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  • Original Windshield or Crystal Clear

    My original 1960 windshield has the look of a sandstorm survivor. It just seems inconsistent with the rest of the car. The side glass has been replaced and looks great for the most part except for one trim piece. The back window looks great.

    I know it's my choice, but what opinion is there about originality? I've replaced the steering wheel, shifter, turn signal, tail lights, rocker trim, seat molding, and certainly other mechanical parts.

    I'd like to keep it if polishing would remove half of the defects, but if that's not the answer, would new glass have any stigma other than make me feel better?

  • #2
    Glass can be polished to remove haze or slight imperfections. If you don't want to try it yourself a glass shop will certainly do it for you. I wouldn't replace it unless it was cracked or was badly delaminating.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Thanks John. I heard a novice can really screw this up, but these are nice upright windshields compared to today's front glass. I suppose the internet has a lot of YouTube videos on how to do this with a grinder-polisher.

      Dean

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      • #4
        Eastwood sells a kit. I didn't have the patience for it. The old glass is very hard.
        http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...ryNumber=33517

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        • #5
          I'm going to offer my thoughts but do what you want.

          In Squarebird days, Ford's Glass Plant used batches of heated and rolled glass, cooled and cut into squares. Huge grinding and polishing machines worked both sides of all the flat glass. The square glass is then cut to the form of a windshield; any windshield, and the offal was simply recycled back into the furnace.

          Later, Ford's Glass Plant used a 'continuous cast' process where the glass was floated on a molten tin bath to ensure both sides are smooth. The long ribbon never stopped as it was cut into squares 'on the fly' and stacked.

          Laminated glass is two pieces of flat glass, heated and bent together as a 'matched pair'. Both panes are separated long enough to insert a sheet of vinyl, then those two pieces are re-married and the glass assembly goes into an autoclave.

          It's rare to see new glass that is wavy. My point is, if the glass is old and waves are in the middle surfaces of the glass (where the vinyl is) all the polishing in the world won't help. The inside surface is also hard to polish, even if the windshield is removed. The only surface left is the outside, which is easily polished for small imperfections. Again, that is only one of four surfaces.

          If it were me and the glass was very wavy, I would look for a new one. - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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          • #6
            I'd like to keep it if polishing would remove half of the defects, but if that's not the answer, would new glass have any stigma other than make me feel better?


            Dean both John and Dave have good points on your windshield. Your original statement above was " I'd like to keep " so take the TBird to a couple of glass shops, see what they say and get estimates. Based on that cost make your decision, as the purchase of another windshield is a large investment.
            Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
            Thunderbird Registry
            58HT #33317
            60 HT (Sold )

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            • #7
              I would only consider keeping the original if the car was all original. It will look better with a clear new windshield matching the other glass. That said, there is a bit of "character" in seeing old original glass with some de-lamination at the edges of an all original car, but this only shows originality, not improved safety or restored clean bright appearance.

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              • #8
                Original Windshield or Crystal Clear

                If you decide to replace that windshield, check out the Advertisements Forum and Bob's Classic Auto Glass (1-800-624-2130). There is also some information on how to etch the windshield if you want to. So check out the entry in the Advertisements Forum...
                Last edited by YellowRose; December 6th, 2017, 09:24 AM.

                Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                "It's Hip To Be Square"
                Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                  I'm going to offer my thoughts but do what you want...
                  This is strictly, personal preference.

                  The picture window in our 1948 house looks like one of those carnival mirrors, with waves all over it. Robin would kill me if I replaced it. Truth is, the dogs are the only ones who look out of it as we don't spend any time in the living room.

                  My car is different. If I had a wave it would drive me nuts. Understand, this is something I look through every time I sit in the driver's seat. As far as originality goes, I've seen customers demand a new windshield in a brand new car for this very reason. They get one, too.

                  Originally posted by Deanj View Post
                  My original 1960 windshield has the look of a sandstorm survivor. It just seems inconsistent with the rest of the car. The side glass has been replaced and looks great for the most part except for one trim piece....
                  There goes your originality. I guess if your car is a garage queen it doesn't matter. - Dave
                  My latest project:
                  CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                  "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                  --Lee Iacocca

                  From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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                  • #10
                    Thanks. Well, I make as many bad decisions as good. There's no wavy areas ( I remember my dad's 1963 Bel Air, an ordered car, came with a distorted windshield ). I'm used to looking out of clear windshields and this ain't clear. Good thing my contacts are "crystal".

                    I'll try to polish this one and if I'm not happy-another 50/50 proposition-I'll replace it. I read it takes a good hour of machine polishing to see some difference.

                    Dean

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                    • #11
                      The verdict on the Eastwood glass sanding-polishing kit is:

                      Save your money. Go to a pro and get your glass improved.

                      This kit came with the diamond dust slurry mixer, a 3 inch hook and loop attachment, and a 3 inch pad. I added 3 sanding disc for an extra $10 bringing the total damages to $60.

                      Part of the problem doing this the first time is the inability to recognize what's needed to address the damage. I sanded my windshield with the finest disc and followed with the polishing. The kit basically says don't use the most abrasive disc unless you like wavy glass, and so I was bluffed into the finest disc. Tip: Make 1/3 of the polishing slurry as you think you need.
                      During this exercise I could tell the difference in the glass where the polishing missed. The glass does look very clean and improved in general appearance, but it's probable better for your daily driver annual spring maintenance. Close inspection reveals little of the original issue has changed even after 3-4 passes each with sanding disc and polishing pad.

                      Dean

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                      • #12
                        The polishing kits won't do anything for your sandstorm problem. The glass is pitted-NOT scratched. Two completely different types of damage. This type of damage is the worst especially at night when you approach oncoming cars.

                        One rule of thumb is if the scratch or other surface damage is large enough to catch with your finger nail it's too big to fix. Eastwood is a over priced rip off. If you want to try polishing the damage what you want is some Cerium Oxide compound. These kits are very cheap and common on EBay. Here is one for $14. For that price it's cheap enough to give it try if you want.

                        https://www.ebay.com/itm/34Pcs-Deep-....c100505.m3226

                        If you replace it please post back with what you think and the price. I have found even the plain flat side glass is NOT the same as it was in 1959. I find all the new glass to be thinner and requires more setting material and thicker door run material.
                        .
                        .
                        .

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                        • #13
                          Thanks. I probable won't replace it because it's such a robust piece. I'll have to wait until I can drive her again to see if there's any improvement from the polishing. It sure looks clean.

                          Yeah I noticed my side glass, the replaced glass which looks beautiful, has some inherent violet tint that I see only when it's parked in my garage. The original glass has no such "film". It could be in the non-glass laminate that I assume is present in all new safety glass.

                          I'm just mystified about the pitting because I had cars with almost the same mileage that didn't look like this. It's a Littleton, Colorado car with almost 83K now, 4K of that in Willoughby, OH. Lot's of rocks in CO?

                          Dean

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                          • #14
                            Changed coolant and drove my 1960 for the first time in bright sunlight since polishing the windshield.

                            Very nice. The numerous small nicks are still there, but the haze is gone-and that's a real improvement.

                            The kit I used is overpriced, and the recommendation by Tbird6 might be a better way to proceed. I just glad this worked to keep me from replacing original glass.

                            Dean

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                            • #15
                              If you search the site for "windshield replacement" you'll find multiple mentions that many of the replacement windshields do not have the top to bottom curve that you see in the center when looking at a side profile of the car. Instead, they are flat. Something to keep in mind if choosing to replace.
                              DGS (aka salguod)
                              1960 Convertible - Raven Black, Red leather
                              www.salguod.net

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