Apparently some aftermarket versions have an extra rib on the front lower face, others are made of cheap steel and warp around the wipers, and others have a flange that's too wide and doesn't fit with the cowl.
Anyone purchase either of the two products listed above, recently?
I can provide a different perspective. I bought an aftermarket CJ frame and decided it felt cheap and I heard horror stories of the windshield wiper pivots binding due to the metal flexing. I sold it and bought a used YJ frame, off a 1995 I believe that was in decent shape externally with limited surface rust. I poured some rusty metal primer inside, stripped it to bare metal, painted it with epoxy primer and then the base coat clear coat.
A few months later I was looking at the frame and noticed a bubble in the paint. After looking at my photos I could not see any rust or other damage in the location of the bubble so it definitely rusted from the inside out. At the very least, a used YJ frame will be 17 years old and a CJ frame 26 years old, I guarantee there is rust inside of every used windshield frame.
I think you made the right decision buying a new aftermarket frame if it has the two stiffening ribs and the only way you would be better off would be snagging a NOS Wrangler frame.
1978 Cherokee, 360/T400/QT...5.3/4L60E/NP241C in the works...
i just got the aftermarket kit from quadratec (glass,frame,seals) i want to say last winter.
overall im happy with it, made pretty solid and only two minor problems i found with it:
1)took a little fiddling with the wipers but not a nightmare.
2) the bottom lip of the windshield frame was about 2x longer than OE. i just bent mine over and it was good to go.
this kind of seems to be one of those things where you have to pick your poison. i think 243 said it best. no matter what used frame you get its at least 17 years old and is a crap shoot. going aftermarket seems to be the same. personally i felt better just going with the new frame and modifying it as any other aftermarket body piece would.
I replaced mine about 6 yrs ago with the Quadratech frame, poured a good primer inside to coat any bare metal to prevent rust and it's been fine. The fit was good, glass fitted without issues and the cowl seal does not leak. This is a daily driver and the wiper area shows no sign of the cracking you read about. Just keep in mine that it is a aftermarket body part, you will have to fit it to your vehicle. OEM body parts of the 70's and 80's didn't always fit and needed adjustments and tweaking before finishing.
1983 CJ7 258 w/4.0 head conversion & Weber 38/38
Matt, I couldn't find an exact replica 15 years ago either. So the one I got had the rib across the front too (I don't recall whether it was from Qtec or 4WDInc). For some reason I'm thinking it was a Kentrol brand but could be wrong. The only issue I remember having was one of the bolt holes for the hings was slightly off and caused the bolt to go in at a slight angle. Other than that a good coat of Zero-Rust and some RTV blue sealer kept it in good shape so far.
Matt, Im glad you brought this up, I'm ready to pull the trigger on a new frame too. Yours my freind is like mine. 17 cents a pound! Seam rust too...never get a weld to hold AND seal. Well, I can't. I'm likely to go q-tec because I'm a cheap prick. For $100 I can do alot of filing/fitting. And you may wind up w/the same aftermarket piece!
My .02 cents
I've also learned that sometimes... when people don't agree with you .... its best to hold them down and kidney punch them till they agree with you
Thanks. I've decided to re-use my original, for now. The rust hasn't gotten to any visible areas, once all the trim and seals are back on. If I can stop, or at least slow the rust down, I should be able to get several more years out of this one.
My main concern is this edge, were some of the metal has flaked away. The metal that remains is still good, but the edge is uneven. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll get a good seal around this spot.