Today was a big day, Tony and I got the windshield installed and for the first time, it actually looks like a car!
I was worried about this step. I have read lots of stories about people building their cobras and the windshield just cracks on them. Sometimes it happens when they are installing, sometimes after.
Also, to put the windshield together, there are 8 small screws that hold the vertical support onto the windshield. These screw into little brass bars which only contain a couple threads. These are really easy to strip. The other issue is that most of the time the screws are too long, so if you tighten them down, they end up putting pressure on the glass and cracking it.
I did a lot of research about the windshield and how to save it from cracking. Apparently they are made in China and when they cut the glass, they dont do a very good job and leave a horrible chipped edge on the glass. One suggestion I read was to take it all apart, and get a local glass shop to smooth out the edges. This seemed a bit extreme but I took it to a glass shop and discussed it with them. They highly recommended not doing that, saying it runs a bigger chance of breaking just trying to get it out of the chrome frame. I took their advice and left it as is.
We just took our time on the frame screws, following advice from the cobra build school video I watched which showed how best to install and test the depth of the each screw independently.
It took a couple hours, but we got them all in and test fit the frame. It actually lined up pretty good with the body and chassis where it bolts down. This is another pressure point for breaking the glass. If you don’t bolt the frame rails perfectly straight then you can twist the frame putting uneven pressure on it. The last tip was to ensure that the fiberglass body is not touching the frame at all since the body will twist and move but the chassis wont.
To get the angle correct, I had built a 2×4 template that showed exactly what the angle of the windshield should be.
After all that, we got the bolt holes drilled with a progressive drill bit and the whole thing bolted up really smoothly. I am going to loctite the small brass screws, but am going to wait for final body fitment just in case.