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Thread: Join the Club - Broken Windshield

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    Senior Member CDXXVII's Avatar
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    Join the Club - Broken Windshield

    We should start a broken windshield club or at least a way to track how many have suffered the same fate.

    Went to bed with a perfect windshield. Woke up to a cracked windshield. I wish I could say it stopped a big rock from crashing into my passenger thus saving a life but no, it just broke on it's own. Not near a screw, not associated to stress, just cracked.

    At least I got a little over 5000 miles out of it. Now to call my insurance to see if I have the windshield protection plan. Then I need to decide if I want to purchase another one from FFR.

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    Last edited by CDXXVII; 08-02-2019 at 11:30 AM.
    F5R #7841: Anniversary Edition MK4, Ford Racing 427, Edelbrock EFI, Gas-N Pipes, Stainless Headers, TKO600, 3.31 Moser 3-Link, 17" Halibrands

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    Boydster's Avatar
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    Man, thats gotta be frustrating.
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    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Ugh. Hate that feeling. Since mine did that a couple months ago, every time I climb in the car I nervously look at the windshield to see if it's OK. FWIW, did replace mine with glass only from Factory Five. They ship it with new gasket material and it's a couple hour job. I tried just taking the four screws out of the side posts and lifting it out. Worked pretty easily and way easier than unbolting the posts. If you have American Modern (through Midwest Classic Insurance and Robbin) it's normally written with full glass coverage. They paid for mine.
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    Senior Member karlos's Avatar
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    Fast Freddie's may still be an option if there's enough interest. Here's what they had to say when I contacted them a few weeks back:

    "We are still debating another production run. If we get a lot more interest, maybe we will bring them back, but they are a bit of a hassle to deal with since the raw lexan seems to always get damaged in route to the machine shop, and then the machine shop also damages them sometimes so every batch we may have a number with flaws that are not useable."

    Since a broken windshield seems more a matter of when than if, I'm planning to just go Lexan when the time comes. I'd spring for a Fast Freddie's replacement now if it was available. Group buy, anyone?
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    I'd be interested in a buy to have as my backup.
    MKIV Complete Kit(order placed: 4/5/16; order completion: 5/14/16; delivered: 5/24/16): 3-link, PC, cutouts, vintage gauges, glove-box dash, chrome roll bars; 17" wheels, B/T leather seats, wind wings/visors sourced during separate 50/50 sale; side pipes and headers sourced through Gan-n
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    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    I contacted Fast Freddie in June when mine broke, and he said he wasn't going to offer them any more. Interesting that this might change with some volume. With all due respect though, pretty salty at $600. Group buy maybe less? If I really wanted to go that way today I'd get one of these and cut it myself: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/oaw-24x72-3. Having just used some coated polycarbonate (e.g. Lexan) on my Coupe build, it's not hard to cut and work with. Would be easy to make a pattern from the broken windshield. Even this option is on the more expensive side. Have seen where guys have bought directly from plastics suppliers. So there are choices out there. I ultimately decided to replace with glass in mine due to the timing (it was right before the London show) and insurance paid for it. Holding my breath...
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    I joined the cracked windshield in March 2018, and I ordered a Lexan windshield from Fast Freddie's on sale for only $395 including shipping. Just a little more than a new glass windshield at the time, so a no brainer. Very happy with the windshield, although it does flex more at 85+ mph. Hagerty paid for the replacement including some labor that I did myself. Too bad it's not offered currently. Probably go with edwardb's approach, although if it's that easty to cut and work with, why does Fast Freddie have a problem doing it?

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    Making it up as I go. JJ in Cbus's Avatar
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    Yep, joined the club too at the LCS this year...

    Edwardb, F5R now offers just the glass? I thought you could only purchase them frame and all?
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    You can get a flat sheet that will do two windshields from Five Star. They ship it in a large diameter roll . It is a little bulky
    https://www.fivestarbodies.com/store...36b4im0&p=cart
    This is what I have on my car. It is a little thin and could benefit from a thicker edge gasket.
    It is the thicker of the two materials that Five Star sells.
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    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ in Cbus View Post
    Yep, joined the club too at the LCS this year...

    Edwardb, F5R now offers just the glass? I thought you could only purchase them frame and all?
    http://www.factoryfiveparts.com/repl...dshield-glass/
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    Senior Member GTBradley's Avatar
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    Just got my temp tag and cracked my windshield two seconds later. Distraught to say the least, but the next morning I set out to rectify the situation. I dove to a plastics shop in Denver and bought a 4x8 sheet of Makrolon AR-2 (Tuffak). I cut off a piece big enough for the windscreen and laid it under the original glass to trace it. I cut out the new piece with a coarse blade and jigsaw. This is exceedingly easy to do and I suggest that anyone who wants to try it not to hesitate. I’ll be selling the other half of my polycarbonate sheet, so my cost will only be $200.

    I drove the Golden Super Cruise last night with my new plastic windscreen, and did a canyon drive after that - 80 miles and never once thought about the lack of glass. Love this stuff!
    Last edited by GTBradley; 10-06-2019 at 12:26 PM.
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    Senior Member cv2065's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTBradley View Post
    Just got my temp tag and cracked my windshield two seconds later. Distraught to say the least, but the next morning I set out to rectify the situation. I dove to a plastics shop in Denver and bought a 4x8 sheet of Makrolon AR-2 (Tuffak). I cut off a piece big enough for the windscreen and laid it under the original glass to trace it. I cut out the new piece with a coarse blade and jigsaw. This is exceedingly easy to do and I suggest that anyone who wants to try it not to hesitate. I’ll be selling the other half of my polycarbonate sheet, so my cost will only be $200.

    I drove the Golden Super Cruise last night with my new plastic windscreen, and did a canyon drive after that - 80 miles and never once thought about the lack of glass. Love this stuff!
    How do you concave the new material just like the original glass?
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    Senior Member GTBradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cv2065 View Post
    How do you concave the new material just like the original glass?
    You don’t, the frame does all the work. This stuff is flexible and easy to work with and it takes on the correct shape when installed in the frame. You can deform it a little by pressing on it in when it’s installed, not much though. The statement that caught my attention was: regular windscreen glass is 5 times stronger than annealed glass and this stuff is 250 times stronger than annealed glass.
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  16. #14
    Papa's Avatar
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    Bradley,

    Is this the same as what you bought?

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    Senior Member cv2065's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTBradley View Post
    You don’t, the frame does all the work. This stuff is flexible and easy to work with and it takes on the correct shape when installed in the frame. You can deform it a little by pressing on it in when it’s installed, not much though. The statement that caught my attention was: regular windscreen glass is 5 times stronger than annealed glass and this stuff is 250 times stronger than annealed glass.
    Interesting. Never worked with that stuff. How do you keep from scratching when cutting with the jigsaw? Also, what do you use to smooth the cut?
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    Senior Member GTBradley's Avatar
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    No, I don’t think so Dave. I saw that early on and it turns out the abrasion resistance and 15 years before yellowing comes from the coating treatment and that’s what makes it expensive. That stuff is somewhat thinner than what I got too.
    Last edited by GTBradley; 10-06-2019 at 08:24 PM.
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  20. #17
    Senior Member GTBradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cv2065 View Post
    Interesting. Never worked with that stuff. How do you keep from scratching when cutting with the jigsaw? Also, what do you use to smooth the cut?
    It comes with a protective sheet adhered to it and you just peel it off both sides when it’s installed in the car. I did cut it back a couple of inches from the edge, but I used blue tape to protect it. I didn’t put a single mark in it! Sandpaper will smooth the edges, but I didn’t need to as the cut was clean.
    Last edited by GTBradley; 10-06-2019 at 08:28 PM.
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    My concern with a plastic windshield is scratching. My windscreen on my Harley has to be treated with kid gloves to keep from getting swirls and scratches. How are these holding up from the people that have had them for a while?

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    Senior Member CDXXVII's Avatar
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    I just realized that I did not update my original post.

    I ended up installing a 1/4” thick acrylic windshield custom made. Absolutely rock solid and optically perfect . Tec 2000 hard coat and made with the correct curve as apposed to dealing with a flat piece of thin Lexan. No more crappy glass just waiting to crack.

    Not intending to open up a discussion about Lexan vs Acrylic. I did a ton of research on the matter and for my application I found that 1/4" Acrylic was a better fit than Lexan. Absolutely love it.

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    Last edited by CDXXVII; 10-06-2019 at 10:12 PM.
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    Dang, thats a pretty car.
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    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonywy View Post
    My concern with a plastic windshield is scratching. My windscreen on my Harley has to be treated with kid gloves to keep from getting swirls and scratches. How are these holding up from the people that have had them for a while?
    You do need to get the correct version that has the anti scratch coating. I autocrossed w/ Freddie when he started this years ago. He got a piece of the anti-scratch lexan and taped it over top of the windshield of his F250. Turned on the wipers. Ran them wet, dry, w/ gravel thrown on it, w/ sand thrown on it. He even mixed up sand and water to make a slurry and covered it w/ that. An hour later he was convinced he had a good product.
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    Senior Member cv2065's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDXXVII View Post
    I just realized that I did not update my original post.

    I ended up installing a 1/4” thick acrylic windshield custom made. Absolutely rock solid and optically perfect . Tec 2000 hard coat and made with the correct curve as apposed to dealing with a flat piece of thin Lexan. No more crappy glass just waiting to crack.

    Not intending to open up a discussion about Lexan vs Acrylic. I did a ton of research on the matter and for my application I found that 1/4" Acrylic was a better fit than Lexan. Absolutely love it.

    What brand/model of acrylic did you end up purchasing and at what thickness?
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    Senior Member rich grsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cv2065 View Post
    What brand/model of acrylic did you end up purchasing and at what thickness?
    Lets see, his post reads "Tec 2000 hard coat" and he says 1/4" twice in his post.???

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    Senior Member cv2065's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich grsc View Post
    Lets see, his post reads "Tec 2000 hard coat" and he says 1/4" twice in his post.???
    Tech 2000 is a coating that is added to the acrylic and not the actual acrylic itself. Many applications for it outside of just acrylic, which is why I was asking where he purchased it from. I was also curious about the pre-bent correct curve in the acrylic as well, as I haven't seen that outside of what Freddie's is offering. That said, you did get me on the 1/4" thickness. Didn't see that. Nice work!!
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    Senior Member CDXXVII's Avatar
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    The windshield was made at Aircraft Windshield Co. It is the same acrylic used for small aircraft applications. They used an FFR windshield to make a mold. This mold was used to form my windshield. This was a project my friends daughter took on for her dads Mk4. She just graduated from Stanford with a masters in engineering.

    Quote Originally Posted by cv2065 View Post
    Tech 2000 is a coating that is added to the acrylic and not the actual acrylic itself. Many applications for it outside of just acrylic, which is why I was asking where he purchased it from. I was also curious about the pre-bent correct curve in the acrylic as well, as I haven't seen that outside of what Freddie's is offering. That said, you did get me on the 1/4" thickness. Didn't see that. Nice work!!
    Last edited by CDXXVII; 10-07-2019 at 12:11 PM.
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    Senior Member cv2065's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDXXVII View Post
    The windshield was made at Aircraft Windshield Co. It is the same acrylic used for small aircraft applications. They used an FFR windshield to make a mold. This mold was used to form my windshield. This was a project my friends daughter took on for her dads Mk4. She just graduated from Stanford with a masters in engineering.
    Man that's great. He must be a proud father!! Any chance of any others being made from the mold where she can make some $$$? If so, might be interested. Thanks CDX
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    Member RBachman's Avatar
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    Dittos on CV2065 said! I'm also interested.
    FFR MKIV ordered 12 July 2019 for delivery Mid September, (Stewart had other ideas, so early October?). IRS, Wilwood Brakes, 18" Wheels w/MT tires, power steering, EFI, AC/Heat. 347 Dart by Mike Forte. All new, no donor build. Jeff Kleiner will provide body and paint work.

  33. #28
    Senior Member CDXXVII's Avatar
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    Sorry guys

    We are not forum vendors and offering these for sale here would be in direct violation of Forum rules.

    Plus, the logistics of selling and shipping windshields would be a pain. Fast Freddie use to sell a Lexan version that was flat and easier to ship. Iím pretty sure he stopped selling due to the complications.

    There was a one time group buy set up on one of the Factory Five Facebook pages but that was for local pick up only.
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    Member FritoBandito's Avatar
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    David it's my daughter who did it for me originally. This is just another cobra part she has helped me with and through her I've arranged to help a few friends as well. There's no company behind this to become a vendor. Besides, people complain about FF windshield price. These cost more.

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    Did anyone having issues with the windshield cracking have to retap the holes for the visors?
    These holes should have been tapped after the chrome process was done and before the windshield was installed. FFR shrugged it off when I asked about this and said I would need to purchase another windshield as mine cracked on the last hole I had to retap. Also doesn’t seem like the glass is cut properly to fit in the channel. The glass was up in the channel behind the hole so as soon as the tap touched it, it cracked.

  37. #32
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GroundPounderSATX View Post
    Did anyone having issues with the windshield cracking have to retap the holes for the visors?
    These holes should have been tapped after the chrome process was done and before the windshield was installed. FFR shrugged it off when I asked about this and said I would need to purchase another windshield as mine cracked on the last hole I had to retap. Also doesn’t seem like the glass is cut properly to fit in the channel. The glass was up in the channel behind the hole so as soon as the tap touched it, it cracked.
    Unfortunately, that's an all too common failure mode. You're right. The glass is right behind the holes and gasket for the visors. Not a matter of being cut properly. The design puts the glass right there. Touch the glass with a tap or too long screws, and... well you know what happens. But in my experience, it's not necessary re-tap the threads. The problem is the FF visors come with 6-32 flat head mounting screws, but the threads in the windshield aren’t 6-32. At least the ones I’ve done. They’re M3 metric threads. I've found M3 x 0.5 mm go in perfectly. They need to be the exact right length and not any further than just inside the frame. My local Ace had some M3 x 6mm long SS screws. But I found a better choice at McMaster. 90258A173 are 5mm long and a nicer looking oval head. Using a pin gauge, I measure each hole and take a little off the end of each screw so they go in only as far as necessary. Install with a little blue Loctite. The other thing some do is not use those holes but mount the visors off the channel along the top of the windshield.
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    Senior Member CDXXVII's Avatar
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    Absolutely correct about the M3 screws. I am really surprised that there has not been a correction with the screws shipped with the visor from Factory Five.
    This has been an issue for a very long time. Luckily we picked up on it while Mario and I were building our Mk4's. Every time I hear the suggestion to take a tap to it I cringe.

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardb View Post
    Unfortunately, that's an all too common failure mode. You're right. The glass is right behind the holes and gasket for the visors. Not a matter of being cut properly. The design puts the glass right there. Touch the glass with a tap or too long screws, and... well you know what happens. But in my experience, it's not necessary re-tap the threads. The problem is the FF visors come with 6-32 flat head mounting screws, but the threads in the windshield arenít 6-32. At least the ones Iíve done. Theyíre M3 metric threads. I've found M3 x 0.5 mm go in perfectly. They need to be the exact right length and not any further than just inside the frame. My local Ace had some M3 x 6mm long SS screws. But I found a better choice at McMaster. 90258A173 are 5mm long and a nicer looking oval head. Using a pin gauge, I measure each hole and take a little off the end of each screw so they go in only as far as necessary. Install with a little blue Loctite. The other thing some do is not use those holes but mount the visors off the channel along the top of the windshield.
    F5R #7841: Anniversary Edition MK4, Ford Racing 427, Edelbrock EFI, Gas-N Pipes, Stainless Headers, TKO600, 3.31 Moser 3-Link, 17" Halibrands

  40. #34
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    My visors, purchased with my kit in Feb '17, came with 3mm screws measured with a caliper at .118". #6's are .13. I did try to screw one in for kicks, and it threaded right in. Didnt use them of course, went for the square nut method. But yeah, it came with 3mm screws.
    ---Boyd---
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  41. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa View Post
    Bradley,

    Is this the same as what you bought?

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/TUFFAK-4...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
    LEXAN is a Brand Name. It is a Polycarbonate product. A second product we used was ToughX, it was a competitor of Lexan but lower in price. You can heat it and bend it. This is the most durable product used in Sign Manufacturing (for a formed type face). I am 99% BS on the Screws Breaking the Glass. If you read back in the 2000's the FFR windshields Did Not Crack Like The New Ones. Just as the OP said, "Went to Bed... "! I've built 3 FFR's with #2335 being the first. Neither of the early FFR's windshield just Cracked. I am sure it's a problem with the manufacturing of the Safety Glass. #7787 went about a year, got up one morning and "Ah ****... A Crack" (there Were No DAMN Screws in the area of the Crack and No Damage Period and it Was Not Twisted or bend when installed). I ordered a replacement from FFR. As many of you know, it's a Bitsh to install the New Glass in the old frame. After I had the New Glass mounted and back on the car, I cleaned mine and WTH? The New FFR Glass has crap on the insides of the glass where it was not cleaned properly before it was sandwiched into Safety Glass. I contacted FFR and they said "Send It Back"! I Said "HELL NO", it's on the car and I will Not Remove it to send it back. When #2 Breaks I'm going to Polycarbonate. This windshield Crap is for the Birds. As they say, "If you own a later FFR... Get Ready Because It Will Crack at some point"! I made a pattern before I installed the replacement FFR glass. If you do not want to pay Shipping, look locally for a Sign Supply Company or just call a local Sign Company and talk to someone. They buy the Poly stuff in bulk and just might have a cut-off piece large enough.

    (After I replaced mine; Talking to my Brother In Law who is my State Farm Agent he said "You Know You Have 100% Glass Coverage"? I said yes but I wouldn't trust a Glass Company to install a new windshield on my car.)

  42. #36
    Senior Member rich grsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCathcart View Post
    LEXAN is a Brand Name. It is a Polycarbonate product. A second product we used was ToughX, it was a competitor of Lexan but lower in price. You can heat it and bend it. This is the most durable product used in Sign Manufacturing (for a formed type face). I am 99% BS on the Screws Breaking the Glass. If you read back in the 2000's the FFR windshields Did Not Crack Like The New Ones. Just as the OP said, "Went to Bed... "! I've built 3 FFR's with #2335 being the first. Neither of the early FFR's windshield just Cracked. I am sure it's a problem with the manufacturing of the Safety Glass. #7787 went about a year, got up one morning and "Ah ****... A Crack" (there Were No DAMN Screws in the area of the Crack and No Damage Period and it Was Not Twisted or bend when installed). I ordered a replacement from FFR. As many of you know, it's a Bitsh to install the New Glass in the old frame. After I had the New Glass mounted and back on the car, I cleaned mine and WTH? The New FFR Glass has crap on the insides of the glass where it was not cleaned properly before it was sandwiched into Safety Glass. I contacted FFR and they said "Send It Back"! I Said "HELL NO", it's on the car and I will Not Remove it to send it back. When #2 Breaks I'm going to Polycarbonate. This windshield Crap is for the Birds. As they say, "If you own a later FFR... Get Ready Because It Will Crack at some point"! I made a pattern before I installed the replacement FFR glass. If you do not want to pay Shipping, look locally for a Sign Supply Company or just call a local Sign Company and talk to someone. They buy the Poly stuff in bulk and just might have a cut-off piece large enough.

    (After I replaced mine; Talking to my Brother In Law who is my State Farm Agent he said "You Know You Have 100% Glass Coverage"? I said yes but I wouldn't trust a Glass Company to install a new windshield on my car.)
    You are correct, the side screws have NOTHING to do with cracked windshields. I believe FFR ordered a bunch of windshields at the 'best price' they could find, unfortunately they where of poor quality. I wish I could believe that all the bad ones are long gone, and all the new ones are better, we'll see I guess. Oh, mine cracked overnight setting in the garage too.

  43. #37
    Senior Member GTBradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardb View Post
    Unfortunately, that's an all too common failure mode. You're right. The glass is right behind the holes and gasket for the visors. Not a matter of being cut properly. The design puts the glass right there. Touch the glass with a tap or too long screws, and... well you know what happens. But in my experience, it's not necessary re-tap the threads. The problem is the FF visors come with 6-32 flat head mounting screws, but the threads in the windshield aren’t 6-32. At least the ones I’ve done. They’re M3 metric threads. I've found M3 x 0.5 mm go in perfectly. They need to be the exact right length and not any further than just inside the frame. My local Ace had some M3 x 6mm long SS screws. But I found a better choice at McMaster. 90258A173 are 5mm long and a nicer looking oval head. Using a pin gauge, I measure each hole and take a little off the end of each screw so they go in only as far as necessary. Install with a little blue Loctite. The other thing some do is not use those holes but mount the visors off the channel along the top of the windshield.
    I've had fantastic luck with FFR on this build and I've only called them twice beyond my initial POL list issues - once to get technical assistance and once for a missing part. I am very satisfied overall with their product. With that said, I'd like to say I am very disappointed in FFR's treatment of the windscreen. I did break my own glass, but I was trying to fix a problem FFR created with the threading for the visor screws. The first visor installed with no issues using their screws. The right side would not allow me to thread the screws, so I tried to clean out the thread with a tap tool. I should have used a bottoming tap as it was the tip of the tap that did the damage. What I don't get is this an ongoing problem and does not seem to be getting the attention it deserves at FFR. Metric threads and SAE screws? Screws that are too long and known to contact the glass? Bad threading in a frame around a windshield that is known to be vulnerable to cracks? Windscreens that crack overnight in the garage? $700 to replace? Whatever the cause, the real issue is one of quality and it should be addressed immediately by FFR. I may be overly sensitive about this subject, but my job has me dealing with QA/QC at Boeing every day. Thanks Paul for the technical direction on these issues, but we need more support from the FFR on this one.
    Last edited by GTBradley; 10-09-2019 at 09:51 AM.
    MK IV Coyote Roadster
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  44. #38
    Senior Member karlos's Avatar
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    I think many of us feel the same frustration. And consistent with the view expressed above, I’d like to just give up on glass and cure the problem once and for all by switching to polycarbonate. Problem is, there are limited sources for a drop-in replacement. As reported in this (and other) threads, one of the popular suppliers of replacement polycarbonate windshields recently decided to stop selling them, further limiting the available options. Said supplier is now agreeable to once again providing their product if a small number of interested parties can be arranged up front. I tried to post info to that effect a few days ago but the post was deleted. I understand the reasons why and I’m not grousing about that, but the net effect is an additional restriction of the options available to fix this long-standing problem and more frustration for the end user. At least allow us to help ourselves!
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  45. #39
    Senior Member GTBradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karlos View Post
    I think many of us feel the same frustration. And consistent with the view expressed above, I’d like to just give up on glass and cure the problem once and for all by switching to polycarbonate. Problem is, there are limited sources for a drop-in replacement. As reported in this (and other) threads, one of the popular suppliers of replacement polycarbonate windshields recently decided to stop selling them, further limiting the available options. Said supplier is now agreeable to once again providing their product if a small number of interested parties can be arranged up front. I tried to post info to that effect a few days ago but the post was deleted. I understand the reasons why and I’m not grousing about that, but the net effect is an additional restriction of the options available to fix this long-standing problem and more frustration for the end user. At least allow us to help ourselves!
    Well said.

    Hey Carlos, I see you are practically next door, if you're interested in seeing the end result of cutting my own windscreen drop me a PM. I can give you the name of the local company that carries the Polycarbonate sheet too.

    One concern I still have with the plastic is if I move out of state and have to get re-inspected. They are going to want that DOT label in the corner and that means buying another glass windscreen...
    Last edited by GTBradley; 10-09-2019 at 10:47 AM.
    MK IV Coyote Roadster
    "Life ought to be a struggle of desire toward adventures whose nobility will fertilize the soul."
    Rebecca West
    Build thread: https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...TKO600-and-IRS

  46. #40
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    I posted this link for a source in another broken windshield thread awhile ago: http://www.racingshields.com/custom_..._vehicles.html

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