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  #1  
Old 08-14-2018, 10:20 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 201
Rear windshield glass availability?

Shop cracked the glass on my W116 790 280SE when replacing the rear windshield seal, which they warned me might happen. What's the availability of rear windshield glass, hopefully with the defroster?
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79 280SE
82 Fiat Spider 2000
81 Fiat Brava
04 BMW R1150RT
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2018, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalpol View Post
Shop cracked the glass on my W116 790 280SE when replacing the rear windshield seal, which they warned me might happen. What's the availability of rear windshield glass, hopefully with the defroster?
I would say very good. The problem would be the cost of shipping.

Put a notice in the 'parts wanted' section. You might also contact a local glass repair shop in your area. They might have a line on cars with a wrecking yard, and then the wrecking yard would do the searching for you.

And I think all US delivery 116 cars came with the defroster. But this is another problem. Is the defroster still working? These can easily be tested, and repaired, before the glass is installed.

Those doing the testing might refer to 'degrees of brilliance' since this seems to be the accepted way of testing a defrost grid. Or they might just talk about Ohms.
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2018, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle View Post
I would say very good. The problem would be the cost of shipping.

Put a notice in the 'parts wanted' section. You might also contact a local glass repair shop in your area. They might have a line on cars with a wrecking yard, and then the wrecking yard would do the searching for you.

And I think all US delivery 116 cars came with the defroster. But this is another problem. Is the defroster still working? These can easily be tested, and repaired, before the glass is installed.

Those doing the testing might refer to 'degrees of brilliance' since this seems to be the accepted way of testing a defrost grid. Or they might just talk about Ohms.
Degrees of brilliance...that's a new one. Ohms and continuity is what I've always heard. It was working except for one or two bad lines.

I'll see what they say. I know there was a 116 in the junkyard at one point, so hopefully they know about it. Frankly I don't see why the glass should crack if care is taken in removal, but they seemed to think it was bound to happen.
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79 280SE
82 Fiat Spider 2000
81 Fiat Brava
04 BMW R1150RT
96 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2018, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalpol View Post
Degrees of brilliance...that's a new one. Ohms and continuity is what I've always heard. It was working except for one or two bad lines.

I'll see what they say. I know there was a 116 in the junkyard at one point, so hopefully they know about it. Frankly I don't see why the glass should crack if care is taken in removal, but they seemed to think it was bound to happen.
This 'degrees of brilliance' was thought up by Chrysler. They were big on these rear windows when everyone else among the US makers was just catching on.

They were standard equipment on almost every German and Japanese car from about 1971 on. But I think this had to do more with the fact that New York state made it mandatory on every car sold there. So since they had to do some they might as well take advantage of economies of scale and do them all.

I remember even Porsche 914's had them as an option. Who, I wondered, would have trouble reaching the rear glass on a 914? But it was the NY law that required Porsche to offer them.

And since the tech specs on this were rather new (in english, anyway) they just reinvented the ways to test them.

It is not a common term today but some of the old guys still use it.
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  #5  
Old 08-15-2018, 12:36 PM
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On the glass cracking....

On German cars of that era almost every front and rear window was held in by rubber channels. Porsche was a early adapter of gluing in front windows as a structural member, but this was just Porsche.

But to remove the glass from rubber that is 40 years old requires removing the chrome trim, which is easy, and then cutting out the rubber, which takes all day.

So many people just try to pull it through the rubber channel holding it in. And it will break almost every time.

But if you show up with a pack of razor blades and a box cutter you can do it. Just be ready to spend a lot of time doing so.

But it's still easier than chipping out the mastic holding in a Porsche windshield.
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  #6  
Old 08-15-2018, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalpol View Post
Frankly I don't see why the glass should crack if care is taken in removal, but they seemed to think it was bound to happen.

MB rear glass is like front glass, it is laminated not tempered. Most side and rear glass world wide is tempered though laminated is starting to be used more frequently for side glass.

Laminated glass consists of a plain outer glass layer , clear rubber type glue then the inner layer. This is done to reduce the chances of an object from penetrating the glass.

When plain glass is made, there are lots of internal stresses built up. At some point an edge chip will turn into a crack. I've seen countless laminated glass crack from no external source even when the glass has been in service for many years. This is why the glass company warned the glass might break.
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  #7  
Old 08-16-2018, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
MB rear glass is like front glass, it is laminated not tempered. Most side and rear glass world wide is tempered though laminated is starting to be used more frequently for side glass.

Laminated glass consists of a plain outer glass layer , clear rubber type glue then the inner layer. This is done to reduce the chances of an object from penetrating the glass.

When plain glass is made, there are lots of internal stresses built up. At some point an edge chip will turn into a crack. I've seen countless laminated glass crack from no external source even when the glass has been in service for many years. This is why the glass company warned the glass might break.
This laminating process is also why you sometimes see bubbles in older auto glass. It is just the glue breaking down.

This might take 60 years, but we all know how long Mercedes last.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2018, 01:59 PM
Daantjie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 93
The 116 glass is probably the hardest of all older Benzes to do right. The rear is even a lot easier than the front, which is a nightmare job. This job is not for the faint of heart, I hope the shop is skilled in the install as well, there are a few tips you need to be aware of.
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2018, 08:30 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Onalaska, WI.
Posts: 221
My 450SLC got whacked by an errant parking-lot jockey while backing out...caught me just behind the Drivers' side door and in front of the wheel well.
Body shop stripped most of the interior, removed the RR quarter panel and in the process, they had to remove the rear window to perform surgery on that RR quarter panel area. (They did an excellent job too).
But, I got the dreaded call...snapped the rear window in half trying to get it back in place.
THEN THE SEARCH BEGAN.
1st: Found one about 140 miles away, got it in, THEY said it was so opaque, they could have used it as a bathroom privacy window.
FINALLY, they went to the MB Classic Center in California.
If I remember correctly, it cost about $1,400.00 (included the shipping/insurance).
The BEST PART?
PROGRESSIVE (the guilty PL Driver's IC) paid the full freight on everything...not a penny came out of my pocket.
NOW, the old RW had a very substantial wiring scheme going on...thick wires...you could see them in the RV Mirror. It was fully functional and you'd notice a dip in the lights when you hit the switch...it pulled juice from every part of the car.
THE NEW ONE?
WAY BETTER PREFORMANCE and light on the energy needed. The wiring was more intricate and a finer gauge...almost invisible from the Driver's perspective when viewing through the RV mirror.
BTW: Final bill on the repair? $4,884.00
(While the car was ripped apart, I had some seats and pieces (plus a few floor pan holes that needed some TLC) replaced/repaired, but I paid for all that had nothing to do with the accident...didn't want to be part of any insurance defrauding crap...made sure they separated everything from the two "jobs" and they were happy to oblige. My costs came to about $1,200.00 or so...can't remember too much of it...getting fuzzy between the ears.)
Anyways...MO is; If you're going to keep the unit for a few years and enjoy the flock out of it, go new. The parts-yards are great for the stuff that's not viewable. But the stuff you and your friends have to see and admire? Spend a little and you'll feel better about your decision in the end.

One final mention on this repair...the accident happened 08 April 2011...didn't get the car back until the beginning of September...forgot the date in September, but I managed to get it on the road more than a few times before the snow flew up here...

Good Luck!
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Last edited by mgburg; 08-24-2018 at 08:48 PM. Reason: dates and such...
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2018, 08:59 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: N. Cackalack
Posts: 36
I just did the rear gasket on my 78 300cd. The dealer said the glass was available through them still, bit was just over 1000 bucks. Might be worth a call.

I managed to cut the gasket from the inside with a utility knife and it came out easily. Going back in wasn't that bad, but it took 2 tries. I lost the rope on the first attempt just when i rounded the top corner.

The is an excellent video on YouTube on a 116 I think, that shows the method I used.
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