Molding problems solved
Problem: Scratches to the paint on vehicles equipped with reverse moldings.
“Reverse moldings, or the lack of moldings, on some cars make it harder to cut out the glass without damage,” says Bob Beranek, president of Automotive Glass Consultants in Sun Prairie, Wis. “But with care and skill, it can be done more often than not.” To avoid scratching the paint, tape up the back of your cold knife blade with a piece of duct tape or a Velcro pad, or tape up the wall of the pinchweld, he advises. “Keep the blade sharp and make sure that the vertical leg is seated against the glass edge.”
Problem: Universal wrap-around molding rolls off the corners of the glass.
This problem is typically caused by stretching the molding too much as you’re applying it, says Brad Gross, senior account and product development manager at Creative Extruded Products, Tipp City, Ohio. During the application of the molding to the glass, if an installer uses excessive force, he or she will actually stretch the molding, he explains. “Picture a rubber band,” he says. “If you stretch it across your desk and then cut it, it will snap back to its original length and will be far shorter than you originally intended. The same thing goes for moldings. If you stretch the molding, it’s going to want to snap back from the corner you’re trying to match it to. Or, if the part is physically captured in the vehicle, it will want to roll off the corner of the glass.”
To avoid this, pay attention to how much tension you’re putting on the molding as you apply it; too much and you’re asking for trouble. Also, look for moldings that have length-stabilizers in them, Gross advises. These stabilizers allow you to put a lot of force on the molding without stretching it.
Problem: Universal wrap-around molding detaches from the windshield.
Prime and face-glue the molding directly to the frit side of the windshield prior to setting the windshield in place. “Along with making sure the glass is shoved up in the opening, face-gluing has dramatically reduced the chance of moldings coming loose later on,” says Gene Nichols, safety, technical and fleet manager for Guardian Automotive Products, headquartered in Worthington, Ohio.
“Sometimes, the windshield isn’t pushed up far enough in the cavity or decking area so that too much space is between the backside of the molding and the vertical wall of the pinchweld,” adds Mark Daniels, technical specialist for Gold Glass Group, Bohemia, N.Y. Make sure the glass is pushed up to the vertical wall of the pinchweld and centered properly, he advises. In addition, be sure to use the priming system recommended for the specific molding you’re using.
Problem: I know the type of molding that is appropriate for an installation, but not the brand. What characteristics should I look for?
“Look for a part that is easy to use, that goes on the glass well and that offers an OEM [original equipment manufacturer] appearance,” Gross says. Consider not only how much the molding costs, but how much money you can save by using it. If the molding is difficult to apply or does not offer a clean, wrinkle-free appearance, you may find yourself having to do the job a second time to appease unhappy customers.
Look for moldings that will result in problem-free, attractive jobs, Daniels says. Choose moldings that you can use in all weather conditions. “In colder climates, you don’t want to have to take extra steps to heat the molding in order to get it to lay right,” he says. Similarly, you don’t want to use products that ripple in the heat. “There are several good moldings out there,” he says. “The question is, do the benefits of one outweigh the benefits of others?”