24 June 2013

How To: Austin Westminster restoration provides a lesson in windscreen corner replacement

Anglia Car Auctions of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, teamed up with PC and Hagerty to save this rusty Austin Westminster. One of ten A105 estates built, this is the only one with automatic transmission. Once the project is completed, it will be sold by ACA, with proceeds going to the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund.

Even when restoring cars with decent panel availability you can come across areas of rust not covered by the parts catalogue. Prime offenders are the fiendishly complicated lower windscreen corners, which trap grot and water and rot out readily. We all fear the discovery of holes in this intimidating collection of curves and flanges when the windscreen rubber is removed.

Often the damage is localised enough for small repair sections to do the job. Not so on our impressively rotten Westminster A105 project. On one side of the car, this area had gone way beyond the point of a patched repair – despite the gallant efforts of The Body Shop, Wisbech. The sobering truth was that the whole windscreen corner from screen to the bulkhead needed to be replaced. 

That was a scary prospect, until Bruce Macleod at Contour Autocraft offered to show us how to tackle the job properly. His techniques can all be replicated at home using nothing but hand tools, patience and a small dollop of self-belief. Having said that, though, investing in a stretching and shrinking tool is an excellent time-saver if you do this sort of thing on a regular basis.

Click here for the PDF of the process

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