Recently, there was a thread on Facebook about having a “good” used windshield installed into a coach. The thread was going all over the place` and I really didn’t want to get into it there but there is some important information I feel folks need to know about GMC windshields.
If someone askes you what the stonrgest part of the front of a GMC is the answer should be the windshields. Sounds kinda scary but not really. Windshields are very important in that they hold lateral movement in the front cap.
Many of you know when jacking up a GMC, windshield damage is really possible if the coach isn’t jacked up properly and you cannot install a windshield unless the coach is sitting on it’s whells on the ground….reasonable level. Our coach body has expansion joints and will roll and twist in a bind.
If you are jacking your coach up completely, jack each rear wheel by the bogy between the wheels and put a 6.5 ton jack stand on it’s lowest position bringing up one side then the other….THEN jack up the front of the coach together by the crossmember under the motor.
Going down the front must go down first. If you are simply jacking up the front bring it up again by the crossmember, never jack up 1 front wheel unless you put the jack under the A arm lifting is just enough to get the wheel off the ground.
Any deviation from this and you run the risk of cracking your windshield. I wanted to get that out first. The windshields are floating in the gasket, with the flexible body I have seen a windshield literally come out of it’s gasket!
Speaking of gaskets, original gaskets are available but to be honest, I wish all the rubber on the coach was made of the material these original gaskets were made of. Unless the gasket is damaged or cut, with new lock bead they can easily be reused. When you talk to a glass company about installing windshields I would not order a new gasket. Some installed require a new one…I have to say they just don’t know but you may have to spend the $300 for one. If the installer cracks the glass on installation they may blame the gasket and that will be on you!
The lock bead does deteriorate but that material is short money and we always replace it. Another important tip about the gasket is it should be sealed to the body with urethane windshield sealant. The SOP is to install it “dry”…no sealant. Leaks on this flexible opening happen between the gasket and the body. There is also an overlap on the opening that if left unsealed will leak water right into the horn button on the steering wheel and in the lap of the passenger. Whenever you do have windshields installed please ask them to add sealant there…at least over the top and down the sides.
Next is the glass itself Foggung on the edges is a fact of life for our windshields. This is caused by humidity leaching into the plastic middle liner of the glass. Some try and seal the edges before installation as we do……. does it actually do any good I’m really not sure but like you find when you change your glasses…you never knew how scratched up and hazy they were until you got them changed…….it’s the same way with windshields. The world looks so much nicer through fresh windshields. I’m one to talk….the windshields on JeyGee are terrible and just like many…it’s just not in the budget…hey, I dog that. $1450 isn’t in MY left pocket! And do I work on my stuff or customers? But I should…I would enjoy the coach more if I did…maybe one day when I can get out of here more than a weekend hey…….that’s my problem.
Used windshields are useless. Sometimes they will come out in tact If the installer is good but to be honest, with the fog and pitting over the years, have you done yourself any good trying to install an old windshield? Old glass gets brittle…you know this….if a windshield comes out in tact chances are good it will not go back in without cracking. Sorry but it’s just true…and like I said in taking all the energy to try to install it when it’s in……have you really done anything good? “It’s got less fog than my old one”….maybe but it’s still pitted and will never look anything like a new one. Same labor (the money sucking pig of our world) is the same but your outcome is so much less. In short don’t try it…….
There are 2 manufacturers making windshields for us…hey, that’s great. Don’t break a windshield on a Revcon……you may have to put the coach down! We are blessed with availability. if possible, do not us a “Nordlum X” brand. It’s from overseas and is hand laid. That may be fine for an old house but not for us. You only want American made glass….ask for it.
How much and where do I go? There is a national company RV Glass Solutions that does handle the right “Coachglass” brand and my actually have an installer in your area. Give them a call. I do not know their price which may vary. You want someone who has installed curved glass windshields before…my installer only installs RV windshields and has been doing my work for more than a decade. I used to do them myself even going to rallies installing…….to be honest there was too much liability and I did not install them enough to not sweat bullets every time…I mean break 1 and the profit from 10 windshields is out the window! We charge $1450 installed using my man Don and his helperThis is the kinda guy you need to find. Removes the old usually in tact just to see if he can then walks them straight to the dumpster! I have no use for them and would not take anyones money to try and resuse them. It’s a trick as he says…and with a few extra cusswords he can install with visors on. I used to make him work in the sun He’s much happies inside the new shop
With the windshields out, you can really get in there when refinishing the front edge of your dash so have both done at the same time
I hope this helps….. if you’re driving to Florida give us a call…this can be done in a couple of hours on a designated day with some scheduling.
I’m on the road today…..finalizing something very special…I hope to tell you about it soon. I’ll be away from the shop but the cell phone will be on……have a great day….I hope to as well….see ya tomorrow
I will add to this that you also need to be careful where you park. I was not and inside of 10 minutes had a cracked windshield. Drivers side from the top ‘corner’ straight down to the bottom ‘corner’ where it wraps.
How did that happen you ask? I parked in the shade behind a parts store on flat concrete…..except for the drivers front wheel where the driveway tilted up a few degrees. Didn’t notice when I parked it, but the wheel was probably 4-5 inches higher that the other 5 torquing the body……there you go, same as jacking on the corner. Angry at myself is an understatement. Don’t let it happen to you!
Kevin R Clapp says
Was wondering Jim, the $1450 quoted for the windshields, that’s for both side’s???? And is that installed?
Learned a lot just reading your blogs, thank you for posting all the info you provide.