Best Muscle Cars

How to Replace the Windshield in a Classic Mustang

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mustang windshield

Taking your clean, unblemished windshield for granted is a mistake. Crack that sucker, and your ride instantly becomes illegal — not to mention unsafe.

If you’re lucky, you won’t ever have to deal with replacing the windshield on your vintage Mustang. If, however, you’re not, you don’t have to abandon hope and head to the glass installer right away. With the right tools, you can make the swap yourself.

Check out our quick guide below for an overview of what it takes to keep the wind, rain — and the police — out of your hair when driving your classic car.

Removing Your Old Windshield

Your first step is to figure out of the windshield can be repaired, or if it needs to be replaced. If it has a “chip” that looks like a bullseye or pit, you may be able to fix it. If it looks more like a crack, and is over 3 inches, it’s time to replace the whole thing.

It’s unlikely the windshield in your car is the same one it rolled off the lot with, but if it is, you’ll get the benefit of much stronger modern material when you swap it out. Since vintage cars differ slightly year-to-year, make sure to contact a knowledgeable vendor and pick out a piece of glass that fits your car.

Once you’ve got the material, the real fun begins. Installing a windshield is something akin to bodywork, but it requires some special tools and attention to detail. You’ll start by removing the molding that holds your windshield in. Sometimes you can just pull it right out, but take care not to damage it if you plan to reuse it.


With the molding removed, it’s time to cut away the urethane bead that keeps your windshield sealed. This seal will be present on all cars, save for ‘69s and earlier models, which used a rubber gasket. Give the glass a gentle push to see if you’ve successfully loosened it all the way around. If it is indeed unseated, you can carefully remove it.

Installing Your New Glass

To prepare your new windshield to seal correctly, you need to score the edges. You can do this using a rough pad. You should also try and remove as much of the old urethane as possible from the car’s body. It’s not imperative you get it spotless, since the old urethane will bond better than metal with your new bead, but the material does wear out over time.

Have a new tube of sealant ready and apply it evenly around the edge where the windshield will sit. Carefully maneuver your new windshield into place and set it down in the new sealant. You can give the glass a gentle push to make sure it seats in place correctly. Re-install your old rubber molding and trim, or install new pieces if you’ll be replacing that material, and you’re all finished.

A new windshield can have the benefit of stopping leaks you may have been experiencing and improving your visibility on the road. If you do notice chips or cracks in your new glass, act quickly to seal them using a repair kit, and you won’t have to go through this entire process again.

Your classic Mustang is back on the road, ready for another 50 years of vintage motoring.

 

 

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