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Re: Windshield scratches

To: James Fischer <>
Subject: Re: Windshield scratches
From: "W. R. Gibbons" <>
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 1995 12:17:13 -0500 (EST)
On Fri, 15 Dec 1995, James Fischer wrote:

>     While we are on the subject, I need to replace the rubber seal
>     around the windscreen on my 1972 Midget.  (Drip, drip, drip...)
>     Knowing my limits, I went to a local windshield shop, and asked 
>     them what they would charge to remove and replace the glass, if 
>     I gathered up the required rubber part(s) from the usual sources.
>     They wanted $75, and they wanted a "waiver" against breaking
>     the windscreen glass, since they claimed that the plastic at 
>     the center of the glass would be brittle from age.
>         1)  Is there PLASTIC in the center of the US version of
>             the windshield?  (1972 Midget, Chassis GAN-5UC121382).

I believe windshield safety glass is made up of two layers of thin glass, 
with a thin layer of plastic bonded between them.  When the glass 
breaks, the plastic holds the pieces together.  So your fantasy of the 
windshield falling apart in a rally isn't likely.

The shop's analysis of increased risk with an old windshield may be
correct.  In any case, I would pop for a new windshield.  After 30+ years,
the old one will have many pits and scratches.  You may not notice them,
but you will be amazed at how much better you can see through a new one,
especially at night. 

Rear windows on american cars are generally made of a different type of 
safety glass, called tempered glass.  When this glass breaks, it crumbles 
into small bits that are relatively non-threatening.  Sometimes stesses 
in the glass cause it to crumble spontaneously.  You can see how having 
this in the windshield would not be good, because a flying stone could 
cause the windshield to go nearly opaque, then blow out into your lap in 
little bits.

   Ray Gibbons  Dept. of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
                Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
        (802) 656-8910

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