Help with windshield frame hinges

Coyote Ugly

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Joined
Feb 4, 2022
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22
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Washington State
Hello everyone and Happy New Year!

So here's my situation, took a rock to the windshield last month. Glass guy was in the process of replacing the windshield but noticed rust on the frame after removing the gasket around the glass and determined that he wouldn't be able to complete replacement because of the rust. After some looking into I know I could buy a replacement windshield frame and replace it rather than deal with the rust, especially if the rust damage is extensive, which I'm guessing it is, being almost 30 years old.

After some research I've found that the only issue I'm going to have is removing the torx bolts on the hinges. I've read they are a pain in the ass, things like stripped bolts, having to drill, breaking bits, blow torches, ugh. Never really done any of that before, I don't even know if I have all the right tools for that kind of work. Was really hoping it'd be easy screw and unscrew situation with a torx bit.

So my question to y'all is anyone have any advice on how to make this as painless as possible. Hell, if you are local would you be willing to help a brother out if you have a tried and true method (I live in Everett, Washington)?

Thanks in advance.
 
What I did was use a small bottle of mapp gas and heat the bolts up. Let them cool. Do it again. The extreme cycling of temps helps 'shock' the rust in a way it can actually crack. Then, I started using my battery impact on it. Just a small burst. Keep shocking it. May have to keep repeating the process. Heat, cool, impact, mix it up, etc. All of mine came out.

The bright side:
You're replacing the frame anyway, right?
If all else fails, or you don't have the tools, just drill the heads off the windshield side of the hinges and remove the frame. Get some new bolts when you install the new frame.
I like the yellow/bronze colored Milwaukee cobalt bits from Home Depot for heavy drilling in metal. Buy a simple set as it'll be the same as about 3-4 bits.

Don't overthink it ;)
 
Same for me but I spray some penetrating oil on the bolt when it's hot and let it soak in. Make sure the bolt isn't painted over, that just makes it more difficult to remove. I was given one of these hand held impact wrenches about 40 years ago and it still comes in very useful

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All great advice. Ugh and I probably am overthinking this. Thanks for the replies! Impact wrench, PB Blaster, Mapp Gas.
So second inquiry, are any of the bolts on the windshield frame hinge held on by a nut on the inside of the frame that tends to turn with the bolt?
 
All great advice. Ugh and I probably am overthinking this. Thanks for the replies! Impact wrench, PB Blaster, Mapp Gas.
So second inquiry, are any of the bolts on the windshield frame hinge held on by a nut on the inside of the frame that tends to turn with the bolt?
Negative. There is a flat plate that is threaded for the bolts and allows for proper alignment.
Nothing to deal with like the lower side of the hinges.
Thus, why I stated worst case, just drill the heads off and be done. (y)
 
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Again, thanks all. Now I have a shopping list to work with:
-Impact Wrench
-PB Blaster
-Mapp Gas
-Anti-Seize
-Patience :rolleyes:

@Pman, when you say "carefully placed heat", please specify. Wouldn't it be as simple as direct heat to the individual bolts or is there a better or more efficient spot, and usually how long do you guys heat the bolts.
 
For me, I heated the bolts directly. Not really a way to heat the block inside the frame. Now, the heat can scorch paint pretty easily, so the hinges may need some touch up. I kinda held the heat on each bolt for just a couple seconds, and repeated. Very long will start to blister the paint, so try to be careful with the hinges if you want to avoid touch up work.
 
For me, I heated the bolts directly. Not really a way to heat the block inside the frame. Now, the heat can scorch paint pretty easily, so the hinges may need some touch up. I kinda held the heat on each bolt for just a couple seconds, and repeated. Very long will start to blister the paint, so try to be careful with the hinges if you want to avoid touch up work.
No offense intended, but if just a couple seconds at a time does any good it couldn’t have been all that stuck. I have used a oxy acetylene torch with a gas welding tip to heat mine to get loose. And yes, burned all the paint off everything around it. Usually had to heat 3 times and use PB Blaster. The impact in between each heating. Never broke one.
 
Again, thanks all. Now I have a shopping list to work with:
-Impact Wrench
-PB Blaster
-Mapp Gas
-Anti-Seize
-Patience :rolleyes:

@Pman, when you say "carefully placed heat", please specify. Wouldn't it be as simple as direct heat to the individual bolts or is there a better or more efficient spot, and usually how long do you guys heat the bolts.
It's a fine line between not enough and too much heat. You don't want to bubble the paint but you want enough heat to do some good. Hold the propane torch at a distance and move closer. Watch what happens to the paint. Is it becoming dull? Smoking? You will find a sweet spot that won't damage the paint. Be patient most of all!!!
 
I used a Mini Torch from harbor freight, They use the same gas refill bottle as a cigarette lighter, BTW , I found the Blue Locktite on my threads
 
I have removed a few windshields on my own YJ's and at the junkyard. I will take a pick or sharp tool and dig out the torx head. Scrape out the paint and any dirt that is in there, to allow the bit the maximum depth and grip on it. I'll typically use a long ratchet and break them loose by hand and then an electric ratchet to spin them out the rest of the way if need be. Patience is the key and making sure you have your wrench squarely on the head of the torx bolt. So far, It's worked for me every time.
 
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Hey y’all. Been kinda taking it slow, in reality procrastinating and dragging my heels, but slow and steady wins the race right? So here’s an update on my progress. So Not long after my last post I picked up a can of PB Blaster and started soaking the bolts on the hinges and windshield braces (roll bar and dash). Did this a lot and just let it sit and soak for weeks (again, procrastination). Then just the other day picked up an impact driver. Tried it on the hinges and I’ll be goddamned, the bolts spun! All 8 on the windshield frame broke loose just like that! To be honest, never used one before but gotta tell ya, I love this tool! Used on the the braces and same….all except one bolt. There’s always one that refuses to cooperate. A single bolt on the drivers side roll bar. But other than that everything else is loose and ready. So now I’m just soaking that one bolt, shocking it with the driver now and again so we’ll see before I research and take next steps.
Once that’s done here’re my next steps:
-Removing the wipers and wiper motor
-Removing the VIN plate
-Removing the windshield frame
-Order and install new windshield frame
-Reinstalling the VIN plate, wipers and motor correctly
-Calling Safelite to install a new windshield

Oddly enough, my biggest concern were those hinge bolts so hopefully once I am able to get that last bolt out everything else will be relatively “easy”.
Again, thanks for all the advice, but if y’all have more I could always use it.

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And from some online research it’s looking like I might need a new tool for this last bolt, an impact screwdriver. So I guess until I get one I’ll just keep spraying/soaking it with PB Blaster. More udates, though far and between, to come.
 
And from some online research it’s looking like I might need a new tool for this last bolt, an impact screwdriver. So I guess until I get one I’ll just keep spraying/soaking it with PB Blaster. More udates, though far and between, to come.
I used a 1/4" drive impact with the appropriate star bits on the roll bar connections. They should come out easy. If nothing else, drilling out that one bolt is a non issue since you're replacing the frame.

Glad to see it's working out well for you.
 
well the frame is going to hit the metal recycle center, so is 100% expendable !
just drill the head off, I have 90deg, drill bit adapter that can do that.
so far you were lucky most came off easy.
I used smallest impact air gun they make and mine came off. (as you said slow ,easy take your time wins, and does. )
use top quality torx bits only,
getting paint off the heads so Pen; Oil can get inside, and heat it and spray and let it cool and then Pen.. oil sucks into where you want.
I only have done tail gate hinges, and working of bravery to get new wind shield door hinges, even SST.
The counter sunk screw heads are a pain.
good luck to you.
and remove that fabric from the frame first. to gain access.
for the drill out. mine were 5/16" bolts. so use drill the root size of the screw which is. size "F" drill, or 0.2570"
a 1/4" drill bit works here. 0.25
this tool can be a life saver , owned your whole life. ( like working under dash?) hummmmm
90degr.jpg
 
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Hey y’all. Been kinda taking it slow, in reality procrastinating and dragging my heels, but slow and steady wins the race right? So here’s an update on my progress. So Not long after my last post I picked up a can of PB Blaster and started soaking the bolts on the hinges and windshield braces (roll bar and dash). Did this a lot and just let it sit and soak for weeks (again, procrastination). Then just the other day picked up an impact driver. Tried it on the hinges and I’ll be goddamned, the bolts spun! All 8 on the windshield frame broke loose just like that! To be honest, never used one before but gotta tell ya, I love this tool! Used on the the braces and same….all except one bolt. There’s always one that refuses to cooperate. A single bolt on the drivers side roll bar. But other than that everything else is loose and ready. So now I’m just soaking that one bolt, shocking it with the driver now and again so we’ll see before I research and take next steps.
Once that’s done here’re my next steps:
-Removing the wipers and wiper motor
-Removing the VIN plate
-Removing the windshield frame
-Order and install new windshield frame
-Reinstalling the VIN plate, wipers and motor correctly
-Calling Safelite to install a new windshield

Oddly enough, my biggest concern were those hinge bolts so hopefully once I am able to get that last bolt out everything else will be relatively “easy”.
Again, thanks for all the advice, but if y’all have more I could always use it.

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View attachment 122529

View attachment 122530
So will you also be replacing the windshield/body foam gasket between the hinges? Mine is dry rotted and I'm seeing various reviews about some not fitting. Anyone with recommendations?
 
So will you also be replacing the windshield/body foam gasket between the hinges? Mine is dry rotted and I'm seeing various reviews about some not fitting. Anyone with recommendations?
I bought mine from Quadratec. Can't remember the brand. Just got one with good reviews. Fit fine. Have to pull the windshield to the roll bar with long bolts, then switch to short bolts. Be careful to not run the long bolts through the windshield frame. Just use them to pull the frame close enough to start the shorter bolts.
 
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