Thursday, February 26, 2015

Windscreen Removal

Well, the prep for painting has really gotten underway now. Today's brief post is about removing the windscreen and what lies beneath. Depending on your windscreen, you may be removing it to replace it. If that's the case, you may not need to take as much care as I did. My glass was perfect, but I needed to get a look at the metal surrounding it as well as get the paint underneath it. One more seal is worth the rust containment.

multiple passes
For tools, you only really need a box-cutter / X-Acto. Extend the blade halfway. Approach the bus from the front and go to the top corner of the passenger side first. Slide the side of the knife blade against the windscreen with the sharp side pointing down. Cut the rubber seal from top to bottom by sliding the side of the blade against the windscreen. It will resist, so that's why we're only using half of the blade edge. Don't press too hard; let the knife to the work. The harder you fight it, the more likely you will scratch your windscreen. Extend the blade to 3/4 length and run the same seal edge top to bottom. Extend the blade to full length and repeat. This time, you should hear that satisfying noise of the knife against the A-pillar. The rubber should separate from the glass and just hang there. If not, gently run the knife along the A-pillar being careful not to disturb the paint. It is possible a previous owner painted the seal on, ran caulk to try to stop a leak or glued it in. Glue is not necessary for this seal. Nor is caulk, but I've seen some crazy road-side repairs go untouched for years, and caulk is definitely one of them.

Repeat the cuts for the driver side and then the top. By now, there should be rubber hanging off the bus, or sitting in strips by your feet. Nicely done. If its an old seal, some of those cuts were very difficult. If it was anything like my first seal replacement on my bus, there were a few spots where I was able to cut right through very easily. I discovered that those spots also aligned with rust. When I cut off the seal the other day, it was only a few years old, and held very well. I'll be getting another Bus-Depot seal for the re-install later.

Bottom Cut Last
Pulled away a little bit
The best is saved for last. When I did my first seal, I had to be careful while I cut the last section. It wasn't holding very well, so I had to keep one hand holding the windscreen while I finished the cut. The newer seal, though, held strong even after I cut off the bottom. The windscreen held to the bus. It held very firm, actually. Your experience may differ, and you may want a buddy around when you make your last cut (as I did a few years ago).

Pop It Out
Old seals don't hold well, so the windscreen may just fall out once you've made your last cut. In my case, I reached one hand through the front door and pushed towards the front while catching the edge out front. This freed the sides, but the center still held. I had to grip the windscreen from the bottom near first the driver side then the passenger side and gently pull forward. Slowly, the seal gave in and handed me my windscreen. I carefully set it where it wouldn't get scratched and pulled out the remains of the seal. If yours was glued in, this could take some time. You want to get back down to smooth metal.

Now What?
glass out. rust inspection
I looked at the rust treatment I did years ago with some POR15. I was impressed. From my memory, the rust had not meaningfully advanced. Still, I needed to sand the whole opening to make sure. It looked pretty good, so I decided I would just expose the rust (read: sand and Dremel) and re-treat it. Then, I'll just handle it like any other metal panel: prime and paint with lots of sanding mixed in. Since it lives under a seal, there's no point in adding Bondo to the rust pits except as practice for visible spots I need to do later. Still, I'm going to skip Bondo'ing here.

As always seems to happen, this small painting effort has grown into a pretty big deal. Next up, removing the dash-top, more rust inspecting and sanding. Apart from deciding how far to go with paint on the interior, I think I'm almost done with the initial prep work. I still have lots of sanding and such to do, though. Unfortunately, that doesn't lend itself to print very well, so it might be a little while before my next few posts appear after this. Thanks for following along.

No comments: