Jump to content

Replacing the rear screen on an early Spitfire hardtop


PeteStupps

Recommended Posts

My hands hurt and my neck aches but I'm very satisfied, having just replaced the rear glass on my bubble hardtop after about 4 hours of trying.

Basic technique was the standard practice of putting cord in the rubber, and fitting to the hardtop by applying pressure (lots of, in various directions) while teasing the cord out so the rubber lip pulls into position - lots of Youtube videos demonstrating. I used some thin nylon cord.

In case anyone else want to do the same, this is what I learnt which wasn't on the videos I watched:

- use a normal windscreen rubber but you have to cut it to size and glue it back into a loop. The rear glass is quite a bit smaller than the front. I cut my rubber seal so it was a tight fit and I think this is essential to get it to stay on the glass while you're wrestling it into place. Superglue works, vulcanising glue (from a puncture repair kit) didn't.

- lubrication causes more problems than it solves. First effort I found it too hard to get the rubber onto the glass so went a bit mad with washing-up liquid. This was a mistake, as the rubber and screen then became slippery as a pair of awkward fish and wouldn't stay together, and I nearly dropped the glass a couple of times. Rinsed it all off and then found the rubber would stay on much more readily. Was a chore getting it on all the way round but less of a chore than having it slip off all the time. 

I also made the well-intentioned mistake of lubing the outside of the rubber with red grease. Thought it would help fitting, but it meant the whole thing slid around while I was trying to fit screen to hardtop.

However a smear of red rubber grease along the cord seemed to help when pulling it out.

- Locating the screen centrally in the aperture is critical, and hard to get right. Very hard to locate in the first place, then very hard to keep it there while wrestling with the string

- When you get to pulling the cord out at the sides of the glass you're pulling it upwards, and you need to keep a lot of pressure downwards on the glass to prevent it moving and popping out.

- it's bloody awkward and takes several attempts. I must have re-started more than ten times, after coming unstuck at the corners. But when I finally had the screen in the right position it went in more easily. (More easily than absolutely impossible). Every other time it was off to one side slightly and caused grief.

I'm not sure how watertight it'll be as I didn't use any sealant, because I'm slapdash. But it looks ok and hopefully won't rattle like it did with the perished old rubber seal.

 

_20230928_000253.JPG

_20230928_000305.JPG

_20230928_000320.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Mark, luckily I was mentally prepared for it to be a pig of a job. I'm going to have to do it again soon as I want to get the roof sprayed. But this was needed for RBRR duties, after my co-driver delicately suggested he didn't enjoy getting soaked by rain coming through the passenger window while trying to sleep! Hoping this is an improvement over the flappy soft-top window "seal"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, PeteStupps said:

my co-driver delicately suggested he didn't enjoy getting soaked by rain coming through the passenger window while trying to sleep!

Wuss! :tongue: I fully agree with him though!!

Yes to superglue, yes to seal tight around the glass. I don’t generally use seal with a new seal. Yes, it’s a battle. Easier with two! Getting it started with just one is challenging.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Pete I share your pain with this one and congratulate you on your success.

Having done a good few glass replacements the rear screen on an early Spitfire hardtop is about the most challenging. Something to do with the extreme wraparound I think. Although the rear quarters on the Scimitar are also a b######r mainly due to the chrome finisher having to be fitted at the same time and the very tight corners.

A second pair of hands and a vacuum handles to stop the bloody thing wandering about would probably make this merely extremely difficult rather than irtually impossible.

But good job.

PS. I was told many years ago that cyanoacrylate glue (superglue) was created for gluing synthetic rubber gaskets, like O rings and window seals.

Edited by Escadrille Ecosse
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/10/2023 at 3:44 PM, Escadrille Ecosse said:

Pete I share your pain with this one and congratulate you on your success.

Having done a good few glass replacements the rear screen on an early Spitfire hardtop is about the most challenging. Something to do with the extreme wraparound I think. Although the rear quarters on the Scimitar are also a b######r mainly due to the chrome finisher having to be fitted at the same time and the very tight corners.

A second pair of hands and a vacuum handles to stop the bloody thing wandering about would probably make this merely extremely difficult rather than irtually impossible.

But good job.

PS. I was told many years ago that cyanoacrylate glue (superglue) was created for gluing synthetic rubber gaskets, like O rings and window seals.

Thanks Colin - turns out the success was only partial because it a has a slight drip-drip leak on the right-hand side. Rubber wasn't quite seated right there so I tried to fill the gap with sealant but didn't quite work. 

Vacuum handles would definitely make it easier - I shall invest in a pair for next time!

PS. I heard superglue was invented for sticking soldiers wounds together on the battlefield, or is that a myth / secondary usage?! It worked a treat on rubber anyway. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...