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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know Doug from Dark Horse has already posted pics of 2 different rigs as well as a handful of videos, but here are a few details from a real-world customer perspective.

Removal of the stock windows:
This wasn't quite as easy as originally advertised. Places were quoting ridiculous prices, as well as needing the rig for a full day, blah, blah, blah.
Regardless, Doug called around and found a place (Tim from High Class Auto Glass). After talking to Tim on Wednesday, I talked him into the first appointment of the day today (Friday).
My window was 8-9. Tim called at 8:17 and was here by 8:25.

I didn't snap any photos out in the snow removing the windows, but it was very interesting for me to watch. He was extremely careful with everything he was doing. Taking precautions not to scratch things and of course to not break or drop the glass itself.

Here's what it looked like after the stock glass was removed.


Well, I returned the FJ to the garage to start warming up and was back to my desk before my 9:00 meeting. Definitely not the 6 to 8 hours Safelite quoted me.


OK, now on to the install.

Assuming the place you go to have your stock glass removed takes off the trim, just like Tim did for me. I'd recommend asking them not to replace it and keeping it off until your install is done (I'll explain why later).
Here is the trim I'm referring to:

On a side note - those clips you see...the passenger side were white, while the driver side were pink. They look identical to me, but if you happen to break one and need a replacement, I figured it was worth calling out.

And on we go...

In video #2 from their site, Doug pulls this pin out with a thumb and a finger. Either he's got the strongest fingers in the world, or I was doing something wrong. I yanked on that thing for a few minutes before getting a really small screwdriver and prying up the 2nd level of the pin.


Template on and ready to rock.
Note - only one template comes with your purchase. Be kind to it, as you'll need it for both sides. Notice how I was careful with the tape so that if I was unable to remove it, I'd be able to fold over nicely when moving to the other side.


Not knowing what was "behind the curtain" at the top, I chose to prevent my drill from diving in too far. As it turns out, I didn't need to do this.


Holes drilled and ready to keep moving.


Trim ring bent and mounted. Make sure you spend a good amount of time getting this as perfect as possible. Check, double-check, triple-check and check again to make sure everything is sitting even and as flush as possible. Once you expose the tape and get it mounted, adjustments are tough to make.

If you do need to bend it slightly after mounting, I ended up using some adjustable c-clamps with good rubber feet. Some strategic squeezing and positioning let me adjust the first one slightly, but an extra 90 seconds on the 2nd one prevented the headache.

Installing the hinges is very straight forward. Female ends go to the bottom and front of the FJ, then a few rivets and they're on. If you watch the video, you'll see on the 2nd hinge, Doug puts in both rivets to keep things lined up. I did this for all 4 and ran into no issues.

When you go to install the latch, you will need to make sure it is fully flush with the FJ before putting in the bolts. I tried to get a good pic of the minimal amount of thread you'll have to start with. Trust me, it isn't much.

Once you get the nut started, you're good to go. A T10 torx bit held the bolts perfectly, while an 11/32 socket fit for the nut.

Now...once you have these all installed, I'd recommend deviating from the plan slightly here.
Before installing the gasket, I'd suggest you test-fit the new windows. Without requiring the extra force the gasket requires, you can get a feel for how it needs to line up, how far down it goes, the force required to get it in the hinge, etc... The little bit of extra time will help your confidence when you go to mount them at the end.


Next it is time to install the gasket. This is the reason I suggested above that you leave the lower trim piece off. It allows you to get the gasket right down at the bottom, as compared to the video where Doug is trying to force it down past that piece of rubber.


Window installed (not yet latched)


Connecting the latch is truly as simple as it looks, one handed operation.


And now for some action shots....
Open all the way (I agree, a lot of air is going to be moving through now).


Partially open (likely how I'll be rolling once the snow melts)


You will notice that they do stick out a bit from what was there before. I took this to try and put it in perspective.


Trim back on.



No extra parts that I forgot.
 

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Thanks for posting up your install experience, much appreciated as I plan to pick up a set of these myself if the in-usage experience stories stay positive.

gb
 

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Excellent - looks great, can't wait to get this done as well.

Very exciting.

-
 

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ok these are great!!! ill have to start saving
 

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Looks good and straight forward. Thanks for the extra tips. This is certainly on my dog's list of things for me to do when I return.
 

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Hi

Thanks for the write up. Amazing .. No doubt..

Where from and how much?
 

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Tray, now you need to get out on the road and give us some information on wind-noise:thinkerg:. My wife is loving this idea (calling it the 'Doggie Mod') but is worried about how much noise they will generate in each position, especially fully removed. Thanks in advance for any input you have.
 

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Very cool mod! Interested to see how the plexiglass holds up to tree branches and brush. I would be worried about scratches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tray, now you need to get out on the road and give us some information on wind-noise:thinkerg:. My wife is loving this idea (calling it the 'Doggie Mod') but is worried about how much noise they will generate in each position, especially fully removed. Thanks in advance for any input you have.
I tested them out closed tonight. It was only up to 24 degrees, and although my kids wanted them open, I opted against it. No highway driving, so I was only up to 65 mph tops, but there was no noticable noise with them fully closed.

As soon as the weather warms up, I'll be testing out the other positions.

Very cool mod! Interested to see how the plexiglass holds up to tree branches and brush. I would be worried about scratches.
Pretty sure I'll be removing them when I hit the trails, so hopefully mine won't be seeing any branches any time soon.
 

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Very cool mod! Interested to see how the plexiglass holds up to tree branches and brush. I would be worried about scratches.
I was thinking about this as well, and have no doubt that they will scratch easily if unprotected. They ARE plexi glass after all. My solution would be to apply micro adhesive plastic coverings, some call them 'tear-offs', before hitting the trails. I'd do this in coordination with a heavy coat of wax on the body paint.
 

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That looks sweet! First time I've seen it. I'd always thought portholes would look cool back there:

 

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TRAY, how would you rate the quality of the materials used?
Hinges, latch, plexi and back plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
TRAY, how would you rate the quality of the materials used?
Hinges, latch, plexi and back plate.
Well, that is a tough question. The only thing that even comes close in my past experience is a few cars that came factory with pop-out windows.

I'd say the latch itself is on par with anything I've had in the past. It feels very secure, opens/closes fluidly and seems as though it will last.

The hinges are pretty stout. Small, yet sturdy.

The mounting plate is powder-coated steel. Pre-drilled and looks/feels high quality to me.

The windows themselves feel very similar to the actual glass that was removed. Similar thickness, similar weight, just plexi versus glass.

I can honestly say though that the materials used in this kit blow away all of the other kits on the market today to replace the factory windows :cheers:
 

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looks good.
 
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