I’ve reached that annoying phase in the restoration of the 1967 E-Type 2+2 where I’m finding things that I need to do over. Maybe I hurried through it the first time and did a poor job or maybe things are not holding up to the rigors of actually using the car. Case in point is the installation of the windshield. When I did it the first time, the gasket that I purchased appeared to be slightly too big for the opening. After trying to install the windshield with a too big gasket and finding it just wouldn’t go, I resorted to cutting the continuous loop of the gasket and taking out a short section of length. As time has gone by, the cut ends of the gasket seem to be getting farther apart, leaving an unsightly gap. The final straw was when I was fussing with the installation of the locking strip, the gasket split.
Some of you may not be up to installing a replacement windshield in your car but read along, as the information you gain from this article may also be helpful in explaining the job to your installer. I spoke with Mark Lovello and he notes that the windshield installation used on an E-Type also applies to the XJ6 and XJS cars from the 70’s and the 80’s.
So I spoke with Tony at SNG Barrett and he said that the too long gasket I had been trying to install was a gasket for a Series 2 car. He promised to send me the correct gasket and, as the subsequent successful installation attests, he did indeed send me the right one for the job.
My car did not have the chrome trim strips, also known as finishers, installed. If they are installed, they should be removed first. On the E-Type there are special pieces on the A pillars. As delivered from the factory, these were glued on. As with any 40 year old car, creative folks may have attached them differently during previous windshield installations! Across the bottom and top horizontal surfaces are C shaped trim strips that are embedded in grooves formed in the gasket. Mark noted that these can be difficult to remove but there is no mechanical attachment, just the tight fit of the metal edge into the groove of the gasket. Take care with these pieces. They are frightfully expensive to replace.
Next take a sharp knife and sever the old gasket around the edge of the windshield glass. A thin strip of gasket can be removed, revealing the edge of the glass. If the previous installer used a sealant, you might also have to run the knife between the inside edge of the glass and the gasket to sever the sealant. At this point, the windshield can be pushed out from the inside and laid onto the bonnet.
Note that before I started this job I removed the dash cover but I found that this really isn’t necessary to do the job. Next remove the remainder of the old gasket. If you are going to install a new windshield, remove the old one from the bonnet. Next the gasket can be fit around the inside of the metal opening in the body that forms the windshield. You should note several things as you examine your gasket. The side that faces into the interior of the car has no grooves. Conversely the outside has 5 grooves. If the outside of the gasket was a clock, there is a groove at 9 o’clock that fits over the metal edge on the scuttle, a narrow groove at 10 o’clock that accepts ½ of the C shaped trim strip, a wide groove at 12 o’clock that accepts the rubber “locking strip”, a narrow groove at 2 o’clock that accepts the other side of the C shaped trim strip, and wide groove at 3 o’clock that accept the edge of the glass. In the picture below you can see the middle 3 grooves.