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Thread: Ham's '48: What You See Is What You Have (Jeep Rule 1.0)

  1. #1
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Ham's '48: What You See Is What You Have (Jeep Rule 1.0)

    There are always surprises when you start working on old Jeeps, things that make you say "Hummmmm..".

    We finished up the restoration of the ‘48 2WD truck in early 2015 – or at least we got to a quitting place. Restoration projects are never really finished; there is always something that isn’t just like you want it to be.

    In this case, the issue was leaking windshields. The passenger side leaked badly, and of course it dripped in exactly the worst place – on my wife’s foot if she was riding along! Now, we had windshield issues all along during the restoration. Initially, the guy who set the windshield put the gasket in backwards. Back in the 60’s the Navy issued everyone glasses with black nerdy plastic frames. They were so ugly we called them birth-control-glasses. Well, as you can see in the attached picture, this was a birth control gasket installation.

    The gasket came out and the guy reset the windshield. It leaked the first time we washed the truck for final cleanup and we called him back. He squirted some goop somewhere and declared the problem solved. A couple of months later we found out it didn’t stay sealed – which led to the leak on my wife’s foot.

    Jump forward to summer of 2018. At the Chapel Ridge show we got caught in a three shower downpour. Yep, it leaked. Both sides leaked. I decided enough of this stuff; it’s time to get it fixed. You might say “Get the guy to fix it right”, but if he hasn’t fixed it in three tries, I don’t want him working on it again!

    I took it to three glass companies and all three said the gasket and glass had been installed improperly. The guy had tried to glue it in, but it should have been “rope sealed”. I’m not a glass guy; I don’t understand “rope seal” installations, but as one guy said, “It takes four or five guys to install (one on each side, inside and outside) and another guy to direct traffic”. And, two of the places would not touch a “Classic Truck” for fear of damaging something.

    So, the third glass installer agreed to do the job. I ordered a new gasket from KWAS and took him the original glass we took out of the truck to use as a template for new glass. (He didn’t want to count on reusing the glass in the truck because he had a high probability that he might break it and he didn’t want to stop the installation to cut another piece of glass).

    Now, here is where we get to “What you see is what you have”. When we compared the original driver and passenger windshields to one another, the driver’s windshield was about one-half inch smaller in each dimension that the passenger’s side. I know for a fact that the glass wasn’t replaced any time after 1966 – was it original or did my Dad replace it at some time???

    Hmmmmm ….. which one is right? He fitted the two pieces into the gasket and the passenger glass fit snugly while the driver glass wasn’t so snug. Could the two be different sizes by design? By pure dumb chance I had ordered a 46 – 49 Parts Manual when I ordered the new gasket, so I looked at part numbers for windshields.

    There it was on Page 99; Group 31-03- Windshield …. Willys P/N 663733 … Glass, Windshield (Laminated) … Qty 2! They are the same part, so they are the same size! We’ve decided to cut the new glass to the larger size. If it turns out too big, we can trim. It’s awfully hard to weld on a new piece of glass if it’s cut too small.

    How did two different sizes of glass end up in there? Why didn’t either one of them leak in the original installation? I don’t know! It’s a Jeep thing. What you see is what you have. By the way – I can’t recommend too highly that you have a Parts Manual and a Shop Manual for your Jeep. If your Jeep is a mixture of this and that – you might need several different Manuals to cover it all. (By the way – did you know you could have either a cigar or cigarette lighter as an option in your 46-49 Truck?)
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    I can say I learned something today. I had no idea that there was two options for lighters.

    We were happy to have a glass guy that would come out and replace all the glass on the fleet. From drunks knocking out squad car windows, to the plow trucks, he did them all. I have pulled the windshield out of my wagon, to weld in patches around the dash. It is a single piece glass, and had assumed that it was flat. It turns out that it has a slight curve to it. A new piece is quite expensive, ($300 or so) so I have it put up for safe keeping. It has some slight fogging around the edges, but it should be alright. The rope method for glass installation involves a lot of soapy water, and a good section of nylon rope. The rope pulls the sides of the rubber gasket to allow the window to slide into place within the gasket. As you work the rope around the gasket the window will ease into place.

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