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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever had their liftgate glass just randomly explode on their TJ or LJ hard top? I put something in my toolbox in the back of the jeep this afternoon, and when I closed the glass, it exploded almost as soon as I touched it. Wasn't too hot or cold, no pressure on the glass, I truly just touched it to close it and it exploded. Luckily didn't have to change my shorts, but will have to change out the hardware and the glass. Has this ever happened to any of you, seemingly with no rhyme or reason? Any thoughts on what might have caused it, because I'm baffled.
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Did not see this on a Jeep, but the same happened with the glass on the oven. It exploded by itself, during the night.

Most likely the glass had small fractures and maybe it was a bit tensed by the mounting system. The minute fractures expanded over time and the glass shattered.

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The rear and side windows of vehicles are made from tempered glass. If you hit it just right, it will explode like that. On an episode of Fantom Works, they were working on the WS for a Morgan sports car drilling holes along the top edge of the WS glass when a drill bit caught and the glass exploded, with pieces found 60 feet away. Windshields are supposed to be made of laminated glass which won't do that because of the inner plastic layer, but someone had made a WS of tempered glass for the Morgan.

It could have been anything that caused a slight nick in the glass and when you went to close it the force of pushing down with the nick broke the tension in the surface of the glass. (Tempered glass surface is in tension).

If that is an original Mopar hardtop, replacement rear glass panels are available, with and without the defroster wires. The ones for '97-'02 are slightly different from '03-'06.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies and I think you are right, something just compromised one of the edges and I just caught it on a bad day. Rear glass is on the way already. Thanks, 98Heap
 

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Tempered glass is a strange material. If you have ever watched the police shows like LivePD, you will sometimes see an officer break the side glass of a vehicle to get a door opened and pull out the driver. Sometimes it shatters on the first blow and at times it take several. I personally think they should use laminated glass in the rear hatch (same as the windshield), although it would be a bit heavier.
 
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