FEELER: Hardtop Lexan back window - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 01-04-2009, 04:02 AM   #1
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Default FEELER: Hardtop Lexan back window

1st off I didn't know if I should start this in this section or like the general section cause at the moment there is NO GROUP BUY YET. This is just a feeler to see if there is enough interest to me to try and see if I could start a group buy. AGAIN, THIS NOT A GROUP BUY YET.

Ok so I bought a hardtop off of a local guy for $150. The catch is that the back window is shattered. So after calling around to a couple places about getting a glass window replaced Iím not willing to spend roughly $400-500$ on it. Iíve decided Iím going to put a Lexan window in place of the glass.

The benefits of a Lexan window are that itís much lighter, and much safer than glass. ľĒ thick Lexan can stop a brick being throw at it and have it just bounce off. And ĹĒ thick Lexan can stop a .38 from a short barrel revolver. Also Lexan doesnít shatter.

YouTube - Lexan Vs. 3m
In the video youíll see a guy hitting a Lexan window with a sledgehammer for 5minutes and all it does is dent. Itís comparing the Lexan window to 3mís safety film.

So Iím going to be calling around to several places Monday to see if anyone would make me a window for my top and usually making multiple items of something custom can drop the price. So Iím seeing if thereís interest in it for me to even ask wherever I decide to have them make me one.

As for installing the window the regular window replacement man can do it for you for around 80$ and they will come to your house.

Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves and Iíll keep everything updated on here with whatís going on.
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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You have to figure out scratch resistance on the lexan too. Does it come with a coating? A Lot of the drag racers here that use it for a couple years have to replace it to use the window it gets so opaque. Everything digs in, but on the back glass maybe it would be ok?
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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It's actually really easy to build your own Lexan rear window. There's no need to make it complicated or expensive.

Targa Miata
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:17 PM   #4
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Keith, I saw that but its not really a write up on how to do it. they were just showing they did it and gave 3 general postings with 3 very general pictures on how they did it. EDIT: also in their posts they said if you dont have a band saw, jigsaw, or reciprocating saw you can have a plastic shop cut it for you.

But you're right it shouldn't be very expensive, and it could possibly be cheaper to get several of them professionally made. Also who knows maybe the company would become a legitimate supplier of the window, and that would be great for the community to have another option. This would also help lower the price that most miata places charge for the glass window because there is now an alternative to it.

To clarify in the OP the 80$ mentioned was not a price for the window shipped or anything like that. It was a speculation on how much a professional auto window repair shop may charge to just install the Lexan window once you have it. I have to wait till monday till the places that i'm going to call are open.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:16 PM   #5
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"They" is me. I wrote that. What else do you need?

1. make template
2. cut out Lexan
3. rivet it on

Knowledge of how to trace shapes, cut plastic and install rivets is assumed. If you can't manage #2, then simply take an accurate template to a plastic shop and say "make me this".

Total cost depends on the price of polycarbonate (the generic name for Lexan) in your area, but it'll be in the $50 range. Possibly more if you want it cut to your template. Add in $3.99 for a box of rivets and there's your cost.

If you want a window that a glass shop can install for you, you'll have to have it bent to shape instead of using the rivets to hold it in shape. By that point, I suspect that you're not going to want to pay for it anymore if you're not doing the work yourself.

I've done a number of Lexan windows on cars. It's really quite simple, there's no reason to try to make it difficult.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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i want one
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
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keith, if its so easy and cheap why don't "you" (FM) sell them? seems pretty obvious that if its cheap and easy to do and there is a demand for it, why wouldn't you sell it? gotta be a reason right?

and urban-i'll keep you updated with whats going on.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disturbedfan121 View Post
keith, if its so easy and cheap why don't "you" (FM) sell them? seems pretty obvious that if its cheap and easy to do and there is a demand for it, why wouldn't you sell it? gotta be a reason right?

and urban-i'll keep you updated with whats going on.
Shipping on the piece of polycarbonate that size will be more than the cost of the material itself.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:51 PM   #9
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Im planning on making one for my car, If I found an affordable precut one Id buy it.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boileralum View Post
Shipping on the piece of polycarbonate that size will be more than the cost of the material itself.
i doubt that it would cost over 50$ to ship it. even if it did, its not like we can go order a precut one elsewhere. not everyone wants to DIY everything.

Sultz4- exactly why i started this thread.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:21 PM   #11
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I used to know someone like you who drove a miata, we threw rocks at him.

I wouldn't want to get out kindergarten scissors and and trace out a piece of polycarb taking an exhorbatant amount of time, and possibly ruining the sheet I'm working with. I'd brather have something professionally cut and maybe heated up to the glass transition and formed to some degree to make it able to be installed by a professional. Time and materials are whats going to cost you to do it yourself. You could spend 8 hours getting this thing right ontop of what you spent and are risking on materials, or you could work 8 hours and make enough to have a water jet cut two of them perfect.

How's that motor spinning at 8500 rpm with 5000 g's on a 600 gram piston assembly? (couldn't resist)


Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
"They" is me. I wrote that. What else do you need?

1. make template
2. cut out Lexan
3. rivet it on

Knowledge of how to trace shapes, cut plastic and install rivets is assumed. If you can't manage #2, then simply take an accurate template to a plastic shop and say "make me this".

Total cost depends on the price of polycarbonate (the generic name for Lexan) in your area, but it'll be in the $50 range. Possibly more if you want it cut to your template. Add in $3.99 for a box of rivets and there's your cost.

If you want a window that a glass shop can install for you, you'll have to have it bent to shape instead of using the rivets to hold it in shape. By that point, I suspect that you're not going to want to pay for it anymore if you're not doing the work yourself.

I've done a number of Lexan windows on cars. It's really quite simple, there's no reason to try to make it difficult.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:24 PM   #12
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bought my 60"x24"x.125" piece for $70. I'm honestly not sure if there's a huge demand for these. My miata is my race-only car, it rarely sees street miles. But if the original owner hadn't driven off with the hardtop unlatched and shattered the window, I wouldn't be looking to replace the glass. its perfectly clear, its solid, it seals, and it fits. Yes you save something like 5-6lbs, but unless you're after an all out race car (which even spec miata doesn't allow this) I really don't think its worth it.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
"They" is me. I wrote that. What else do you need?

1. make template
2. cut out Lexan
3. rivet it on

Knowledge of how to trace shapes, cut plastic and install rivets is assumed. If you can't manage #2, then simply take an accurate template to a plastic shop and say "make me this".

Total cost depends on the price of polycarbonate (the generic name for Lexan) in your area, but it'll be in the $50 range. Possibly more if you want it cut to your template. Add in $3.99 for a box of rivets and there's your cost.

If you want a window that a glass shop can install for you, you'll have to have it bent to shape instead of using the rivets to hold it in shape. By that point, I suspect that you're not going to want to pay for it anymore if you're not doing the work yourself.

I've done a number of Lexan windows on cars. It's really quite simple, there's no reason to try to make it difficult.
The main problem in your method is that if you don't have an original rear window then you can't make an accurate template. You have the original window to start from. The OP bought a HT with a broken/missing rear window so he has nothing to start from. If there was a place that I/anyone could buy a paper template from on the cheap then the rest of you method could be followed very easily.

Unfortunately I don't know anyone willing to have their rear window removed in order to make said template...
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:53 PM   #14
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Thats actually the part I'm worried about too, my current lexan window looks to be only 1/16" and its dipped in the middle a little bit, I'm worried it'll crack when I try to remove it, or crack when I try to flatten it. The dip in the middle will make a paper template slightly off too, we'll see what happens, I'm no good with taking pictures as I go so you guys are SOL.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:23 PM   #15
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If someone wants to send me a piece of paper to trace onto (roll it up and ship in a poster tube), I will trace the OEM window on my HT for you.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:54 PM   #16
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I just wonder how much under the lip of the rubber it goes? How good are your art skills?
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:09 PM   #17
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the one needed would be the glass out of the hard top and traced all the way to the edges, does anyone have a hard top window out of the hard top?
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:07 AM   #18
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not i, and probably not most of the people on here either
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:46 AM   #19
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I think its going to have to be a best guess, and then check for proper fit. I have one here to measure, but the owner isn't going to letme rip out his back glass just to dimension it, and at half a grand to replace, I don't know if I'd blame him.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:32 AM   #20
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Yes! Someone get on this before I hack my own Lexan window. I just picked up a HT with a shattered window a few hours ago, was planning on making my own window and bolting it on, but I would definately be down to spend some extra cash for a molded lexan window, or even a flat window cut to the right dimensions because I know I will hack mine up..
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