Side Glass Info

You can not cut side or rear window glass. It is tempered and will shatter into a thousand pieces. Naturally, I had to prove it by attempting to cut one of the rear quarter windows using the sandblasting method. I knew that scoring would not work but maybe sandblasting would be more gentle. Unfortunately, as I had cut about half way through, the glass shattered.

Shattered Laminated Glass

There was no indication that it would not cut. I guess it reached a critical point and then blamo, it shattered - quite uneventful actually because the window was covered in masking tape to protect it from the sandblasting. Well I guess I've proved that you cannot cut tempered glass no matter how you try.

The windshield is laminated safety glass which is made up of 2 sheets of normal glass with a plastic layer inbetween. This is why you can cut it and also why a rock will chip it without shattering.

You can go to any auto glass shop and give them the dimensions of your side windows (flat glass only). They will cut the glass and then temper it for you. It should cost about $40 per window.

I made some templates out of 1/4" masonite (hardboard) and took them to the local glass shop. It took about 4 weeks (extremely slow!) to make the side glass but ran into an interesting problem with the vent window glass. It was too small for the tempering oven.

Just to back track, the glass is first cut from plate glass to the template supplied. Next, the edges are ground smooth and then the glass is tempered. Tempering is a controlled heating of the glass in an oven.
The vent window glass was smaller than the space between the rollers which feed the tempering oven. They had to send the vent glass pieces to another tempering oven 500 miles away that could do the work!

You can purchase aftermarket side glass sets on ebay for about $300 a set from a number of vendors in green tint, blue tint, smoked and clear. The glass for hardtops and convertibles is different than 2 door sedans, sedan delivery and 4 doors.

2 and 4 door sedan vent door glass - originally tempered but I came across an aftermarket one made with safety glass like the windshield which actually makes a lot of sense.

2 door sedan door glass - both right and left sides are identical. The sharp top corner goes towards the vent window. The rounded top corner goes to the rear.

Quarter window glass

Since I have a chopped roof, the angle on the C pillar is different for the quarter window glass. I tried cutting it using a sandblaster but it shattered. I made a template out of 1/4" hardboard that's 2 1/2" shorter and will get a local glass shop to make a set. I could of taken 1 1/2" to 2" off of the bottom as the window doesn't roll all the way down.

New quarter window glass over original glass

The door glass worked great as stock. Just didn't need to roll it up all the way. Unfortunately, I only had the driver's side. Since I would have to purchase a passenger side, I figured I get all new glass so that all the glass tinting would match. The vent window will have to be made as the A pillar is a different angle and the glass is 3" shorter.

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Copyright December, 2011 Eugene Blanchard