1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    rmoore's Avatar
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    Dec 1998
    Plano, Texas

    Default Laminated or Poly Carb Window Review...

    A Canadian fire officer asked for a review of vehicle side and rear window materials. I had written about laminated window extrication in the August 2000 Firehouse Magazine.

    "I was told that you may be able to give me some info on polycarbonate windows in auto's. What I like to know is what vehicles might have them,how to recognise them and how can you break them in extrication. Any info would be appreciated."

    My Reply:
    There are laminated glass side windows factory installed in vehicles today but I don't know right off hand about any original installations of polycarb windows.

    I went to Detroit awhile back and saw prototype vehicle installations of side and rear poly windows but they weren't in production, only test cars.

    We were allowed to bring rescue equipment and actually tear two vehicles apart that had the poly side & rear windows.

    Locked vehicle entry was accomplished best with a cordless drill with a 4" key hole saw bit. We just drilled a 4" hole in the poly, reached in, and unlocked the door.

    For a jammed door, we learned to leave the poly intact. It bent and warped as the door was forced open and wasn't a problem at all. The time wasted in trying to remove the window wasn't worth it.

    For roof removal, we left the windows intact and did total roof removal. The cutter cut into the rear window right at the C-pillar cut and just caused big cracks and splits in the poly rear window.

    I also had a chance to travel to Massachusetts and work on a vehicle with laminated side and rear windows. That type of window is common on high-end vehicles from BMW and Mercedes for example.

    For getting through a window involved totally removing it. We came up with a really quick technique. We took a Glas-Master windshield saw and cut one long slit along the window, parallel to the door sill. We cut from the door lock button horizontally across to the front A-pillar. All we had to do then was reach under the cut we made, pull the window outward and then downward. Because it was a typical door window designed for raising and lowering, it wasn't mounted along the sides or top. It just came right out, quicker than anything.

    Recognition of a rear or side window as other than tempered glass requires either looking at it to see cracks, scratches, or slivers and then attempting to break it out with a spring punch. If you get a little dimple like from a BB-gun shot, then you have either laminated or poly. Go to Plan B.

    Hope this helps.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

  2. #2
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    firenresq77's Avatar
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    Oct 2000
    Northwest Ohio


    Thanks for the info, Ron.

  3. #3
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    Weruj1's Avatar
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    Dec 1999
    NW Ohio


    more good stuff..................now all we gotta do get people to crash the darn things .............er ............did I say crash ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  4. #4
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    firespec35's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    Milford MI USA


    I am a firefighter at one of the Big 3's proving grounds. I don't know about poly windows, but I am starting to see A LOT of laminated side windows on cars and trucks. What I'm seeing the most is Cadillacs especially the CTS and SRX. Just figured it would be something to look out for

  5. #5
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    Bones42's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ


    For roof removal, we left the windows intact and did total roof removal. The cutter cut into the rear window right at the C-pillar cut and just caused big cracks and splits in the poly rear window.
    Did the window separate itself when removing the roof? I'm not following what happened to the rear window. The posts were cut, it cracked/split the poly window, but when you lifted the roof...what about the window? Did it pull loose from the window "frame" freely or was there sometype of cement/glue holding it in?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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