Windshield Rust Repair

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Courtesy of Peter Florance

It's not uncommon for east coast and midwest BMW E12's to show a little bit of rust peeking out of the corner of the windshield gasket. Like most body rust problems, what is seen is just the 'tip of the iceberg' so to speak. After pulling my cracked windshield, I was faced with a hole I could have thrown a cat through. Not good.

Here's a not-quite-complete writeup of what I did to repair the hole

Brian McConnaughy was very generous in his advice and support during this project.


Here's what the rust looked like after the windshield was pulled. Note most of this was not visible with the windshield and gasket in place.
Click on images for larger version.

Here's the same rust spot, sandblasted and treated with Rass o Nil. Note you must sandblast and treat to keep rust from coming back

A donor patch (see below) was laid on top of the hole and traced with marker.

I wasn't able to get a complete patch (highly recommended). This piece was from a vertical section above the corner. Any patch should fit this well or better for easy welding.
What you can't see is thing sheet metal I plug welded behind the holes of the body. This supported the patch and made the reapair stronger than just the butt-weld itself.

Here the patch has been welded in and ground flat. 36 grit flap discs work great for this.

Here some metal has been welded in. Chopped fiber glass filler has been used to skim over the vertical patch and sanded with 80 grit.
Note the old windshield, used as distance gauge, is supported by old pieces of gasket.

Here the entire patch area has been re-skimmed with the filler. I used Evercoat Ever-Glass which I really liked.
It was easier shape with a sanding board made from a wooden paint stick.



The patch was skimmed with Evercoat Eurosoft putty, sanded and painted. Here's out it came out.





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