The Kombi Files

an ash's projects website

08/10/2004 12:00   Windscreen Removal   [Doors and Windows]

As Paul mentioned, we pulled the windscreen out of the blue wreck. It had a nasty-looking crack in it, and had started to cloud around the edges. And as any kombi fan knows, ANY window seal is a magnet for rust. Ours was pretty clean so hopefully with a bit of preventative maintenance it'll stay that way.

A windscreen is a piece of cake to remove. The only tool you'll need is a big hammer, or half a brick.

Assuming you want to keep the windscreen for later, or you have a problem with having 1000 000 000 glass fragments inside your van, it's still pretty easy. A recommended way is to drill a small hole in the windscreen's rubber seal. There is a space of a few millimetres between the glass and the metal, so you should be able to get the drill through easily. If it feels like you are drilling metal or glass, then pull out the drill and start in a slightly different spot. One day I'll put a picture up to make it really obvious.

Then you poke a bit of thin wire through the hole and work it in and out the cut through the seal around the whole windscreen, a bit like a cheese-cutter. A thin bit of steel cable like the brake cable from a bike would be prefect. Make sure to have someone support the glass or it'll drop out onto the ground, probably breaking into the aforementioned numerous fragments. On newer VWs this is laminated safety glass so it won't go everywhere, and it tends to break into big chunks whick are unlikely to hurt you, unless you swallow them. That would be very silly, there are easier ways to get attention.

We didn't have a piece of steel cable and after wasting a fair bit of time with fragile copper wire we gave up and just pulled on the seal. It tore nicely along its length and the windscreen was off in a matter of minutes. If you are planning on re-using the glass be very careful when you are handling it. It's not heavy but if you put too much stress on it it will crack. Oops.

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