Saturn Sky Forum banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
First 2000 Sr. Member
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here's what I can say (and show) about the clear plastic windscreens. I can't offer any insight on the Saturn-Official-Badminton-Racket-Mesh windscreen as I don't have access to one of those. I will only cover two of the clear-plastic-stuff-in-the-trunk-gap models.

Both of the screens "tested" are from supporting vendors, so I think I can be frank and open. I like both companies; service from both has been great. The two contenders are the "Jay Senoff's" Windscreen and the KappaSphere "SkyShield". I wll refer to these as the JS and Kappa, respectively, for short.

First a general note that applies to both as to how they work. They both use a similar concept of a clear, plastic shield that inserts into the gap between the rear bulkhead of the cockpit and the rear deck (trunk) lid. The rear deck has a rubber seal on it, and a gap by design to allow a space for the convertible top to exit from the trunk stowage area when it is raised. This rubber seal on the lid presses into the rear bulkheead when the top is lowered, or into the canvas of the top when the top is raised. The rear bulkhead follows the contours of the "aero fairings" behind the headrests, and has four screws that attach the silver strip behind the seats to the structure of the car itself - what I think of as "the frame" although that might not be the actual technical term.

These four screws are recessed into indentations. From the factory they are phillips, sheet metal screws and fairly short - I will say 5/8 of an inch, although I did not measure them. When the car comes from the factory, I found these screws to be INCREDIBLY TIGHT. I had to use a blunt-tipped phillips screwdriver, and I had to press into them with extreme pressure to get them to turn. Until I used massive force the screwdriver was slipping and I found myself stripping the heads. What I suspect (but can't prove and it doesn't matter anyway) is that the screws end up sticking to the soft paint and so they are semi-bonded in place. But what you need to know is that you need the right screwdriver and near-gorilla strength to bust those four screws loose. Once they are loosened then it's a snap.

Tip for the ladies (or men who want to say "I am afraid of damaging my car" versus admitting that they are weak and don't want to be classed with the ladies) - have the dealer bust those screws loose. Talk to the service manager, and state that you are going to be adding an aftermarket component, and you'd like them just to loosen those four screws and then put them back in place with non-gorilla force. If you don't ask the dealer to do this, and you just try to bozo those four screws loose, you could strip the heads real easy because they are so tight. I had to use all my strength and every mechanical trick I know to get those screws out once the heads were partially stripped due to my underestimation of the tightness of the screws from the factory. Learn from my humility here - do NOT underestimate those four @!*#%%! screws and strip the heads.

Now let's talk about the two approaches. The JS screen uses those four screws to hold the screen in place. Loosen the screws so they are just barely hanging on, and insert the screen to rest on the screws and then tighten them back down wedging the screen in place. Note that the factory screw heads then go into the notches on the shield, and there is a slight airgap between the front of the shield and the bulkhead because these screws go into holes in a recessed area. (This is hard to explain, but the photos should give you a better idea.) There is no real indicator when the screws are "tight enough" to hold the windscreen in place. I ended up overtightening the rightmost screw and snapping off the end of the windscreen. I have chosen to show this area in the closeup photo. So, in short, the JS uses the factory screws - and the assembly is screw head to shield to air gap to hole in bulkhead.

Kappa uses a different approach. They provide new screws, and bobbins, to hold the shield in place. The bobbins press firmly against the bulkhead in the recessed areas, and are held in place with the Kappa provided screws. Thus, there is no air gap, and everything is very tight when the windscreen is removed. The screen itself has rubber "spacers" stuck to it, that being soft and pliable are capable of compressing. These then provide a snug, non-slip fit between the bobbins and the bulkhead of the car. To remove the shield, simply provide a gentle, steady pressure and it will ease out from behind the bobbins. It can then be stowed in a provided pouch in the trunk when the top is raised so it won't interfere with the rear defogger or scratch the glass or get scratched itself. When the sheild is removed, structural integrity is maintained by the bobbins - nothing is loose. When the top is in down, the screen is held in place to the bobbins by a pressure fit via the compression of the rubber pads, and there are no "air gaps" anywhere. To me, the Kappa sheild has a structurally superior design by far - both with the shield in place and with the shield removed and only the bobbins in place. The fact that you can remove the shield from the bobbins with no tools, and that a pouch is provided for storage is icing on the cake - well worth the extra dollars.

In terms of the screens themselves, the Kappa screen is thinner and more flexible. I also think that the Kappa screen better follows the lines of the SKY aero fairings - but you can be the judge for yourself in the attached photos. I also provided a shot of the two screens side-by-side so you can compare thicknesses.

Summary:

The Kappa product includes dedicated mounting hardware designed specifically to hold the shield in place and allow for its easy removal without tools. The Kappa shield also has a storage pouch to keep it from getting scratched when it is removed. The Kappa screen is also padded with rubber bumpers against the bulkhead when it is mounted, proving firm (but pliable) mount points. The Kappa screen also has better lines for the SKY, in my opinion.

The JS screen uses the factory screws and is not intended to be removed when the top is up. To remove it, you would need a phillips screwdriver. It is thicker, less flexible, and more brittle.

I have seen comments "the JS screen is designed to remain in place with the top up, the Kappa screen has to be removed." There is nothing in the Kappa design that would make it inferior to the JS in place with the top up; in fact, being thinner and more pliantly secured it is probably better than the JS with the top up. However, it is so easy to remove and the fact that jamming extra stuff in the slot and slamming the deck down with force can't be a good thing (not necessarily bad, but it can't be good) that the reason to buy the JS over the Kappa because "you can keep it in place with the top up" is a false argument. If you want to leave it in place with the top up, get the Kappa because it's better in that application, too.

Recommendation:

My "I have no dog in this fight" analysis is that the Kappa is superior to the JS product in every category - design, aesthetic, ease of use, everything - except price. Kappa's costs about 25% more than the JS. In my opinion, get the Kappa. It is well worth the difference.

(Your opinion may differ.)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
With this info and the great pictures, I hve to agree, the Kappa is a better fit and design. I like the idea that no tools are required to take it off and put it back on when lowering and raising the top.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
The Saturns after market windscreen is not a badminton racket its a fly swatter.....but in fact it looks good in person. As far as method of attachment, I do not plan to compress my seals with the plastic windscreens. The seals will take a cold set over time or extrude from their position........either of these problems could cause an integrity problem with the seal over time.
 

·
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
2,238 Posts
Nice review! Thanks. Thats the kinda stuff I want to hear. I was kinda thinking of going Kappa anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
Great review. I also was going to get the Kappa. This review confirms my decision. So I need to get a gorilla to remove the screws?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,686 Posts
I went Kappa, my wife got it for me for Father's Day. I had the JS and sent it back as I didn't like how it looked installed. Bear in mind Jay is great with his customer service skills and I am not bad mouthing his product. I just like the looks of the KS installed better thats all.
 

·
First 2000 Sr. Member
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
moni6 said:
Great review. I also was going to get the Kappa. This review confirms my decision. So I need to get a gorilla to remove the screws?
Flipper sure as hell ain't gonna get the job done!

Perhaps a friendly neighbor not too far away who has done one might be willing to help if you asked nicely. :thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Illuminated Windscreen rating?

Great info on the Kappa and the JS. I also ordered from both of these suppliers and the Kappa was way better than the JS in my opinion. I chunked the JS due to the chrome rubber door edge molding strip it came with that covered up the jagged edges on the top and the left side was cut differently than the right side! It looks like he used a jig saw to cut these things out him self. The Kappa I only had 2 issues with.

1. It scratches easily
2. The edges are not clear and can not be polished so it will light up

I wanted to try and mount a light to the bottom of the Kappa shield so it would light up like the one I saw on an Ebay listing that was etched with art work that illuminates. Well I found out with that the Kappa shield you can not do this because of the Lexan they used to make it, it cant be polished. I decided to order the one off Ebay that is already etched and illuminated and I just got it Thursday. I have no complaints! It is a really awesome product the only thing is it took me all afternoon to find someone that could wire it but it is all hooked up and looks great. The material they use seems to be very scratch resistant to! I think you can order these with out illumination as well. Any one else get one of these?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
moni6 said:
Great review. I also was going to get the Kappa. This review confirms my decision. So I need to get a gorilla to remove the screws?
Screw removal. First get the right bit and use a powerdriver. Get in the car and lean over the back so you can pull the driver towards you. Get a good grip and bump the trigger and they should break loose without a fight.

Haven't done any comparison studies myself, but I am totally satisfied with the Kappashield. I do keep a small microfiber towel in the trunk and use it to handle the shield. No scratches and no fingerprints.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
I've commented before on both of these but I wanted to add to the discussion about materials. The Kappa uses a softer material than senoffs. Senoff uses Optix and it is quite hard. My wife and I recently took it off our sky to clean and used an acrylic polish on it and every single scratch and smudge came off. You cannot expect lexan to perform this way. Over time, the Senoff screen will remain more scratch free.

Also, in the installation instructions in jdigiant first post, he did not mention using the 4 provided washers on the senoff screen. It provides a little more support for the screen, although makes it more difficult to get the screen on with those short screws from the factory. Be very carefull to not tighten the screws and washers too much. It doesn't need to be tight at all as the rear deck hold the screen tight.

I am very happy with the Senoff screen, but am intriged by the boobin system from kappa. I prefer the curve of the Senoff over the Kappa. Looks higher and follows the outside humps angle as it flows upwards.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
802 Posts
I would like to know if can install the tonneau cover when you are not using the windscreen?

I think the windscreen and the tonneau cover attach at the same points.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
I loved the review but can you tell me if the shield really cuts down on the wind??
 

·
First 2000 Sr. Member
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
pm01862 said:
I loved the review but can you tell me if the shield really cuts down on the wind??
Yeah it does. It really does. Pretty amazing.

If the side windows are down and you're getting a crosswind, no air pocket can form in the cockpit so it doesn't do much. But if there's little or no wind (a condition pretty common in the L.A. basin) then with the side windows up I'd compare it to about as much wind as we get in our Saturn VUE with the windows down and the sunroof open. Really. That's about it. So incredibly calm you can talk at a normal voice and it is really, really nice. Also, the "ballcap wants to flick off my head" problem is gone, too.

I find that I can drive with it in the 50s and keep a comfortable warm air pocket with the heater on at 50% or so. Last week it was 93, and I had the air conditioner blowing and it was really cool in the cockpit. (I had the sides down so I didn't look like a complete fool, but it was still very comfortable.)

Easily worth a hundred bucks. At least to me it was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
FYI
You need to watch out about driving with the air on and the top down. It really overworks the A/C unit and some have complained about water dripping inside by the drivers left foot.
 

·
First 2000 Sr. Member
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Devoking said:
FYI
You need to watch out about driving with the air on and the top down. It really overworks the A/C unit and some have complained about water dripping inside by the drivers left foot.
Fortunately, L.A. is the land of low humidity. Yay!

I really only do short hops in the SKY, so it's great.

But your comment brings to mind some time that I spent working a project in Guam, of all places... VERY hot. VERY humid. It was SO HOT and SO HUMID that when you ran the Air Conditioner in your car, the outside would sweat like a cold beer at a Fourth of July Picnic. You had to run the wipers to clear the condensation off your windshield.

How freaky is THAT?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,086 Posts
Which one can you get the chrome trim that goes across the top for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
?

SkyHi07 said:
Which one can you get the chrome trim that goes across the top for?
think he said js...mine has none tho ??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
Maverick said:
The Saturns after market windscreen is not a badminton racket its a fly swatter.....but in fact it looks good in person. As far as method of attachment, I do not plan to compress my seals with the plastic windscreens. The seals will take a cold set over time or extrude from their position........either of these problems could cause an integrity problem with the seal over time.
my concern too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
screw loose

get the proper screwdriver to fit the screw. apply screwdriver to end of screw, hold securely. with a hammer, give it (1) solid rap to end of screwdriver. this will loosen anything holding the screw, including rust. don't miss the head of the screwdriver. if you do ,you will explete words that you thought you were not capable of saying. carefull.:jester:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Chrome strip

I found that some people want it and others don't. Anyone who wants the chrome strip for their Jay Senoff windscreen just send me a e mail to
[email protected]

I am leaving for vacation this week and will not be back home until after July 5th. I will send then

Jay Senoff
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top