Windshield rust = scrap the whole vehicle?

MrPlow

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348
I might get a chance today to dig into the rust and take pics, but a little side question.

Safelite sucks! Techs seemed like good folks, but their administrative setup and customer service is abysmal. I was supposed to get a full refund for the canceled job, but they just rebooked me for Christmas Eve. I can't get ahold of anyone who can help. One person answered the text chat, but said there is nothing they can do. Their phone system put me on hold for an hour+ before I give up. I called the tech directly on his cell and he said he was the only person at the shop today and they had nobody working the desk. He has to do the work of two people all day.

I'm sick of wasting my time trying to deal with this garbage company (techs are great though). Should I just issue a charge back on my credit card? I'm not going to spend 10 hours trying to just talk with someone who can fix THEIR mistake. Ughh...
 

MrPlow

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348
Here's two photos of before and after some light scraping with a screwdriver. Seems like it's just surface rust and doesn't go deep anywhere. I could probably clean up all the rust in less than an hour with proper tools.

What's your take on this guys? This is one of the worst looking spots and it seems to clean up easily to solid metal.

BEFORE
vkmenap.jpg


AFTER

9MAdShL.jpg
 
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7,299
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California
I’d attack it with stuff and rough(36-80) grit abrasives. Once you see bare metal you have a small window of time before flash rust happens. Use an epoxy primer.
 

MrPlow

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348
I found a glass shop that's willing to remove the rust and put a new windshield in as long as they don't run into anything too deep or bad. They plan on brushing it off and then acid washing the surface before priming and laying down the window. Hoping they don't find anything deeper than what I found just poking it a bit.
 
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1,724
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RI
Those photos are much better than the previous. What looked like a rot hole wasn’t one. You still have some good metal there. I’d clean it GOOD, seal it and put a windshield in it.
 
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12,664
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North Carolina
I think i would wire wheel that as much as possible, treat with some por-15 and a rattle can coat of matching vehicle paint. Take it to a different windshield shop, or call a mobile one.
 
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1,724
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RI
After looking again at it there may be one or two spots where it’s all the way through. Clean everything really well and see what it looks like.
 

MrPlow

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348
The adhesive I think is stained from the rust and makes it look worse than it might end up being. Every spot I tested had solid metal underneath the 18 year old polyurethane and layer of rust. I'm certain it was the original windshield, so it sure had plenty of time to stain and crumble.

If the shop refuses to do the work for whatever reason, where do people buy windshields? I can't seem to find any online windshield sellers?
 
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68
Location
GA
I wonder if that area got gouged badly over the years from shoddy w/s replacements?

I also wonder how this structure could be OEM repaired w/out a whole new roof assembly, A-pillars and an upper dash structure. Donor van I guess?? (Trav would know)

Home hack, you could probably clean, prep and fill the area with something before an new w/s is epoxied in.

I'm going to bet it's this....the results of shoddy repair work. My bro has seen this repeatedly during his 30+ years wrenching. (He's a "real" mech....in a shop and everything...lol!) Doing the work too quickly, slap-dash, without concern for end result. The shoddy work is covered up by the new sealant/adhesive, so the owner has no way of telling whether the windshield replacement was done correctly or not.
 

MrPlow

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348
I'm going to bet it's this....the results of shoddy repair work. My bro has seen this repeatedly during his 30+ years wrenching. (He's a "real" mech....in a shop and everything...lol!) Doing the work too quickly, slap-dash, without concern for end result. The shoddy work is covered up by the new sealant/adhesive, so the owner has no way of telling whether the windshield replacement was done correctly or not.
It was the original windshield. It's a known rust issue with this model of van.
 
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If the shop refuses to do the work for whatever reason, where do people buy windshields? I can't seem to find any online windshield sellers?
Mygrant Glass is the primary wholesaler of glass to the trade. LKQ(PGW, the former aftermarket glass unit of PPG) and Service Autoglass(Safelite) are smaller players.

Mygrant doesn’t sell to the public, but sometimes “cash talks”.
 
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11,162
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USA
The adhesive I think is stained from the rust and makes it look worse than it might end up being. Every spot I tested had solid metal underneath the 18 year old polyurethane and layer of rust. I'm certain it was the original windshield, so it sure had plenty of time to stain and crumble.

If the shop refuses to do the work for whatever reason, where do people buy windshields? I can't seem to find any online windshield sellers?

This site will let you order just the glass and pick it up at a nearby warehouse
 
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1,332
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California
I expect a proper repair to exceed the value of the vehicle. Anything less than a proper repair looks to me like a safety issue for the occupants and a liability issue for the shop.
 

pbm

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8,832
Location
New York
Pictures of the rust would help. In my economically challenged youth i would have cleaned the entire area well and used a caulk gun tube of rtv silicone running a thick bead all around the frame then carefully set new junkyard glass in and let it cure. Gobs of silicone are like rolls of duct tape :)
I agree....I would clean up the rust as much as possible with a 'rust reformer' type product, prime and paint the area with a good 'rust resistive paint and use a good adhesive urethane caulk*. I also agree with JTK that the 'structural integrity' of the vehicle isn't affected so much by the windshield....and the good adhesive urethane should help in that regard. I certainly wouldn't scrap the vehicle over a windshield....

*Dow U-428 Plus Auto Glass Windshield Urethane Primer Less Adhesive Glue Sealant: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

Credit for the Dow-U-428 suggestion goes to member Spavel6...
 
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MrPlow

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348
I doubt many will actually read the whole thread before replying, BUT GOOD NEWS!

I took it into the shop today, wearing a full-face MTB helmet and snowboarding goggles. Had to rush a 20 mile drive between rain showers. They were supposed to get back to me by the end of today to let me know if the rust is too bad to work on.

I got a call a minute ago, they already cleaned it up and installed a new windshield! When I dropped it off, the tech was shaking his head like it was REALLY bad, but after poking it a bit he was more confident it would be OK.

What a wild ride going from Safelite saying my van is totalled, to having it all fixed up nicely for $320.

Moral of the story? NEVER USE SAFELITE! It's one of the most poorly managed shop chains I have ever done business with. At least a 30-60 minute wait on the phone to get anyone. Strange though, as I used them over 10 years ago for several jobs and they were fantastic and the glass has held up great.
 
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