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Old 03-22-2008, 11:44 AM   #1
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On our return trip from The Rally, we over-nighted and while cleaning the driver side of our 2004 Journey windshield I noticed a four inch long crack starting at the very top of the windshield and running toward the bottom about in the center. I called our insurance company and they were very helpful and have already put in motion the repair.

I just assumed that the crack came from an impact but when taking a closer look I am not able to see an impact spot. The insurance person suggested a stress crack. I can't think of any wild rides or where we twisted the frame during our trip, but obviously something happened.

The insurance person also said to try to determine if there may be anything that might be causing stress on the windshield or the new windshield might also crack. What ever caused the crack isn't obvious.

Anyone else experienced wind shield stress cracks? At $1,099 to replace just the driver's side windshield I am thinking I need to try to find what caused the crack.
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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On our return trip from The Rally, we over-nighted and while cleaning the driver side of our 2004 Journey windshield I noticed a four inch long crack starting at the very top of the windshield and running toward the bottom about in the center. I called our insurance company and they were very helpful and have already put in motion the repair.

I just assumed that the crack came from an impact but when taking a closer look I am not able to see an impact spot. The insurance person suggested a stress crack. I can't think of any wild rides or where we twisted the frame during our trip, but obviously something happened.

The insurance person also said to try to determine if there may be anything that might be causing stress on the windshield or the new windshield might also crack. What ever caused the crack isn't obvious.

Anyone else experienced wind shield stress cracks? At $1,099 to replace just the driver's side windshield I am thinking I need to try to find what caused the crack.
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Old 03-22-2008, 01:32 PM   #3
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My neighbors son in law works for a nation wide windshield company. Safety Lite or something like that. They have the means to repair cracks and chips in glass. Some sort of a 2 part epoxy and a special light to cure it fast. He has repaired a few for me, a whole lot cheaper to repair than to replace the whole glass. He says any crack less than the lenght of a dollar bill is repairable. It is such a good fix that if you didn't know it was there, you'd have to look real close to find it.
A whole lot cheaper and less trouble to repair than to replace.
Just a thought and suggestion.
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Old 03-22-2008, 01:44 PM   #4
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Gunny, thanks for the information. The crack started off about 4" but by the time I got home it had grown at least another two inches; and it's curving at the bottom and heading sideways.

My concern now is what caused the crack and how to keep from doing it again. Stones, bricks, bolts and such smacking the windshield you can't do much about. So I am hoping that what caused this crack won't be a mystery.
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:03 PM   #5
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Don't worry too much Steve. I think if the culprit is stress it would of happen sooner, not after 3 years.

I had the same happen to me on my trip to Alaska last year. I got a 3 inch crack that started at the top with no sign of impact. I finally figured out the impact was on the rubber seal on top of the windshield. By the time I got home it was 11 inches long and jogging off to the right, about 50/50.

I called a glass repair specialist when I got home and like Gunny say's they were able to stop the spreading. I forget it's there and will replace windshield when it starts leaking or cracking again. I would hate to replace due to Murphy's Law.

Don't worry I really don't think its stress.
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Old 03-22-2008, 03:21 PM   #6
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SteveG, Some cracks start at the edge a lot easier even if a small rock or something hit it. When I was on the fire dept they taught us to hit the windshield at or near the edges and it would break easier.It was probably a small stone that you didn't even notice. Good Luck with the repair,Indiana Journey
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:26 AM   #7
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Steve,

I couldn't help but respond on the cost of your repair. You mention you only have to replace the driver's side so I am assuming you have a two piece windshield. We replaced ours in January due to a rock that came up from a rig and it only cost $600 installed. I wouldn't have thought there was that big a difference between your and ours. A Winnie dealer had it done for us in VA.

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Old 03-23-2008, 02:35 AM   #8
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Happy Easter, Steve! Just to support what others have said - I picked up an almost identical crack in the windshield of my toad (while towing it). There was also no sign of impact.
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:32 AM   #9
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After our trip to Alaska a couple of summers ago, we became better acquainted with windshield damage.

We had maybe three or four rocks hit the center area (center as in not near the edges) of both sides of the windshield with a result of no creeping crack - only a chip (which was repaired.)

However, we took a rock to the edge of the passenger side glass and the result was a crack that ultimately grew to several inches long.

We took rocks to the Jeep's windshield even with the tow shield - they hit the very bottom and very top edge of the glass. We had matching "L" shaped cracks as a result.

Winnie replaced the coach windshield and we had an auto glass service replace the Jeep's windshield while we waited on the coach.

Happy Easter to everybody
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:59 AM   #10
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Thanks to all for the encouraging words. I spoke with the Winnebago help desk today. The technician advised me that the windshield glass is mounted against 1/8"¯ bumpers and a 3/8"¯thick automotive urethane (or is this actually known as polyurethane?) seal to both bond and seal the windshield is installed. They said that the type of urethane they use requires that the glass be thoroughly cleaned and primed but acknowledged there may be products that do not require a cleaning and prime.

The windshield installer told me during our scheduling phone call that in their experience the metal windshield frame that Winnebago uses as opposed to a fiberglass frame that other manufacturers use is a good design but does have a potential problem. Good in the sense that the window metal frame moves with the chassis frame and does not flex when setting up the jacks. The fiberglass frames during jack set up can flex in extreme situations and pop the glass corners out of the frame or cause stress cracks. But the metal frame is susceptible to rust if there is a water leak and a rust buildup will pressure the fixed windshield glass and cause a stress crack.

What I am hoping is that Winnebago's "advanced electrodeposition coating process that provides superior corrosion protection"¯ has indeed done its job and that the problem was just an impact blow to the glass and not rust.

When considering the pros and cons I think I still prefer the metal frame. It seems to be a safer design and it seems to better protect the glass during jack setup.

So is my problem rust or impact? I'll know the answer on April 2 when the new windshield is replaced.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:34 AM   #11
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Hi just found out where my screen was leaking, its all along the top edge and caused by rust penetration behind the urethane seal. Took the rubber cover strip off, cleaned the metal, (its rusted all the way along) rustproofed it and hopefully with some flexable filler that will cure it.

Bearing in mind its an 04, that doesn't say much for winnies rustproofing of the metal frame. If that doesn't fix it I guess its a screen out job.

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Old 03-26-2008, 10:24 AM   #12
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Olley, I see you reside and RV in the UK? So your "screen" is our windshield?
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:24 AM   #13
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SteveG:

I had to replace both windshield halves about 18 month ago. They each developed cracks at the bottom a few inches from the center post. The cracks occurred within 4 weeks of each other and the cause for both was rust on backup bumpers which were metal. On half was replaced by a auto-glass company, the other at WI in Forest City. Both agreed the cracks were due to rust and both sanded and reprimed the metal framework. In my opinion, the bumpers should be a PET or other plastic instead of metal as leaks are always possible.

Good luck on the repairs and finding the ultimate cause of the cracks.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:53 PM   #14
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The installer told me that if rust is apparent he will grind it and re-paint but the expense will be outside the insurance payment. He estimated about $200.

He also said that rust on the driver side may not mean rust on the passenger side. He said even if there was rust on the passenger side there is nothing he can do until the windshield cracks as there is no way to pop out the windshield to work on the frame because of the urethane seal.

Your bumper description surprised me but now explains how the rust gets to the windshield. Given my front marker lights have already leaked once(I repaired them by adding a home made gasket) rust won't surprise me. Which brings to mind another question: can condensation reach the window frame?

Soon we'll know the deal.
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