Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Evolution of Convertible Top Rear Window

Rear windows have always been an important part of the convertible's aesthetic. They're smaller than a regular car rear view because they need to fold nicely into the trunk, but this actually adds to the sleek sporty appearance of the car.

As with any other car part, there have been some incredible advances in the convertible rear window since the first convertible cars were produced.

The windows started out as being a piece of clear plastic that was sewn or zippered on to the canvas or vinyl top and then evolved into tougher more translucent plastics or glass.

Recently glass rear view windows have gained popularity because they have a longer life span than the plastic window, which tends to discolor or get damaged easily. However, the glass window required a little more thought in the manufacturing process because it could not be sewn or zippered on to the convertible top's fabric.

Car companies quickly solved the problem by creating a unique window bonding process that would maintain the vehicles sleek exterior. Aftermarket companies found ways to try and replicate the process as they did with the plastic windows. In the beginning, the easiest way was to apply silicon around the edges of the windows, pressing down with wood vices until the glass adhered to the fabric.

This process was easy enough to achieve and required no special tools. However, the problem that arose was that the seals would not prevent leaks adequately as separation would commonly occur. The industry was forced to look into other options that would maintain the sleekness of the vehicle as well at the durability of the seal.

This led to a new process which required a heat-seal between the glass and the fabric. It would generally work that a piping which would hold the glass in place would be sealed or stitched to the fabric, and then heat-sealed to the glass. This solved the problem of leakage, but still could not compare to the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) look; the glass would not be flush from the inside because the piping that was connecting it to the fabric would run around the outer rim of the window as well.

Companies have tried to mimic the factory direct look, but at the end of the day, only a proprietary window bonding technique could be equivalent to the manufacturer. This is why advanced window bonding system is, in our opinion, the best way for aftermarket convertible top company to eliminate all the problems that the other techniques have, while also creating a top with an OEM finish.

When deciding what replacement convertible top to choose, make sure the company only deals with specialty rear view windows that have the most authentic appearance.

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