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question on rear window defroster repair kits
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lewis71bug
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:21 am    Post subject: question on rear window defroster repair kits Reply with quote

I'm going to purchase (unless someone knows of a better solution) one of the "frost fighter" (http://www.frostfighter.com/prt2600.htm) kits to repair the rear window defroster on my 71 super. For anyone that has used these, which one did you use (I'm thinking their part # 2609 will work). My bug has 7 defrost lines and the height of the window is about 15.5".

I tried fixing mine with the paint for this purpose, but there are too many breaks. Will the frost fighter kit apply right over the existing lines?

Any info is appreciated.
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jhicken
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got no experience with these kits but they look better than some of the others I've seen. However for $50 you could probably find yourself another window with a working defroster.

-jeffrey
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gfw1985
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read up on that kit. It won't match original lines, but you can get the price down to $35 + or minus, reusing your original wiring and switch. The rear window for my Ghia is a little harder to find, and repop's are not always same size. So I am going to give it a try. Will post back when finished.
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lewis71bug
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following up: I did purchase the "clear view" kit, #2612 (12 defrost lines, so I'd have extra in case I goof up). I have not installed yet. Per the instructions, the window's temp needs to be 70+ degrees (and it's been in the teens here). I plan on putting a heater in the car and in the garage to warm it up and then post some picts of my progress.

First impressions of the kit: nice. The bus bars are solid brass and thick, all of the components of the kit appear to be first rate, and the heat element replacement 'lines' are thick.

The kit comes with all wiring, a lighted switch, relay (auto turnoff after 12 minutes of heating), window cleaning pad, everything you need. At this point I haven't decided if I'll replace the stock relay and switch with the ones in the kit. My car is pretty much stock, so I'm leaning toward just replacing grid as best I can and leaving the rest original.

Wayne
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jamesdagg
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd swap relays. Much safer and easier on the battery with that 12 min. shut off. Use the old relay to create an accessory position for your ignition so you can listen to the radio with the key off.
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shawns73
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lewis71bug wrote:
Following up: I did purchase the "clear view" kit, #2612 (12 defrost lines, so I'd have extra in case I goof up). I have not installed yet. Per the instructions, the window's temp needs to be 70+ degrees (and it's been in the teens here). I plan on putting a heater in the car and in the garage to warm it up and then post some picts of my progress.

First impressions of the kit: nice. The bus bars are solid brass and thick, all of the components of the kit appear to be first rate, and the heat element replacement 'lines' are thick. ...
Wayne


Hi Wayne,

... just curious if you'd had a chance to apply the kit yet? I'm in the same situation ( http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=272125&start=20 ), and am about to order a kit soon. I'd like to hear about your experience.
Thanks,
Shawn
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jamesdagg
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read another thread about this kit and they had all good to say about it. It is of course easier to do with the window out and in your shop. I plan to pick up a rear window cheap and do that.

Maybe I should buy a second kit, and do my original window, after I swap them, and sell it already done.
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lewis71bug
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:13 am    Post subject: Followup (my install) Reply with quote

Here's my long awaited followup, sorry it took so long

First, I like the kit. It seems to be though out well and good stuff. Here's a picture of what you receive:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I had a mishap (didn't follow directions) at first. I originally ordered the 2612 kit (12 lines), thinking I'd have extra in case I needed it. I wanted to come out looking as stock as possible. What happened was, I didn't read the instructions closely and didn't realize you have to have a very specific amount of resistance in the circuit (apparently, the frostfighter lines will not carry as much amperage as OG lines), and I burnt out ALL of the lines the first time I switched it on. I called frostfighter (they have very good phone tech support) and they knew immediately what I had done, and cut me a deal on just the replacement materials I needed (kudos to them). What I had wanted to do, I couldn't: clean the window, put the new lines right over top the old lines, and use the orignal bus bars.

What I ended up doing: clean the window (it has to be VERY clean to have the lines stick permanently), place the new lines, stick down the sticky foam for the bus bars, put down the new bus bars, and wire it all up. I'm not 100% satisfied at this point ONLY because it doesn't look stock. The defroster works GREAT. When I turn it on, the window is clear in less than a minute. BUT, from inside the car, you can tell it's not stock. Not so much from the outside. The new bus bars are wide and go on straight, so you can get close enough to the edges. Here's some pics:

Because the window circuit has to have enough resistance, it has to be long. To get the length, the bus bars have to be laid out per the directions in the book that comes with the kit. I used the 2609 kit the second time around (9 lines), and the bus bars are split into 4 sections, giving you a 4 line set and a 5 line set, making a longer series circuit. I hope that makes sense. This is why you can't use the existing bus bars.

You can't make out too many details, but this is the window before the install
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Again, before the install
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

After
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

After
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

After (both sides look the same)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I'm going to run 2 new wires to the windows to get rid of the spliced wires you see in the last picture.

Here's the new button that comes with the kit. If you use their relay (I did) so you have the auto-shutoff after 12 minutes feature, you have to use their button (or know more about electronics than I do). I wired in the green indicator light on the speedo so it comes on when the defroster is on, to keep it closer to stock operation:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I hope this is useful to someone. Overall: the kit is good. I recommend the 2609 kit. Follow the directions. Try to get the new bus bars closer to the edge than I did. Get your window surgically clean.

Wayne
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mnussbau
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice upgrade. Here's a question...could you have scraped off the old lines using a flat razor, so it would look closer to stock?
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lewis71bug
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mnussbau wrote:
Nice upgrade. Here's a question...could you have scraped off the old lines using a flat razor, so it would look closer to stock?


I did, as best I could. I used a razor to strip as much of the original lines as I could. There is still a hint of the lines embedded in the glass, and that will not come off, as far as I can tell. When you look close, it appear that VW etched those lines into the glass somehow. I tried to scrape off the original bus bars, I think it's impossible.

Wayne
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mnussbau
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. I guess the best way to eliminate the lines then, assuming you have an extra $100 or so, would be to replace the glass. If you have the money that would be totally clean.
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lewis71bug
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mnussbau wrote:
Wow. I guess the best way to eliminate the lines then, assuming you have an extra $100 or so, would be to replace the glass. If you have the money that would be totally clean.


Eventually, that is my goal. Right now, though, I'm happy to be able to see out my rear window. This place has new rear windows with defroster, but it's not cheap: http://eisparts.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?page=EIS/PROD/W/111845501KH
The frostfighter is much cheaper. I did salvage 2 rear windows that looked like they had good defrosters, but they did not test good after I got them home (but I have extras now, if I ever need them).
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shawns73
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the detailed update Very Happy

I had contacted FrostFighter in regard to a smaller kit ( under 40" ) that they are developing, and they have said that it will not be ready for at least 9 months or so. What was the width in which you have set up yours?

Thanks,
Shawn
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