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Front windshield SS trim install-my success


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There's no doubt that this is one of the hardest jobs to do on the Z. It's hard on the fingers, back and patience. The best advice on this site is removal of the glass and installing trim- on the seal and windshield-- off the car. I did do that on the rear hatch, and with decent success. I did nick the seal in two places, but I will take those results being I don't do this for a living.

Another thing that might things easier is spending the money for the Nissan seals. One area you should go cheap on. Better coverage, better seal, probably tougher rubber too!

Anyway, I decided not to pull the front windshield on the car, or altleast try it installed. First thing I did was carefully clean and polish the SS trim. You will never get a better chance to polish it than when it's out.

I rummaged thru my tool box for something that would work to assist me on putting pressure on the trim. As you know, this SS trim will cut you up. I came up with this tool that I purchased to install storm door screen. The beauty of this tool is that the one side wheel is actually grooved to help push in the rubber seal that holds the screen in place. Well that groove also does a wonderful job of putting ample pressure on the SS trim-without slipping off. That groove rides right over the edge of the SS and rolls:cool: Thsi makes it nice to roll along the SS while pulling the seal over the trim. I kept the roller in front of the direction I was working -keeping the SS shoved down into one side of the seal, while I was pulling the other side of the seal over the SS.

IMPORTANT; keep everything wet with some soapy water-all the time. I prewetted the grooves of the seal before ever starting, but the water will dry up, so you need to keep wetting things as you go.

As far as the other tool in the picture, I can't remember where I got it or what I have previously used it for. I've had it forever and used it before when I needed something plastic without a sharp edge. As you see it has a kind of forked end; I used the the small pointy part to get under and grab the seal. So as the roller tool was keeping pressure on the SS, I followed with this tool riding against the SS and prying the seal from out behind the SS and over the edge of the SS. This is where the wetter the better happens.

The challenge for me was getting things started. I started with the side pieces and I started at the top. It is important to get it started to where the seal fully holds the SS at the point you started. If not, it will keep popping out. The first 3 inches are a bit of a challenge to get it to hold. Don't worry if you start to high or low, if things are wet enough you can slide the SS around a bit. I worked the SS into the outer lip first. I tried to set it in there in as much of the length of the seal as I could. Once you get some of the SS started, you can use the roller to keep pressure applied to keep the SS in the outer seal groove.

I used the meet in the middle method as far as getting the corner. When I had most of the SS set along the roof pillar, I went to the bottom middle of the windshield to try and set it in. The SS has some spring to it, so it's tought to get started, but you will find that it will set in the bottom part of the seal pretty easy. I worked the top part of the seal from the middle of the windshield back to the corner. The corner is tricky and things slow down quite a bit. Did I say keep it WET.

Take lot's of breaks, this is a very tedious job.

Save the top for last, it is a piece of cake after doing the sides.

Hope this helps someone.

Damn, the picture manager is not working so I can't post pictures of the tool. I will try later

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On my first restore project I didn't even bother putting mine back in the job was such a PITA. But I have some ideas for the project I'm working on now. Isopropyl alcohol is a very good lubricant. We used it at a former employer and it made rubber and metal surfaces that had to be fitted together a breeze. A generous dousing may actually let the trim slide the entire length in one direction and then use MADKAW'S technique to get it to respond in the other direction. I will post results. I am really looking forward to doing the job actually. Also this time I plan to do it before the trim actually gets applied to the car. Another thing about alcohol for those planning this job. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT GETTING WATER SOMEWHERE THAT WILL CAUSE CANCER DOWN THE ROAD!!

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I can suggest Glycerin as an alternative. It evaporates much slower the either alcohol or soapy water. If you don't want to visit the local drug store, liquid hand soaps use Glycerin in lieu of tallow. I would dilute it one part soap to two parts water.

This solution also works great for bicycle handlebar grips and golf club grips.

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Well I was able to get the picture manager to cooperate. The pictures aren't real telling, but they do show my weapons of the windshield battle. Like I said earlier, the double roller tool there has one roller that is actually grooved in the middle. Great for holding on that sharp trim. The other tool I seem to remember buying this as a caulking removal tool at Lowes or something. Tough little plastic tool that does a great job of lifting the seal.

So maybe you can kind of picture the roller applying pressure to keep the trim from springing out of the seal lip ,while the second tool follows pulling the other edge of the seal over the trim. You can see that the seal lip rides nicely in the fork of that tool. Though the tool looks like it maybe to sharp, it doesn't cut the seal, only the SS will do that.

As far as suggestions earlier, not sure that the little water I use is going to cause rust. The alcohol sounds like a great idea as long as you don't have any cuts on you hands before or durng the operation-that would make this process even more painful!!!

And you can find someone you can pay to do this, you better grab'em. I have read posts where even the "experienced" glass folks walk away from this job.




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Glad I could help Steve-we Steves need to stick together-LOL

Hope you ordered a decent one. That plastic one I got might not have lasted two windshields, or might have, I don't know. I believe we are putting more stress on it than was intended.

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Was that JUST for the Stainless Trim, or did it include the front and rear windshield panes installed for that amount?


Both windows and trim.

They slid the SS trim in before installing the glass.

they were down the road in about an hour and a half.

It would normally be about $250 but they do a lot of work for my brother in his body shop and cash talks:)


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  • 4 months later...

Thank you very much. A timely article as I am getting ready to install the hatch and windshield in the 26 year old ground up restoration of my '72 Z. Tried doing the hatch 4 years ago and screwed up the NOS rubber big time.

Will post some photos on this site soon.

Dave Roche

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