Since there has been quite an uproar over the dew wipes that are now available from member DIY_Stu and the Fiero Store, I decided to do a review on both manufacturers. I was fortunate enough to acquire a set of Stu's dew wipes the other day and also a set from the Fiero Store. The first thought through my head was "hey, they look the same". That was about the ONLY time I could ever say that again. First off, I did some pretty extensive tests on both sets. I poked, prodded, and even did a moisture test on all the materials. I then measured and tested all the fasteners in comparison to my stock dew wipes that I removed from my car. So now, on to the pics.
First off, both sets side by side. Fiero Store on top and Stu's on the bottom. You can already see the difference in quality.
Next, a shot of the window pads and mirror bracket. If you notice that Stu's bracket, on the bottom, is black and the Fiero Stores is bare metal. Stu coats all exposed metal with a ceramic primer and paint to prevent rust and corrosion. Also notice the quality of the pads....I'll address that later.
The center pads from Stu are a factory felt material where the Fiero Store is some sort of shaggy carpet.
One of the more disturbing things is the felt flocking that is supposed to slide along the glass. The Fiero Store flocking looks like it came out of a spray can and is actually missing in some spots. Fiero Store:
The metal strip that is run through the center of the wipes is essential to hold the rubber and provide rigidity for mounting. The next 2 pics speak for themselves. Fiero Store:
The pads that keep the window from excess flex and vibration when open are an important part that really have to work correctly. The Fiero Store pad is just a curved piece of steel where Stu has the proper bend and height on his dew wipes. Fiero Store:
As I mentioned before, I did a water test on the pads and the rubber. What I found was pretty interesting. When spraying the Fiero Stores pads and felt lining with water, the material acted like a sponge. Basically, it was like washing a cat. It starts out fluffy but when wet, turns to a rat. The pads remained wet for 3 hours which is a bad thing due to rust. Stu's pads dried off within 20 minutes and the felt did not absorb the water at all. Also, Stu uses a permanent adhesive and wraps the felt around the metal of the pads. Fiero Store uses contact cement which I can peel off with my fingers and they put a strip on either side of the pad rather than wrap it around the metal. Combine that with the contact cement and the sponge effect and you have a part that can rust out very quickly.
The final item in this review is the fasteners. For the dew wipes to function correctly, the proper fasteners must be used. The Fiero Store uses fasteners that are designed to simply loosly clamp the parts together. EVERYTHING on the dew wipe moves. Nothing is solid. DIY_Stu uses the factory style fasteners which are designed to permanently fasten the parts together. THEY DON'T MOVE AT ALL. Fiero store on top:
One of the more scary things is that the dew wipes came out of the package as you see them. I did not clean them or straighten them. You can clearly see the difference in quality even if I didn't point out which was which. So what is the bottom line here........
DIY_Stu has one of the finest dew wipes available. I know what a "Factory" item should look like and how it should perform and that is how his dew wipes are manufactured. The rivets are properly pressed to the expansion point, the right materials are used to resist moisture, the rubber and felt backing is top notch, and he goes the extra mile to ensure corrosion protection with the ceramic coating on the bare metal parts. It was a very nice "attempt" for the Fiero Store to start making these again, but the photos and tests speak for themselves......buy from DIY_Stu and get the best !!
Good review. I was planning on buying the fierostores, because the prices are like this for what I was gonna get
outer dew wipes, pair
Fiero Store: 79.99 + s/h factor in the pff discount, and its 80$ shipped.
DIY_Stu: 100.00 + 14.00 s/h, so 114.00 shipped.
But apparently Stu gives you his cell for personal help with any questions during the install, and as testified in this thread, his quality is absolutely top notch. Most are willing to pay the price difference for such a big change in quality.
Great review , just thought I'd post the price comparisons.
[This message has been edited by MetroMatt (edited 09-11-2008).]
Just think of all the members that jumped on The Fiero Store dew wipes when they came out cause they where a little cheaper. You get what you pay for and this Thread is proof. I think Stu's dew wipes are now alos $8o plus shipping so they are well worth it.
Living in a high rust zone, the moisture test REALLY sold me. I have too many other things to buy right now but when I get to the dew wipes I would gladly pay the higher price for DIY_Stu's replacements. What's $40 to know it was done right?
Excellent presentation and review. Thanks for posting - I currently need 2 sets! Both are pricey but the difference in material & quality makes my choice a no brainer. From the looks, the Fiero Store felts would result in some severe window scratching after a few rain storms and window cycles.
No kidding! Great review! I haven't had my hands on a set of TFS ones yet so I haven't been able to see what the actual differences were. I couldn't be more pleased with the results of a side by side comparison. I like the wet rat comment, that tells a lot about the fabric used. I've got so many things to say, but I'm flabbergasted. I've never thought of using a water test. I know the material wasn't designed to soak up water and I'm really happy it didn't. But to make it short I try hard to design and make these to be as close to GM Original Spec as possible. And there was two designs that GM made. New and Old. New design had too many shortcuts for me to be comfortable and were harder to make by hand. So I used the first design and have done nothing more than improve my methods to make them faster and more accurate without compromising quality.
[This message has been edited by DIY_Stu (edited 09-10-2008).]
I was so happy with the ones I got from Stu that I didn't even bother to check TFS ones. I mean, TFS has been and is great on so many parts but on this one I rather pay a little more and support another Fiero vendor
I have to add my comments here, too. I fitted my dew wipes I bought from Stu, and they have been fitted to my Fiero for some time now. The car has been stood for some time, and the windows have not been moved in all that time. we have extreme temps here at the moment, up to 120 deg F. during the day in direct sunlight. The dew wipes didn't stick to the windows at all, and they are still in perfect condition. soft and pliable,but firm enough to do their required job. I wouldn´t hesitate to recommend them all over again. You get MORE than what you pay for, IMHO. Nick
I recently pruchased 2 sets from Stu. When they arrived, I compared them to the factory one I had already removed. Construction was dead on. They are an excellent reproduction and I beleive better quality than the originals. Stu also provides customer service above and beyond. I do not think anyone at FS will give you thier cell number and take the time to answer questions during your dew wipe replacement project. As for price comparisons, first off, "you get what you pay for". Secondly, how many times do you want to do this project on your Fiero? I am in the middle of this project on one Fiero right now. This is something I would not want to do more than once per car. For 30 plus more dollars, I will continue to buy the better product. It will save me money in the long run and countless hours of cussing and frustration not to mention all the busted knucles.
Thanks Stu for your support of the Fiero community and a great product.......
(this is not a paid advertisemnt for DIY_Stu Dew Wipes).....lol
As of this moment I have not bought wipes from either. I need a set for my girlfriends car and am now convinced to buy from STU. The difference in price is only a tank of gas but you get a much higher quality product. Well worth it in my opinion.
Imagine if you had the polycarb windows and you were getting residue on them. If you do have a choptop with poly windows make sure I know it I'll give the felt some extra attention to keep them from scratching.
IMSA... the only thing that would make this thread better was if you had a set of OEM's to throw in comparison. Thanks for the effort!
Actually, I do have a set of OEM wipes. The only problem is that they are beat to hell I will tell you that DIY_Stu uses the same rivets as the OEM ones and has the correct angles bent in to the window pads. Also the center strip running through the rubber is exact to OEM. I actually did a comparison between the 3 dew wipes and DIY_Stu is pretty much dead on with his manufacture.
I put on a pair of Stu's dew wipes a couple of months back - I've been more than happy with the quality and appearance.
'85 SE 2M6 automatic w WS6 suspension, factory sunroof, slightly modded interior, after-market cold air induction kit, rear spoiler, component speakers instead of the 4x10s, poly bushes on the cradle, swapped the 14" Tech alloys for 15" Diamond Spokes...
Outstanding tasks - adding electric windows, locks, and mirrors (all the bits sitting around in a box, awaiting time...), as well as rear adjustable coilovers, and poly bushings all 'round.
Yeah the OEM's would be a nice thing to compare to. I had some, but scavenged the metal parts early in the game. But I do now have a set of TFS ones and will be more than happy to take them to the NTFC meeting this Saturday.
If you have a set purchased within the last 5 years they are not like mine. Mine are version one that doesn't scrimp on materials to reduce costs. Mine are made like the originals that were originally installed on the cars. When I pulled them off of my 87GT I had one OEM Factory installed and one GM replacement. They were in about the same condition. No telling when the original one was replaced though.
OK - Stu came down and we (and I use the term "we" lightly) installed 2 sets. One on my son's 87GT and one on my 88GT.
All I can say is "WOW"
I was able to compare three different sets of dew wipes. OEM still in the wrap, Fiero Store, and Stu's.
I could not tell a difference between the OEMs and Stu's. Period. Stu obviously has found a good stash of the exact same material that GM used on the wipes. There is no real noticeable difference between them.
Now - Fiero Store's wipes...to me they were far far far and away the worst of the three sets. The felt was wrong...portions of it seem to have just been sprayed on and not a good covering at all. They have a far cheaper "feel" and "look" to them. Yes, they may be cheaper by a few $$$ but there is NO WAY that you save money in the long run. The FS wipes looked to me like they would have to be replaced within just a few years (and after spending the time to replace them, that is not someting that I want to have to do for a loooooong time).
MANY thanks to Stu for coming and getting these installed for me and my son. The conversation was fun, I learned a TON, and I hope that Stu enjoyed his time with us as well.
BOTTOM LINE: Stu's wipes are the way to go. To me a good comparison between the FS wipes and Stu's is "Yugo vs Lambo" --- They are worth the few extra $$$ to put them on.
Strip and felt bumpers in the middle are from two factories in the USA. Strips say USA on them. Felt on Tabs are from a local company and the felt is usa made. All Metal Brackets are made by another FIERO OWNER In the USA Rivets come from a vendor in the USA for a company also in the USA All labor done in TEXAS USA. Using Tools by Craftsman USA
[This message has been edited by DIY_Stu (edited 11-25-2008).]