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Hardtop cracks? Something else?

OP
OP

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Clubs
 
Here is a script of the message they left (with personal information removed).

"This is [---] with [----] Ford. Hey [----] I was just calling you on your 2023 Bronco. I went over with the technician with that general service bulletin and that none of the pictures on there as far as warrantable or non-warrantable really specify for something like that. The closest one is for delamination but that one says it's for raised patches on the hard top so unfortunately at this point we cannot warranty it just for that. However I am going to document that you brought it in referencing that GSB and if it gets any worse down the road you know you still have plenty of warranty on it. So, if you have any questions call us back [----]."

To be fair, they are not wrong.

I do have a case number with Ford from the bot and forwarded this information, with personal information, to them.

I thought it was going to be a fight. And it is. Younger me would have almost enjoyed the onset of this fight. Older me has a Volvo V90 and a Nissan Pao and doesn't care as much.
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Dadsquatch

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Clubs
 
The problem, as I see it, is that once the crack(s) breaks through the outer layer, moisture intrusion becomes an issue and may break down the fibrous inner material. If that inner matieral was moisture resistent AND there were weep holes in places for gravity draining...we would more than likely be fine.
This is when I decided to get mine replaced under warranty. Once the crack was large enough for water infiltrations. After a car wash, I saw a water droplet come out of the crack.
 

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Clubs
 
Also.

As an engineer...I'm an idiot.

A large portion of these are still wrapped in plastic on the inside and have never been "on the road" but still have the "cracks".

This has got to be an installation error at the factory or a storing at the warehouse problem. Maybe even a mass shipping problem. I am leaning towards installation/factory line for several reasons.

These are possibly stress cracks IN the material that, after they are formed, work their way to the surface over time with more driving and road vibrations, etc.

Edit: I have also been running through mental plausible scenarios like heat migration from the glass to the top, the temperature of the glass sealer, the chemical composition of the glass sealer interacting with the MIC material (hey Ford, you are so worried about US putting the wrong chemicals on the hartdop...are you worrried about yourself?) , etc. At this point, I might be spending more mental power on this than FORD.

Ford. Where are you at? We are solving problems for you...
If it helps your investigation, here are a couple more facts I’ve found throughout my journey:
- The cracks in my factory top got worse throughout the course of everyday driving and off-roading.
-I’ve had 3 replacement tops now, all of which didn’t have the cracks at the side windows. The replacement tops come shipped on a pallet, obviously not attached to a vehicle. So this may be an important clue about your stress crack theory during factory install or transport.
 

Techun

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Now I'm nervous that I have an OG/dirt mountain 21 and can't find any cracks
 
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If it helps your investigation, here are a couple more facts I’ve found throughout my journey:
- The cracks in my factory top got worse throughout the course of everyday driving and off-roading.
-I’ve had 3 replacement tops now, all of which didn’t have the cracks at the side windows. The replacement tops come shipped on a pallet, obviously not attached to a vehicle. So this may be an important clue about your stress crack theory during factory install or transport.
That changes things a bit. Leaning towards factory install issues then.

Once a piece of material is cracked, it does not take much to continue the cracking issues depending on the material. For example, plenty of concrete foundations and structures around here getting rocked with vibrations from a local quarry. Ones with cracks already are spreading and plenty of ones, 40+ years old, no issues. 30 miles away where the quarry blasting does not have as direct of an effect and cracks in concrete still spread from various other reasons or stay the same. Regardless, there is always some catalyst.

So it really just depends on the material, is it subject to constant vibrations, etc. I stand by the fact that I have seen plenty of thermoplastic base material with stress cracks that did not get worse and am optimistic. But I know this is not thermoplastic... (or is it? (13) What material is MIC? | Bronco6G - 2021+ Ford Bronco & Bronco Raptor Forum, News, Blog & Owners Community )

A vehicle example, albeit metal, would be Toyota FJ Cruisers and Tacomas cracking inner fenders from off-roading. Lots of off-roaders in that crowd and the ones with cracks saw quick spreading after onset. A heavier AGM battery and in a larger size was deemed the culprit for many Tacomas.

I would like to know just what exactly this outer layer is composed of. I would also like to know if someone out there has some leftovers from a broken one that I can purchase from them to do a couple of experiments with.

If the tops got mishandled enough to cause intial stress, it could all be downhill after that depending on the material. If there are tops that never had any stress at all...that's a different story.

I wonder if everyone that says they have no cracks (and I question that since all I have seen is 100%) had a top replacment that they did not know about? For example, maybe the tops were replaced after the factory line and they skipped the install issue because they were handled individually?

Also, all the ones I have come across are 2023 models, including the used ones.

I was not going to mess with the torque on the mounting bolts but now that I know Ford is not doing anything it does not hurt to check where they are at.

No response from Ford yet. As expected.

Still working on this for you Ford. What are you doing for me?

Edit - it was a long day and I went back and cleaned up some random thoughts. It still looks very messy and I'm tired of checking my typing errors and unfinished thoughts. So, hear it is.
 
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Dadsquatch

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That changes things a bit. Leaning towards factory install issues then.

Once a piece of material is cracked, it does not take much to continue the cracking issues. For example, plenty of concrete foundations and structures around here getting rocked with vibrations from a local quarry. Ones with cracks already are spreading and plenty of ones, 40+ years old, no issues.

A vehicle example, albeit metal, would be Toyota FJ Cruisers and Tacomas cracking inner fenders from off-roading. Lots of off-roaders in that crowd and the ones with cracks saw quick spreading after onset.

If the tops got mishandled enough to cause intial stress, it is all downhill after that. If there are tops that never had any stress at all...that's a different story.

I wonder if everyone that says they have no cracks (and I question that since all I have seen is 100%) had a top replacment that they did not know about? For example, maybe the tops were replaced after the factory line and they skipped the install issue because they were handled individually?

Also, all the ones I have come across are 2023 models, including the used ones.

I was not going to mess with the torque on the mounting bolts but now that I know Ford is not doing anything it does not hurt to check where they are at.

No response from Ford yet. As expected.

Still working on this for you Ford. What are you doing for me?
Here’s a thread that gives you the factory torque specs: https://www.bronco6g.com/forum/threads/mic-hardtop-torque-specs.76783/#post-1976085
 
OP
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All within a ft-lb or so. 7.7 was the highest.

20231114_191109.jpg
 
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Now I'm nervous that I have an OG/dirt mountain 21 and can't find any cracks
I thought I read that a bunch of dirt mountain builds had there hardtops replaced AFTER the factory assembly line? If so and if the factory assemly line is the issue, maybe no worries?
 
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I thought I read that a bunch of dirt mountain builds had there hardtops replaced AFTER the factory assembly line? If so and if factory assemly line is the issue, maybe no worries?
Also, don't worry about it. Read the transcript from the voicemail left for me. Let me summarize it for you if you do not want to go back.

"We have never seen this and there is nothing that looks like it in the GSB. So we are not going to warranty it. But do not worry about it. We have documented it and you have plenty of warranty left. But wait, I just said that warranty was not going to cover it. Don't think about that part. Just remember that you have plenty of warranty left."
 

Igotsoul4u

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I can see mine starting to crack a bit. Total bummer and lame considering the cost of my Wildtrak. I can't imagine a replacement won't do the same thing unless they actually figure out what's happening. I have no clue how this will all play out or if it will get even worse. Lexus GX550?
 

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Techun

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I don't really have plenty of warranty left, less than a year. I guess the hope is get a new top right at 35months and ditch the truck before that replacement breaks
 

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I thought I was a lucky but when I was putting my top back on from the summer I noticed the same delaminating waves/ripples on the roof. Now I’m concerned about the frame “cracks”. I will need to inspect my top. Mine stays off in the summer and sits in my garage and never really sees the Oklahoma summer heat.
 

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My replacement top came into the dealership. As others mentioned, a very exposed shipping crate, with the top held down with foam pieces on the top and bottom, squeezing the top so that it wouldn't shift during transport. The top wasn't wrapped in plastic or any kind of barrier to the elements or wood itself. Very poor idea.

Given all the trouble others have had with replacement tops, and my OCD to fine details, I wanted to inspect the "new" top before they spent all the time swapping windows and installing it. The top clearly shifted during transport, the bottom left window section was rubbing on the wood and made the corner of the laminate smooth while the rest of the top was textured. There were deep swirl marks all over the right rear corner from the top to the bottom. The honeycomb pattern was visible, at an angle, on both the left and right back corners. Wood shaving were all over, between the seals and the MIC top itself. A complete disaster.

I told the dealership not to waste their time, as I was already unhappy with the replacement. I asked if it was possible that we just hold off on the replacement until Ford comes up with something better (hoping they do before my warranty is up), which they said Ford could push back on accepting the return of the replacement, but it shouldn't be an issue since it has defects that are already warrantable. Heck, I could see the brown cardboard layer where the windows get glued into.
 

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My replacement top came into the dealership. As others mentioned, a very exposed shipping crate, with the top held down with foam pieces on the top and bottom, squeezing the top so that it wouldn't shift during transport. The top wasn't wrapped in plastic or any kind of barrier to the elements or wood itself. Very poor idea.

Given all the trouble others have had with replacement tops, and my OCD to fine details, I wanted to inspect the "new" top before they spent all the time swapping windows and installing it. The top clearly shifted during transport, the bottom left window section was rubbing on the wood and made the corner of the laminate smooth while the rest of the top was textured. There were deep swirl marks all over the right rear corner from the top to the bottom. The honeycomb pattern was visible, at an angle, on both the left and right back corners. Wood shaving were all over, between the seals and the MIC top itself. A complete disaster.

I told the dealership not to waste their time, as I was already unhappy with the replacement. I asked if it was possible that we just hold off on the replacement until Ford comes up with something better (hoping they do before my warranty is up), which they said Ford could push back on accepting the return of the replacement, but it shouldn't be an issue since it has defects that are already warrantable. Heck, I could see the brown cardboard layer where the windows get glued into.
Dang. I've had a similar experience 3 times now. It sucks.
 
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Ford got back to me.

They originally closed the case until I was able to get into a dealer.

They officially closed the case again.

"Hello Mr. [----].

I apologize for the late reply, I was out of office. So, in order for us to assist with the repair cost or rental cost, it has to be diagnosed as a warrantable repair by the dealership, which is why I advised you to take it to the dealership. Since it is not a warrantable repair, I cannot assist. I sincerely do apologize for any inconvenience this situation has cause. I would urge you to keep receipts of all work performed, if you do pay to get that fixed, in order to be considered for refund eligibility if a recall or customer satisfaction program is announced in the future. Lastly, we encourage you to have any work completed by our Ford dealer to provide you the peace of mind that a factory-trained technician has completed the repairs. Repairs performed by our dealerships are eligible for our Service Parts Warranty (SPW). For additional information about coverage details, please visit https://www.ford.com/support/how-tos/search/service.parts.warranty.



Thank you for your continued loyalty to Ford Motor Company."

Edit for clarity of "close".
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