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Thread: Windshield crack in a Champ

  1. #1

    Windshield crack in a Champ

    A 5" crack appeared in the center of the windshield in my Champ. Anyone ever go through a successful repair or is it bound for replacement? SNF is coming up next week and I will be there to discuss it with LP, but a repair would be much better if possible

  2. #2

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    Sounds like you are in for a replacement. In the circa 1968 Cessna 100 series service manual there is a procedure to allow stop drilling the ends, lacing (yes, lacing) over the crack, and applying dope & fabric over the top. This is described as a temporary measure until the windshield can be replaced. I have never seen this done and have never heard of anyone actually using this procedure. This is the only manufacturer instruction I've ever seen for a "repair". Best of luck on getting a S-N-F show special!

  3. #3

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    You need a new windshield. AC 43.13-2B Ch 3 has some termporary repair options.

  4. #4
    Richard Warner's Avatar
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    I remember in some of the CAP L-16's we had assigned to our squadron in the early and mid 1950's, a couple of them had repaired windshields. They stop drilled the cracks and then glued(don't ask me with what) a plexiglass patch on top of the crack on the inside. They also had small bolts with self locking nuts in holes drilled through the windshield and patch. Seemed to work okay as temporary repairs. As an A&P with I.A., I think you are going to really need to spring for a new windshield. I would not sign off an annual as airworthy with the windshield patched in the middle unless you could show me where the aircraft manufacturer approved of that kind of repair.

  5. #5
    Flying a '72 7ECA lifelong high desert airplane California to New England (no VOR, no GPS, pilotage only, PRC, ABQ, JLN, SEG, 7B2, VT06) briefly kept the speed at Vne for traffic when approaching MQJ and thought I had develoed an oil leak = black streak in upper right corner of windscreen... but inverted... was movig from wing root down and slight left. Two, then four inches long. Pulled power and pitched up to slow for normal approach and landing. Local mech examined the crack and next morning stop drilled its bottom end, drilled eight or ten more holes both sides along crack, laced with safety wire and applied thick layer of ?epoxies?. Let dry two days, inspected, test flew, departed for Vermont. Needed to give a Marine friend leaving for Iraq his taildragger checkout so had my local mechanic order new windshield and promised him we would not leave pattern or the yellow arc. When the mech could not get it installed weeks later I continued to fly pattern recurrency solo against his wishes and came out one morning to fly but discovered he had smashed the windscreen to ground me till he could get to it. He never finished the install claiming trimming issues would take weeks more... left it open outdoors risking comm and transponder. Paid up and fired him, Hired a distant IA to commute over twice and finish.

  6. #6
    Max Torque's Avatar
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    martymayes - Think you made a typo. AC 43.13-2B Chapt 3 is Antenna Installation.

    AC 43.13-1B Chapt 3 is Fiberglass and Plastics; Section 3 encompasses repairs.


    Gr8laker2T1A - If it's a tight fitting crack, i.e. no gap, get some Weld-on #3 or Weld-on #4; the watery thin type, about $15/can http://www.rplastics.com/plac.html If there's a gap, you'll have to use Weld-0n #16 and another technique.

    Take a toothpick or similar and put a drop in the crack at the top. It will flow down the crack. Be sure to carefully block the bottom with something that will stick to the windshield but the adhesive will not stick to in case of too much adhesive run off - if it gets on the window it will melt it (it can be micro-meshed off later). Might have to repeat depending on "flow out" in the crack. Let it dry/cure. You can micro-mesh afterwards. Many times that there was crack is very hard to tell afterwards.

    I've temporarily repaired many cracked windshields with this method.

    I've temp repaired lots of pretty badly broken plexiglas with the lacing method. Do not use the amateurish and ugly Frankenstein method of safety wire unless it's all you have. Use monofiliment fishing line - I like 2 lb or 4 lb test, but 6 lb test is ok; one doesn't need anything heavier, heavy line is difficult to work with and snug tight - and a drill bit that's just barely big enough for the monofiliment to go through.

    Suggest you play around with glue or lacing on some scrap first.
    "You have to be alive to spend it..."

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Torque View Post
    martymayes - Think you made a typo. AC 43.13-2B Chapt 3 is Antenna Installation.

    Yes, as you can see it wasn't the only tpyo in that sentence.

  8. #8

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    I used the acrylic glue solvent glue and it caused crazing in the glued area. I think it was Weld-On.
    It probably depends on the age of the plastic. Test it first if you can.

    The repair can be permanent if, as mentioned, the manufacturer has approved. Or if not, it is up to the judgement of the owner, depending on the view blockage, age of part, airplane speed, etc.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr8laker2T1A View Post
    A 5" crack appeared in the center of the windshield in my Champ. Anyone ever go through a successful repair or is it bound for replacement? SNF is coming up next week and I will be there to discuss it with LP, but a repair would be much better if possible
    http://www.plasticgenius.com/2009/03...lexiglass.html
    http://www.rplastics.com/weldon40.html
    http://www.eplastics.com/Plastic/Lex...ESIVE-IPS40-PT
    http://www.ehow.com/how_8377537_repa...as-window.html

    another source of advice could be a sign shop that works with acrylic sheet. they work with this stuff for a living.

    some people bond on a thin sheet patch, usually on the inside surface. as others have mentioned, if the manufacturer has an approved repair method, use it. if not, accepted practice should suffice. your mileage may vary.

  10. #10
    Hi Guys,Thanks for all of the replies. As of now, the crack has been stop drilled and has not moved any further. It is still a tight fitting crack. I bought some Weldon 16 to use for a patch on the inside. LP said that it will need to be replaced and I tend to agree. Any repairs will be temporary. The most frustrating part is that I just finished restoring the aircraft. I am afraid of making more damage in removing it. I still need to break in the engine so I plan on patching it until the breakin is completed. I flew it the other day and the crack would widen about 1/16". You can feel the air coming through it. Let's hope there are some deals at SNF. Any opinions on the various manufacturers of windshields? LP and Cee Bailey.

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