JBugs Video Series

1971 VW Super Beetle - Glass Installation:

Video Overview:

Now that the interior of our 1971 Super Beetle is complete, we’ll finally install the windshield, rear window and quarter windows to seal it up. Our installer goes over some tips and tricks he’s learned over the years. Follow along and see how easy it can be to install new glass in your Vintage Volkswagen.

Video Tips:

Tools used in this video:
16 Gauge Wire
Plastic Trim Tool
Empty Ball Point Pen (or a gasket maker nozzle)

Video Transcript:

Hi! I'm Sam with JBugs.com and we've got a shield ... for wind.

Now that we're all finished up with all the work on the interior of our 1971 Super Beetle, we're going to install the front, rear, and quarter windows.
Sure, we could have installed them a while ago but as we're filming, having the windows out makes it easier for our cameras.
Having the glass out allows for more fresh air to help allow the interior to dry, especially after spraying glue.
As I am so used to working alone and installing glass by myself, I install the rear window first.
That way I can reach through either quarter window to install the rear window glass and seal.
With the rear window glass on our table, we can note the more curved portion of the glass is at the bottom and we align the seem of the seal at the center.
We're installing a Cal-Look, or more correctly a standard model, seal that doesn't have a groove for the aluminum [decorative] window trim that deluxe models had.
We make sure that the lip and edge that sit on the outside of the car are at the outside of the glass.
The seal is worked into place around the rear window.
We use a back and forth motion on the seal to open up the groove and press it onto the glass with one hand while holding the seal in place behind it.
It's fairly easy at first but gets more difficult as we go since there is less slack.
Some people have trouble with this and ask if using some spray lube would help.
We don't recommend using any lubricant here because anything that helps the seal slide on, will help it slide off.
Once the seal is installed all the way around the glass, we can set it, inside up on our table, so that we can install a drawstring.
We'll use a piece of 14-18 gauge wire as opposed to string or rope along with a torn apart ballpoint pen to install the string, or in our case wire.
Using the pen housing as a funnel, we stick the wire through the back of the pen and out the tip.
With a length of wire sticking out the pen, we stick the point into the groove on the rubber, behind the small lip that will sit inside the car.
We start just past the seem at the bottom of the seal and use the pen to guide the wire into the groove, all the way around the window, overlapping the wire back at the bottom.
Once the wire is in place, we spray the seal with silicone spray.
At the car, we spray the opening at the body.
Lube isn't a necessity here but it does help the seal install much more easily and we've gotten accustomed to using it for all of our windows, especially the windshield.
The rear window, with the seal and the draw wire installed, is set into place with the wire setting inside the car.
The glass is centered in the opening.
While pressing the glass firmly on the outside, we reach inside the car and pull the wire to pull the rubber lip into the car.
Because the glass is tempered, we can slap the glass to make sure the glass is seated in place
and to make sure the rubber lip overlaps the body opening while we pull the wire.
Then, outside the car, we use a plastic trim tool to work the outside rubber lip of the seal out so it can lay flat against the body.
We slap the glass a few more times, for good measure, now that the outer lip is in place.
The same steps are followed for the quarter windows, making sure we install the rubber properly for the left
and the right side installation since the quarter windows are identical.
The pen, wire, and silicone are all used just like we did on the rear window.
The window can be set in place, and installed using the same methods we used on the rear window.
Both sides are installed the same way.
Once we have them in, we can get to work on the windshield.
Since the windshield is laminated safety glass, not tempered, we need to be careful with it while moving and installing it.
We'll also note that since it's a late model, well a 1965 and later anyway, it isn't perfectly flat.
Once the seal is installed, and the wire is in place, we again spray the seal and the body generously with silicone spray lube.
If you don't use spray lube anywhere else, use it here.
Laminated safety glass is very brittle, for lack of a better term, and can crack easily.
Also, when installing a windshield, an assistant is highly recommended to help by pressing the glass from the outside in gently while the seal gets installed.
Once the glass is in place, the lip is pulled out on the outside of the car.
While the windshield glass can be slapped to help set it in place, make sure you do it cautiously as again we'll mention, that laminated glass is prone to cracking during installation.

Thanks for watching!

In our next video, we'll get to wet sanding and polishing our paint.
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Whenever you need parts or accessories for your vintage VW, stop by JBugs.com