Windshield Removal Tool
Using Speedway's Windshield Removal Tool
One of the things that gets overlooked so many times when building, or restoring a car is dealing with the glass. More times than I could ever possibly count, I've seen and had to deal with glass issues. Even though during a build the glass that should have been removed to reseal it, somehow gets forgotten about, it's looked upon as too much trouble to worry about. If you're going to do an in depth build, do yourself a favor, and reseal the glass. The last thing that you'd want to have happen is to get all the interior done just to find out the windshield or back window has a leak.
In the case of my 1976 Chevrolet Laguna S3, it had some rust around the back window that needed addressed, and the windshield was cracked. Removing, replacing, and resealing them were something that had to be done. All I had to do is to look to Speedway Motors, and they had just what I needed in the form of a Windshield Remover Tool.
The tool is very simplistic in design, it has an L-Shaped Blade that is fitted into a very sturdy handle that has a flexible T-Handle that pivots so you can keep a steady pulling motion, while using the main body of the handle to keep the blade straight.
As in a lot of projects, including mine, there can be a major amount of clean up work that will have to be done before one can even think about trying to remove the glass. My Laguna had some marginal attempts to fix a leaking back window at best. Besides the windshield removal tool, I needed to dig out some more tools to get the job accomplished.
Because of some rust issues, the back window was leaking quite a bit, and one of the previous owners must have used a case of silicone sealer to try and stop the leak.
First I took the utility knife, and cut the sealer along the edge of the glass all the way around, and also all the way around the edge of the body. Then I continued to cut as much of the sealer away as possible with the utility knife.
Cutting away the sealer will unearth the window molding retainers, and these can be a little hard to remove. What I ended up doing was using a slotted screwdriver to try to pop them loose, but be prepared for them to break, and then you may have to pull them out with the linesman pliers like a dentist pulls a tooth.
Now comes the most tedious job, and that involves using a gasket scraper to scrape away and remove all the sealer. Be prepared to allow a lot of time for this, because this can be tedious.
After you get all the sealer scraped out of the channel, and off the glass, get a wire brush out and clean the channel out really good. Make sure to get everything cleaned really good to where there's no sealer left anywhere, even under the edge of the glass.
Set the windshield removal tool down in the channel between the glass and edge of the body.
Line the windshield removal tool up under the edge of the glass and rotate it so it'll start slicing into the glass setting tape, making sure that the blade is at 90 degrees, and is seated underneath the glass.
This is the point where things need to be taken very, very slowly, pull very slowly, and steady. Be sure to keep the handle at a 90-degree angle with the glass, and doing this will ensure that the blade will stay even with the edge of the glass. Unless you work in a glass shop for a living, be prepared for your arms to be a little sore by the time you get done. Once you've run the blade all the way around the glass you'll be able to see that the glass will start to get loose.
If possible get a helper to get inside the car and gently apply pressure around the edges of the glass, starting at the top. Once the glass is loose, push the glass out from the top and pull it down toward the trunk or hood depending on which glass you're removing.
Once you're done, make sure you put the glass in a safe place so it won't get broken, especially if you plan on reusing it. As far as my windshield was concerned, it has more cracks in it than Humpty Dumpty, so it went into the trash.