The case of the exploding window
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Thread: The case of the exploding window

  1. #1
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    Default The case of the exploding window

    Yesterday I wandered out of my workshop at about 5pm and glanced over at the 203 which was parked just outside the door. To my horror the front passenger window was shattered with a small hole through it.
    Where I live there is very little traffic, usually one or two cars a week. Nobody had passed through for a couple of days to my knowledge. Nor would it be possible to have a rock flipped to where it was parked unless thrown hard.
    Seemed to me it had to be a bullet.
    So I had a very careful look round on the seats and floor but no luck finding any clue as to what broke it.
    Next thought maybe a kookaburra or bigger bird but hard to imagine them hitting that hard and flying away.
    Another thought was the heat which was intense yesterday, but these windows have been around since 1953 and it's hard to imagine the sun causing such a breakage at this stage.
    Any other ideas?

    It's not a nice thought to imagine it was a bullet.

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthier View Post
    Yesterday I wandered out of my workshop at about 5pm and glanced over at the 203 which was parked just outside the door. To my horror the front passenger window was shattered with a small hole through it.
    Where I live there is very little traffic, usually one or two cars a week. Nobody had passed through for a couple of days to my knowledge. Nor would it be possible to have a rock flipped to where it was parked unless thrown hard.
    Seemed to me it had to be a bullet.
    So I had a very careful look round on the seats and floor but no luck finding any clue as to what broke it.
    Next thought maybe a kookaburra or bigger bird but hard to imagine them hitting that hard and flying away.
    Another thought was the heat which was intense yesterday, but these windows have been around since 1953 and it's hard to imagine the sun causing such a breakage at this stage.
    Any other ideas?

    It's not a nice thought to imagine it was a bullet.
    Which side has the crazing on it?

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Mower .... I've smashed house windows with the mower ... It's incredible the distance smashed glass travels.
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    Bird?

    I found a sparrow knocked out on the passenger seat once. He's come screaming through the open drivers window straight into the passengers window and landed on the seat. I sat there holding it for a few moments and it came to and took off. A large bird could have gone through it.
    Nicer thought than a bullet.
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    Yeah hope it was a bird and not some idiots firing too high from the next valley. I was going to call the cops but I think I'll leave them out for now. No mowing here at the moment.
    Window was pushed inwards so the impact was outside. The other windows were up.
    I have a spare and got it out today but getting it in is harder. The channel is a bit rusty but will do with a strip of rubber and some silicon.

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    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    If it was a bird it would have ben stunned and either killed or knocked out and probably died later. Unless it was a BIG bird.
    But if it was a bullet, you would expect to find it inside somewhere (or an exit hole elsewhere).

    Mythbusters did a show in which they "busted" the myth that a bullet fired upwards can come down with enough force to kill someone.
    However when I was in Thailand in about 2009, a child swimming in a covered-over pool was killed by one. It was a well-investigated case (unlike some others there). I think they found out who did it too...someone had witnessed a gun going off some distance away.

    Take another look inside, literally in a different light....perhaps at night with a torch. I always find stuff this way.....you see things you don't in the day.

    Then again, there could still be some crow around saying "sheeeeeeiit !".

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    Is that what crows say?

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Knowing the area you live , I'd say bullet or a bit of lead shot.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGRR View Post
    "Brothers for Life?" Got anythin growin up your way?
    Er I don't quite follow yer question mate. There's lots of stuff growing round here, trees, grass, cows, goats, sheep and a few idiots on two legs. That'll do it every time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neil s View Post
    Is that what crows say?
    the ones around my place don't

    it's more faaaaarrrrrrrkkkkkkkkk, look how many pugs are there, faaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrkkkkkkkk
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    I reckon you should talk to your local polis, Luthier, stoic silence ain't always healthy for community.
    besides, goddamnit, this was an unprovoked assault on a 203!

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    The thing is I've had a very good look for a slug. Almost certain it's not inside the car. I even took the back seats out. Had I found one I would've been straight on the blower, but though it may have bounced and been lost in the grass I still have no proof, might have just decided to break in the hot sun, and the likelihood of this happening again is probably a cupla million to one so for now I'll keep the peace and store her in the shed as I should. I was just getting psyched up to fit the extractors and twin carbs which has to be done outside due to an errant Fiat that is taking up valuable concrete floor space. The annoying thing I've discovered though is my spare glass is scored with a wide band of scratches so I'll need to have a new one made from laminated glass same as the windscreen. At least I have a template for those front windows now which I will copy for anyone who might need them. I'll get the back one done at the same time as it is also scratched.

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    Very old toughened glass can decide it's had enough and let go of its own accord. I've had a D safari go that way, in a shed, went bang with no external cause.

    Rust in the window channel can do it, putting too much pressure on the glass. If it lets go it can fire sections out, often in the centre. We had a few of these when I was in spare parts, where a car (R12 occasionally and the odd 504) would come in with a broken window that had let go on a level crossing or when the door had been closed.

    Toughened glass is made by chilling the sufaces with air jets, so they set at a particular size. The centre of the sheet then shrinks as it cools, pulling the surfaces into compression, so it's fighting against itself.

    Glass is extremly strong in compression, and very strong in tension but has very low resitance to what engineers call 'crack propagation' Glass, being a supercooled liquid, will 'creep' over time. It also weathers, very slowly, but when the compression layer is only a few thousandths of an inch thick, it doesn't take much. A little scratch can eventually 'grow' throught the compression layer . As soon as it gets to the tensioned core of the glass, the crack propagates very rapidly in all directions...and 'boom'.

    Once it goes 'boom' of course, it wants to be 12 to 15 thou bigger than it was, hence firing out a bit at the centre, making it look like it's been hit by something. When it does get hit, however, it recoils, so if it looks like it's been hit from outside, it would actually have to have been hit from inside.

    If the car has been left outside, the glass will have been cycled in temperature 365 times a year.
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    Ah now that's a relief, thanks Bruce.
    I won't be expecting a bullet from on high nearly so much now.
    I did call the cops though did not accuse anyone, just a mild complaint about shooters up the hill who probably shouldn't be there,
    with the possibility of a random shot I suggested, but when I talk with them next I will relay your sage advice.
    I did wonder if that could happen so thankyou for being the first to explain it so clearly.

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    best wishes with the ongoing work. a Fiat? what sort of Fiat?

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    It's a mate's Fiat Spider with a 2litre motor, RHD, but a problem with the extractors hard up against the master cylinder. He had the engine in a LHD car and got a mate to do the engine swap. I'm doing a bare metal job on it for him. I wish I'd never seen it.
    Hoping to dispose of it before Christmas.

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    Fellow Frogger! lozenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthier View Post
    It's a mate's Fiat Spider with a 2litre motor, RHD, but a problem with the extractors hard up against the master cylinder. He had the engine in a LHD car and got a mate to do the engine swap. I'm doing a bare metal job on it for him. I wish I'd never seen it.
    Hoping to dispose of it before Christmas.
    ah, my sympathies. my five Ducatis never gave me a fraction of the aggro
    that a Fiat 500 and a Lancia Beta coupe did. may your Christmas be Fiat-free, regards, Lo.

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    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    Apparently Fiats of a certain era came with inbuilt rust. Fiat bought a huge load of steel from Russia and it turned out to be very prone to rust....which is why we don't see many old Fiats on the road.
    My Pugs though....if I scratch em and it's bare metal, I might fix it this year. If not, next year it will hardly look any different.

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    Fellow Frogger! lozenge's Avatar
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    yeah, that dodgy Russki steel; one of the great cars of the 70s was the Alfasud, I can't now remember when I last saw one.

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Luthier's mate in Gulgong has two or three.

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    FIAT = Fix it again Tony

    Had the breakage been cause by a bullet (or brace slingshot and ball bearing - their damage looks like a bullet hole), I would expect that you would have sighted some evidence of the projectile inside the car.
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    Icon14 To or not to do, over to you...

    Nah, do what every one does, allow human imagination to work unfettered - Now who would do that to me, hopefully its a short list of suspects, narrow it down to the most likely, then look for an opportunity to do similar damage to their prized possession, then relax knowing that those suspects will now be sorting through their "who dun it" list and compiling a similar short list for retaliation, but watch in three or four years the spreading damage might just get back to you, IF you are on someone else's list!!

    Better IMHO! would be to vacuum the car thoroughly to verify the presence of a missile, then consider.

    (a) was this just an accidental consequence or some random act of stupidity.
    (b) have I offended someone?
    (c) how can I make amends if I have.
    (d) Just fix the damn window as cheaply and swiftly as possible and then park the car out of sight.
    (e) Move on with life.

    The one precaution I would make would be to photograph the damage, note the date and time and if a missile is located in the car decide if you want to report it to authorities, just in case a similar incident happens in the near future.

    then do (e)

    Hope its just an isolated incident with no sinister overtones. bearing in mind that if you do report this to the authorities it does expose you to some speculation as to why someone would have it in for you or your car? If your response to (b) is a long list of disgruntled people - perhaps best not to draw attention as you may/probably fall within the typical idiot Aussie who may want to get satisfaction from retaliation and you don't want to muck up that option.........

    Regards

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    1000+ Posts Richard W's Avatar
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    I would put money on Shane's original guess of a stone thrown by a mower. I grew up on acreage and spent hundreds of hours mowing it. We did in quite a few windows over the years with errant rocks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lozenge View Post
    yeah, that dodgy Russki steel; one of the great cars of the 70s was the Alfasud, I can't now remember when I last saw one.
    Must be the same steel used for 504 cc/s .They shared a production line with Alfa Spiders. Most Fiat Spiders in Aus were imported in the late 80/s from California with no rust ,and converted to rhd. 504 cc/s were only sold in Europe so it is hard to find cars that have never had rust [ imagine how they would have looked with US bumpers and lights]

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