furiousdrt New Reader
9/2/23 11:44 a.m.

Hey everyone,

My son and I are looking to compete for our first time in the upcoming challenge and have come across a budget and safety question we weren't able to find a clear answer on.  The windshield on our project car is cracked pretty badly, certainly not permitted.  Question being- is windshield replacement budget exempt under the wear and tear clause?  Or perhaps budget exempt as this is a safety item?  (I know, if it's not listed as budget exempt, it's not... but should this item be?) 

We appreciate your input as we work towards our build budgeting!  Thanks!


Stampie MegaDork
9/2/23 12:23 p.m.

In reply to furiousdrt :

No and no.  

First it can't be wear and tear because you haven't bought it yet.  Wear and tear is after you buy it otherwise any issues it has is assumed to be discounted in the price you pay for the vehicle.  That is assuming it was cracked when you bought it.

Second there is no safety exemption for windshields.  Anything not listed as exempt isn't exempt.

Sorry for the bad news.

furiousdrt New Reader
9/2/23 3:09 p.m.

Thank you, Stampie!

Looks like I need to figure out how to pull the windshield out of our donor car without breaking it!!! Learning along the way is the best part of these projects.

Best regards.

Stampie MegaDork
9/2/23 3:43 p.m.

In reply to furiousdrt :

What kind of car?  

nocones PowerDork
9/2/23 5:05 p.m.

I agree with Stampies assessment of the rules.  

That said there is 0% chance I would protest a car that put a stock like for like windshield in a car.  Even if I got 2nd to them by 1 point.  

In the world where exemptions exist, and a car could legally be ran with no windshield and just a small deflector there is no reason to prevent someone from participating because they replaced a like for like windshield particularly on a vehicle seeing use on the street outside of the challenge. 

Stampie MegaDork
9/2/23 9:07 p.m.

In reply to nocones :

I agree but rules are rules.  If it were my car I would used the parts car windshield as pointed out above or I'd do the small deflector as you pointed out.  I'd hate for someone to look at my car and say "See I told you they aren't $2000 cars!"

furiousdrt New Reader
9/4/23 1:49 p.m.

It's a delta platform GM, Saturn Ion 4 door. 

I appreciate all of the points raised, and want to abide by the rules to the best of my/our ability. The challenge is what makes this kind of project more fun.  The budget aspect is critical, we're trying to get our numbers on paper to plan out the rest of the build.  I can tell you we're not spending $350 at Safelite!!

I do have a technicality to discuss... the donor car was picked up yesterday.  The windshield exterior is perfect.  There is, however, a chip inside larger than a quarter from where the rear view mirror broke off.  Would that pass tech inspection? Guessing not, but had to ask since we have this thread going. smiley

I'm not confident I can pull it without breaking it... I may just use it and the original windshields for practice then try n find a you-pull-it yard somewhere that has a donor...

We don't have the fab abilities at the moment to make it really competitive like top-10, it's really more for the experience with my son.  Aiming for top half of the pack.

Thank you for your feedback!

Stampie MegaDork
9/4/23 3:23 p.m.

In reply to furiousdrt :

Hmmm ... I thought about answering but decided it's best if I not say stuff about passing or not passing tech.

rich911s Reader
9/4/23 8:34 p.m.

I fixed a pretty good sized windshield chip for the same reason with regular epoxy.  Squeeze it in, goop it all up in that chip and lay a piece of plastic on it.  After it sets, scrape it off with a razor scraper and some windex.  Repeat as needed.   If you knew where to look you could most certainly find it, but it passed inspection.  The epoxy says it's good for glass repair ...and it's cheap.  Worth a try IMHO. 





cruisermatt Reader
9/5/23 8:40 p.m.

You're not in Florida, are you? If so you can a free windshield replacement through your insurance. insure the car, get the windshield done, drop the insurance. 

That being said, and I'm probably going to be bashed for this (probably by those who aren't actually fast at Challenge), but if you know you aren't going to podium don't sweat it too much. No one protests over stuff like this,  If it was a billet turbo or No2 system (and you were actually fast with it) it would be a different story. 

My first year at challenge I had a 6" crack in my windshield and spent a whole day building a horrible lexan windshield to avoid issues at "tech" when no one would have cared it. There is way more dangerous stuff on the track that tech ignores. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
9/5/23 8:45 p.m.

In reply to cruisermatt :

Don't think that the insurance companies don't know about this. I paid out of pocket for a windshield replacement after buying my civic.


Byrneon27 HalfDork
9/6/23 3:56 p.m.

Tech for slow cars/cars that look slow to the track staff have a laughably easy time with tech at the challenge. Filled windshield damage while not specifically mentioned in the NHRA rule book is unlikely to cause you a problem. 


That said I'm STRONGLY in favor of replacing the windshield, first off in most modern unibody cars the glass is structural to a point and not really a place to shortcut on a car that's going to see street time. second, there is absolutely no performance advantage to have a non-broken windshield. Put me in the "if you beat me by a point I wouldn't protest" camp.


Follow the rules. But this is a case where the rules should be amended. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
9/6/23 4:42 p.m.

Tech has been pretty slack for years. But I'll point out that in another thread, Tom said he had told the NHRA tech guys to apply the rules after this year's event, even if it meant putting cars on the trailer. We have been warned.

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