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10 April 2005 @ 10:09 pm
Windshield repairs  

The last few weeks my windshield seems to have been impacted with more than the normal amount of stuff while on the freeway. Some of them were pretty loud and i expected there to be some damage but didn't find anything.

Finally on wednesday i stopped to get gas in the morning and washed the windshield, and while i was doing so i found a ding near the bottom that had spread out into a one cm crack. I figured i should get a ding repair kit and fix it up pretty soon but didn't worry about it too much.

Then on the way to work some piece of gravel or something got kicked up cause there was a loud crack and suddenly there was a largeish spiderweb ding in the center of my windshield. It was kind of oval shaped and maybe two cm across along the long axis. Either something weird happened when it was hit or there were two bits to whatever it was, because there were two "centers" to the ding a small distance apart from each other.

So when i went home in the evening i stopped by the auto store place that's a block or two down the street from my apartment. I found two kinds of ding rapair kits, one type i'd used before but they'd made some improvements to it, and the other was a new kind i hadn't seen before. Since i had multiple things to fix i decided to get one of each.

I got up a little earliar than normal thursday morning. I had been hoping to get to work early but that ended up not happening =P I went out to try fixing the windshield about 7:15. I wanted to make sure the sun was up since the goo needs sunlight to cure. It ended up taking me about 45 minutes to apply the stuff so i could have started a bit earlier if i'd known how long it was going to take =P

The stuff i'd used before is a kind of syringe for injecting the stuff. It used to come with a suction cup which was my one complaint about it. The epoxy stuff tended to get underneath the suction cup and make it slide around which made things slightly difficult. The new version got rid of the suction cump and replaced it with a flat disk of hard plastic and added a round double sided adhesive pad. You stick the pad to the window with the hole in the middle lined up with the ding, then you stick the disk to the pad, then you insert the syringe into the hole in the disk. You then pull out the stopper on the syringe as far as it will go, which sucks air out of the ding, and then let go which causes it to snap back and epoxy to get sucked/shoved into the cracks. Repeat. This is a lot easier to do with a solidly attached pad rather than a suction cup that keeps trying to sslide around when you pull on it. The one disadvantage to this system is that it makes it a lot harder to use it on multiple dings. I had to move it over slightly cause it had filled in one side of the large ding really well but i had to move it over the other epicenter to get the other half.

The other thing was rather strange. It had a plastic center piece with four suction cups attached to it on little legs. You put the center over the ding and then attach the suction cups. Then there's a nozzle part which screws into the center piece and goes directly against the ding. Then you drip some of the epoxy stuff into the nozzle and there's a second piece you screw into the nozzle to create pressure to squeeze the epoxy into the ding/crack. They also gave instructions for fixing longer cracks, which was pretty much drip epoxy onto the crack. They said if the epoxy didn't go all the way into the crack you could press lightly on the inside of the window to push the air out. They also wanred you to be carefully of how hard you pressed because the crack might spread if you were too forcefull. Well guess what i did? =P However the extra inch it spread sucked up the epoxy a lot better than the rest of the crack which i'd tried to repair before, so it wasn't all bad.

I am a little confused why the one with the sticky pad has a huge resouivar of epoxy, more than i can imagine you using on any single ding, and it says it's for one use only. However the one that advertises that you can use it on multiple dings has a little tiny package of epoxy.

But anywats i finished up both dings and the crack and moved my car out into the sun. The one space in the outside parking space that was open and in the sun was the one right next to the out gate, which meant i couldn't pull straight into it. I pulled out of the gate and then started to slowly back up so i could pull into the spot. I was backing towards the gate so i was looking back very carefullynd moving slowly so i didn't hit it. Then, when i was sure i still had about two feet of clearance i heard and felt this loud crunching sound. I thought what the hell and then pulled forward into the parking space.

I got out of the car and found the post in front of the gate (or rather in front of the corner of the gate by the call bax) which i had forgotten about. It was painted bright red, presumably to make sure it was noticeable, however it was also about two feet high which makes it practically impossible to see if you're backing up =P However when i checked the back of my car i couldn't find any damage. The post itself was kind of bent back, and was also rather dinged up. I think i'm probably not the first person to have had problems with it :)

But anyways it was a little after 8 at that point, so i went inside and showered while the epoxy cured and ended up leaving about 8:45 and getting into work at my normal lateish time =P