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post #1 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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DIY windshield replacement?

Anybody replaced their own windshield? Can it be that hard?

I'm looking to install lexan to replace my always cracked stock glass. I have the lexan already and the local guy wants $120 to mount it, and is booked out several weeks. It looks like I can buy the urethane/primer and tools for about 50 bucks off eBay. It does not seem like it'd be very hard to do, but I've never done it or seen it done in person. Anybody tried DIY? How hard is it?

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post #2 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 01:08 PM
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I want to see the finished product. I would personally never run lexan on the street, much less on a 4x4. It scratches super easy and then it gets hard to see through.

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post #3 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 01:25 PM
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I installed glass for several years and now own my own body shop and still install our own glass. I just replaced a W/S in an 08 JK the other weeks and it took me about an hour to get the W/S out due to how close it was to the bottom of the W/S Frame. And that is having all the correct tools!
I really don't know why you want to install Lexan except for what you mentioned your W/S being cracked but I would never run Lexan on the street. Windshields are a laminated piece of glass where when the crack they don't shatter like side windows do. The other reason is if a rock from the road flies up and hits the W/S it won't come through and hit you. I don't think your windshield wipers would even work the correct way with a piece of lexan in the place of glass and with bugs hitting it!!
This is just my 2cents. Good Luck. But becareful!
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 01:46 PM
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Check out the following site, sounds like their windshields are exactly what you're looking for. http://opticarmorwindows.com/jeepwindshields.html
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racinfast002 View Post
I want to see the finished product. I would personally never run lexan on the street, much less on a 4x4. It scratches super easy and then it gets hard to see through.
The Lexan is hard coated to within .02 percent of factory glass and is not *supposed* to scratch.... supposedly. Not that it matters much, I have less than 10k miles on my JK and the windshield has 5 rock chips and 3 cracks all the way across. My 2007 JK was the same way, I was always driving around with a broken windshields and buying a new one each spring only to have it crack two weeks later.

_
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Now back to a 2013 JKU Rubicon with "stuff", planning 37's with minimal lift.

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post #6 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redjk07 View Post
I installed glass for several years and now own my own body shop and still install our own glass. I just replaced a W/S in an 08 JK the other weeks and it took me about an hour to get the W/S out due to how close it was to the bottom of the W/S Frame. And that is having all the correct tools!
I really don't know why you want to install Lexan except for what you mentioned your W/S being cracked but I would never run Lexan on the street. Windshields are a laminated piece of glass where when the crack they don't shatter like side windows do. The other reason is if a rock from the road flies up and hits the W/S it won't come through and hit you. I don't think your windshield wipers would even work the correct way with a piece of lexan in the place of glass and with bugs hitting it!!
This is just my 2cents. Good Luck. But becareful!
The Lexan is WAY tougher than the factory glass. It will even stop a .22 caliber round. It will NOT shatter, break or chip.

It might, however, pit from impacts, and/or abrade/haze due to grit under the wiper action.

It's my understanding that the reason they are not DOT approved is because they are so tough that in the event of an accident, rescue workers are unable to cut through it with an axe to get you out of the wreckage.

If it makes it a whole year, I'm money and time ahead.

_
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Now back to a 2013 JKU Rubicon with "stuff", planning 37's with minimal lift.

I've tried them all... Jeeps are still the best. (0||||0)
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay EE P View Post
Check out the following site, sounds like their windshields are exactly what you're looking for. http://opticarmorwindows.com/jeepwindshields.html
I got mine from roadless gear, but it looks like the same stuff.

_
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Now back to a 2013 JKU Rubicon with "stuff", planning 37's with minimal lift.

I've tried them all... Jeeps are still the best. (0||||0)
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-16-2014, 04:21 PM
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As I was getting my third w/s replaced a while back, the shop owner complained about the JK w/s and how because of the curve it touches in the mid bottom of the frame. This install if not corrected will cause a vertical crack sooner or later. I had a vertical crack on my second w/s. He places a wooden shim approx/. 1/4 inch between the windshield and w/s frame until the goop has dried. Being a Jeep guy he noted the difference in forward slope of the hood compared to the old CJ- 5's and 7's. His theory is that the slope allows more foreign objects to hit the w/s. We had a thread about this around 2-3 years ago. I looked up the lexan which quite a few states won't allow and also the tear away windshield covers that some company made.

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post #9 of 14 Old 04-18-2014, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guruman View Post
Anybody replaced their own windshield? Can it be that hard?

I'm looking to install lexan to replace my always cracked stock glass. I have the lexan already and the local guy wants $120 to mount it, and is booked out several weeks. It looks like I can buy the urethane/primer and tools for about 50 bucks off eBay. It does not seem like it'd be very hard to do, but I've never done it or seen it done in person. Anybody tried DIY? How hard is it?
For the $70 net difference plus your time I would pay to have a professional do the install. He he screws it up he has to fix it. If you screw it up you would have to fix it and buy a new piece of lexan.
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-19-2014, 07:15 PM
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Ever try to get urethane window sealer off your hands, clothes and vehicle? I have and it's not fun.

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post #11 of 14 Old 04-20-2014, 08:50 PM
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If you have the proper tools and the guts to do it, than it can be accomplished. But I really don't suggest doing it by your self just to be safe.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-21-2014, 05:02 AM
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This isn't something I'd bother with and I'm a pretty hardcore DIY guy. Won't worth the fuss, leaking, potential breakage, etc.

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post #13 of 14 Old 04-21-2014, 07:02 PM
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I would totally agree with you Goodysgotacuda, Let it be handled by a Pro and save money.
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-23-2014, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Resurrecting this old thread for the fun of it, and to report my experience.

I waited for months for the local professional to have time to mount my lexan. Even then I had to help him.

First, according to the manufacturer, you cannot use the typical urethane. I guess it won't hold. We were directed to use good old RTV, which was a hassle due to the viscosity of the adhesive. The poly was a bit difficult to get mounted, as it's truly flat and the stock glass is curved a bit. It took a bit of sanding the edges in a couple of places, and some finagling to get it in place correctly. We rigged some compression bandage style tape contraptions and let it cure overnight.

The manufacturer also said if I felt the need to, that I could drill a countersunk hole in each corner and screw the thing in. Having ran the thing for about 2 months now, I do not think I'll need the screws.

Also, there is no mirror nub installed on the poly. And you cannot glue one in place. With my rear AEV tirecarrier and all my junk on the back, I gave up the rear view mirror long ago, so it was a non-issue for me. If you have to have one the accepted practice is to drill through the poly and bolt one in place.

After the install, my experience with the poly windshield has been totally positive. It sounds a bit funny. When it rains, or bugs/stones hit, the sound created is higher pitched than glass would be. It's kind of odd.

So far, no problems. Wipers work just as before. No abrasion visible yet. I've taken a few stones that would have likely cracked the OEM glass. They didn't even leave a mark.

The only nitpicky thing I can say is that there is a bit more flex than the glass. In strong winds, or when passing an oncoming semi, the poly flexes a tiny bit. It's only noticeable by looking at the reflection on the interior of the windshield. It also causes some funny effects when wearing my polarized fishing sunglasses, which is how I noticed. When not wearing polarized lenses, I forget that it does it.

So there you go. Overall, I highly recommend it to anyone who is sick of replacing glass, and sick of driving around with cracks for months waiting for the glass to get "bad enough" to replace.

Anyway that's my .02. Let me know if you have questions.

_
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Now back to a 2013 JKU Rubicon with "stuff", planning 37's with minimal lift.

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