How to Repair a Rusted Windshield Frame

by Robert Russell
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A rusted windshield frame is dangerous because the integrity of the frame is compromised by the rust leading to corrosion and structural damage. The sooner you deal with a rust problem, the easier the job will be. Rust develops gradually, and, the more severe the rust, the more difficult the problem. The major headache in dealing with a rusted windshield frame is the windshield itself. To thoroughly remove all the rust on a windshield frame, it is necessary to remove the rubber seal and the windshield.

Step 1

Determine if you want to remove the windshield yourself or have it professionally removed. Removing it yourself is more cost-effective, but it is a delicate procedure. Removing the windshield is an essential step in dealing with the rust around the window frame. Remove the windshield wiper arms. Pry the rubber seal loose with a pry tool, and pull it free from the windshield. Cut the urethane seal around the perimeter of the windshield with a utility knife. Push the windshield out of the frame, and store it in a safe place.

Step 2

Clean the windshield frame with detergent and warm water.

Step 3

Scrape the loose rust off the frame with a wire brush. Sand the rusted areas on the frame with an oscillating sander. Use 60 to 80-grit sandpaper for heavily rusted areas and 120 grit for less severe rust spots. Continue sanding, until the bare metal is exposed.

Step 4

Wipe the frame with a clean cloth and denatured alcohol to remove all traces of grease and other contaminants.

Step 5

Repair minor holes and damaged areas with Bondo. Apply the Bondo with a putty knife, and allow it to dry and harden for 45 minutes. Sand the repaired area with 120-grit sandpaper, until it is smooth and even.

Step 6

Apply several light coats of automotive self-etching primer to the frame. Hold the nozzle eight inches above the frame as you spray the primer. Allow drying time in between coats.

Step 7

Apply several light coats of rust-inhibiting automotive paint to the windshield frame. Rust inhibiting paint is available at local auto parts stores.

Replace the windshield and rubber gasket on the window frame.

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