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In need of helpful hints for '53 windshield installation


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I respectfully disagree with you Rob. Hanging it gives full access to the area without hanging over the fresh paint. Lol.

Tim, I also have never installed one of these windows but from your pictures it looks like you have to use the string technique to get it in. And from what I understand that requires putting a string in the groove of the seal and pulling on that, to pop the seal over the welt as the glass is held in place. Again, I have never done this myself and am prepared to stand corrected.

Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)
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Quentin Tarantino and I once collaborated on a gruesome story with the proposed title "The String and I". Since I was 12 I have never seen that string trick work! Personally I think it is an urban legend created around a cracker barrel.

My best luck has been with lots of patience and at least half a bottle of dish washing liquid. Use plastic tools or wooden paint stirrers to coax things into place. The stainless should be installed first and lube that up as well. Don't put anything in a position where it can pinch. Trial fit the rubber and stainless without the glass first. Make friends with every inch of it. If you are uncomfortable with a pucker take it out and start over. Don't force anything. Keep in mind, a couple of guys from McPherson College can be there to help in a few hours.

Then, when its all in, watch From Dusk Til Dawn. The last scene shows a whole bunch of trucks in the ravine behind the bar; lots missing windshields. Even the bad guys have trouble with them.


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.....but not sure if I need to install the stainless trim first.....

You need to assemble the windshield glass, the rubber glass channel with a strong cord in the pinchweld groove, along with the stainless steel reveal molding as one unit, preferably on a workbench, BEFORE you attempt to set the assembly in place. Additional sealants and the stainless steel belt moldings are installed AFTER the windshield assembly is centered and secured correctly.

This is at least a two-man job and I would highly recommend hiring an experienced glass setter.....it might be cheaper in the long run. Try to find someone who moonlights after hours or on weekends (when the moon is not lit up) to take charge of the installation with you being the helper. They will likely not guarantee any reimbursement if they crack your windshield though. :( Just saying, within the last year, I know of one restoration where the first and second windshields cracked, and on a different restoration, the shop had to exchange the repro rubber glass channel for another one. In both cases, they were 1953 Buick's. Also make note that there are imported windshields out there that are thinner than the OEM 1/4" units that could give you some problems.

Good luck.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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Listen to Al. I do exactly that, using a moon lighting glass shop guy and paying in cash and a couple of beers. The trick is to make make love to the glass. A nudge here, a pat there, a little cajoling and even some sniveling. Oh yeah. Use lots of lube........................Bob

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I respectfully disagree with you Rob. Hanging it gives full access to the area without hanging over the fresh paint. Lol.

Wrong JD, believe me he will need all the help that gravity can provide, so he needs to sit the car back upright on the floor. I would be interested in seeing pictures of his ceiling hangers though. he he he

I was thinking maybe someone would offer the '53 Body by Fisher Service News showing the reinstallation procedure. Here it is for 1954 and I am sure their are differences but perhaps their are some tips that can be gleaned from it. I have helped install a windshield and rear glass into a 53 Super and can offer a couple things learned.

>Make sure ALL the old sealant is removed from the flange and that it is straight/flat, no high points.

>Invest in a set of glass installation suction cup tools. (They can also be used for pulling dents out with)

>Before applying sealant to the flange, and with the temporary cord installed in the rubber channel, DO A DRY RUN of actually sitting the glass in the hole. This gets you familiar with the feel of laying the glass over into the hole once the sealant is on and also shows up any high points in the flange if any. If you don't do this and you run into problems after the sealant has been applied, removing the glass and cleaning all the sealant from the rubber and channel is no fun.

>Don't use too big of a cord as it will not let the rubber channel fit down into the hole and over the flange. I'm thinking about 1/8 to 3/16 is close to right.




Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)
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Dittos to Al & Bob!

I do small flat glass stuff, but BIG curvy windshields that cost $$$$$ are a different story.

We do this stuff a couple or a few times in a lifetime… a pro does it dozens of times a day.

They have the experience, tools, and know how.

I paid two glass guys $50 and a lunch coupon to install my last one.. Money well spent.

A daunting job for me … was done in 20 minutes as I watched in wonder how they did it!

I stupidly put my 49 Willys Jeepster windshield in (new glass & rubber). It was Flat glass, too.

Found out that I should have put the stainless moulding on AT THE SAME time…..

I thought I could somehow put it on after the fact…Wrong!

So, now it's back to the pros with a new rubber to do it right...

Find a glass guy….. No one ever wants to hear that sickening ( TICK ….! ) and big

fat crack appearing …..

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest martylum

Hi Tim-My wife and I installed a 53 Buick Skylark windshield in the last year. Yes the stainless trim moldings must be installed in the gasket before installation and the gasket must be installed on the edge of the glass before installation. We used the old string method to pull the gasket over the pinchweld with good success.

However there was a problem with the gasket fit on the vertical pillars-when the gasket was completely seated in the pinchweld it pulled away from the glass leaving the glass side of the gasket just touching the outer edges of the glass. Ended up pulling or prying the pinchweld side of the away from the pinchweld somewhat to get get the gasket partly seated on the edge of the glass.

I had to destroy the old hard gasket to remove the windshield 6 years ago so had no old gasket with which to compare the new. It would seem the gasket width on the vertical pillars is too arrow and I'm concerned about water leaks.

Anyone else have a similar problem with 53 Buick gasket for ether the Roadmaster or Skylark models?

I'd love to have dimensions on an original good fitting gasket to compare to my new gasket. Your comments appreciated.

Marti Lum

53 Roadmaster 76 X.


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  • 1 month later...

Well, my brother and I spent some time thinking about the installation of the window and if was worth the risk taking the chance on cracking it. After deciding to do it, I got a spray bottle with mostly dish detergent and some water in it. Then got a spool of 16 ga. ele. wire. I then laid out the window seal and put the stainless trim in the slot in the seal. The wire was then put all the way around the seal meeting up at the bottom center. The assembly was set in place and starting from the middle bottom. As the wire was pulled it lifted the seal over the window frame. The spray bottle was used frequently (never underestimate the power of good lubrication). After a half hour or so, a little pounding with my hand on the glass and it was in with no cracks (whew).


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  • 6 years later...

I’ve done a few back glasses on  mid fifties Gm products with the stainless going in after the job, but never a windshield, and never with the trim attached. This will be a new experience. For the record, the back glass can be done by one person if help can’t be found.

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