How to Install a Windshield on a Freightliner Classicby Deborah McDonald
As with any automobile, your Freightliner Classic tractor trailer is going to require maintenance as it ages. Due to its high profile, your Freightliner Classic will need glass repair less often than a smaller vehicle. On the other hand, it is also more difficult to replace its windshield when it goes bad. It's recommended that if your windshield becomes damaged that you allow a professional to install a new one for you, as improper installation in any vehicle drastically reduces its safety in the event of a collision. Also, failing to get your windshield repaired can net you a hefty fine from the police.
Set a ladder up on each side of your Freightliner Classic's hood to allow access to the windshield.
Take off your Freightliner Classic's windshield wiper arms. The method will vary depending on the year of the vehicle. Consult your owner's manual for details.
Take off the trim from around your windshield. An auto parts store will sell you a trim tool specific to the Freightliner Classic. However, in the absence of one, a flat-head screwdriver will work. With either tool, insert the blade under the trim and force it up, being very careful not to break the tabs underneath that hold the trim to the frame.
Cut away the band of adhesive from around your windshield. You should use a sharp razor or knife for this job, and it's important that you cut it away as evenly as possible.
Insert your crowbar under one of the bottom corners of your windshield. Apply pressure on the crowbar until you pop the windshield out of its frame. From there you will need to work your way around the entire frame, loosening it as you go. Be careful. It is very easy to shatter your Freightliner Classic's old windshield during this step.
Climb the ladder on one side of your Freightliner Classic, and have an assistant climb the other. From here, the two of you will need to lift the loosened windshield out of its frame and carry it to the ground. Be careful. The windshield is very large and heavy and can shatter easier than you would think.
Paint a coat of urethane primer around the groove where the new windshield will fit.
Lay down a band of urethane adhesive over the primer. Without the primer, the adhesive will not bond to the windshield.
Insert the new windshield into the groove. Once again you will have the climb the ladder to reach the windshield groove, and you will definitely need the help of your assistant. Make sure to insert it right side up and that it lays flat and evenly in its grooves.
Replace the trim and the windshield wiper arms.
Things You'll Need
- Freightliner Classic trim tool or flat-head screwdriver
- Two ladders
- Razor knife
- Clean cloths
- Urethane primer
- Urethane adhesive
- New windshield
Deborah McDonald has been a writer since 1982, producing articles specializing in topics ranging from insurance and risk management to art and education. She's been published in numerous publications, including "The Lantern" and on Digg.com.