Oldtimer rotes Coupe - WindschutzscheibeCracked, faded and cloudy windows not only pose a safety hazard, but detract from the beauty of any classic car. Clear and strong glasswork is essential, but may prove problematic to restore or replace for the amateur restorer, as it requires special tools as well as careful attention to detail.

To help, we have assembled some tips to help you restore, clean, and/or replace the windows, mirrors and windshield in your classic auto:

Window Restoration and Cleaning
Over time, classic cars with original windows develop “road film.” Unfortunately, normal glass cleaners are insufficient for removing road film and other materials which adhere to glass. So if the film is substantial, you may be better off finding a replacement windshield at a salvage yard or ordering one online. But it won’t hurt to give it a go, so try glass polisher designed specifically for automobile glass.Man Washing Car

Keep it clean

  • Wash the car and windshield thoroughly, to remove dust and surface debris.
  • Use glass polish and a soft pad attached to a rotary sander tool. Polishing is an important step, as it will smooth surfaces before you tackle the job in earnest. But go easy, so you won’t crack the glass.
  • Pick a small, inconspicuous spot on the rear window for your test location.
  • Wipe on a rain repellant/sealant that will fill microscopic pores in the glass.
  • Apply an even coat so water will roll off of the windows.
  • Do a test spot first, to avoid haze or streaking.

Eliminate Fine Lines & Scratches
Car detailing series : Glass coatingFixing scratches on glass requires additional work, as scratches can occur when debris inside the door frame makes contact with the window as it is repeatedly rolled up and down.

Scratch removal requires a steady hand and the right tools. So you might find it worthwhile to take your car to a reputable shop if the job requires expert assistance. A restoration shop can also give you advice if replacement is a better option due to the extent of damage and/or the age of the glass. If you decide to give it a go:

  • Start by using a replicating disc with water to remove the big scratches, but don’t move past the bottom of the scratch. You wouldn’t want to fix a scratch only to be left with a large divot. This step might leave a hazy area, which you can address later, but should eliminate major scratches.
  • Use a fine-grain disc to work on the haze.
  • Finally, use a polishing disc to restore the window to its original look and feel.

Windshield Replacement
Windshields receive greater force with impacts from road debris than side windows, so they naturally require more frequent replacement than other vehicle windows.Car Glasses Repair and Replacement

Replacing a classic car windshield involves several key steps:

  • Remove trim around the windshield to better assess the tools and procedures needed for removal. You will also want to remove antennas and windshield wipers so you have unimpeded access.
  • Use a screwdriver and utility knife to cut away the rubber gasket and glue around the windshield. Carefully pull away the gasket if it appears to be in good shape and is suitable for reuse.
  • Consider installing a new headliner during this procedure, as you will have easy access to properly tuck the headliner under the new windshield lining.
  • Set in a new gasket using a rubber mallet. Or, if you plan to reuse the old gasket, clean thoroughly before reinstalling.
  • Carefully set the new glass panel into the gasket, being sure not to fold or pinch any the rubber. For many applications, you will need to use a special tool or screwdriver to shim the rubber over the glass.
  • Wriggle the glass with your hand to ensure a tight fit.
  • Install the outside trim.
  • Be certain the trim fits securely and is free of cracks and major blemishes. At this step in the process, you may discover that replacement might be preferable.

Headlight of classic carNeed expert assistance for transforming your car’s windows to their original clarity and appearance? Talk to the experts at C&L Auto Body. C&L Auto Body provides customers in and around Covina, California with expert collision repair and classic car restoration services. The friendly staff at C&L Auto Body offer a free loaner car to customers as well as advice on completing the insurance claims process. Visit http://candlautobody.com/ for more information.