Leaking Windshield Seattle

smos1

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Location
Seattle, WA
TDI
'96 B4V w/AFN swap, 2011 JSW with a leaking pano
96 B4V, around 160k - couple years ago had the windshield replaced, and I had one of those mobile installers do the work. He had said there was "some rust"... and supposedly cleaned it up and installed the windshield. It leaked and they had to do it again in their shop.
So fast forward to now...it's leaking again...I've been told that I need to take it to an autobody place to have them repair the rust problem so the windshield can be sealed properly.
I was just checking to see if this is the correct fix...I haven't found much info on this forum about it and was exploring all my options before I have to jump into the bodyshop route. If I do need to have a bodyshop do the repair anybody have a recommendation in the Seattle area? and an idea of cost?
thanks
 

migbro

Veteran Member
Joined
May 19, 2010
Location
Lincoln, Mass.
TDI
2003 Golf GL
You can fix this problem with flowable silicone. Run a bead along the top of the windshield and it will find the leaks. You may need to repeat this a couple of times. On a '96 car it's hardly worth spending the money to do it the "right" way.

It's annoying that so many windshield installers are careless and will cut through the paint as they install a replacement windshield. Working class heroes, I call them.
 

smos1

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Location
Seattle, WA
TDI
'96 B4V w/AFN swap, 2011 JSW with a leaking pano
what would an approx cost be to fix it the right way? We talking hundreds or thousands? I'll give the flowable silicone a shot...tired of parking so the front end is higher than the rear end and throwing a piece a plastic on the top.
 

48 MPG

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Location
Seattle, Wa
TDI
97 Passat
B4 Leaky Windshield Surround

Try taking it to All Star Glass on 4th north of Costco. They would give you an informed straight answer. They have worked on my B4 several times.
 

TDIDaveNH

Left Lane Coal Roller at Large
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Location
North Conway, NH
TDI
'97 Passat x3
...I've been told that I need to take it to an autobody place to have them repair the rust problem so the windshield can be sealed properly.
I was just checking to see if this is the correct fix...
Sure is...sealing the leaks with silicone will only buy you time against shorting out the fuse block or causing an electrical fire while the rust is still working it's magic.

Just replacing the windshield and doing nothing else is foolish. The rust will eventually bubble out and cause a crack starting at the glass's edge. With only 160K on the clock if it were me, I'd most certainly see to it that the proper route was taken and the rust was completely eliminated.

I am facing the same repair on one of my B4s...I've got actual rot pinholes and larger expanses open to the weather buried under silicone and have resigned myself once again that to be done right, I have to be the one to do it. I spoke to autobody shops a while ago when I was just dealing with straight rust and looking for media blasting to be done. One shop even said they would clean the area with a wire wheel! and paint over it. Right there I abruptly ended the conversation and we never got to the part about the money.

Not all body shops are set up for media blasting. Few are willing to do it, at least in my local area. If that is the case around you, You may have better luck approaching vintage auto restoration folks instead to get the level of craftsmanship this job requires.

Be very picky about whose windshield you use as well, stay clear of Pilkington- the fit at the corners is horrible due to out of tolerance molds purchased from higher-end aftermaket auto glass manufacturers. Go with one from the VW dealer, yes they are still available...I purchased one for $163 about 4 months back in preparation for my upcoming 'surgery'

I'll be removing the rusted sections and grafting in donor metal from another B4 pictured below that is probably 6" high as I type this with a TIG welder and a lot of patients. I've never done this before, but stubborn fleetpride demand that it be done, and done MY way. The body shop can paint it after I've finished...most are qualified to do that:rolleyes:

Not bad for $40 plus a few other plastic interior goodies.

I've got way more donor metal than I need to cover any "surprises" and it's a lot of work I know. All because some installer-goon did not know that VW has a ripcord buried in the rubber surround that tears away the outside bond easily, quickly and with no paint damage. Even shows it in the Bentley manual. The inside bond is broke with a long reach thin handled razor.

I hope this helps. Just remember 2 things: this is one of those areas where compromising is more expensive than doing it right and ignore most of the 2nd post in this thread:)
 

smos1

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Location
Seattle, WA
TDI
'96 B4V w/AFN swap, 2011 JSW with a leaking pano
not sure I'm ready to get it done the "right way" right now. I will find a qualified place in the drier months this spring/summer. In the meantime, I'd like to make it a little more rainproof.

If I were to use flowable silicone, and even the urethane they use to install the windshields, will this keep the water out for the next few months?

Where the luggage rack groove meets the windshield, does the water actually get in there and able to drain out somewhere? I think that's the spots that are leaking into the car. Would the luggage rack need to be removed to seal it better?
 

migbro

Veteran Member
Joined
May 19, 2010
Location
Lincoln, Mass.
TDI
2003 Golf GL
I hope this helps. Just remember 2 things: this is one of those areas where compromising is more expensive than doing it right and ignore most of the 2nd post in this thread
Ouch.

Just how much is a '96 or '97 Passat worth anyway? If the OP only wants to keep the water out of his car for another year or two before sending it to the scrapyard the low cost approach is more appropriate.
 

Abacus

That helpful B4 guy
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Location
Nobleboro, Maine
TDI
See signature for TDI's
Why keep the water out of it for 2 moree years when you can do it right and keep the water out of it permanently. These B4's will keep going and going if you can keep them from rusting out, and they're worth doing the job right the first time.
 

vegger

Veteran Member
Joined
May 14, 2007
Location
ny
TDI
98 jetta
i had some bubbling rusting issues on my 98 jetta on the top of the windshield i fixed them before i had any leaks, which was not alot of body work. also make sure your sunroof drains are free from debris, if you have a sunroof, this is often mistaken for a leaking windshield.
 

migbro

Veteran Member
Joined
May 19, 2010
Location
Lincoln, Mass.
TDI
2003 Golf GL
Why keep the water out of it for 2 moree years when you can do it right and keep the water out of it permanently. These B4's will keep going and going if you can keep them from rusting out, and they're worth doing the job right the first time.
"Doing it right" requires skills which are way beyond the ability of most people. Patching in a new windshield frame from a donor car is a difficult job.

I'm waiting with bated breath for pics of TDIDaveNH's welding. Maybe he can do it but for most people the result would be something out of the Red Green show.
 

TDIDaveNH

Left Lane Coal Roller at Large
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Location
North Conway, NH
TDI
'97 Passat x3
migbro; said:
Ouch.
If the OP only wants to keep the water out of his car for another year or two before sending it to the scrapyard the low cost approach is more appropriate.
You're absolutly right. I just think a 160K mile B4V is worth more effort to
save from the crusher. The value of these cars goes beyond what age alone can
express and in some cases, particularly with GLX B4V conversions, the value in dollars can be quite surprising.

Yes, what I'm attempting is challenging but not impossible and only pieces of the frame will get grafted in on an as-rotted basis but don't hold your breath, i should have time to get to it by this spring. Btw, thank you for taking that in stride and keep your stick on the ice.;)
 
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migbro

Veteran Member
Joined
May 19, 2010
Location
Lincoln, Mass.
TDI
2003 Golf GL
You're absolutly right. I just think a 160K mile B4V is worth more effort to
save from the crusher. The value of these cars goes beyond what age alone can
express and in some cases, particularly with GLX B4V conversions, the value in dollars can be quite surprising.

Yes, what I'm attempting is challenging but not impossible and only pieces of the frame will get grafted in on an as-rotted basis but don't hold your breath, i should have time to get to it by this spring. Btw, thank you for taking that in stride and keep your stick on the ice.;)
No problem. I'm quite impressed with your ambition. Now I just need to see the pics. Will it be TDI Dave? Or Red Green? My money's on Red Green. And a big piece of duct tape right across the roof just behind the windshield. :)

Oh, and I really liked you in Gladiator.
 
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quantum_tdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Location
Seattle, WA
TDI
R320 CDI, '96 B4V (for sale)
Smos - bring it over to Dr. Dan's in Ballard. I'm happy to take a look to see how bad it is. We use a good glass service and I'd be willing to dig into it a bit more than normal because I have to do the same thing myself soon...
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
none, 2014 Chevy Volt, 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
We use a good glass service ...
Good service is useless with bad glass.
Securit/SaintGobain (original supplier to VW for the B4) is the only one I've found that actually fits the B4 frame contour. Pilkington is the worst of all the others. Don't fall for the "we use OEM glass" lie, if it isn't Saint Gobain, it isn't OEM for a B4 VW.
If you have glass insurance and the insurance company pays for the cheapest, offer to pay the difference for the right glass rather than cope with the problems. The price difference on a B4? About $25 the last time I had one replaced (about the same price spread on the B5.5 and the A4 Golf, I had done since then).
Pul the old glass, then at minimum, prime the frame before the new one goes in.
 

quantum_tdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Location
Seattle, WA
TDI
R320 CDI, '96 B4V (for sale)
Agreed Lug_Nut. I plan to pull my original glass, clean up the midwest problems under it and replace despite a filled chip.

It sounds like Smos already lost his original glass so we have to find the proper Securit and then assure it is in right...
 

smos1

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Location
Seattle, WA
TDI
'96 B4V w/AFN swap, 2011 JSW with a leaking pano
so it sounds like I need to take it somewhere and have the glass removed to determine the amount of "rot"? I don't have a problem with the extra cost of a correct windshield, I'm tired of dealing with the leak. I may take it to Dr Dans and have it looked at...

But with it being this time of year, getting it somewhere isn't going to happen for awhile. In the meantime, I took some urethane, same stuff they use to install the windshields and sealed up the windshield (nasty stuff, wear gloves). As of now it doesn't seem to be leaking, and there's been a fair amount of rain lately.

thanks for all the input...great forum
 
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