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  #1  
Old 12-13-2006, 03:17 PM
William Courant William Courant is offline
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Windshield replacement

Well I guess it had to happen My 03 Cooper has developed the famous Mini windshield crack. You know, the one that mysteriously appears, usually near the lower right hand corner, then gradually works its way around to wherever it decides to end up.

So has anyone had a windshield replaced in the East Bay other than at the dealer. If so, who would you recommend? I'd rather go after market then with dealer OEM considering the number of problems the factory units have had. Cracks, pitting, etc.

Thanks for any input
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:38 PM
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Get ahold of SFJames (James and Helen) He got his replaced in SF for $195 I think. The place has done a few Minis and the trim stays on after.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:07 PM
SandBagger SandBagger is offline
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I just had one replaced with a PPG windscreen using Dons Mobile Glass
www.donsmobileglass.com
Same price range as above ~$300 . They've done lots of MINI's and did a great job.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:11 PM
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Safelite just did mine a few weeks ago for $280ish. They came to my house and did great work.
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:37 PM
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William, I think whether you have rain sensing wipers may make a difference in cost and availability. I recall another thread about a limited ability to use aftermarket glass, specifically PPG as I recall, if you had rain sensing wipers. However, I'm no expert on this and am sure someone else will confirm or debunk my understanding.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:24 PM
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If you have rain-sensing wipers, you CAN have PPG installed (I learned this the day after I had OEM replacement glass put in...grr...). But you have to get a replacement sensor (the one in the upper center of the windshield) and keep the cover off your old one. Someone just used a BMW sensor and said it worked fine. But the PPG glass won't have the blacked-out area for the sensor like the OEM glass does. So it's a matter of aesthetic - if you can stand it, go for it. If I could do it over again, I would.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:44 PM
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Hmm. All this talk about PPG windshields had me wondering what my Mini has in it (bought it used not too long ago). It says PPG on it, so that's a sign of it being replaced, right?

All the other windows say MINI on it, w/ the wings emblem...
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Old 12-14-2006, 08:40 AM
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Probably yours has been replaced.
Do a search on "cracked windshield" and
you'll see some people are on their 5th windshield or more.
I'm only on my 2nd. at 13k miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKIndiMini View Post
Hmm. All this talk about PPG windshields had me wondering what my Mini has in it (bought it used not too long ago). It says PPG on it, so that's a sign of it being replaced, right?

All the other windows say MINI on it, w/ the wings emblem...
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:52 PM
William Courant William Courant is offline
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Thanks for all the referrals guys.

Trico, thanks for the heads up regarding ppg. I don't have rain sensing wipers thank goodness. Just another thing to go wrong I'm beginning to think these cars are like race horses, to highly strung for their own good!!!!

On a related subject. Does anyone know what causes this? Would a front stabiliser bar between the shock towers prevent this? Or make it worse?
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2006, 05:46 PM
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If you're still under warranty and it's truly a stress crack, they'll replace it for you.

But if not, definitely go for the PPG; it's supposed to be much more durable.
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:39 PM
DrkSlvrS DrkSlvrS is offline
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I had Safelite come to my office and replace my windshield last year. Scared me to death when I saw him ripping away the weatherstriping and the outside 'A' pillar plastic... but they put it all back together and, except for some foam that MINI stuck under the dash that now shows, I don't have a problem with their work.

Tim
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2006, 06:44 PM
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Well hopefully you won't have any A-pillar pieces flying off your Mini when you're on the freeway sometime. Happened to me, which is what made me look closer at my windshield to see if it was ever replaced...





Quote:
Originally Posted by DrkSlvrS View Post
I had Safelite come to my office and replace my windshield last year. Scared me to death when I saw him ripping away the weatherstriping and the outside 'A' pillar plastic... but they put it all back together and, except for some foam that MINI stuck under the dash that now shows, I don't have a problem with their work.

Tim
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2006, 10:32 PM
DrkSlvrS DrkSlvrS is offline
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Well, since that was last year - or about 25,000 miles ago - I don't think they'll be flying off.
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:05 AM
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post-PPG windshield questions...

For those who replaced with PPG glass, was there any distortion around the edges of your windshied? I noticed on the lower edge, clarity is distorted. Running my hands on the outside, I can feel bumps especially around the top 5" that I know my old OEM glass didn't have.

Also, after you had it replaced, do you find yourself using the wipers more even for light rain that isn't repelled/beading quickly enough?
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:45 PM
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The Lowdown on Windshield Replacement (LONG!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by aminicooper View Post
post-PPG windshield questions...

For those who replaced with PPG glass, was there any distortion around the edges of your windshied? I noticed on the lower edge, clarity is distorted. Running my hands on the outside, I can feel bumps especially around the top 5" that I know my old OEM glass didn't have.

Also, after you had it replaced, do you find yourself using the wipers more even for light rain that isn't repelled/beading quickly enough?
Regarding the OEM glass Vs. Aftermarket glass:

Although the early OEM windshields were eventually found to not be thick enough, these early windshields were eventually phased-out to a new design with thicker glass, that unlike many different kinds of aftermarket windshields out there that I've see, actually fit properly, at least when installed by MINI factory-trained installers.

I have also seen that with Aftermarket windshields, when installed by Aftermarket installers, that after developing water leaks over time or immediately after installation, that they will then cause the clear plastic laminate, that the inner and outer glass windshield layers sandwich, to become "opaque and milky", especially at the upper corners of the windshield.

Like someone has previously said, Aftermarket Windshields that have Rainsensors, in addition to looking different than the Factory Rainsensor glass, may also not work properly!

If your MINI is under warranty, and your have problems with any feature which utilizes the Rainsensor, and the problem is traced to either the fact that it is not an OEM Rainsensor windshield, or there has been damage caused by the Aftermarket installer, this would not be covered under the MINI Manufacturer's Warranty!

I want to stress that, contrary to popular thought, chips and cracks to windshields are NOT something that is prone to happening only on MINIs!

Due to the poor conditions of so many of our roads, freeways, highways, the multitude of un-covered loads on trucks, and the fact that Cal-Trans doesn't send street-sweepers through the shoulders and lanes of our highways and freeways enough, windshields of ALL makes and models of vehicles and trucks are suffering from a high number of chips and cracks.

Don't believe me? Take a walk through a few public or private parking lots, and I guarantee that you will find many different brands and types vehicles and trucks, with chipped/cracked/split windshields.

In regards to the Windshield Replacement Procedure on MINIs:

I have also seen many, many issues relating to non MINI factory-certified windshield replacement, and also many unfortunate problems when OEM glass has been installed by non-MINI factory certified installers (i.e. Safelite, Lynx Services, any glass shop or mobile installer, etc.)

What is important is that not only the glass itself (along with new mouldings, the repair kit, new exterior a-pillars & new foam insulation pieces) be OEM, but that the windshield itself should also be installed by MINI-Certified, factory-trained installers.

Many dealerships don't even have factory-trained installers; I have a client that lives in Las Vegas, and he travels far to have my technicians replace his windshield, because his local MINI Dealership told him that they would sublet his windshield replacement out to Safelite.

I have seen the worst results of OEM and non-OEM windshields, follwing their installation by outside facilities:
  • The painted sheetmetal frame to which the windshield itself is glued-to has been scraped and cut during removal of the old windshield, causing corrosion and rust of this area of the chassis that is not able to be replaced by a body shop, and can result in the vehicle being a total-loss
  • Either an excess of old glue is still adhered to the sheetmetal frame to which the windshield is glued-to, and/or excess glue is used by the installer on the new windshield, which can cover-up the VIN plate and/or cause the windshield to not fit closely to the body, causing the exterior A-pillar covers to not fit properly (and cause excessive wind noise) and/or come flying off, but also possibly allowing both the upper and lower windshield mouldings to either not fit properly and/or come flying-off.
  • Water leaks caused by poor sealing of the windshield, which can not only cause rust damage to the bodyshell, but also corrode very expensive electronics, including but not limited to the Main Body Computer, the IHKA (heating/A.C. controls), and the KOMBI (instrument/cluster), but also damage to the Body Wiring Harness, which to repair will cause the vehicle to be a likely total-loss, as replacing the Body Wiring Harness (which is an entire harness, not a component harness) would usually cost more to replace than even buying a new, fully-loaded MINI Cooper S!
  • I have seen vehicles that were involved in perpendicular impacts ("T-Bone"), where aftermarket-installed windshields have actually popped-off of the vehicle.
  • I have seen on a vehicle, where the client was complaining of a dash/cowl rattle, where the aftermarket-installed windshield was actually literally just sitting-there on the opening for the windshield. I pressed lightly against the inside of the windshield surface, and it almost flopped-down onto the bonnet!
  • I have seen many vehicles that originally had Rainsensors, where the aftermarket windshield installer simply installed (whether OEM or aftermarket) a regular, non-rainsensor windshield, tried to cut-off the rainsensor from the old glass, and then tried to attatch the mangled rainsensor part from the old glass to the section wired to the inside of the car, and the used a variety of rediculous glues to try to get this attached to the inside of the new, non-rainsensor windshield!
  • Some aftermarket installers, after replacing a Rainsensor windshield with a non-rainsensor one, have simply left the in-car section of the rainsensor dangling from by the inside rearview mirror.
  • The glue used by all aftermarket windshield installers is quick-cure urethane, and is not the correct glue for a proper installation.
The undeniable fact is that the cost to have a factory-certified MINI Dealership install a factory-certified windshield is expensive, but there is a way to be properly reimbursed, less your deductible, which can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket expense, while having the work done properly:

This is true, however I have compiled a document which entails much of the aforementioned information and reasons why one should not have their windshield replaced by an outside facility (i.e. anyone other than a MINI Dealership that is MINI Factory-Certified for Windshield Replacement).

When someone asks me for the price to have me replace the windshield on their MINI, I provide them with my estimate, along with the above-mentioned document, and recommend that they send that information to their insurance company's comprehensive claims division (i.e. not to their Glass-Only claims division).

Why not to contact your Insurance Company's Glass-Only Claims Department:

In the State of California, at least, one has the right to have Insurance Repairs performed on their vehicle, at the facility of their choice. That MINI has similar windshield technology (i.e. the windshield is a stressed-member of the vehicle's chassis, and thus its rigidity has been engineered-into the chassis of the vehicle) to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and others is lost on the "Glass-only claims departments" of most, if not all Insurance companies. There are now companies like Safelite Solutions and Lynx Services, which themselves are owned by Insurance companies, and are related to companies like Safelite, who themselves replace windshields, so going through the "Glass-only Claims Route" is the path of greatest resistance, since these people know nothing about the engineering of these very advanced, fun-to-drive little cars we all love.

The Insurance company's comprehensive claims division should then either send the client a check for the complete cost of windshield replacement, less the client's comprehensive deductible, or the Insurance company will reimburse the client for the complete cost of the windshield replacement, less the client's comprehensive deductible, after the client has sent them a copy of the paid invoice for this replacement, after the work has been completed.

A note on Comprehensive Insurance Claims:

Windshield replacement due to it being chipped/cracked/split due to being hit by a rock or other object, is considered a "comprehensive claim", due to fact that the object that hit and then chipped/cracked/split the windshield was airborne at the time of impact, and not caused by impact with either another vehicle, or any object that is either connected to the ground permanently or temporarily (i.e. a lightpost, telephone pole, or a ladder standing upright in the roadway). Comprehensive Insurance claims, unlike Collision claims, will not affect your insurance record or raise your rates, and most people have a lower deductible for Comprehensive coverage than their Collision coverage.

If anyone else has any questions regarding any of the above, please send me a PM or an Email, or simply reply to this post.

David
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Old 02-13-2007, 11:29 AM
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My MCS has PPG glass and I haven't noticed any distortion anywhere on it. Can anyone else with PPG chime in about the glass clarity?

As far as wiper usage is concerned - I bought my MCS used with the PPG already in place...so I have nothing to compare it to. I DO wish that these cars had variable speed intermittent wipers though. The rain around here is usually too hard for the fixed intermittent setting, but not hard enough to warrant using the low setting...


Quote:
Originally Posted by aminicooper View Post
post-PPG windshield questions...

For those who replaced with PPG glass, was there any distortion around the edges of your windshied? I noticed on the lower edge, clarity is distorted. Running my hands on the outside, I can feel bumps especially around the top 5" that I know my old OEM glass didn't have.

Also, after you had it replaced, do you find yourself using the wipers more even for light rain that isn't repelled/beading quickly enough?
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:53 PM
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For those who provided prices (200-300 bucks), did this include the windshield and labor? I would think so, but want to make sure...

I have a windshield that I want to source, and I'm curious to know what labor would be. If anyone knows, or remembers approximately what the itemization was, please share. Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:18 PM
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I bought a windshield ( rain sensor) from Concord for $235. I had John's European install it for $150. Factory glass. Factory trained techs. Norcal Minis discount on glass and install. East Bay Mini wanted $360 for the glass, $900 installed.
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:24 PM
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Larry, thanks for the follow-up info! Much appreciated.
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Weight ('03 IB MCS): 2,362 lbs (corner-balanced, 1/4 tank gas)
WHP: 223 @ 7,300 RPM on 13.5 psi (Mustang Dyno, ABF Performance)
Front: -2.2 deg camber, 0 toe, 350# (linear) PSS9's, CE28N's, Conti Ext Contact DW, 205/50-16, 36 psi (no sway bar)
Rear: -1.6 deg camber, .06 toe in, 340# (linear) PSS9's, CE28N's, Conti Ext Contact DW, 205/50-16, 38 psi
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:16 PM
SandBagger SandBagger is offline
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The price included PPG glass installed. It's ~10k miles later
many autoX's and 4 track days. The glass is still perfect.
The tech from Don's said that most dealers order the OEM
glass and then call in someone like them to do the install
then double the cost to the customer. I watched the guy
(and helped a little) when the glass went in. I wanted
to be sure no clips were snapped or anything like that. It
went without a hitch. - it's not a highly technical install ...
but if you like to pay your dealer big $$....
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:28 PM
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Thanks SandBagger!

Is the PPG better becuase it is thicker? I don't think I ever heard as to what makes it less likely to form a crack... And if it is thicker, it is also heavier, but I'm guessing not much... Thanks again for sharing.
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Old 04-12-2007, 11:22 PM
SandBagger SandBagger is offline
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I didn't verify it myself but I read in one of these
"cracked window" threads that PPG is
approx. 1 mm thicker and better quality glass than OEM.
- Maybe MINI has fixed this problem by now? , I hope so.
I imagine it must be a little heaver if the above is true.
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Old 04-12-2007, 11:32 PM
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I've been contemplating (off and on) a Lexan windshied. Having worked with acrylic and plexiglass at my cousin's sign biz during a couple of summers (long time ago!), this stuff will not crack. It can scratch fairly easy though. It is clearer, stronger, and about 1/2 the weight.

These guys have MINI windshields and windows:

http://www.racingshields.com/index_files/home.htm

I might just get glass though... Thanks again.
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Front: -2.2 deg camber, 0 toe, 350# (linear) PSS9's, CE28N's, Conti Ext Contact DW, 205/50-16, 36 psi (no sway bar)
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:56 PM
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I smell dealer scare tactic...

I'm having Don's Mobile Glass replace my cracked and heavily pitted windshield with PPG glass.
I informed then about the MINIs little nuance of the 'A' pillar covers flying off and was told they offer a "lifetime warranty on the install".. so if the plastic pillar covers blow off, it will be covered under their "lifetime warranty".

Oh yea, my last windshield was replaced by a MINI dealer.
The 'A' pillar plastic covers (both sides) blew off on the freeway.
Of course it was warrantied by the dealer who replace them - they also left two (gorilla elbow size) dents on top of my roof! I'm not impressed with dealer installs, repairs and repairing their repairs over and over.
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyB View Post
I've been contemplating (off and on) a Lexan windshied. Having worked with acrylic and plexiglass at my cousin's sign biz during a couple of summers (long time ago!), this stuff will not crack. It can scratch fairly easy though. It is clearer, stronger, and about 1/2 the weight.

These guys have MINI windshields and windows:

http://www.racingshields.com/index_files/home.htm

I might just get glass though... Thanks again.
so what did you decide?...Lexan? If so, how do you like it thus far? How does it compare in cost?
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