If you’re an avid follower of the TonesTaxis website (!) or you already own a Fairway taxi, you’ll be aware of the leaky windscreen which comes as standard with these cabs. Thankfully I’ve finally managed to sort the problem out!
Whilst is is always a pleasure to receive a free foot shower everytime it so much as drizzles outside, the designers obviously didn’t realise it would fry the electrics, having placed the fuse box and the majority of relays and connections directly below this waterfall.
Unfortunately the benefits of having clean toes don’t outweigh having little or no instrumentation, lights or heating, so I had to solve the issues. In another post you can see how I redo a lot of the electrics and wiring to prevent any problems in the future.
The windscreen is held in place by a rubber extrusion which sits between the bodywork and the glass, which had completely hardened and was crumbling away. I doubt this has ever been replaced since it came out of the factory, so Leacy Classics in Birmingham provided me with a brand new rubber and I was happy to attempt the replacement myself.
The cross section of the windscreen rubber is basically ‘H’ shaped, whereby the glass sits in one channel and the metal lip of the body in the other. I wasn’t concerned about keeping the old rubber, so I just used a blade to cut away the hardened stuff and I could just lift away the windscreen.
I’ve seen a couple of other Fairway owners removing their old windscreen rubbers, which reveals a huge amount of rust where the lip should be for the rubber to seat onto. Luckily, there was very little rust or rot on mine, which came as a great surprise and with some relief. If it were rusty, I would weld a new strip in place in order to make a proper seal, but the only work undertaken was to grind back a couple of spots and reprime them.
Having done the best part of 10 minutes YouTube research, I figured the best way to get the windscreen back in place was to put the new rubber around the glass and feed a piece of string into the bottom of the ‘H’ extrusion. Then, with the string in place, offer up the windcreen to the body. Providing there is no gap between the two, you can then pull the string out from the rubber and it brings it over the lip, all the while have an assistant put pressure on the windscreen from outside to seat it in properly.
This seems fairly reasonable in theory, but in typical TonesTaxis style, I messed it up whilst banging on the rubber with my fist. The problem was, even though the string had worked, the windscreen wasn’t seated correctly so I resorted to force. The flat laminated nature of the glass and (on my part) the finesse of a blind elephant makes this process prone to error.
I ended up buying new glass and got a local fitter into do it properly… He explained to me that I shouldn’t have been banging in the screen, and he used the double-suction-handle-thing to pull on a larger area of the screen. In the end, the windscreen was in and the new rubber looked extremely promising in my quest to plug the waterfall.
When it rained for the first time, had I stopped the leak? No. I was pretty annoyed that all that effort, a cracked windscreen and an unforseen morning with Dave hadn’t paid dividends.
Before I removed the old windscreen rubber, I remember using some sealant to stop the leak. I still had a new tube of it in the garage so I reapplied a generous amount of it around the rubber, both inside and out. Thankfully, this completely stopped any ingress of water and finally we have a watertight cab! If you’re thinking of doing the same, I’d recommend Arbomast Autograde.