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Boxc@r 01-11-2013 05:22 PM

Discussion on Fabbing a fixed window in an A
Ok I'm looking for examples or conversation of fixed front windshield for the early models. My project is a 28 Ford Highboy Sedan that I've chopped 3". What I have plans for is to build out the existing A-piller area all the way around and essentially build it up to secure a new front glass. To break it down abit further... I'm not going to use the traditional henged front glass that is held within the frame (I don't have a complete one anyway...mine is missing the bottom rail and the glass is in bad shape so I'll need to replace that for sure anyway.

- I'd like to discuss the profile of a metal channel that the glass would slip into
- What type/profile of gasket would you use for the seal
- How would you trim out the window from the front....I'm thinking that I may replicate the look of the stock frame that had originally carried the glass but fix the trim to the perimeter to finish it off.

Any ideas out there?

MARTINSR 01-11-2013 10:23 PM

It's all fabbing. The channel for the window should be about a half an inch tall, the glass is about a quarter and then the urethane bed would be about a quarter. Do some testing on smaller pieces before you jump into it. The base of the channel should be about 3/4" to make the urethane bed wide enough. Now, you could go with an, 80's S-10 style rubber moulding around the glass that simply is T shaped and sticks between the glass and the channel into the urethane.

Windshield Glass | 1982-93 Chevrolet S101983-94 Chevrolet Blazer1982-93 GMC S15 Sonoma1983-94 GMC Jimmy | LMC Truck

But if you do this the urethane bed under the glass would be seen thru the glass. So you would need to put a "frit" around the outer edge (the black edge around glass on late model cars) to hide the urethane under the glass. The wider one (number 3) may be wide enough to cover the urethane, and you won't need the frit, you will need to do some home work on that one.

Or you could make a moulding out of a T shaped metal tacking a strip under a piece of 1/8" by 3/4 inch or so wide metal. You then round the corners of the metal along the edge and chrome plate it. It could be stuck in there the same way as the S-10s style. I am thinking this could be done (never did it) but cutting the glass out later could prove to be difficult!

Let's see if anyone else has any ideas. There are of course other "T" mouldings you could use that are larger.


tech69 01-11-2013 11:00 PM

I got an idea, Martin...let the glass guy figure it out. :thumbup:

MARTINSR 01-11-2013 11:41 PM

How to make a window channel, you have a glass guy who could do that?


tech69 01-12-2013 08:35 AM

It's a joke, Martin. At least name the website you learned this from so he can find out more.:D

MARTINSR 01-12-2013 09:28 AM

4 Attachment(s)
I don't get the joke. This photo you see of a couple of my A bodies was my back yard around 1980. Do I need a signed, notarized affidavit of my skills? :D I have been asked before so I can get one from an old customer or something. :D

This reminds me of a young punk I worked with at the shop. He was a WRX owning Wheelie riding crotch rocket riding speed demon. He LIVED for speed telling everyone how he hit 100 on the way to work thru traffic on the freeway. We all went out for his birthday (boss paid) to a near by indoor Go Cart track, about 8 of us. I was the fastest on the track and blew him away! He was so friggin stunned you could have knocked him over with a feather, he literally was STUNNED. I told him "I didn't get this gray hair sitting on the F-ing couch"! LOLOL, young punk thinks speed demons were just created yesterday? LOLOL

The man asked a question about putting a flush glass in a Model A, I tossed something out there. It is a DISCUSSION on how to pull this off. I KNOW you would have some ideas too, even if you never did it, I have never made a limo either but if a 60 Cad rolled into the shop and I was told to do it, I would go out there and would make it happen. When you are a pro and have fabbed stuff all your life you just MAKE IT HAPPEN. So I was tossing ideas out there.

I have worked on these bodies a lot and know them body pretty well (baring forgetting bits and pieces over the years), I have chopped the top on a few, filled the roof on a few I have picked up that very windshield frame a swap meet and brought it home to fit it. At the time the photo was taken of the A bodies in my back yard I was building my truck in the garage with a 401 Buick mid engine! Yes that is a Nailhead sitting in the cab. I think I can fab a few things for goodness sakes. Around this time I did all the body work and paint on a "resto-rod" Model A coupe (the maroon car in the photo at the show) including a 32 Ford cowl vent and deuce bumpers tucked in a little closer, shortened the stock tail light stands to give it a little cleaner look with a deuce grille shell, it won best in class at the Grand Nationals (a REAL car show) a number of years later after a little detail and clean up! The yellow truck was the first Model A I chopped, 1977.

Now getting back to the window, you need to weld in something that the glass will set on with a bed of urethane tying it together with that piece. The glass is about a quarter inch thick and the bed should be about a quarter inch (or a tad more) thick. So if you want the glass to be flush you need it about a half inch down from the edge of the window opening. You could simply weld a little ledge onto the A pillars and across the top and bottom, the gas tank would have to be permanently welded in I am thinking, but that is usually a given on a hot rod A anyway. The problem across the bottom and the top would be that you need to come up a little with a shelf so there is a flat surface all the way around for the moulding to sit on.

Geeeez I didn't get this gray hair sitting on the F-ing couch! :D, double :D :D


Boxc@r 01-12-2013 12:35 PM

Thanks MartinSR for your willingness to reply. We're both looking at this the same way. The building up of the bottom rail transforming it from a vent to a frame to receive the window has me a little concerned. I'm thinking that by raising the bottom opening..the look of the front may change a bit. Unsure now if it would be for the good or not. Additionally the look of the sides will change as well. The traditional visual proportions of the window opening and it's frame is something I'd like to maintain if possible.

I'll probally work the problem backward from deciding how I'll trim out the front (mimicing the traditional frame) it's mounting/fastening down and then the buildup/frame holding the glass and the sealing of the glass.
Thanks...If I get this figured out I'll try to put together a tech thread on it. added nothing to this conversation....good game!


MARTINSR 01-12-2013 01:35 PM

Henry is a very knowledgable guy, I think he's just jarshin me. :thumbup:

If you make that ledge up just a half inch or so off the bottom then you make the moulding so that it covers it, there you are back like it was originally. We will have to think about how to make that moulding. I imagine something could be done with the original window frame, cutting the back off leaving a lip all the way around that can stick down into the channel, holding it is the issue. If you did this of course you would need to leave more room around the window so the channel didn't fill up with urethane as you would want with the S-10 style moulding, that urethane filling the channel is what holds it.


MARTINSR 01-12-2013 03:47 PM

Ok, I have an idea. You set the window in urethane against a piece you weld all the way around the opening. You then dice up the original frame so that it will fit in the gap between the outer edge of the window and the pillars, cowl and header. You with me? You make the moulding "T" shaped so that you have the top of the T as the chrome you see on the outside but instead of a channel that originally held the glass you have just a little left of it , how much doesn't even matter, it could could be completely gone really, but leaving a little for strength I am thinking. At the bottom of the window frame you put a little "hook" made out of rod that goes down. You put a little piece of tubing in the bottom of the window channel right under where it will be urethaned in. You set the frame onto the car with those "hooks" going into this little piece of tubing (rubber lined) and then lean the frame back into place. The bottom is secured and then you put screws thru the upper area (as I remember the hinge hangs out above the frame) into the header up under the visor and you have a stock looking window that is urethaned in.

:D Brian

lakeroadster 01-12-2013 06:59 PM

I assume you have driven or ridden in a closed car Model A with a tilt out windshield? Hands down, IMO, the hinged windshield is one of the coolest features Henry incorporated into his closed cars. The ventilator is also a cool feature (literally and figuratively) that you won't be able to benefit from with a fixed windshield.

Boxc@r 01-12-2013 09:44 PM


Originally Posted by lakeroadster (Post 1634078)
I assume you have driven or ridden in a closed car Model A with a tilt out windshield? Hands down, IMO, the hinged windshield is one of the coolest features Henry incorporated into his closed cars. The ventilator is also a cool feature (literally and figuratively) that you won't be able to benefit from with a fixed windshield.

To be honest I have not. My thought to fixed was that I've always been told their typically leakers. So, maybe I should be asking another set of questions. Anyway...thanks to all for the input.

Martins, I believe your right on slicing that frame...would be a heluva lot easier and will look correct too. Thanks for helping.

MARTINSR 01-12-2013 09:52 PM

"Leaking", how will you be driving it, every day thru the winter? :D If some water comes in once in a while, not a big deal.


carolinacustoms 01-13-2013 01:06 AM

It looks like Martin strikes again with a really great solution, but while reading all of this I had a thought. Now mind you I said it was a thought as I have never done what you are trying to accomplish on this car, but......

Would it make anything any easier if you went to a junk yard and cut the pinch weld out of a newer model (S-10 for example) and welded it to your car to mount the windshield? Not sure if I can explain what I am getting at but I'll try. Instead of trying to figure and fab something completely from scratch, if you cut the windshield mounting area out of a newer model car or truck (basically just cut across the top of the dash as low as possible, both a pillars, and the front of the top, so you get the whole windshield mounting pinch weld and metal around the pinch weld to cut and weld to your car). I was just thinking this would take care of a lot of figuring because you could simply weld the metal to your car and it would have the right mounting depth and width on the pinch weld. I may be completely of base here and I hope I explained my thought well enough for it to make sense. Like I said its just a thought.......:thumbup:

carolinacustoms 01-13-2013 01:22 AM

Or just another thought, would it be easier if you split the factory windshield frame in half (cut the frame into two pieces by cutting all the way around the frame in the middle of the channel that the windshield mounts into) and weld the inner half into the car to mount the windshield in. Then use the outside half as a trim. Maybe have it chromed and use stainless screws to mount it? It would look completely original but you could use urethane to install the windshield and solve all of the wind/water leaking issues. Again maybe completely out in left field but just another thought.


OneMoreTime 01-13-2013 08:23 AM

I have been thinking about this thread and to me it would be very much worth it to maintain the windshield in an opening condition..either you make a frame using a piece of the old frame as a sample or find one somewhere. Having that fresh air in your face is something that just cannot be replicated..


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