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Repairing glass t-tops

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Old 11-11-2011, 12:51 PM   #1
V8Ranger
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Default Repairing glass t-tops

My driver side t-top has been rattling, turns out to be the glass loose from the inner frame on one corner. Sure would hate to see it peal off going down the road. My seals were also toast, got a new set from another forum member. I did some searching and didn't find too much, so I decided to just dive in and see if I can rebuild/repair myself.
The glass itself is ok, just some scratches on the outside that I may try to buff out. Main issue is the inner aluminum frame attachment to the glass.

Click the image to open in full size.
Before

Click the image to open in full size.
All hardware loose, 4 studs supposed to be bonded to the glass are not.

Click the image to open in full size.
Frame seperated from glass. Was glued around perimeter with something like butyl tape.

Click the image to open in full size.
The 4 studs were no longer attached to the glass.

Click the image to open in full size.
Got it all scraped and cleaned off. The blacked out area outside the frame appears to be a film rather than paint. Scraping it off left adhesive like removing window tint. The trim around the perimeter was dry rotted and will have to be replaced as well.

Click the image to open in full size.
Bead blasted and repainted the aluminum frame.

More to follow soon...

Carl
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:45 PM   #2
Easy Mike
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How did you remove the frame from the glass?
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:53 PM   #3
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How did you remove the frame from the glass?
Think he said it was being held on by something like "butyl tape" ?? PO must have been related to Bubba ?
He's lucky he didnt loose the glass on a cruise....I would like to see how he attaches the bolts back to the glass, and is he gonna do the other glass so that they match ?
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:54 PM   #4
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E X C E L L E N T WORK so far !
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:27 PM   #5
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I am guessing it was butyl tape, it was the same consistency as the goo attaching windshields in older cars - but in straight segments like tape rather than 'caulk gun' application. It all appears to be original, I don't think anyone had attempted a bubba repair. The 4 studs will be reattached with rear view mirror glue.
If this turns out ok, I will definitely do the other side.

Carl
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:32 AM   #6
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...I am guessing it was butyl tape...
That's why I asked. I'm looking at one now and there is no evidence of butyl tape. AIM shows the frames were cemented to the glass but is not clear exactly what type of cement was used.

I've been hoping to find a solvent for the factory cement.

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Old 11-12-2011, 08:32 PM   #7
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That's why I asked. I'm looking at one now and there is no evidence of butyl tape. AIM shows the frames were cemented to the glass but is not clear exactly what type of cement was used.

I've been hoping to find a solvent for the factory cement.

I really couldn't see the cement until I had the frame seperated from the glass. I used a razor knife to cut thru the cement while pulling the frame away from the glass with my fingers (No prybars or screw drivers). Scraped with a razor blade and cleaned residue with laquer thinner.

Carl
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
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Click the image to open in full size.

Glued the studs on.

Click the image to open in full size.

Masked off and ready to attach frame.

Click the image to open in full size.

Glued down with Urethane and held in place by the studs.
I let it cure overnight at this point.

Carl
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:16 PM   #9
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Click the image to open in full size.

Trimmed around the frame with a razor blade, then peeled up the tape.

Click the image to open in full size.

Cleaned glass, masked off where seal will glue and painted with flat black Krylon.

Click the image to open in full size.

Ready to start attaching new seal.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Seal is on.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is where anyone else who trys this can learn from my mistake. Do Not put much tension on the studs! They are actually attached to the mirrior coating, not to the glass. Glass is not broken in this picture, just pulled a plug of the mirror coating loose. At this point, with the frame and seal glued on, I am going to live with it as is.
Perhaps in the future I will have them rebuilt with lexan to reduce weight.

Anyway, driver side is done and fit to the car. The new seal sure makes it harder to install the top, hopefully the seal will compress some with time and fit easier.

Now the passenger side...

Carl

Last edited by V8Ranger; 11-15-2011 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:50 PM   #10
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[IMG]http://i81.photobucket.

Anyway, driver side is done and fit to the car. The new seal sure makes it harder to install the top, hopefully the seal will compress some with time and fit easier.

Now the passenger side...

Carl

Yes, it will fit easier. When the rubbers are changed, it takes a few weeks for the new ones to "form fit" in their correct place. Make sure they go on correctly (rubber doesn't flip,warp,etc) then let them stay on the car for a few weeks. All the ones I've done I let stay on the car for a couple of months, then they went back easier. great job by the way! Looks good .....

Last edited by mikejpss; 11-15-2011 at 02:51 PM. Reason: spelling - 10 points .
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:26 AM   #11
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I know this is an old post about the tops. But if anyone is out there, any idea where I can buy just the glass or lexan? I have a chance to buy some frames bu have no idea where to find the glass.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:42 AM   #12
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These folks still advertise rebuilt tops using Acyrlic, you can send the frames to them and they will build them up.

http://astrotops.com/gmtops.html
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:48 AM   #13
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This is awhile ago but, can you tell what type of urethane you used for the frame to the panel?

Thanks,
Dave

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Glued the studs on.


Masked off and ready to attach frame.


Glued down with Urethane and held in place by the studs.
I let it cure overnight at this point.

Carl
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Old 06-02-2015, 01:49 PM   #14
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Dave

Ranger did some nice work here taking on a resto of the glass t-top frame assembly. I am replacing the WX strip on 78 glass tops and had to cut that butyl with an Exacto. Ranger's guide is instructive here.

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Old 06-02-2015, 02:09 PM   #15
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hmm... I have no issue with the guide in fact, I think it's an excellent write up of the repair and, wish others would do their repair write ups on the net, in a similar fashion.

What I'm looking for is the type of urethane adhesive he used.

Cheers,
Dave

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Dave

Ranger did some nice work here taking on a resto of the glass t-top frame assembly. I am replacing the WX strip on 78 glass tops and had to cut that butyl with an Exacto. Ranger's guide is instructive here.

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Old 06-02-2015, 03:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jdaemon_3 View Post
hmm... I have no issue with the guide in fact, I think it's an excellent write up of the repair and, wish others would do their repair write ups on the net, in a similar fashion.

What I'm looking for is the type of urethane adhesive he used.

Cheers,
Dave
Any windshield adhesive will work fine. In fact, it looks like he used 3M's urethane.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:34 PM   #17
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What I'm looking for is the type of urethane adhesive he used.
Dave

did you come to a conclusion on the type of adhesive used. I looked it up...3M urethane?

PS: Caught the photo at photobucket (that I hate with all its buffering and preloading of ad crap) of the 3M Urethane adhesive.

Last edited by hunt4cleanair; 06-13-2015 at 09:13 AM.
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