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WINDSCREEN 2 years 5 months ago #38291

Does anyone know where I can get a new screen that ISN'T a Pilkington Triplex please?
I've tried two now and they just don't fit properly :( :angry:
Any suggestions gratefully received.
Ta :)

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WINDSCREEN 2 years 5 months ago #38305

Can't find anything anywhere. Charles Pugh is one of the leading windscreen suppliers in the UK apparently. They can get 3 different tints, two with top tints even, but they can't tell me who makes it, and it's a 10 week wait... :( :angry:
Looks like I'm going to have to fit one of these crap Pilkington screens that don't fit the aperture... what a ridiculous situation to be in!

EDIT. I have just this minute heard back from Saint Gobain in the Netherlands. They have located a few screens in Germany and their UK distributor will be contacting me soon. Hopefully there may be a positive outcome for me, and others, as he said there are 'a few' screens there. :)

In the meantime, if any other owners are needing windscreens and their fitter turns up with a Pilkington Triplex screen, watch them closely. Some fitters will just attempt to fit it by clamping it and telling you it is ok. It may well be... but it could just as easily crack when you hit a pothole as the screen is under stress constantly once it is forced into shape when it is bonded in, and I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that bending a windscreen over an inch at both lower corners is never a good idea...

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Last edit: by Andrew Sinclair.

WINDSCREEN 2 years 1 month ago #38781

Hi all,
Just thought I'd update this windscreen saga.
I had a bad experience years ago with Pilkington. For modern, day to day cars they're excellent, probably the best. For older stuff, not so...
My Lancia Beta has a bonded screen. I needed a screen for it due to stonechip damage and I contacted my insurance to sort it out. Autoglass turned up with a Pilkington screen and it was miles out. I couldn't believe my eyes. I could fit half of my hand out of the bottom corners from the inside. Dreadful! The fitter tried to fit it but it just jumped off the adhesive, even when clamped, and so after an hour or so of struggling he refused to fit it and ordered another... same thing... we tried every single screen in the UK at the time (2012). There were 7 screens available back then and they were all Pilkington. The fitter refused to fit any of them. As I was desperate by then the insurance company sent out a 'specialist' fitter from Carlisle, which is around 30 miles away from me. He is an independent fitter and prides himself on being able to fit anything...
He told me tales of fitting screens by putting suction clamps on the inside of the glass and pulling ropes around the seats to pull the glass in... :ohmy:
He did manage to fit my Beta screen, but he said it was an appalling shape and Pilkington need to realign their jigs. Pilkington have refused to do this, saying that as there were still half a dozen screens sitting in their warehouses they wouldn't make any new ones until they'd all been used up... The screen was clamped with so much force I can't believe it didn't break. That car has actually been sat in my garage ever since having some restoration work... The fitter and I both expected it to crack if I hit a bad enough pot-hole. I've yet to find out...

So when I needed the screen in the X1/9 I wondered if I'd have similar problems. Sure enough, a search on this site revealed exactly the same issues. When National Windscreens arrived with a Pilkington screen I said 'dry fit it first because it might not fit'. The fitter looked at me quizzically but did it and, yep, miles out. Same problem- lower corners sitting too far out. They ordered another screen but it was still a Pilkington- same problem. They then just shrugged and left. I rang the boss and he said he would 'look into it'. 5 days later I decided to do his job for him. I scoured the net and found Saint Gobain, the original manufacturer for most X1/9 screens. I rang them in Holland and they said they'd get back to me. A day later they rang and told me there were 5 remaining screens, all in Germany. I contacted National Windscreens and the boss began stuttering because he'd done nothing about it... so I told him who to phone and to get it sorted. That was on April 22... on the 25th the screen was ordered after being approved by my insurance company.
Four long weeks later the screen arrived and was duly fitted by National Windscreens. A perfect fit :-) The screen has now been in the car for 4,500 miles since then as my son and I took the X1/9 on an epic road trip to Italy and back, via several Alpine passes and had a whale of a time. The screen is great, no leaks, no distortions and above all no stress cracks because it wasn't forced into position.
So it ended well, although it was a very frustrating 3 months! As I said earlier, Pilkington are almost the 'industry standard' in this country, but my experience of two old Italian cars and their screens says otherwise... their jigs must be miles out.
Anyway, the Saint Gobain screen looks a lot better- a tiny discreet black logo in the left corner and it matches the rest of the car glass as it's all SG from original, as most X1/9s were, and the Pilkington screens have a really ugly logo, very large, and in white.
So, if anyone needs a new screen, make sure you get a Saint Gobain!

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Last edit: by Andrew Sinclair.
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