Installing Flush-Mount Glass To Create A Modern Looking Hot Rod

A recent trend in hot rodding is to incorporate modern features into classic cars. Fuel and ignition companies are creating products to do it, many modernized interior kits are now available for classics, and would you believe your front and rear windows can also be modernized. That’s right, I am talking about the windshield and back glass.

Look at any classic car’s windshield and rear window, and you see a piece of glass surrounded by trim pieces. This trim is usually made of stainless steel and held on by trim clips. The trim is a way to cover the 3/8-inch (or larger) gap that is found between the glass and the body. The trim does create a clean, traditional look, but many enthusiasts want something… well… a little cleaner looking.

If installing flush-mount glass, you will need to be sure the original trim clips and retaining pins are not in place. The folks at Stingray Customs prepped the openings by getting rid of the trim retaining pins. Unlike the traditional glass that is held in place by a rubber ribbon tape, the new glass is held in by a urethane adhesive that supports and holds the glass in place. Images courtesy Nick Brown, Dream Giveaway.

The folks at Dream Giveaway have another classic Chevy that has been added to its list of sweepstakes cars, and this first-gen ‘69 Camaro is getting some modern upgrades its new owner is sure to appreciate. This Camaro is already a real show-stopping restomod, and that means modern touches are found everywhere. Upgrades include a 500-horsepower 347ci LS1 engine, quick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, positraction, high-performance 3.73 gears, and dual exhaust. However, when the car reached the Dream Giveaway garage, it still had the traditional stainless-trimmed windshield and back glass.

With no trim to cover the edges, placement of the flush-mount glass is crucial. Get it offset to one side or top to bottom, and once the adhesive dries, you are not easily fixing the mistake. That is just one of the reasons Chris Fesler recommends professional installation.

A Flush Upgrade

To continue the modern theme, the folks at Dream Giveaway felt adding a Fesler USA flush-mount windshield and rear glass. Unlike a traditional-sized windshield and backlight, the flush-mount pieces are larger and designed to fit within the OE opening with just a 1/8-inch gap around the top and sides. The new glass eliminates the need for stainless trim or rubber weather stripping to hold the glass. Instead, it uses what is called a FRIT band, primer, and a urethane adhesive to fasten into place. In order to clarify, we asked Chris Fesler, ‘what the heck is a FRIT band.’ “The FRIT band is the black “strip that goes around the outer edge of the glass to hide the urethane that is used to glue the window in place. This is heated into the glass, like modern-day cars. It’s a much better look than the metal trim.”

The oversized and specific shape of the new glass is paired with an install method that allows for an OE fit with no body modifications. That said, if your window openings still have trim-clip retaining pins, they will need to be removed. The Fesler glass is manufactured using the same process and materials that date back to the 1930s when Libbey-Owens-Ford (LOF) manufactured most domestic automotive glass. Each set of flush mount glass has been manufactured to mimic OE standards, including the faint green hue rooted in every piece. In fact, the green hue is attributed to making the Fesler glass officially recognized by the Skin Cancer Foundation for blocking 99.9-percent of harmful UVA rays. Also, Chris tells us the Fesler glass is DOT approved.

More Than Good Looks

Other than UV Protection, why would anyone want to eliminate the trim around the front and rear glass, and make it a flush mount? “The old, traditionally installed glass is held in place by molding and butyl, so the glass was very loose,” Chris states. “The new urethane glue used with a flush-mount glass makes the car much more rigid and stronger. This is great road racing and even every day driving. Most cars today get rollover certifications from the glass, so that gives you an idea of how strong this upgrade really is. If you want to make your car more modern, you can remove all the trim with our glass for a cleaner look.”

flush mount glass

Once the glass is properly positioned within the opening, it must be supported until the adhesive dries. This can be done with blocks at the bottom of the glass to support the weight, or like Bay Area Glass Works did, use masking tape to hold the glass in position.

We know there are some enthusiasts who are quite capable of personally installing their classic’s front and rear glass. At first glance, we thought the flush-mount glass looks like it can be easily installed, so like you, we wanted to know if the install was the same as with a “traditional” windshield. According to the Fesler USA website, “we commonly get asked for installation instructions for the flush mount glass, and unfortunately, Fesler does not endorse do-it-yourself installation with any of our flush mount products. Our reason is simple, safety. Fesler insists that all flush mount glass sold from our facility be installed by a professional, certified glass technician. A top-quality professional installation will ensure the proper steps are taken to guarantee your windshield is installed to the highest quality standards.” Chris adds, “if you are an experienced shop you can do it. However, we highly recommend that you have a good glass guy do the work for you.”

flush-mount glass

This is not an in-depth install article covering every aspect of how to do it, and that is because Fesler USA recommends it be done by trained professionals. It does, however, give a peek into what it takes to give your classic a modern look.

You Can Win This Car

Whether or not you feel capable of handling this type of upgrade yourself, we thought you might be interested in seeing how it’s done. By the way, the Camaro is now completed, and the sweepstakes for this first-gen is underway. If you want a more convincing reason to enter the sweepstakes, we worked a deal with the Dream Giveaway folks to get our Chevy Hardcore readers some bonus tickets. Simply go the Camaro’s sweepstakes page by clicking here, order $25.00 or more in tickets (they’re only $3.00 per ticket), and enter code HARDCORE. Do that, and you will automatically get double tickets as a bonus. Hopefully, you’ll let us know when you win the car.

Article Sources

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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