The Essentials in Jeff Gordon Merchandise

He has been the winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series four times, and the Daytona 500 three times. He holds third place on the all times wins list, and is the wins leader in races since 1972. He was the first NASCAR driver to receive the Heisman Humanitarian Award, and he was the very first NASCAR driver to exceed $100 million dollars in career race winnings. He’s the driver of #24 – Jeff Gordon.

As a true blue Gordy fan, you probably have more of his merchandise than you can shake a stick at. You’ve got all the model cars, the signed posters and jerseys you can find. You’ve purchased all the race DVDs and the coffee table books. You might have even bought a racing video game or two just for the reason that the tutorials feature Jeff Gordon. Merchandise is merchandise, though, but what you certainly might need is something slightly more genuine, slightly more personal. What you may want is a Wallhauler from therealartofracing.com.

What is a Wallhauler? A Wallhauler is a piece of Jeff Gordon merchandise that’s so far above all the other Jeff Gordon merchandise that it is more similar to a work of art than merchandise.

Wallhaulers are limited edition, NASCAR licensed, race car doors. They are created from the same .040″ gauge aluminum just like the real deal, measuring the same 54″ by 28″ as the real deal, and are finished with the same 3M Controltac vinyl just like the real thing. The finish is laminated to avoid UV fading, and they’re light weight and include their own easy mount system for wall mounting. In fact, the only real difference between a Wallhauler and Jeff Gordon’s actual door is that the Wallhauler is easier to have on your wall. This is the ultimate piece of Jeff Gordon merchandise on the market and the pinnacle of any Jeff Gordon merchandise collection.

NASCAR is centered around speed, and skill, and the wonderful noise of the machines and their drivers. NASCAR is about attaining the highest performance that’s possible out of normal engineering. NASCAR is about the big names and the famous faces, and it is about the underdog and the last minute victory stories. NASCAR is about a lot of things, and one of the most honored of those things is charity. The Wallhaulers team honors that institution by donating a portion from the sale of each Wallhauler to the driver’s official charity. When you buy a Wallhauler you aren’t simply picking up a valuable piece of Jeff Gordon merchandise, you’re also supporting the Jeff Gordon Foundation which supports children afflicted by chronic and life-threatening illnesses.

On the subject of Jeff Gordon merchandise, it doesn’t get much greater than a #24 Wallhauler. When you put this physical symbol of speed and strength and skill on your wall you’re telling the world where you stand. Each time you view your Wallhauler you hear the throaty roar of the motor, feel the heat of the track on your face, and remember why it is you love NASCAR. At the end of the day, a model car is nothing more than but a toy, and a shirt is just a shirt, but NASCAR is a thing of beauty and Wallhaulers are works of art.

Changing the Serpentine Belt on Your Saab 9-3 (1998-2003)

Disclaimer:  Changing your belt can be tricky and should only be attempted by those with a mechanical background and ability that have the proper tools.  

The first time I attempted changing a serpentine belt in a Saab, I spent around forty minutes give or take, so give yourself adequate time to do the job. Mind you, much of that time was spent swearing at the Scandinavian Engineers who decided that a half inch of clearance in the engine compartment for your hands was sufficient for belt replacement. 

Things you will need: 

  • A new belt 
  • long half inch extension
  • a sturdy floor jack (not the one that’s in your trunk!)
  • a set of jack stands, a socket set 
  • a flat level space to work

To start lets get your Saab ready. Pop your hood (to the left of the driver seat towards the petals).  You will need to jack your car’s passenger front end up and remove your passenger side wheel. Locate your jacking point and raise the car until the wheel is in the air.  Remember to be safe and set your jack stand before removing your wheel.  Always work safe.

You will notice that your serpentine belt is on the left side when you are standing in front of your car looking at your engine.  You will have to remove your air cleaner box and the hose attached to it needs to be moved out of the way so that you can better access the belt below.  Separate the air cleaner and pull the box directly up, it will slide out without any hassle then set it aside.  Next, take the hose side and bend it towards your transmission dipstick and secure it with string or a bungee. 

At this point I strongly recommend that you look and diagram your belt routing.  It should somewhat look like a “W.” Take your long half-inch extension and insert it into the hole in the top of your belt pensioner.  Pull it slightly towards you and you will notice the old belt become slack. At this point you can slide the belt off the small plastic idler and release the pensioner. Now start removing the belt.  Now you know why we removed the wheel, those bottom pulleys would be impossible otherwise. 

Replacing the belt is the reverse of the procedure I just outlined. I would recommend that you start above and with the side closest to the bumper, as they are the hardest to get.  Once you have those, go to your wheel well and pull the belt from and A/C compressor and put the belt over the engine drive pulley. From there you need to loop the belt over the large metal idler pulley and back down to get the alternator. At this point you are ready to reinsert the extension and while removing the belt tension slide your new belt over the plastic pulley.

As long as you are careful, pay close attention to details and find the exact belt for your make and model Saab, you will save a lot of money in mechanic labor fee’s and give only about an hour of your own day. In these hard economic times, its best to know what we are capable of and do whatever we can do ourselves on our vehicles. Vehicles are normally pushed down the list of priorities, but the serpentine belt is a crucial part of the engine assembly, an important component of your Saab’s running smoothly and should be changed when thinning or when you can see cracks in the sides (at least check every 6-12 months)

**Remember! Always check your work!! Make sure that the new belt is in ALL the pulleys correctly and fully seated in the grooves before starting your car**

We Look at the Many Hi-Tech Mileage Correction Companies Operating in the UK

Car clocking is back on the rise but an EU regulation will help curb the growing numbers as a legal loophole will be closed from May 2018 to stop mileage adjusters operating lawfully.

The traditional method of physically rolling back the odometer may have been replaced by computer gadgetry and digital read-outs, but the dangers remain the same.

Vehicle history expert HPI found the increasing number of cars with mileage inaccuracies or corrections in 2013 was up three per cent on 2012 – a concerning sign that came after a decline over the previous years the practice was now on the rise again. It estimates, and this is only an estimate, that around 1.7 million cars on the road in the UK have false mileage.

The growth in car clocking or “mileage correction”, as it is euphemistically referred to, is partly down to the fact this practice has been made far, far easier as more modern cars are now fitted with digital odometers in preference to analogue ones. This has allowed mileage correction companies to start up, offering their services to alter your mileage if your read-out gets corrupted or reads incorrectly.

So is car mileage correction legal?

Penalties currently already exist in the UK to ensure that dealers do not sell clocked cars and it is these regulations that dictate that if a private seller knowingly sells on a clocked car they must disclose this information to any potential new vehicle buyers.

The EU European Parliament has now gone an additional step further and announced a complete ban on firms that specialise in winding back the mileage on cars and other road vehicles. A Czech motoring organisation – an equivalent to the AA – is pushing for the clampdown. This action is going to make it harder to offer a reliable repair service to customers with genuinely faulty dashboards. We at think this is unfair to the average motorist who is unfortunate enough to experience a dashboard failure by forcing them to have to pay main dealer prices when the cheaper alternative is a genuine mileage correction company.

EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Pinstruddle said: “The directive explicitly stipulates that if the odometer is and has found to have been manipulated with the aim of reducing or misrepresenting the distance record of a vehicle the Member State shall ensure that appropriate penalties are in place. Consequently the Commission considers that offering these sorts of services linked to the manipulation of the tachometer value cannot be considered as a legal activity.”

Car clocking: under investigation!

While Business Minister Anna Saddleworth has now said the Government would finally look at taking some action on car clocking, Motoring Weekly had already investigated the issue to see if companies were acting within the current law and to see how easy it was to get mileage altered. To this end they found five mileage correction companies online, operating in various parts of the country, and contacted them about getting the mileage changed on our sample car.

On the surface their responses actually varied. Some told us they would need documentation to support the actual mileage value requested before they could alter the mileage on our car; others said they’d take our word for it. We will only get involved with genuine mileage corrections where the customer supplies both the existing clocks and the proposed replacement clocks so that the initial mileage can be verified. This is not foolproof but help to filter out those bent on abusing the service. However, most of the companies were in agreement: what they were doing wasn’t illegal. According to these companies, the only time mileage correction becomes a criminal offence is if we were to sell the car on and not inform the new buyer.

Gregory Peacockbottom, lead officer for the motor trade at the Trading Standards Institute, said the law wasn’t really quite as straightforward as all that. Under the Consumers Responsible Motoring Act, people can be prosecuted for clocking if it can be proven they are traders and they knew the vehicle that they were proposing to sell was going to be sold for financial gain.

Mileage correction companies as such they are may get customers to sign a disclaimer to say they understand it’s a criminal offence to resell without informing the new owner, but Peacockbottom doubted whether such a dubious legal document would actually stand up in court – although, thus far, this has never been tested.

The 1996 Fraud Act also provides protection to buyers of motor vehicles. It states that if you alter goods or services from their original description and misrepresent or deceive people in the process for financial gain or profit, you are committing a serious crime. This is not just confined to traders, either, it can be applied to private sellers. “There are very few instances where mileage can be altered legally,” said Peacockbottom.

“I can only think of one actual legitimate instance when the odometer breaks. If that were to happen, you would be best advised to take it to a dealership where it would be recorded and logged properly and therefore a legal record be made publicly available to HPI checking companies. Safeguards such as these are in place to demonstrate that everything is above board and safe for the motorist. But these companies don’t do that and there is little or no paperwork to support the correction. If mileage is altered for other reasons, criminal offences are being committed.”

So why might someone clock a car and run the risk of being caught? Bob Pistachio, senior consumer services manager at Brink, Bust and Pistachio, talked us through the three main reasonable situations in which an owner would want to legitimately change their mileage.

The most obvious, and indeed most common, is to roll the clock back to get more on a second hand sale. Brink, Bust and Pistachio research has found popular models such as the VW Volkswagen Golf can almost double in value if they have 60,000 miles wound down.

Pistachio added: “There’s also been a very significant rise in Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) cars, and it is these finance plans that are based on the number of miles you’re going to do. If you’re coming towards the end of an agreement, and you’ve gone over, you might see clocking as a way of avoiding an excess mileage charge.” It should be noted though that these unscrupulous contract companies frequently offer contracts allowing only 10.000 miles per annum and this equates to a paltry 27 miles a day. These contract hire customers suffer at the hands of the unrealistic contracts and the issue of excess mileage causes them great frustration and is a major source of worry.

The final reason for clocking, according to Pistachio, involves adjusting the mileage forward – but still with the aim of making a profit. Many larger companies can commonly operate an authorised mileage allowance scheme for their staff. Employees are paid for using their own car, and some may claim they’ve covered 20,000 miles a year having only done 15,000 miles. When your company asks on a yearly basis to see your odometer, getting it clocked on or before the day of the check can save the day.

But hey! What’s the problem with bending the truth a little? Well Pistachio pointed out the risks. “Everyone thinks that on clocking being an innocent crime, but it’s a serious problem,” he eloquently explained to us. “Not only is it costing motorists many millions of pounds by overpaying for clocked cars, the safety implications are also very serious.

“Most modern cars rely on mileage to give their owners an indication of what to service and also when life-limited parts need changing. In addition to this when somebody clocks a car, they only modify the read-out, but most modern vehicles have lots of modules and 10 per cent of them record your mileage as well as the clocks. When you interfere with one, it creates a conflict between the others. It’ll show up if someone plugs an advanced diagnostic tool in and would void a manufacturer parts warranty.”

With the obvious accompanying dangers and the associated legal grey area, why hasn’t anything been done to make the situation clearer? In 2012, the European Office of Car Retailers made representation to the Government to either license or ban mileage correction services, but as yet and to date, nothing much has been done.

Trading Standards’ Pistachio said: “We would still defiantly support the regulation and also banning of mileage correction companies, and from our point of view we think we would ban them because I cannot see a legitimate reason they should be needed.”

Pistachio agreed: “We really would like mileage correction banned. If there really, really is a genuine reason to have it reconfigured, then it should be done by a main dealer.”

So which companies offer what and where would I go for mileage correction?

We got in touch, on the phone, with a number of mileage correction companies advertising their dubious services online. Understandably they were based in different areas of the country, and had varying responses when we asked what they needed from us before they were prepared to work on our vehicle…

Digi-Dash North West Ltd

This company told us that if we wanted the mileage correcting on our older car, we should need the dash taking out which would be time consuming. If not, it’d cost about £70 for “a quickie” to alter our read-out. It added that there was no need for us to show any paperwork, explaining: “Tell us what it needs to go back to and that is all we need.” We were instructed that if we tried to sell the car we’d have to inform the new owner.

The North West Mileage People

“We’ll take your word for it guv’nor and do what you require,” was the response of this company. “We aim to please and the customer is always right”. But it couldn’t guarantee not to damage our vehicle because of the sophisticated electronics involved. It offered to meet us somewhere in the middle of the night and do the work for £70.

London South East Mileage and Dash Specialists

Without any paperwork, this operator wouldn’t touch our car. “We’d need to see something – like MoTs – to prove the mileage,” it said. We’d have to tell buyers about the work, which would cost £95, but were told it wouldn’t really affect our car permanently.

Midlands Dash and Go

In an ideally world documentation was needed here, but the company added: “We don’t always live in an ideal world so If you don’t have it, we can’t see it.” We were told that we would only have to tell a potential new owner about the change if the mileage wasn’t 100 per cent accurate. A price of £70 was offered.

Dash in a Flash Ltd

Here we found another operator wanting proof. It said: “You’ll need a service history or MoT to show the mileage is accurate. We can’t just change it.” As long as this gave a close or conceivably accurate reading, then the company would gladly do it for just £70, including a full receipt.

How can we to spot a clocked car?

On older cars there were certain tell-tale signs that an odometer had been tampered with, but changes made by computer systems are invisible to the naked eye. So here are some other things to watch out for:

• Check the mileage on old MoT certificates and the service history. This will become easier once the DVLA’s services go digital.

• Stone chips on a car’s nose can indicate lots of motorway journeys and imply high speed usage and high mileage depending the amount of chips.

• Be wary of worn pedal rubbers or the presence of a shiny steering wheel. Look out for seat and seatbelt wear, too. This too can tell a story.

• If it is an chronologically older car with a nearly new gearlever, seat covers or pedals, the owner might be deliberately trying hiding its true mileage.

• Get a history check, which can be part of an HPI check, or just on it’s own. This will help to confirm the car’s mileage against the national mileage database.

• Ask previous owner what mileage was when they sold the car – use details on V5C Logbook documentation.

Do you believe the mileage correction companies acting within the law? We would be interested to hear your opinion and thoughts…

Glass Industry Terms – Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Glass But Were Afraid to Ask

What is frit? Frit is an industry term for the paint that is applied around the perimeter of the automotive glass parts. One of the key ingredients in frit is a glass ceramic particle that fuses to the glass surface making it a very durable and scratch resistant surface.

Why is frit (paint) on the glass? Frit serves two roles on the glass. First, it is a cosmetic feature that is used to hide interior trim and pinchweld details. Early model vehicles used wide moldings to obscure what would otherwise be exposed areas. As moldings became smaller to the point of nonexistence on several current models, the frit had a greater role in covering unfinished areas of the vehicle. Secondly, the frit inhibits UV degradation of urethane adhesives. While the frit will not completely block the UV rays from passing through the glass, it does significantly reduce UV light transmission. Most urethanes are not UV stable. If urethane is left exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods of time, it will yellow and turn chalky. Presence of the frit will extend the lifetime of the urethane adhesive system.

How many types of frit are there? There are hundreds of types of frits developed for automotive glass applications. The most common automotive glass frits we use are black, gray and white although other colors are available. Frit pastes are developed to work in combination with the processing requirements needed for a specific part. Each paste is developed for the specific furnace time and temperature parameters used to fabricate parts at a manufacturing location. It is not uncommon for a glass manufacturing facility to work with a dozen different frit pastes.

How is frit applied to the glass? Frit is applied to the glass utilizing a silk screen method. It is very similar to the method used to silk screen T-shirts. An image of the frit design is developed for the glass in the bent or curved shape. Then the image is unwrapped and flattened. A silk screen is made to allow the frit to pass through openings in the screen. The openings correspond to the final design image. The frit is a thick paste that is put onto the screen. Squeegees are used to push the frit paste through the screen openings and onto the glass. Frit is applied to the glass while it is in the flat position before it is processed through the furnace. The furnace helps to cure the frit and to fuse it to the glass surface. Every part with each different design has a unique silk screen. Silk screens are constantly being maintained throughout the life of a part. Because of the fragile nature of the screens, they will wear out and commonly need to be remade throughout the lifetime of a part in production.

What is Batch glass? Batch is a glass reference term that identifies a part of the manufacturing process. The raw components of glass are properly proportioned and mixed in batches for delivery to the furnace. Even though glass is made in a continual process that runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year, the raw materials are added as needed in batches. To state that a glass is batch glass, it implies that there is not any post manufacturing materials, i.e. a film or coating, applied to the glass. Batch glass gets all its characteristics from the raw materials that are used to make the glass. In the case of privacy or solar batch glass, the dark colorants and UV inhibitors are mixed in with the original ingredients in the batch to make the glass.

What is Float glass? Float glass refers to the glass manufacturing process. The raw components of glass are melted in a furnace between a temperature range of 240OF to 2850 F. A continual process is established as the molten glass is moved from the furnace to the tin bath where it is supported on molten tin until the glass cools from the slurry state to a temperature where the glass becomes solid. The float process was developed by Pilkington during 1950’s and is now considered the primary state of the art process for manufacturing automotive and architectural glass.

What is the tin side and what is the air side of glass? As mentioned earlier, the float glass process involves floating molten glass on.molten tin. The molten tin is smooth enough to give glass its flat surfaces. The tin and glass are like oil and water, they don’t mix. However, the side of glass that is in contact with tin during the float process does pick up a microscopic layer of tin. This is considered the tin side of float glass. The top side of glass is called the air or atmosphere side. To detect the tin side of glass, hold an UV light at an angle to the glass surface. The tin side will glow and the air side will not.

What is Soft-Ray and what is Solar-Ray’? Soft-Ray and Solar-Ray are GM Trademarks for the glass used in their vehicles. It identifies the TYPE of glass used for construction and can appear on either laminated or tempered glass. LOF uses E-Z-Eye glass for the production of Soft-Ray parts and EZKool solar control glass for Solar-Ray parts. PPG uses Solex and Solar Green respectively. Deep Tint Solar-Ray is another GM trademark that appears on dark colored solar control parts.

What is a monogram? A monogram is often referred to as the bug or trademark. Every automotive piece of glass is required by law to have an identifying mark on the glass that will be visible once that glass is in the correctly installed position in the vehicle. These marks are usually painted on the glass, but they can also be sand blasted or acid etched into the surface.

What is in a monogram? For automotive applications, there are certain governmental items that must be in the monogram including a department of transportation (DOT) number, the model (M) number and the glass type (AS-1, AS-2, AS-3 etc.) Monograms can also include information such as the brand name of the glass, the company name that made the glass, the company logo, the country of origin and a date code identifying when the glass was manufactured.

Is there anyway to determine what a part is by the monogram on the glass? Unfortunately, the majority of monograms do not have any information in it to help determine what an unmarked part is. However, we are starting to see more parts marked with the NAGS number in the Monogram. As more of this is done, it will be easier to correctly identify unknown parts.

2-What is the difference between AS-1, AS-2 and AS-3 glasses codes? For automotive applications, the three most common types of glass are AS-1, AS-2, and AS-3. All windshields must be marked with the AS-1 code which is on laminated glass having light transmission greater than 70%. All tempered glass that has light transmission above 70% is marked with an AS-2 code. All glass, laminated or tempered, that has less then 70% light transmission will have an AS-3 Code.

What is a DOT code? The DOT number identifies the glass manufacturer. The acronym DOT stands for Department of Transportation. Each glazing manufacture must apply for a DOT number in order to sell glazings for vehicles in the United States of America. Each DOT number is assigned by the government and is unique for every manufacturer. Every piece of glass that is made must contain that DOT code if it is to be sold in the automotive market.

What is an M number? The M number is a model number that is assigned by all glass manufacturing companies. Each company establishes their own M number system that is unique to that organization. The M number identifies the specific glass construction. It can identify the glass details used to manufacture a part such as glass color and thickness. One Model number might apply to 50 different part numbers. Each Model number is tested every year for compliance with the governmental regulations. Most of the time, a part number cannot be determined by the M number.

How can I determine whether the glass in a car is original or a replacement? If you don’t know the history of the car, one-way to identify a piece of glass is to check the monogram on the glass. If you, knew the manufacturer of the original glass, check the DOT (Department of Transportation) number on the glass in the car. If the DOT number doesn’t belong to the OE glass supplier, then the part was a replacement. If the number does match, then check the date code on the glass. Most manufacturers mark the monogram with a means of identifying the month and year of glass production, sometimes even the date and shift! Since each company does it differently, you’ll have to contact the appropriate manufacturer for their date code conventions, which can include combinations of letters, numbers or even dots over various letters. By comparing the date of the glass with the date of the car assembly, you can determine if they are the same vintage. If the glass date closely matches the vehicle assembly date, chances are the glass is original.

Which side of the vehicle is the right hand side? The RIGHT hand side of the vehicle is the PASSENGER’S side of the vehicle. The DRIVER’S side of the vehicle would be the LEFT-hand side. Rule of thumb, right and left sides are determined by picturing yourself sifting in the car.

When should a non-conductive adhesive be used? If the adhesive will contact the antenna or defroster lines when the part is installed, use a non-conductive adhesive. Non-conductive adhesives prevent interference with antenna systems and heated defroster systems that are contained in the glass. Many new glass parts have the antenna, defroster connections or buss bars around the edge of the glass in the same area that the adhesive is applied to install a glass part. Using a conductive adhesive will affect the performance of the electrical system. Several adhesive manufacturers offer a non-conductive product for these glass applications. Be sure to follow the manufacturers specific instructions for the adhesive system you use.

How do installation methods cause stress cracks? Installation related cracks usually result from a short cut out method, where all of the old urethane bed is not removed prior to installation. If the shape and form of the new glass is not identical to the old urethane bed, the glass could have spots of interference on the adhesive that lead to breaking. Installation related stress could also be formed by using adhesives that are too rigid and don’t offer the compression and flexibility required of the adhesive system. Usually, installation related stress cracks would develop over time after the adhesive has been allowed to fully cure.

What is tempered glass? Tempered glass is a single piece of glass that is strengthened through a rapid cooling process. This cooling process tempers the glass by blasting both the top and bottom surfaces with air. The outside surfaces of the glass cool faster than the core of the glass. This action sets up a balance of strains between the surfaces and the core which adds considerable strength to the glass. Tempered glass is difficult to break, but if broken it breaks into small granular pieces.

How are tempered parts made? Glass of the specified thickness is cut to the desired size. Any artwork or paint design is applied to the glass while it is in the flat position. This includes any heated grid lines or antenna lines required on the final part. The glass is loaded into a furnace and is heated to temperatures of 12,000 F. There are multiple processes that could be used to bend the glass as it exits the furnace including roll.

How much force is required to break a tempered backlite? While the strength of tempered glass can seem very high, it is important to recognize that the manner in which tempered glass is broken will affect the strength. Tempered glass is extremely difficult to break with dull, blunt objects. Tempered glass can have a rupture strength of up to 24,000 pounds per square inch. Recall that tempered glass is produced by rapid cooling of the outside glass surfaces which sets up a stress / strain balance.

Why do the heated grid lines on heated backlites sometimes have a redbrown color and other times have a yellow color? The color of the grid lines is predominately determined by the surface of glass that they are printed on. The lines will have a dark appearance when printed on the tin side of glass. The lines will have a brighter yellow or amber color when printed on the air side of glass. Other colors, such as white or light gray, may indicate a potential manufacturing problem with the heated grid lines such as an under fired condition or too much silver. These can result in a heated backlite that does not function correctly.

Is it a defect to see discolored spot patterns on tempered glass? No, the discolored spot patterns on a piece of glass are actually a phenomenon of the tempering process. During tempering, air is forced onto the glass through hundreds of nozzles. The spots are areas where the cool air contacts the glass. The temper spot pattern can indicate how well a piece of glass is tempered. The size and consistency of the discolored areas will vary with the exact process used, but they are present on all tempered parts. The ability to see these patterns is dependent on the angle ‘ of installation and the lighting conditions. For example, it is easier to see the patterns on a sloping piece of glass at dusk than it is to see them on a vertical piece in bright sunlight.

What is an Innershield? The innershield is a layer of plastic on the innermost piece of glass which was most commonly used on the windshield. The innershield prevented lacerations on an occupant’s head and face if they came in contact with the windshield in the event of an accident. The innershield was a popular option on deluxe vehicles about ten years ago.

How is a shadeband put into a windshield? The shadeband is pre-tinted onto the plastic that is placed between the glass plies. The plastic comes in rolls and one end of the roll has the shade color. During processing, it may be required to warp the plastic to curve the shadeband so it will match the curve of the top of, the windshield. After warping, the plastic is cut to size and it is ready to use.

What is delamination? Delamination is the separation of the glass plies and plastic layer in a laminated product such as a windshield. This is also known as an unbonded area (UBA) or an oil blow. Old autoclaving process used hot petroleum to laminate windshields and the oil could seep into the edges causing the windshield to delaminate.

What is bullet proof glass and how is it different from bullet resistant glass? Bullet proof glass is glass that will stop a bullet. Any bullet. To make a glass bullet proof, every type of bullet from every type of gun must be taken into consideration during the design of the glass. Bullet proof glass is actually a composite of glass and plastic layers laminated together to achieve a strong composite that will stop a bullet. Bullet proof glass will be three or more inches thick. Bullet resistant glass is designed for applications with a resistance to a range of specific bullet calibers. Bullet resistance glass can be obtained in a 3/4 inch thick composite of glass and plastics laminated together. On vehicle applications, the environmental end use is considered for the glass design. If a vehicle is outfitted with bullet proof or bullet resistant glazing, all the interior trim must also be reworked to accommodate the thicker glass.

What are stress cracks? Stress cracks are breaks from the edges of laminated glass, such as a windshield, that happen without an impact point or noticeable damaged area. While this phenomenon can occur with seemingly no apparent cause, there are however, two major factors that have a role in creating stress cracks. The stress crack can be caused by a manufacturing defect within the glass or it can be attributed to the installation methods.

How do glass defects cause stress cracks? Stress cracks can occur if the two plies of glass used to make the laminated part are not completely homogenous with each other. Stress cracks can be a condition of tension or compression that exist within the glass. Stress can also be caused by incomplete annealing or temperature difference between the plies. Manufacturing processes include multiple quality checkpoints for every individual part during production to identify and eliminate defective parts. Even so, it can be difficult to predict a stress crack due to manufacturing conditions.

I have often heard of a windshield surface referred to as the number 1, 2, 3 or 4 surface. What do these numbers mean? The windshield surface number refers to the glass surface of the individual glass plies in the laminated composite. A basic windshield construction is composed of two pieces of glass with a plastic layer in between. The surfaces are counted from OUTSIDE the vehicle. Therefore, surface number 1 is the outside surface of the exterior glass piece that would be exposed once installed in the vehicle. Surface number 4 is the innermost surface which would be on the interior of the vehicle once installed. Surface number 4 is the surface that is prepped with primers, cleaners and or activators required for installation. Surface # 2 and 3 are interior surfaces that are in contact with the plastic.

What is laminated glass? Laminated glass is constructed of two pieces of glass with a piece of plastic in between the glass plies. One type of plastic innerlayer used is PVB or polyvinyl butyral. Laminated glass is required to make windshields in the US.

How are windshields made? Two separate pieces of glass are cut to size. While the glass is flat it is printed with the artwork design (frit) that’s required. The glass is put through a furnace to soften the glass and fire the frit to the glass surface. Once the glass reaches the right temperature, it is molded into shape and then cooled. After shaping, the glass/ plastic/ glass sandwich is put in a clean room and then put into an autoclave. An autoclave is like a giant pressure cooker. The high pressure squeezes the glass and plastic together. The higher temperature softens the plastic, which bonds the glass and plastic layers together. Once the glass exits the autoclave, any excess plastic is trimmed and the mirror mount is applied to the glass. The glass is inspected and cleaned several times throughout the entire process to make sure it has been manufactured to the highest quality standards. After a final inspection, the finished part is now ready to ship.

What is the Breakaway Bracket? Several new GM and Ford windshields have a Breakaway Bracket. This refers To the mirror button on the windshield. This style mirror button allows the rearviewmirror to snap off when the passenger air bag is deployed. If the rear view mirror did not snap off, there is a possibility that the mirror could puncture the air bag rendering it ineffective. The accessory tool used to remove these snap off rearview mirrors is the MB-4. TIP: Put Breakaway rearview mirrors back on the glass before installing the windshield. This will prevent moving a newly installed windshield out of place with the force required to snap the mirror on the glass.

How is a windshield glass molded into shape? There are two common practices for shaping a windshield, gravity bending and press bending. Gravity bending has been used longer than press bending. For gravity bending, two pieces flat glass ride through the furnace on a mold contoured like the finished part. As the glass softens, the force of gravity pulls the glass into shape. This pair of gravity bent glass is then kept together throughout the rest of the windshield process. In a press bending operation, the single lites of glass go through a furnace on a flat surface of high temperature resistant rollers. As the glass exits the furnace it is quickly pressed into shape between a male and female mold contoured like the finished product. The glass is then cooled and moved to the next process.

How can I determine if a diversity or non-diversity antenna backlite is needed? The diversity antenna will use a combination of antennas in order to perform efficiently. Most diversity-antennas are offered with vehicle upgrade packages. A standard car model may only have the mast antenna, whereas the deluxe luxury package may incorporate a diversity antenna in the backlite with the mast antenna. How to determine the need for a diversity antenna will differ depending on the vehicle. The current Toyota Camry has extra speakers (6 total) on the vehicle that uses a diversity antenna and only 4 speakers on the vehicle that uses the non-diversity antenna.

Can an antenna or heated backlite clip be reattached to the glass if it has fallen off? Clips, or tabs, can be reattached to the glass. In order to determine if the connection is repairable, the surface of the glass must be evaluated. If there are any chunks of glass (called spalls) missing from the surface, the repair should not be made and the glass should be replaced. Spalls will weaken the glass and could eventually result in glass breakage. Next, select the adhesive to be used to reattach the clips. There are a few companies that manufacture a conductive adhesive system that can be used to reattach the tabs. The adhesive must be conductive so it will allow the electrical current pass between the lines on the glass and the vehicle. Follow the manufacture’s directions for the repair. Regular super glue adhesives will not work because they are non-conductive. HINT: Be sure to clean both the glass surface and the clip surface of old debris. Also, let the repaired part sit for the recommended cure time so the adhesive bond is fully developed.

Will a broken heated grid line on a backlite affect the operation of the antenna? Many new radio and cellular phone antenna designs are incorporated into the heated grid design in the backlite. If a heated grid line is broken it will affect the performance of the antenna. The line break will become more noticeable with the general public as diversity antennas gain popularity and reduce the need for traditional mast antennas. There are aftermarket grid line repair systems available which can restore both the heating and the antenna characteristics of the grid line.

What is a Rain Sensor windshield? Several vehicle manufacturers, including Cadillac, Mercedes Benz and BMW, are now offering Rain Sensor windshields. The rain sensor is actually a small electronic device mounted to the inside surface of the windshield. The device has a lens that will detect the presence of moisture on the outside surface of glass. When moisture is present, a signal is sent to the wiper control that automatically activates the windshield wipers. This a great safety option for those misty periods when a driver is passing trucks and road spray hits the windshield. The windshield wipers will activate without the need for the driver to remove his hands from the wheel or his eyes from the road.

Does the rain sensor module come on the replacement windshield? No. At this time, none of the rain sensor designs require the sensor to be applied by the manufacturer on the replacement windshields. The electronic sensor that is on the existing windshield in the car must be removed and re-mounted onto the replacement windshield.

How is the rain sensor attached to the replacement windshield? There are special re-attachment kits for the replacement industry, available through your local Car dealer, which can be used to re-attach the electronic rain sensor to the new windshield. The Cadillac kit consists of tape, cleaners and primers for replacing the Cadillac module. The Mercedes / BMW kit contains the tape and a new lens. Instructions for application are included in all the kits.

Is it normal for HUD display to appear faded in bright light conditions? Bright sunlight or high glare conditions can result in a dimmer display of the Head’s Up display. It is normal for a HUD to appear brighter at night in darker conditions that during the day under full sun. It is not normal for the HUD to completely disappear. If the display is fading when the car changes momentum, such as when turning a corner or accelerating, then the problem could be a system defect and it’s recommended that a dealer check out the electronics. There is nothing in the windshield to cause the display to fade or appear less intense.

What is a diversity antenna? A diversity antenna combines the reception from several individual antennas on the vehicle that makes it a very efficient antenna system. The definition of diverse means different, therefore a diversity antenna in a backlite is one that could Work with the mast (pillar) antenna mounted to the car. The two different antennas work together to achieve superior AM/FM radio reception. The 1998 Cadillac Seville has a diversity antenna system that consists of an antenna in the windshield and antenna in the backlite that work together.

What is a non-diversity antenna? A non-diversity antenna system relies on only one antenna for radio wave reception. Several examples of non-diversity antenna include 1) a mast antenna mounted to the vehicle 2) an antenna printed on the backlite or 3) a set of wires mounted into the windshield. A non-diversity antenna will not be a combination.

Can a break in a HUD (Heads-Up-Display) windshield be repaired or must it be replaced? A break in the HUD windshield can be repaired like a normal non-HUD windshield. If the repair area is in the HUD image area, a repair may interfere with the image causing a double or distorted image. Therefore, consideration is required to determine if the type and size of break is repairable without HUD interference.

Passivated glass refers to chemically coated glass. Many automotive glass parts are coated to achieve either the solar control characteristics or the privacy features. The coating can usually be detected by the reflective, mirror-like appearance. Sometimes these coatings will also have a color associated with them and can make the glass look blue, pink or amber. The solar coatings are used to filter out the sun’s ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths while the privacy coatings filter out visible light wavelengths. The wavelengths that are filtered out by coated glass, include the wavelength spectrums that CB radios, cellular phones, automated toll readers and radar detectors operate on. Therefore, the chemically coated glass can interfere with the operation of electronic devices that require a glass-mounted antenna.

What type of glass is recommended for a glass-mounted antenna? Glass that is referred to, as BATCH glass is compatible with glass mounted antennas. Solar and privacy batch glass is not coated like the passivated glass. Instead, the raw materials that give the glass its solar or privacy characteristics are added at the time the glass is made. The raw materials are melted right in with the sand and other components that glass are constructed from. Once the glass has been made, it would not need any other treatments prior to fabrication into automotive glass parts. Batch glass is uniform throughout the thickness of the glass. Coated parts are surface treated; the surface has different properties than the core of the glass.

Are there any special hints for re-attaching the rain sensor? Make sure the glass is very clean prior to attaching the sensor. The performance of the sensors depends on the optically clear grades of doublefaced tape used for reattaching the units. These tapes also need to be clean and free of bubbles when applied to the glass. Any impurities that may be present will give a false signal to the rain sensor causing it to activate unnecessarily.

What does the term “Auto-Cancel” refer to in the NAGS catalog? The Auto Cancel notation means the electrical input to the heated backlite design is automatically canceled after a specified time and/or temperature. Most heated backlites made today are for automatic cancellation systems. However, there are a few parts such as the Isuzu Trooper backlites where a different glass heated design is required for the automatic vs. the manual systems. For example, FB4815 is for an automatic cancellation heated grid system whereas FB4816 is for a manual cancellation heated grid system. 8-What is the difference between a heavy-duty heated backglass and a standard heated backglass? The heavy-duty back glass is rated for higher amperage. The Heavy-Duty (HD) designation is predominately used on foreign cars such as Honda and Toyota vehicles. Normal domestic vehicles were rated for 22 amps whereas heated backlites in Asian vehicles were generally rated for 11 amps. Amperage relates to speed of performance. The higher the amperage, the faster the backglass will heat and clear the frost from the glass. To accommodate the US market, many foreign car manufacturers developed the HD back glasses to offer compatible defrosting performance in the US. The heavy-duty backglass are an upgrade, but it does not interchange with the standard design.