Defender glass choices-lessons learned
I had the driver side window glass shatter on me this week, and I'm getting ready to replace it. I have now discovered how difficult it is to find an auto glass shop that has templates for Defender side windows.
In an effort of having to order a replacement glass and risk not only the time of waiting for it to ship, but also the damage to the glass on shipment, I have found a good local glass shop that can do it, but what they have to do is pull the passenger door glass to use as a template for the driver door. Fortunately, all our windows are flat, so they are cheap to cut once they have a template. I have asked him to make me a template, which he is going to do out of wood, so I have it for all time. Next time, instead of pulling the other door glass, I can just drop off the template and then show up for the install. Thanks to our flat glass, it only cost me $50 a window to have them cut, vs $115+shipment to have OEM tempered windows. All the classic Rover houses are out of stock on NAS110 front door glass BTW. Nice.
One obstacle we ran into is that he doesn't have tempered glass that would fit, only laminate (like a windshield). He said we could use 1/4" laminate instead of the OEM tempered, and I said ok, not knowing the difference of the two really.
So after some research, I found out that laminated glass is much better in many perspectives than tempered. It's better for deterring snatch and grab theft, better for keeping people from getting ejected in an accident, better in storms, etc. Only downside is when the car goes underwater, but I have crank windows.
I also found out that while the windscreens are required to be laminated for many safety reasons, side and rear passenger car windows generally are only tempered, primarily due to cost.
After thinking about how my glass just vaporized when I closed the door, and then seeing videos of how laminated side and rear glass are becoming increasingly popular with some high end automakers, as well as the emergence of security films in the tinting industry for again safety and security, I've decide to just have two pieces cut while he's in there, and replace both front door glasses with laminate. I'm going to have the rest of the windows all around done as well, probably by adding security film (yielding the same protection results as laminate).
Going the weekend here in Charlotte as we approach 90 degrees with scattered t-storms approaching, I was pretty torqued about how my glass vaporized. If it was laminated glass, it would have still been intact, just cracked. I would still be enjoying my A/C and have theft protection over the weekend, while waiting to get my window replaced. I've concluded tempered glass sucks. As hard as Defender glass is to find, if I'm out of town, or take my rig to another country, (or extreme climates like arctic canada), I'd be SOL with a broken tempered window.
Has anyone else looked into this or done it?
I posted this thread on expo as well, due to it's common relevance.