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Discussion Starter #1
This is my main criticism of Subarus in general: the lack of door frames for the windows. On every other car, when you open a door, there's a frame of metal that comes with the door that outlines the edge of the window. Except for convertibles (or hardtops that are also offered as convertibles) and a few exotics, I can't think of any other new cars that don't have them.

I don't like this for several reasons:
- It looks old-school
- It sounds and feels cheap (you don't get the same authoritative vault-like "thunk" when you close the door, and if you slam a door with an open window you can hear it bouncing inside)
- It's a long-term liability for window alignment and seal integrity
- It exposes the glass edge to easier damage with open/opening doors
- Window goes down into the middle of the door, instead of straight down along a frame edge, which doesn't look right and introduces airflow/buffeting issues at highway speed

I imagine most people here don't care or even notice this, but I've owned 3 convertibles which all developed window closure/alignment issues, so I'm paranoid about this.

Subarus tend to be simple in their design, and I don't have a problem with that - I bought this car for the AWD and reliability, not the features or styling.

Sure, it saves a couple pounds and a few bucks in manufacturing, but the rest of the automotive world uses window frames... why does Subaru insist on leaving them out? Even the new '05 Legacy/Outback models don't have them.

Granted, if this is my biggest gripe, then I'm still a happy Subie owner. Just wondering if there was any insight here.

-Peter

PS: Yes, I searched, but window/door/frame/pillar (s) came up with nothing

PPS: Why, when there are no search results, does the message say "acuramdx.org Message; Sorry - no matches" :rolleyes:
 

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Thats one of the things i like about Subaru,frameless glass.Convertibles tend to have more body flex and sagging due to the roof being gone which causes doors not to close properly.Every convertible i've driven feels like it has over 100,000 miles on it,feels worn out.Once you cut the top off of a car you take the back bone out of the car,not to mention about the air and water leaks that they have.Subaru has been doing frameless for years and i hope they do it for many years to come.
 

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I need a fog horn, ,
2004 Outback Sport
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I read somewhere (maybe here?) Subaru likes to have more solid steel in the frame of the car. they claim that the frameless windows make Subarus much safer in side impact, rollover, etc.
I'll look for the link.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hvlwnc said:
I read somewhere (maybe here?) Subaru likes to have more solid steel in the frame of the car. they claim that the frameless windows make Subarus much safer in side impact, rollover, etc.
I'll look for the link.
I'd be interestsed in reading that, and perhaps there's an upside to frameless windows I hadn't considered. I also admit it isn't fair to compare my convertible window experiences with a hardtop's.

I just don't see how adding window frames to the exisiting structure would make the car... less safe??

Subarus have come along way since:

check out THIS Subie!

There's something generaly "retro" about even modern Subarus. When I sit in my 02 OBS I feel like back in my 85 Celica. I'm glad they've spent their dollars on engineering, AWD, quality, etc. and not styling etc. But it still smacks me as so different not to have them. If it was truly safer, wouldn't Volvo and Mercedes be this way?

My 2c. I'm probably not going to back down on this :) Thanks for letting me vent (heh)

-Peter
 

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Originally posted by PTinVT
Sure, it saves a couple pounds and a few bucks in manufacturing
I suspect it costs more to manufacture frameless windows. The windows are rock solid when fully raised (although I still never grip the window to open/close the door like you could if there was a frame there) and (at least from my experience repairing & aligning the windows on my old convertible) there's more parts in there to ensure alignment & stability since you don't have a frame doing that. Also, I think all 4 of our windows "articulate"- its easy to see on the rear ones, but I notice it just as the front ones are closing, too. You probably wouldn't have that on framed windows, yet its likely more costly & heavier, as I believe its a scissor mechanism instead of the typical cable & track style.

After all this time, maybe Subaru thinks of their windows as an established brand characteristic (kinda like Saab having the ignition key in the center console :)) & sticks with it despite what everyone else is doing.

I agree, that rattle when you close the door with the window down sounds really bad.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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You fools! Don't you know the reason? It's so when you tie a matress to the roof, you can still open and close the doors!


*G* just kidding, I'm listening to Car Talk and they're talking about that now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't listen to the radio much, but it seems like every time I catch Car Talk, Subaru always comes up at least a couple times. I wonder if they're sponsored by them, because it borders on promotion IMHO.

And while I'm whining - another cheapish thing I've discovered: Vanity mirror (which I don't really need) on the driver side - I don't care that it isn't lit, but it isn't COVERED - so when you use the visor, you are treated to a reflection of your midsection (which in my case, is not a pretty sight :) ) I wonder if I can just detach it without damaging the visor.

-Peter
(with dual lit and covered vanity mirrors that don't get used either in my other car :rolleyes: )
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry, not to be a post ***** (and still replying to my own topic) - I did think of ONE other car that has no window frames:

The Saab 9-2 :21:

(pic credit to The_Lizard from another thread on that topic)
 

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I think several Acura models had frameless windows up until their most recent redesigns... I seem to remember nearly giving myself a tracheotomy getting into an Integra sedan once... :D

edit: both visor vanity mirrors on my Outback sedan are identical- lighted w/ a flip up cover. That's nicer than some cars which put them on each side, but then pass on the cover & light for the driver.
 

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I don't mind the frameless window openings. It took a while to get use to, but everything's peachy now. As for design purposes, I have no idea which is better/safer. I don't think it has to do with cost either. But as for tying something on the roof if you need to do it, it does work out perfect. Brian
 

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Actually, I just read in the recent Car and Driver review on the XT that the frameless windows do indeed add to the structural rigidity, crash impact, etc... Its really a blurb, not quite worth running out to read - though the review was great. I too cringe at this feature, structural rigidity or no... I had a WRX for a while, and this always bugged me.. It took me so long to remember to stop closing the door by reaching for the sill that wasn't there, and getting my finger prints all over the window.. Unfortunatly, most people won't ever realize that, so passengers are always leaving fingerprints on the windows! Mostly, it looks cheep to me - and feels cheep. I like having alot of weight in the doors. Oh well.. probably something that isn't likely to change. I certainly don't care enough about it to not get a subaru!
 

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Frameless windows have some major advantages.

1. the visibilty: If you add a frame around the window, you will cut away about 1cm around the glass, that you will not be able to look through...

2. weight: the doors are lighter, you cann add more safety(weight) into the door itself...

3. sealing: glass directly on rubber seals better as metal on rubber...

4. water breaking in: If you have a doorframe, there is a gap between door and roof, and this gap is ontop of the car->possible water could break in...

5. Looks way better, I love to open the front-doors with the window down, way more sexy and cool...

negative sides:
- some passengers do not get it...
- the car is very tight sealed,if you close the rear gate very fast, the air is compressed and it does not close properly sometimes...

greetings
Arne
 

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PTinVT said:
Sorry, not to be a post ***** (and still replying to my own topic) - I did think of ONE other car that has no window frames:

The Saab 9-2 :21:

(pic credit to The_Lizard from another thread on that topic)
Well, what you are looking at it is a Saab badged Subaru Impreza WRX. Looks like Saab only changed the front and rear clips, but left everything else the way Subaru originally designed it.

I have mixed feelings about the frameless windows, as well. The window rattles a bit too much when down, and when you shut the door w/the window down, let's just say that it doesn't instill much confidence in me about the structure of the car. (clank vs. thud).

One more thing, if the window had a frame, it feels to me that entry/exit could have been a little tight when the door cannot be opened fully. Maybe it's just a visual thing.
 

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I really like the way the frameless windows look. I think they look elegant. One of my biggest peeves about the car is the sound the door makes when you shut it and the window is down... sounds like I'm not alone on this.
 

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I need a fog horn, ,
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I've only been able to find a few sentences here and there. the Saftey section of Subaru NZ says the frameless windows increase visibility. If you look at the 2 drawings of the frame on the page, you can see where having door frames would take away from the "ring stucture".

I couldn't find the one I was talking about- Maybe I read it on paper, or I dreamt it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Looking at the huge rubber seal/gaskets needed for the frameless windows, I can't imagine a frame couldn't be designed to take up the same space... I'd also rather rely on a metal/rubber seal than a glass/rubber seal for the long-term integrity.

As far as "articulating" is concerned, it's not that difficult - my '68 Malibu had them in the rears, it's just a question of designing curved tracks that aren't parallel - as the fixed window mounts snake through them, the window tilts back and forth.


I realize this is a minor point, but if I'm in the minority with my opinions here, so be it. I still believe the disadvantages outweigh the advantages - and the rest of the automotive world agrees with their designs.

my humble 2c,
-Peter
 

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With that argument, we would have no AWD or boxer engine...
Maybe its more expensive to do it right, but its good.
Frameless windows are better if they are done right, look at very expensive luxury cars. MB - SL or CL or BMW 6-series, all supersportcars have them...

greetings
Arne
 

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When I bought my Outback a few months ago, the salesman tried to tell me the the framless glass was a safety feature. He then proceeded to open the door, put his hand between the glass and the door jamb, an then SLAM THE DOOR. And he was unhurt. Later that night during our marathon bargaining session I threatened to put his head in there and slam the door. Soon after the deal got sweeter.
 

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Coming in late here I know, but I've also read that it's for safety reasons based on 1. having a larger opening due to no frame and 2. by putting the steel into the body not the door frame they make a more rigid and crashworthy body.

This has been evidenced by another thread here where I reported the Outback and Legacy/Liberty were the first car to rate 5 Stars in the ANCAP crash test in Australia. This included a side impact "pole" test where even the non-side airbag models also rated 5 Stars.

One minor irritation for me is the rear windows, I've never known a car to have rear's that only go halfway down before, and they sure look bad when down IMHO.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
ArneH said:
With that argument, we would have no AWD or boxer engine...
Maybe its more expensive to do it right, but its good.
Frameless windows are better if they are done right, look at very expensive luxury cars. MB - SL or CL or BMW 6-series, all supersportcars have them...

greetings
Arne
All the cars you mentioned are either convertibles or available as convertibles (as are most supersports cars), therefore no window frames by definition...

I'm still not buying that adding a window frame to properly designed car makes it less safe (save for protecting morons who slam the doors on their own hands :rolleyes: )

I picked up my car from the first dealer visit the other day, and they obviously put it through the car wash (since it was cleaner than when I dropped it off) - and you could see condensation and a couple streaks on the INSIDE of a couple windows where water had seeped through the window seals. I've only got 30K on my car.


We're obviously not going to convince each other - as I said earlier, there are pros and cons, but as I've also said before... if this is my biggest complaint, then you can still consider me a happy owner. :)

Happy Motoring,
-Peter
 
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