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From digest.v7.n1110 Tue Feb 10 19:06:21 1998
From: Erick Baumeister <>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 14:39:10 -0800
Subject: <all>Re: Windshield install...(long) and UUC hidden value

Jefrem(and others) asked me offline about windshield installations:

I haven't replaced the windshield on an 02 before. I also am not a windshield professional. I have, however, replaced or assisted in replacing the windshield on several cars, including my 535i,a VW bug(curved windshield), a Karmann Ghia, a Toyota Pickup, and a '70s Dodge truck.

The use of a sealant is not always necessary. Of the cars above only the Toyota and Dodge needed a sealant. In these cases a construction adhesive such as PL2000 was used(not my choice,I just helped on those). I am sure there are specialized sealants by 3M but I have not had the occasion to look them up.

The most important thing to be careful of is to not crack the windshield while installing!! It happens even to the professionals. It is more likely with used glass and usually happens when you get frustrated that the gasket is not sealing properly and you apply too much pressure to a small area. If you do undertake this yourself have a couple friends over that you can trust to apply pressure to the windshield while you seat the gasket in its channel.

I'm 95% sure your 02 windshield gasket has metal or plastic trim inserts that serve to lock and seal the gasket in place. You may also need to remove some trim pieces inside the car to get access to the gasket. To install a new windshield and gasket:

  1. Make sure the gasket is pliable, a warm sunny day is preferable but you have other options(such as a hair dryer) to warm the rubber.
  2. Fit the gasket around the new windshield,you may need a shot of silicone spray here and there. Don't apply too much as you do not want the gasket slipping off the glass.
  3. Cut a piece of cotton clothesline about 1 meter longer than the perimeter of the gasket. Insert this cord into the outer channel of the gasket, overlapping the ends of the gaskets at the center of the bottom of the windshield. 4)Saturate the channel with silicone spray.(if someone knows a better rubber lubricant for this purpose,post it please!) 5)Place the windshield,gasket and cord in the windshield frame with the cord ends inside the car. Line up the windshield in it's frame. 6)Here's where the 2 friends come in handy. Put one in charge of applying general downward pressure and making sure the windshield stays aligned. Have the other one apply localized pressure as you,working from inside the car, SLOWLY pull the cord out of the channel, thus seating the gasket. Popsicle sticks,thin screwdrivers, and other improvised tools help in getting it seated right. You may need to backtrack a few times and reseat a section you did before.
  4. Insert locking strip as described in previous post and take a test drive, checking for leaks. If any are found,take out the locking strip,apply sealant between gasket and frame in area of leak, and reinstall locking strip before the sealant sets. If you are really good you can probably figure out where these spots will be before you install the locking strips the first time. They are usually in the center of the bottom and top of the windshield, but you often don't know until the car has been driven a while. Most of us have had to take a car back to the professionals for a leak they missed so don't fell bad.

Getting this done,while not a UUC upgrade, really proved to my girlfriend that I knew what I was doing around cars. After a windshield replacement(where she was recruited to help apply pressure to a reluctant windshield) I got no hassles when I would announce that I needed to go help a friend work on their car at their house, when I really was making UUC upgrades. Hell,I think she thought if they came over to my house she might get recruited again for more than a beer run.

So she gets peace and quiet to herself and I get to work with my buddies on cars. What a great setup. Too bad we broke up.(I wasn't ready to marry her.)

Anyone with more BMW specific windshield info, feel free to add to the above(I know it's not worth a hill of beans to e36 M3 owners,who have the windshield as a stressed member.)
Please don't hold me responsible for cracked glass during installs! This is the nature of the beast and you probably won't get it replaced from place of purchase. My 535 windshield was $150(with roundel,not aftermarket) as opposed to the $450 the glass shop wanted to replace it. So even if I cracked one on install, I was still ahead $150(as long as I didn't crack the second one!)

Raging Baboon,(Boy,My alternator just blew it's next to last diode, Ethan got a little crazy with the sex metaphor and his shifter;->, Serg and Sherman:keep those E28s inside!)
'88 535ia ala Dinan