Doing the windshield replacement yourself will save you a lot of cash. It is a doable easy fix if you do it right. First…..this is flat glass we are talking about. Not curved nor some odd shape that requires a lot of labor. I get my windshields from a Mom & Pop glass shop in Seattle. Old school! Straight talk and no rip off prices. I pay $40 per windshield and can order bronze, clear or smoke. I get 12-15 at a time and go pick them up. I like the bronze cause it goes with each of our red, green, and yellow Things. The smoke tint is nice, and offers a nice look and some sun filtering as well. The least favorite is the clear. All of this is personal choice – all are auto safety glass.
Replacing the windshield really isn’t a big deal on disassembly. You don’t have to remove the rear-view mirror, the latches from the lower frame, nor the wiper motor. Here is the only GOTCHA – the upper frame of the windshield is held to the bottom frame by four large Phillips screws on the bottom. These go through the lower tang of the upper frame into the slots of the lower frame.
There are two screws on each side. THESE CAN RUST IN PLACE! I use a large Phillips screw driver with a square shank. I put the star end of the screw driver into the screw head and put an adjustable wrench on the square shank and try to turn as easy as possible. If you wring off the screws they have to be drilled out and tapped again to get this glass replaced. I work the screw back and forth and apply Liquid Wrench penetrating oil. Sometimes it takes a couple of hours to get them loose. Most times they just come out with the screw driver.
This photo below shows the upper frame separated from the lower frame. You see it’s not stripped of wipers and other parts. Make sure the windshield gasket that goes around the glass is serviceable. It’s part #181 845 119, and can be purchased from The Thing Shop, West Coast Metric, or German Motor Works. They run $80 – 90 bucks and keep the water out of the lower frame. Used lower frames can cost $250, so you want to make sure your gasket is good.
This photo shows the gasket and frame are smaller at the top than the bottom. Lube the rubber gasket up with liquid dish soap. Put the glass in the frame upside down on your work bench or driveway. Shim your windshield with 2×4 for support and re-install the glass. The old glass comes out easy and the new one goes back in slick too. You may have to tap with a dead blow hammer for a tight fit. After the glass is back in I don’t tighten the bottom screws till I see how the side curtains and soft top fit.
YA DONE IT!