- Leo DiOrio
Why choose River Valley
Updated: Jan 27, 2021
Hello, I wanted out line the process of a windshield replacement, and show why River Valley Auto Glass is the right choice for your windshield replacement.
The first thing I do is lay down protective mats over the driver side fender, and the dash. This prevents any dirt and debris from falling onto the dash and provides protection from any sharp tool damage or scratches.
The windshield is completely scrubbed along the outer edge with an abrasive pad and glass cleaner, then wiped with denatured alcohol. This removes any dirt, oil, or wax from the transportation and manufacturing process. Waxes, dirt and oil prevent the glue from bonding to each surface properly. I apply the new moulding at this stage, as well. Every windshield comes with a brand new outer moulding. Moulding is not to be reused, ever. I apply a clear activator to the outside edge of the windshield. I follow the black band around the windshield, called the fritt band. The activator sticks to the windshield, and the glue sticks to the activator. If you glued in a window without the activator it would fall out within a few weeks, maybe even days .
I then remove the cowl. Removing the cowling gives me free access to the bottom of the windshield pinch weld, to clean and prepare properly for the urethane glue to bond well. The cowling is usually held in with multiple plastic clips. These clips are fragile and they often break. Plastic parts over 10 years old are not covered under our warranty. However, I do carry and replace clips for most common makes and models free of additional charge. If you own a rare, or luxury vehicle, we will add an additional clip kit to your order at vendor pricing with no mark up.
After the cowl is out, I gently remove the moulding around the windshield. This allows me to place my fibre line cutting tool between the body of the vehicle and the glass. The fibre wire does not cut or scratch the paint on the pinch weld.
Here is my fibre line cutting tool in action. The synthetic fibre line is held in one corner with an anchor, while being wound around the body of the tool, pulling the wire through the urethane glue. I use an Equalizer Raptor for most jobs, but not all. Any car with a small reverse underlay moulding, or naked edge (many new vehicles) will require a fibre line extraction. Some windshields, especially large pick ups and vans use an electric powered extractor, or cold knife. Each particular vehicle has its own installation protocol.
Now that the windshield is completely out, I prepare the pinch weld area. Preparing the pinch weld includes removing the old urethane, cleaning the areas around the old urethane, and applying automotive primer on the gaps left by stripping the old urethane. The goal is to leave about 2mm of old urethane for the new glue to stick. New urethane bonds best with the fresh cut urethane on the pinch weld. This is the best practice and industry standard for preparing a windshield pinch weld surface.
Now that everything is cleaned and sealed, I lay down the new urethane glue. You want a nice, consistent, straight line of glue. This prevents gaps in the seal, which could allow wind noise and water to leak in. Notice the shape of the glue line, its a tall triangle, ribbon. When pressed down, this triangle flattens out to a rectangle shape, increasing the contact surface area and forms a strong bond with the windshield and vehicle. I use an all in one modulus urethane glue. I typically use Sika glue and preparation products (primer-activator-urethane).
Next, I set the windshield. I use a setting tool for most jobs, but for larger windshields (semi trucks, medium duty vehicles) old fashion muscle power is the best way to set. I place light adhesive backed vinyl tape at the top of the windshield to give it extra support in the first hour of the glue is drying. The tape may be removed 24 hours after installation.
I put the cowl back together and mount the windshield wipers. The final steps are cleaning the outside of the windshield, attaching the rearview mirror, and packing my tools. I have the same training and all the same tools, technology, and techniques as all the big name national glass shops (rhymes with Spafesplite), just at a fraction of the price. All River Valley Auto Glass Installations come with a lifetime warranty on parts and labor, and your vehicle is insured while its under my care. River Valley Auto glass is a highly professional and detail oriented auto glass shop in Florence Colorado, serving Salida, Cañon City, Florence, Pueblo, Colorado Springs & Surrounding areas.
Thanks for reading!