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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had ClearPlex installed back in October 2007 by Jazz It Up here in Denver. they are great people to work with and it only cost $150. ClearPlex had some issues with minor bubbling in some of their early batches of of film. I had some minor bubbles that wouldn't go away. Jazz It Up gave me half my money back ($75) and said to give it a try and they would put a new film on the spring for $75. Here is how it went.

The Good:
ClearPlex does fulfill the mission of protection your windshield. Colorado is the perfect test area for ClearPlex. Colorado DOT and the local municipalities love to put down a near gavel like substance on the roads in the winter leaving lots of rock ammo to take out windshields. It is so bad that most insurance companies won't provide windshield insurance that many folks can get for about $50 a year. My windshield sustain about 5-6 hard hits that would have cracked or chipped my windshield without ClearPlex. The rocks left a ding in the ClearPlex but no windshield damage.

The Bad:
ClearPlex gets pitted pretty easily. When I had my windshield replaced just before getting the ClearPlex, I realized how pitted my windshield was after about a year. I'd say ClearPlex pits 2-3 times as fast and is probably a bit worse than the pitting you get in the glass. It looks like my windshield was constantly dirty. You could feel the pits as well if you ran your hand across the windshield.

Also, bugs stick to ClearPlex like glue. You need to really scrub at the gas station to get them off.

The Ugly:
ClearPlex scratches despite the claims to the contrary. They recommend you clean your wipers regularly, but that was a habit I found hard to maintain. :) I'm not sure how much cleaning my wipers more often would have helped, especially with the about of grit on the roads here. There was one major scratch from my wiper blades and lots of minor scratches

I tired to take some pictures. I wasn't able to get a good pic of the minor scratches, but did get one of the big one. You can clearly see the pits in the others pics. That is not dirt. I cleaned the windshield before taking the pictures.

Verdict:

If you can live with the pitting and dirty windshield look, this stuff does it job of protecting the fragile FJ windshield. Of course, the FJ windshield does get pitted on its own, but at a slower rate.

Personally, I have windshield insurance and get replacement windshields at no cost for my $50 insurance cost a year. With an FJ, this is a steal and feels almost criminal. Because of this the ClearPlex benefit is not that great for me.

I'm going to go with a naked windshield for the summer at least and see if ClearPlex makes any progress on their abrasion resistance. If you have to foot the bill for windshields, it makes ClearPlex a more worthwhile investment despite its drawbacks.

Scratch


Holy Pits!


More Pits
 

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I installed my ClearPlex four months ago in January 2008.

I do not have the pitting problem you do, but there are clear impact marks over various parts of the windshield and there is one that clearly has hit glass.

I also don't have any scratching from the wipers yet, but I keep my windshield and wipers pretty clean and use generous amounts of wiper fluid when I'm operating the wipers. However, some distortion (not bubbles) in the upper 4" or so of the windshield did develop a couple months after installation. It doesn't affect my vision that much, so I didn't bother to go back to the installer to complain about it.

The only reason I resorted to ClearPlex was because I lost 2 windshields in just 2 months before the ClearPlex was installed and was worried about making too many insurance claims -- I've got $100 comprehensive coverage that includes windshields. I haven't lost a windshield since I installed the ClearPlex and I've heard some very hard hits on it, including the one that penetrated the film and hit glass.

So, the ClearPlex seems to be doing it's job in generally protecting the windshield surface and I'm probably going to replace the film after it reaches the end of it's useful life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the big difference is San Fran vs. Denver. I use lots of wiper fluid, etc. We just have so much dirt and junk on the roads during and after winter. No matter what, you always have grit flying up at you. I'd expect you to have a much longer life on your ClearPlex in Cali.
 

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Thanks FJHokie and Swingshiftworker for your first hand commentaries on the ClearPlex in 2 very different climates. Data is priceless.

DEWFPO
 

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Thanks FJHokie and Swingshiftworker for your first hand commentaries on the ClearPlex in 2 very different climates. Data is priceless.

DEWFPO
You're welcome. You can find more info about my windshield and ClearPlex experience (as well as more info from others regarding the same) in Mod #15 of My Build Diary.

The link is in my signature below. :)
 
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