It's been great so far! I don't think I've ever seen out the back this well. Supposedly it's a little shorter, but you'd never notice when looking out.
L.A. people -- Robbins is located in Santa Monica, and they do a fine job with the installation, for only $150. Elsewhere, shop around when you're looking for someone to install it! I got two widely varying quotes ($375 and $175) before I found out that Robbins was in the area and did installations.
Rear glass window replacement for factory plastic unit
I had the top replaced under warranty due to the separation of the vinyl from the frame at the middle bow. Yes, I do have a great dealer. Anyway, I arranged for them to use the Robbins unit instead of the new plastic unit that would ship with the new top. Again, I do have a great dealer.
I received the window in a few days from Dealer Alt. They had the best price and the lowest shipping price. I promptly took the window and my Miata (94 A) to the dealer for installation. I left the car for the day and instantly spotted my child sitting there looking so proud.
The difference the glass makes is remarkable. I no longer have problems seeing out the back at night. My wife is even comfortable backing up now. There is also a remarkable difference in the manner that it handles rain. I also don't have to use the Meguiars plastic polish and cleaner every month.
There were a few things that Robbins has apparently addressed with their latest version. The window is relatively fixed in its upright position even when unzipped. No more putting the back window and side glass down for a little breeze on those days that the sunburn is getting too severe to drop the top. Also, the top does not lay at the same level as with the plastic window. Robbins includes a set of bump stops to prevent the glass from getting cracked which causes the frame to sit about an inch higher than stock. I also have a significant problem putting the boot on. I understand that someone is manufacturing a boot with slightly larger dimensions to compensate but the price is a bit high. Another issue, possibly unique to my top, is that I must use the boot now. If I don't put the boot on, tension in the top causes it to rise up about four inches after a couple pot holes or railroad tracks. The idea of a giant speedbrake comes to mind.
As I mentioned, I understand Robbins has solved at least a couple of my relatively minor gripes. I emailed Robbins an inquiry as to modifying my top to solve the above problems. After a month, I am somewhat pessimistic as to their ever answering. I think I'll call Dealer Alt and see if they can help.
Speaking of which, Dealer Alt was very helpful and cooperative on the phone.
In short, the replacement is expensive but well worth the investment. I won't have it any other way.
A drop-in replacement for the factory-spec flexible plastic rear window.
My local trim shop did magnificent work installing it, and raising/lowering the top is every bit as easy as with the stock window.
Without experiencing it for yourself, you'll never know how nice it is to have this simple upgrade -- the visibility is worlds better, despite the window being slightly shorter than stock, and the ability to remove ice without damaging the window. The only things that caught me off-guard at first are that the window does not drop separately (straps allows it to swing out of the way as the top folds) and that there is a popping sounds as you raise the top (because of Velcro flaps that hold the lowered window out of harm's way). Expect to pay about twice as much as a standard window ($350-$400 with shipping from Moss Motors), but remember that it will last four to five times as long, making it a smart investment even apart from the day-to-day advantages.
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14 May, 1998