safe drive-away time. Record all information including (but not limited to) the DOT number, adhesive and primer lot numbers and VIN number.

Jamie Browning, the winner of the 2009 Pilkington Classic Auto Glass Technician Olympics, is the owner of Browning Auto Glass in Daniel Island, S.C. He has more than 17 years’ experience in the industry. Mr. Browning’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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