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Unread 07-14-2011, 11:17 AM   #31
JEEPOLA86
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Fiberglass Windshield Frame

I'm in the club of the guys who like the fiberglass. I did a frame-off swap on my 86 CJ-7 over 8 years ago, and replaced everything; tub, fenders, hood and windshield frame with fiberglass from 4WD Hardware. I haven't had a bit of trouble with it, and would recommend it to anyone who's tired of chasing the problematic rust issues of the steel one.
I'm currently building a 77 CJ-5. It was a vehicle from Georgia,and the tub is in fantastic condition. However, the windshield frame had the usual rot. I'm still in the chassis buildign stage, but I've already purchased a repalcement fiberglass windshield. I think if you stick to a name-brand manufacturer that you won't have any issues.

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Unread 07-14-2011, 12:12 PM   #32
Cutlass327
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I may just have to look into getting a 'glass frame and putting my OEM one into storage for repair/reuse if needed..

*edit*
Just looked on 4WDH and they only have the Kentrol windshield frame available.. doesn't say anything about Kevlar reinforcement or anything..
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1978 CJ5 258/T177/D300, '86 D30/D44 WT axles, 'glass tub windshield frame, and fenders, 31x10.5 BFG A/T, TDK galv'd frame - DD and weekend toy

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ri...8-cj5-1223197/
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Unread 07-14-2011, 02:35 PM   #33
wm69
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My fglass windshield frame I got is crap. Wiper problems galore. I got it from 4wd hardware in 2001-2002
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Unread 07-14-2011, 03:10 PM   #34
GuacaTex
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Cutlass,

Pretty sure there were frames listed with Keflar when I posted a few days agro. They had frames that were NOT Kentrol.

Weird.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 03:20 PM   #35
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If I am not mistaken, Shell Valley is the only one that builds it with Kevlar...
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Unread 07-15-2011, 11:58 PM   #36
Cutlass327
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One thing I wonder is how the Kevlar makes it stronger. Isn't it a cloth, like the cloth of the 'glass? I thought it was the resin and number of layers that made the strength..
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1978 CJ5 258/T177/D300, '86 D30/D44 WT axles, 'glass tub windshield frame, and fenders, 31x10.5 BFG A/T, TDK galv'd frame - DD and weekend toy

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ri...8-cj5-1223197/
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Unread 07-23-2011, 08:40 AM   #37
TxJeeper20
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well my kevlar helmet is solid lol and yes shell valley has been the only people I have seen with the kevlar frames after hearing all the scary stories about cheap fiberglass is shell valleys kevlar frames sturdy? an original is the same price as fiberglass but harder to find mine didnt have any rot but is buckled from the rollover
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Unread 07-23-2011, 07:43 PM   #38
berserk71
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My wiper pivot hole kept bending so I decided it was a good justification for slowly converting my jeep to fiberglass, one piece at a time. I did think about the metal reproduction ones but I figured they were from China and would fatigue faster than what I currently owned. I also didnít want to weld new pivot holes in. It just seemed easier to get a fiberglass frame. No way was fiberglass going bend at the pivot hole and I was right. However, their where many other unforeseen problems I would encounter in the future. I decided to order the Kevlar reinforced frame from Shell valley over the Kentrol version because of cost and I have had good experiences with Kevlar in the past. When it arrived I realized it did not look quite like the original. There were no gutters on the side, the wiper inspection holes were way too small to accommodate the plastic covers and would have to be trimmed. Also, the windshield frame hinge mounting holes were about a quarter of an inch off. No way to fix that. So I called Shell valley .They tried to blame the misalignment on my stock hinges. Eventually they said to mail it back at my expense and when they received it they would measure for themselves. If it was their fault they would reimburse me if not I would pay for return shipping and pay a restocking fee. After a few weeks I called. They said they have not received it yet. Another week went by and I called again. Eventually they told me they lost it and could not verify my claim so they charged me the restocking fee. I was very displeased with their customer service and I highly recommend staying away from Shell valley. I then purchased one from Kentrol. When I received it I noticed it was much closer to the original frame. The inspection holes fit the plugs, it had gutter on the sides and the holes lined up. Unfortunately, the top must be trimmed if you want to use it with a hard top. Also, the original frame has a bit of a curve on the top and the Kentrol is more flat causing it seal poorly to the curved inside of the hardtop. The bottom of the frame must also be trimmed in order to fit the windshield frame to tub seal. After I had it trimmed painted I installed it and tried to install the windshield. I tried 3 times and couldnít get it to fit. I called Kentrol . They told me they are very tight but do not require trimming. I tried one more time and broke the windshield. Finally, I decided to take it to Safelite and have a professional install it. He tried with the correct seal and couldnít do it. He then tried with a thinner seal, which left a big gap between the seal and the frame. Still he could not get it to fit. The next day he called me and said the only way he could get it to fit was to trim the inside. So, now I have a fiberglass frame I must use a different seal that leaves a large gap to fill with mud and pine needles etc., and a gap in the top a must stuff with foam to keep it from leaking rain down the inside of my windshield. Also, the stock linkage is the only linkage that will fit. I tried rugged ridge. Wasnít going to happen, so I purchased one from Crown, much better quality. At this point Iím considering scraping the entire fiberglass idea and trying to fix the original steel frame with Kevlar. So, unless there is another vender out there, I suggest you try to get a factory steel frame and reinforce the pivot holes while youíre at it.
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Unread 07-23-2011, 08:45 PM   #39
Cutlass327
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Wow, that's really disheartening, since I was seriously contemplating a Kevlar unit for a possible temporary replacement for mine.
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1978 CJ5 258/T177/D300, '86 D30/D44 WT axles, 'glass tub windshield frame, and fenders, 31x10.5 BFG A/T, TDK galv'd frame - DD and weekend toy

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ri...8-cj5-1223197/
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Unread 07-24-2011, 08:53 PM   #40
TxJeeper20
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this isdisheartining I hear good things bout fiberglass and i here good things bout repro steel units then I hear bad stuff bout glass ones and bad stuff bout steel what to do ... what to do hope I can find a solid original one soon
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Unread 07-25-2011, 03:21 PM   #41
berserk71
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Please keep in mind that these are experiences I had from two vendors. It wasnít an issue with the material; it was bad quality control and bad customer service. If forced to choose between the two I would pick Kentrol. I think most of Kentrols issues could be fixed if they paid more attention to the trimming process. I have yet to report back to them about my windshield experience so customer support is an unknown as of now. As for Shell Valley, I think they are misleading their customers by calling their product Kevlar. Kevlar is expensive. I donít believe the entire thing is Kevlar. I think if anything it is reinforced in certain areas with Kevlar. Also, Kentrol has gutters on the sides that keep rain from wicking in from the sides, just like the original. Shell valley does not. Others have had good luck with older fiberglass aftermarket frames that are no longer produced. If you could find one, that might be another option. As for steel, from my own experience and my auto restoration friends experience, we are all in agreement that Chinese body parts are made of thin soft steel that often does not fit well and we are better off repairing what we have, assuming itís fixable. If there is an American, Canadian, German etc., made steel windshield frame I would be very interested In trying one but as far as I can tell, all Steel reproduction windshield frames are made in China. Lastly, Iím hearing conflicting experiences with the YJ windshield frame conversion, but that might be another option as well. Something to look into anyways.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 03:44 PM   #42
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Berserk71, sorry to hear you had a bad experience with Shell Valley. I am not sure what time period you experienced the bad service (lately or some point back in time). I can say I did not have those issues with mine using the Kentrol SS hinges and hardware. Maybe they have changed their policies or support since I was dealing with them. Also, I took my windshield to my local glass dealer to install. I was glad since they said it was a pain to get it in. I would have broke the glass probably and was worth the price it cost. You are correct about the drip molding coming down the side. So far it has not been an issue with my hardtop from Rally. I check it for leaks everytime I wash the Jeep. I also trimmed the outside edge at the top above the doors to match the roof contour. Other than that, it was really close to the original one I sold... I was not lead to believe the winshield or any or their parts were made of kevlar. I was under the impression the kevlar was sandwiched between the layers of the the glass. If this is their policy and quality for Shell Valley now, I am saddened to hear another good Jeep supplier has gone south with their products.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 06:25 PM   #43
berserk71
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Exposed,
Thanks. I spoke with Shell Valley about the hinges and they asked if I had Kentrol. I said they were stock. He said are you sure because Kentrols hinges bolt patterns are sometimes off. I said they came from the Jeep factory. I told him if I attached the frame to one side the other side of the frame had to be lifted 6-7 inches to compensate. If you lined up the front holes on the driverís side the side mount holes were ľ-1/2 ď off. He told me to send it back and He would take a look. Now Iím out shipping cost both ways and a restocking fee because of a serious factory defect. If I had received one with properly aligned holes I probably would not have had anymore issues with it if, like you say, the gutters arenít necessary. Also, I would like to make a correction to the statement I made earlier. I reread the part description on Shell Valleys website and it does say ďKevlar reinforcedĒ, my mistake. Another thing Iíd like to mention is that the wiper pivot washer that attaches the pivot to the outside cannot be used with a fiberglass frame. The material is too thick. I used thin SS washers and drilled the insides to fit. Easy fix, just wanted to save someone the trip to the hardware store. I think my finale advice to those that want to get a fiberglass frame would be to make sure everything fits first, including the glass, before you paint. I would recommend Kentrol over Shell Valley for reasons stated above and because, Exposed please correct me if Iím wrong, they have metal threaded inserts for things like windshield tie downs and sun visor screws, which are stronger than fiberglass threads that might strip after awhile. I donít think Shell Valley has them except for the main hinge holes. As for weight savings, I was surprised at how light the steel windshield frame was without the glass in it. I donít think I saved much. It is basically a metal hole.

Exposed,
With regards to your Rally Top. How do you like it? Mine leaks like a bullet riddled colander, except for the sunroof. Go figure.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 03:51 AM   #44
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You are correct about the nutserts lacking for tie down/sun visor. It would have been nice to have them in the fiberglass. However, I don't remember them being nutserts in my original steel frame either.... I also ordered the big fat washers that go under the nut for the windshield wiper post and they fit with no problems. I replaced all the wiper stuff (arms, posts, etc.). I know I was pondering on painting them installed or not. I ended up painting them with the windshield and just taped off the splines where the wiper blade went on... I also did egg shape a couple of the Kentrol holes (maybe a 1/16") on the hinges to make it set correctly. I just figured with the glass body, it was off slightly which affect the location of the Kentrol hinges attaching to the windshield..

As far as the Rally Top, it leaked a bunch on the front door jam. Since I was mixing a different aftermarket body with aftermarket top/doors, I assumed they would be off some. To adjust the door to look and fit the best, I had barely enough rubber molding to touch the front windshield. That is where it leaked. I also did not feel it was a good tight fit when shutting. So I went to local auto parts store and bought some door weatherstripping. I glued it to the body side and matched up with the door molding. It now is a good tight fit around the door. You actually have to push the door to close. The end result is water does not come in now anywhere around the door.

Like I said, I hate to hear any of our vendors quality falling off. It is getting so hard to buy decent aftermarket parts for our Jeeps... I have been thinking again about doing a matching CJ7 to match the CJ5 have now. I probably should have kept the nice CJ7 I sold to a guy at work... But with the cost and quality of aftermarket parts, I am thinking it is not worth it.....

thanks....
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We are DONE as a Country!!!!!!

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Unread 07-29-2011, 08:44 PM   #45
GuacaTex
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Thanks for your feedback Berserk.

Boy, looks like I may need to consider trying to repair the frame I have. It's holed through adjacent to the driver side hinge. Afraid of what I'm going to find when I take it off.

Would like to see more threads like this about specific parts. Helps us know what to expect when we order specific brands. Interesting comments about RR vs Crown above. I've often found that one is better than the other for specific parts, but sometimes it's RR, sometimes it's Crown. Maybe if we communicate better like this, we can drive some quality via informed consumption. Probably not though; CJ's are getting too scarce to attract enough suppliers to the market.




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