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 Lexan for windshields 
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:31 am
Posts: 67
Location: Ligonier, PA
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I am planning to replace the Lexan windshield and back window in my Datsun 510. Does anyone know of a good supplier of Lexan? Any suggestions about thickness, abrasion resistance, installation technique? Does anyone out there run a lexan windshield with a wiper? Also looking for a supplier in Western PA. Thanks!

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Joe Teplitz - Western PA
Datsun 510


Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:19 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:42 am
Posts: 253
Location: Mebane, NC
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I made a cut-down windscreen for my MGA using Lexan. Google plastic supplier for local sources.

I doubt it would hold up long to a windshield wiper however. And don't use paper towels for cleaning - too abrasive!. I use Windex & facial tissues followed by Plexus plastic polish.

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Eric Russell
Mebane, NC

1961 MGA, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider,
1991 Honda ST1100, 1999 Ford F250, 2006 Toyota Solara


Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:21 am
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Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:05 pm
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Sabic Industries (formerly GE Plastics) makes a Lexan polycarbonate product called Margard https://sfs.sabic.eu/product/lexan-solid-sheet/margard-coated-sheet/ which has a hard coating on one side. John Wood is the guy to contact as he works at Sabic. I replaced my previous Lexan windscreen with the Margard at the beginning of the season and it has held up very well. No scratches but a few small stone chips which are unavoidable. I would forget about using wipers unless you want to be the guinea pig. I just use Rainex. It cuts easily with a saber saw. Use your old windscreen as a template.

Do not try to make a windscreen out of Plexiglas...it shatters.

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Mack


Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:42 pm
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Mack is correct. The product you want to use for this application is Lexan Margard. There are many grades of Lexan sheet available but Margard has a special hardcoating which will stand up to abrasion from sand, grit and other race track debris much better than a non-coated polycarbonate sheet. See link for the product brochure and more details:

http://sfs.sabic.eu/wp-content/uploads/resource_pdf/1345797017-82429884-SABIC-SFS-799_Margard-Brochure-English.pdf

Margard is available from SABIC directly or through a number of distributers, including Polymershapes (http://www.sabicpolymershapes.com/polyshapes/en/Home/Home/home.html) which has many small distribution locations in medium to large cities across the U.S. Depending on your location there may be one near you.

You can also buy from other distributers on Amazon. A couple things to think about:

- use Margard (hardcoating) or be prepared to replace more frequently if you use a non-hardcoated product
- For windshield, use thickness of at least 6mm
- Marguard will flex easily for gentle bend in windshield but be aware that there is a limit for bending to fit tight curves / tight radius bends. For most auto windshields this is not a problem.
- infrequent use of wipers is probably OK but if you are planning to use wipers it is strongly recommended that you keep the windshield very clean and polish or wax it frequently so friction with wiper blades is low.
- You can cut with hand-held saber saw, use new blade designed for cutting plastic and use slow blade speed.

Good luck with this.

JW

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John Wood
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Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:07 am
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Location: Ligonier, PA
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Wow! Thanks for all of the helpful info! I ordered quarter inch Marguard for the windshield (had 3/16) and 1/8 for the back. I'll tackle the installation of the back first.

Thanks again

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Joe Teplitz - Western PA
Datsun 510


Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:13 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:29 pm
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John,

Do you offer pre-cut pieces for a BMW 2002? :P
Will be needing rear and side (rear) windows for my project over the winter.

It gets final paint this weekend!!!!
Jagermeister inspired Inka Orange and flat black.

Thanks.
Keith Lawrence
Pittsburgh PA
1975 BMW 2002


Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:38 am
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Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:13 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
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+1 on the hustle Keith!

If it helps to buy in bulk, we're planning on changing out the glass in our 2002 and Mini this winter.
There's another BMW and Mini waiting in the wings, so, we could probably stand to order a few sheets.

KLawrence wrote:
John,

Do you offer pre-cut pieces for a BMW 2002? :P
Will be needing rear and side (rear) windows for my project over the winter.

It gets final paint this weekend!!!!
Jagermeister inspired Inka Orange and flat black.

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Ian
VRG Forum Admin

http://www.vrgonline.org


Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:53 am
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It is really very easy, if tedious, to cut out your own pieces with a sabre saw.

Remove your glass windscreen and place it on a padded surface. Cut a piece of Margard just a bit larger than the windscreen. Clamp the Margard to the windscreen with multiple soft footed clamps like this http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=325-6880&cm_mmc=SEM-_-GGL-_-PLA-_-NA&003=18299132&010=325-6880&gclid=CJvjvZOBr8ECFahr7AodbxQAkQ . Then trace around the perimeter of your windscreen accurately with indelible marker. Remove the clamps and cut carefully on your line with the sabre saw. The paper on the Margard tells you how many teeth-per-inch blade to use. Sand the cut edges to remove any roughness and install as you would the glass. Carefully remove about 1 inch of the paper from the periphery of both sides on the Margard before installation so it doesn't get stuck in the seal but leave the rest of the paper to protect the Lexan during installation and until ready to put in service. Be sure that you orient everything with the hard Margard surface OUT when you draw your line! I also put a couple of layers of painter's tape on the foot of the sabre saw to prevent scratching or binding during the cutting process. Do not use too fine a toothed blade (like 32 tpi) because it will just fill up and burn the plastic. Follow the Margard instructions on this point.

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Mack


Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:06 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
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This sounds like the seeds of a vintage racing prep web-series.

"Shadetree Mack-anic"

Thanks for the process and procedure Mack!

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Ian
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http://www.vrgonline.org


Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:35 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:42 am
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Location: Mebane, NC
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I used my CAD* program to make a pattern for my MGA's cut down windscreen.

* Cardboard Aided Design

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Eric Russell
Mebane, NC

1961 MGA, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider,
1991 Honda ST1100, 1999 Ford F250, 2006 Toyota Solara


Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:49 pm
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