Polycarbonate Jeep Windows: Unmatched Views

why polycarbonate windows jeep soft top

Polycarbonate windows are a popular choice for Jeep soft tops. They are favoured for their durability, with some claiming they are over 250% stronger than glass. They are also significantly lighter than glass windows, making them a more convenient option. However, polycarbonate windows are prone to scratching, especially when used with windshield wipers. Therefore, they may not be the best option for those who plan to use their Jeep in rainy conditions.


Polycarbonate windows are more durable than glass

Polycarbonate windows are a popular choice for Jeep soft tops. They are highly durable and resistant to harsh conditions, which is especially important when compared to glass. Glass can be fragile and prone to breaking, which can create a hazardous situation for Jeep drivers and their passengers.

Polycarbonate windows are almost unbreakable, making them a much safer option than glass. They can withstand extreme weather conditions and are ideal for off-road adventures. In addition, polycarbonate windows offer superior protection against burglaries and vandalism due to their impact-resistant properties.

One of the most significant advantages of polycarbonate windows is their ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Traditional glass can struggle to handle high temperatures, often absorbing heat and becoming unsafe to touch. On the other hand, polycarbonate windows can endure temperatures of up to 270 degrees for extended periods or sudden heat bursts of up to 1166 degrees without any distortion or breakage. This makes them a much safer choice for Jeep soft tops.

Polycarbonate windows also offer better insulation than glass. Their thermal efficiency helps stabilize and maintain a consistent temperature inside the Jeep, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling. As a result, polycarbonate windows can help lower energy costs and reduce the vehicle's carbon footprint.

Furthermore, polycarbonate windows are lightweight, making them easier to install and replace than glass windows. They can be cut on-site using standard tools, reducing the risk of sizing errors and costly replacements. Overall, polycarbonate windows provide superior durability, safety, and performance compared to glass, making them an ideal choice for Jeep soft tops.

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They are half the weight of glass windows

Polycarbonate windows are half the weight of glass windows. This makes them a great choice for Jeep soft tops, as weight and ease of removal are important factors in the design. Lighter windows are also beneficial for fuel efficiency and handling.

Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic, which means it can be heated to a liquid state and moulded into shape without affecting the chemical makeup of the polymer. It is a hard, rigid material that comes in large sheets and can be shaped, coated, tinted, and customised in various ways, making it very versatile.

The lightweight nature of polycarbonate also makes it easier to install. Compared to standard glass panels, polycarbonate sheets are six times lighter, making installation quicker and simpler. This is a significant advantage over glass, as there is less concern with cutting errors, and fewer materials are required for support.

The weight of polycarbonate windows also contributes to their impact resistance. This material can withstand impacts up to 200 times greater than glass, so it is much less likely to crack or shatter. This makes polycarbonate windows a safer and more durable option than glass.

In addition to being lightweight, polycarbonate windows offer other advantages such as UV protection, insulation, and non-conductivity. These features make polycarbonate a popular choice for windows in vehicles, buildings, and other applications where impact resistance, weight, and ease of installation are important considerations.

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Polycarbonate windows are not DOT approved

Polycarbonate is a type of plastic that is known for its strength and impact resistance. It is often used as a replacement for glass in various applications, including automotive windows. While polycarbonate windows can provide better protection than glass in some cases, they are not recognised by the Department of Transportation (DOT) as meeting the safety standards required for road use.

In the United States, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 205 sets out the safety requirements for glazing materials used in motor vehicles. This includes the windshield, windows, and any interior partitions. The purpose of this standard is to reduce injuries resulting from impact with the glazing surfaces, minimise the likelihood of occupants being thrown through the windshield in collisions, and ensure adequate visibility for the driver.

While polycarbonate glazing has been permitted for use in vehicles since 1983, it is not considered "safety glazing material" under FMVSS 205. This term is defined as any glazing material that reduces the likelihood of injury to persons by glazing material, whether broken or unbroken, in comparison with ordinary sheet, plate, or float glass.

Polycarbonate windows may offer some advantages over traditional glass windows in Jeep soft tops, such as improved durability and resistance to shattering. However, they may also be more prone to scratching and distortion, and can be significantly more expensive. As such, it is important for Jeep owners to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of polycarbonate windows before making a purchase, particularly given their non-DOT-approved status.

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They are more expensive than other options

Polycarbonate windows for Jeep soft tops are more expensive than other options. While polycarbonate windows are stronger and more shatter-resistant than glass, they are not scratch-resistant. They are also not DOT-approved.

For example, the Optic Armor Wrangler JK polyshield is half the weight of a glass windshield and over 250% stronger than glass. However, it costs $450, and there is a risk of scratching if you use windshield wipers.

Another option is to replace the plastic windows with glass windows. Bestop sells the JL version of their Trektop Pro Hybrid soft top, which has glass side windows and hatch. However, it is more of a hardtop replacement than a soft top replacement.


Polycarbonate windows are prone to scratching

One way to mitigate scratching is through proper cleaning and maintenance. When cleaning polycarbonate windows, it is crucial to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning agents as they can scratch or haze the material. Mild soap, water, and a microfiber towel are recommended for regular cleaning. Additionally, specific products designed for polycarbonate or plastic window cleaning can be used, such as Bestop Vinyl Window Cleaner or Mopar® Jeep® SoftGlass Window Cleaner, which provide UV protection and help prevent yellowing.

In cases where scratches do occur, there are several methods to remove or reduce their appearance. One approach is to use a buffing machine with a loose abrasive compound to polish the surface and restore its shine. Another technique is chemical polishing, which involves using a chemical polish, such as methylene chloride, to replenish the look of the window. Vapor polishing, a type of solvent polishing, is also effective for achieving a glossier and smoother surface. However, it requires skill and experience as it involves using chemical vapors that can be hazardous.

For deeper scratches, sanding with progressively finer grit sandpaper can help remove them. This process is time-consuming and labor-intensive but is effective for more severe damage. After sanding, polishing can be done to further enhance the smoothness and shine of the surface.

While polycarbonate windows offer many benefits, such as impact resistance, lightweight construction, and optical clarity, their proneness to scratching is a consideration. Regular maintenance and prompt scratch repair can help extend the life of these windows and maintain their aesthetic appeal.

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Frequently asked questions

Polycarbonate windows are a great option for Jeep soft tops as they are strong, durable, and scratch-resistant. They are also half the weight of glass windows, making them a lightweight alternative.

Yes, polycarbonate windows are a great alternative to glass windows for Jeep soft tops. They are stronger and more durable than glass, making them ideal for off-roading and outdoor adventures.

To clean your polycarbonate windows, use a mild soap and water solution with a microfiber cloth. Avoid using circular motions when cleaning, as this can cause scratches. Instead, wipe in straight lines.

Yes, it is important to avoid using dry cloths to wipe down your windows, as this can cause scratches and damage. Always use a mild soap and water solution, and avoid cleaning in direct sunlight or freezing temperatures.

There are several companies that sell polycarbonate windows for Jeep soft tops, including Optic Armor and Bestop. You can also find them on online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay.

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