By Chris Ritter
Oh wow, it's been how long since I've made a Buick update?! Way too long, but, rest assured that I've been hard at work. When I left you last, I was having some major frustrations with my car's windshield glass and transmission reassembly.
My windshield is comprised of two separate panes of glass that are separated by a rubber divider. The gap between the two panes needs to be about 1/2" but while my gap was almost adequate at the bottom of the panes, the top portions were touching. When my dad and I tried prying the panes to increase the gap we cracked one of the panes.
My fix for this problem was to mark the top of the good windshield about 3/16" from the edge. From this line I stretched some masking tape down to the bottom corner creating a taper. I took this to the glass cutter and had him grind off the protruding portion and then use that as the pattern for the new piece of glass I would need.
The glass cutter did all this work in a matter of days and promptly forgot to call me to tell me my order was ready. After a few weeks I finally gave them a call and picked up my new (and expensive!) glass. I believe the window's rubber gaskets would flex more easily in warm weather and luckily autumn in the northeast had been exceptionally mild.
With warm weather still lingering I decided to go ahead with the install using the same rope and soapy water in the channel trick that I've detailed in the past. With me on the inside of the car pushing the glass from behind and my dad on the outside pulling out the rope, we had the glass and gaskets in place in just a few minutes. To my dismay there was still an uneven gap in the divider area in spite of having the cutter taper the glass slightly!
It was then that my dad started to try and push the windshield into place from the outside. Thinking he was an idiot and about the break the panes again, I pressed my hand on the backside. Lo and behold, between the two of us repeatedly pressing on opposite sides of the glass and sliding our hands toward the A-pillars, we were able to slide the panes over enough to insert the divider rubber. On the third try, my car finally has a windshield with no cracks, gaps or problems!
The windshield panes are finally in the Buick!
Moving on to my transmission, my frustrations with the transmission cover were solved in an almost unbelievable way. The transmission cover has to line up perfectly with the main case while it depresses a pair of detent springs and allows free movement of a metal slider that holds the bottom of the shift lever. I had tried dozens of times to get things lined up and, for one reason or another, failed each time.
One day, after the transmission had sat on the side in my garage for weeks, I went in to the building to assemble a part on an airplane that my dad and I had purchased years ago. When the airplane job was done I looked across the building at the transmission and thought, "what the heck, let me give it another try right now."
I grabbed the appropriate wrench, lined things up and tightened the bolts. To my incredible surprise, I had put the cover back on perfectly! The springs were in position, the top slide was free and my transmission was back together; all I had to do was ignore it for a few weeks!