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Thread: Lexan Windshield question

  1. #1

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    Lexan Windshield question

    Went out to drive the Mk4 this weekend and discovered a large crack in my windshield....dang. I can't say I was too surprised, but with less than 1000 miles on the car I'm a bit bummed.
    I know a bunch of guys have gone with Fast Freddie's windshield, and that is my first choice, but their site shows they are out of stock and I can't see to get in touch with anyone there.
    With that I may have to replace it myself with 3/16" Lexan (MR10 or AR2 type). For those of you that have done this, I and was wondering what type and size of rubber gasket material you used? A link would be most awesome. Or, can the glass windshield gasket be re-used?

    Dave

  2. #2
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    I think the lexan is thinner than the glass.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  3. #3
    Mr. Congeniality mikeinatlanta's Avatar
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    I have a Fast Freddie's windshield kit. pm if interested, but not a motivated seller so will be retail price, not get rid of it cheap price.
    MKII "Little Boy". 432CI all aluminum Windsor. .699 solid roller, DA Koni shocks, aluminum IRS, Straight cut dog ring T-5, 13" four piston Brembos, Bogart wheels. BOOM!

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    I had a 3/16 scratch proof lexan cut using the glass a a template. I had it done by a local shop.

    The glass is 1/4" thick but I still reused the glass rubber gasket for the 3/16 Lexan.

    The cost was probably half of Fast Freddie's.

  5. #5

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    Can you think of any reason not to use 1/4” Lexan with the original gasket?

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    Senior Member AC Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalR80 View Post
    Went out to drive the Mk4 this weekend and discovered a large crack in my windshield....dang. I can't say I was too surprised, but with less than 1000 miles on the car I'm a bit bummed. Dave
    Did you follow the instructions for installation in the FFR manual? Glass might be covered under warranty from FFR.

    If you get a new glass from them, ignore their installation instructions, and read all about the proper way to do it on this, or the FFCars forum.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalR80 View Post
    Can you think of any reason not to use 1/4” Lexan with the original gasket?
    Other than cost? No I can't. Well maybe. I wonder if it's too stiff to make the slight curvature to fit into the frame. I know the side windows on my APE top are very stiff
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    Other than cost? No I can't. Well maybe. I wonder if it's too stiff to make the slight curvature to fit into the frame. I know the side windows on my APE top are very stiff
    That's the reason why I used 3/16". It's not like it needs to be water tight.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mesa Mike's Avatar
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    Yes, thinner
    I replaced my first windshield with a lexan one. Took the old windshield and made a stencil and had a glass company cut for me. No tint. Later I returned to the glass. I prefer the glass. Depends if you are going to track it. If track, lexan.

  10. #10

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    So here it goes....

    Thank you all for your replies. i decided to give Lexan a try using the original glass windshield gasket. First I removed the windshield and took off the bottom channel. The rubber gasket came off pretty easily but there was a bunch of sealant goop that had to be cleaned off the old windshield and gasket using paint thinner and elbow grease.



    Next I purchased a piece of 3/16" Makrolon AR-2, the abrasion resistant stuff. With a little help from my daughter and her friend I had them hold up the new Lexan to the old windshield as I traced the shape onto the AR-2.



    The guy at Tap Plastics recommended a jig saw with a course blade to cut the AR-2. Before the cut I put some masking tape over the plastic coating where the base of the jig saw would ride over just for some added protection. The jig saw worked great. Afterward the cut I sanded the edge with some 120 grit.



    I trimmed back plastic coating about 1/2" around the perimeter of the new windshield on both sides and placed the old gasket material around the edge and then used some dishsoap on the gasket to ease it back into the frame. A second pair of hands is really good at this point and my son's were available so he got drafted. The bottom frame piece went on next and then screwed in place. The new Lexan is 4.58mm thick while the glass was 5.66mm so it was pretty easy going into the frame but not sloppy once it was buttoned up. Finally the windshield went back on the car with the help of my wife and son. The clarity of the Lexan is great and I don't anticipate having to mess with this again.


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  12. #11
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    Looks great! Nice job. Thanks for the write up and pics.

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    Senior Member Dave Howard's Avatar
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    Great job. Wish I had thought of doing that (making your own that is). I went the Fast Freddie route and have no regrets and it has bee worry free since installation.

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    Senior Member chrisarella's Avatar
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    Dave, what did it end up costing you?
    {EDIT} Never mind.... I just saw on Facebook you said $150.
    Chris
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  15. #14
    mcwho's Avatar
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    Is anyone selling these Lexan Windsheilds precut?
    Baghdad Bob

    Complete Kit ordered Feb 2009, Delivered July 2010, serial @ 7287, Power Brakes, Power Steering w HEIDTS Valve, Hydralic clutch, 15" Wheels, BFG Tires, 331 stroker w Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Edelbrock Performer Air Gap Intake and Quick Fuel 650 carb. IRS w 3.27, TKO-600. FFMETAL Firewall Forward, FFMETAL Dropped Battery Box in Trunk, Enlarged Passenger footbox, Breeze Cubby storage, Breeze Seat Brackets, Herbs Door Panels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcwho View Post
    Is anyone selling these Lexan Windsheilds precut?
    http://www.fastfreddiesfabrications....p?id_product=1

  17. #16
    mcwho's Avatar
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    awesome, thanks
    Baghdad Bob

    Complete Kit ordered Feb 2009, Delivered July 2010, serial @ 7287, Power Brakes, Power Steering w HEIDTS Valve, Hydralic clutch, 15" Wheels, BFG Tires, 331 stroker w Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Edelbrock Performer Air Gap Intake and Quick Fuel 650 carb. IRS w 3.27, TKO-600. FFMETAL Firewall Forward, FFMETAL Dropped Battery Box in Trunk, Enlarged Passenger footbox, Breeze Cubby storage, Breeze Seat Brackets, Herbs Door Panels.

  18. #17
    mcwho's Avatar
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    I have the fast freddies kit, and have re checked my measurements with the windsheild off. Wondering if anyone else has done the measurement of the windsheild support arms. I measured the inside and outside level surfaces with laser devices used for wheel alignments. apparently the two that i have are not parallel and i believe that they should be. The edge at the top of the arm does or did not alingn up correctly and dont understand why this would happen as they are connected to the frame.

    Before I mount the Lexan windsheild, I want to verify whats wrong here so that I dont have another cracked windsheild. If i dont get much esponse here I'll start a completely new post, but I believe that it is related.

    I did start a new thread here...

    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...s-not-parallel
    Last edited by mcwho; 04-01-2019 at 10:42 AM.
    Baghdad Bob

    Complete Kit ordered Feb 2009, Delivered July 2010, serial @ 7287, Power Brakes, Power Steering w HEIDTS Valve, Hydralic clutch, 15" Wheels, BFG Tires, 331 stroker w Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Edelbrock Performer Air Gap Intake and Quick Fuel 650 carb. IRS w 3.27, TKO-600. FFMETAL Firewall Forward, FFMETAL Dropped Battery Box in Trunk, Enlarged Passenger footbox, Breeze Cubby storage, Breeze Seat Brackets, Herbs Door Panels.

  19. #18
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    Lexan won't crack.

  20. #19
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Yep the arms are not a real well done design. They don't really mate w/ the w/s frame very well. All you can do is install the screws and let them self align as well as they will. Then bend the bottoms to fit the car. Usually they need a bit of a twist and also a small bend. A way to get them close is install them to the windshield and then lay the w/s on a table w/ the arms sticking out over the edge. The bottom corners of the w/s should be exactly at the edge of the table. The bottom portions of the arms should be parallel to each other and at 90 deg to the table edge looking down from the top. Looking in at the end of the arms they should be at 90 degrees to the floor. A quick drawing
    20190402_092159 by craig stuard, on Flickr
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

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    Has anyone thought about making a windshield about half as high as the stock? I think the look would be interesting- but you might need goggles for driving. I'm thinking shortened side frames and no top frame.

  22. #21
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    I'm considering a half-height for the track and have looked at it on a previous car. I liked it. Not sure I'd want it on the street, goggles may be needed but that would depend on how tall you sit in the seat. In a discussion with an engineering friend he thought that there would be a significant reduction in drag, the appeal for track use.

    For those that have contributed to this discussion I really appreciate the info on DIY Lexan.

    Jim

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  24. #22
    Junior Member Tacojoe's Avatar
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    Looks really good! i've read so many threads on the windshield that i'm sorta half expecting it to crack and you've inspired me to go this route if it does. I installed/un-installed my windshield at least 20 times as a bent the arms / rechecked / etc. In the end, i machined (2) aluminum spacers for the passenger side so i wouldn't put undue bending stress on the arms (and consequently the glass). Reason - it was totally impossible to get them parallel (at least for me) so i made the drivers straight and made up the difference on the passenger side. So far, so good- i guess time will tell

  25. #23
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Way back in the day Fast Freddie used to run his FFR on the track. He made a small half moon shaped w/s for the track. I forget the exact numbers but he dropped his lap time by somewhere in the full second range.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  26. #24
    Senior Member Packer fan's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if you can put rainex on the lexan without scratching it, and does it work as well as on glass?
    Last edited by Packer fan; 04-03-2019 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Spelling correction
    Mk4 ordered 1/3/18, IRS, Coyote, T56 Magnum

  27. #25
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    A couple of articles to read.

    Helicopter Windshield Maintenance - no discussion about Rain-x but a good read
    https://helicoptermaintenancemagazin...8230;-and-pork

    Rain-x specifically for plastics and lexan
    https://www.rainx.com/product/plasti.../#.XKV-PsIpCpc

    Discussion here in 2016
    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...er-suggestions

    George

  28. #26
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    No Lexan windshield yet, but will.

    I've run a 3M plastic shield over glass, a product specific for the purpose and it did a good job of minimizing etching and rock chips. I used RainX on this all of the time, worked well. I would expect RainX to work with Lexan but there may be a specific variety for Lexan.

    So here's what I found.
    https://www.rainx.com/product/plasti.../#.XKYRA5fsY2w

    I do drive in the rain, RainX certainly helps. Put it on the inside too.

    Jim

  29. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcwho View Post
    I have the fast freddies kit, and have re checked my measurements with the windsheild off. Wondering if anyone else has done the measurement of the windsheild support arms. I measured the inside and outside level surfaces with laser devices used for wheel alignments. apparently the two that i have are not parallel and i believe that they should be. The edge at the top of the arm does or did not alingn up correctly and dont understand why this would happen as they are connected to the frame.

    Before I mount the Lexan windsheild, I want to verify whats wrong here so that I dont have another cracked windsheild. If i dont get much esponse here I'll start a completely new post, but I believe that it is related.

    I did start a new thread here...

    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...s-not-parallel
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    Way back in the day Fast Freddie used to run his FFR on the track. He made a small half moon shaped w/s for the track. I forget the exact numbers but he dropped his lap time by somewhere in the full second range.
    Way Way back innthe day there was a track called "Brooklands" and some "Brooklands style" winscreens were developed. They are the Half moon shape and served the racing car guys purposes.

    see link
    https://mossmotors.com/racing-screen...hoCVU4QAvD_BwE
    Last edited by mcwho; 04-07-2019 at 01:44 PM.
    Baghdad Bob

    Complete Kit ordered Feb 2009, Delivered July 2010, serial @ 7287, Power Brakes, Power Steering w HEIDTS Valve, Hydralic clutch, 15" Wheels, BFG Tires, 331 stroker w Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Edelbrock Performer Air Gap Intake and Quick Fuel 650 carb. IRS w 3.27, TKO-600. FFMETAL Firewall Forward, FFMETAL Dropped Battery Box in Trunk, Enlarged Passenger footbox, Breeze Cubby storage, Breeze Seat Brackets, Herbs Door Panels.

  30. #28
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    Polycarbonate replacement windshield: I am surprised no-one has mentioned: www.opticarmorwindows.com Optic Armour does nothing but polycarbonate windshields. Just ordered a 3/16"x24"x72" sheet ($270) to replace my cracked windshield that appeared while fitting the Premium Top (even though I was so careful with all the screws). The wood windshield crossbar put pressure I think on the sun visor brackets. This then exerted pressure on the windshield edge by one of the mounting screws. I think the whole frame perimeter clearances for screws needs revisiting in the frame design. If the frame perimeter was just an 1/8" wider it would probably eliminate all the issues.
    Last edited by RobCYoung; 04-24-2019 at 12:18 PM.

  31. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobCYoung View Post
    Polycarbonate replacement windshield: I am surprised no-one has mentioned: www.opticarmorwindows.com Optic Armour does nothing but polycarbonate windshields. Just ordered a 3/16"x24"x72" sheet ($270) to replace my cracked windshield that appeared while fitting the Premium Top (even though I was so careful with all the screws). The wood windshield crossbar put pressure I think on the sun visor brackets. This then exerted pressure on the windshield edge by one of the mounting screws. I think the whole frame perimeter clearances for screws needs revisiting in the frame design. If the frame perimeter was just an 1/8" wider it would probably eliminate all the issues.
    Will you be able to bend the polycarbonate enough?

  32. #30
    Senior Member rich grsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davekp View Post
    Will you be able to bend the polycarbonate enough?
    ???? that's what everyone is using, Lexan is polycarbonate

  33. #31
    mcwho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalR80 View Post
    Went out to drive the Mk4 this weekend and discovered a large crack in my windshield....dang. I can't say I was too surprised, but with less than 1000 miles on the car I'm a bit bummed.
    I know a bunch of guys have gone with Fast Freddie's windshield, and that is my first choice, but their site shows they are out of stock and I can't see to get in touch with anyone there.
    With that I may have to replace it myself with 3/16" Lexan (MR10 or AR2 type). For those of you that have done this, I and was wondering what type and size of rubber gasket material you used? A link would be most awesome. Or, can the glass windshield gasket be re-used?

    Dave
    I have left the roadster ever since I had a Tonneau cover made because right about that time my windshield crackSO I have driven it about 35 miles since then with no windcreen at all.. I have taken measurements and fount that the brackets are not parallel and the top parts wgere the curve is does NOT match the curve in the windshield frame. I do have the Lexan windscreen but dont want to ruin it as well and keep trying windshields which will eventually crack. After looking at the MK4 manual again, the directions are very sparse. I see a picture with washers on one side of one of the brackets. DOnt know if there are soupposed to be washers on both sides or not.

    I should be out drivibg this thing but it has been sitting with 1000 miles on it aftrer 8 years of build and I am frustrated with this new problem.

    Pleas help if you know what I can do. I did take measurements using laser levels pointing to the back of a garage door of a friends Roadser. and I will do the same on mine. I dont know if the brackets are bent, have the incorrect washers etc etc.
    Baghdad Bob

    Complete Kit ordered Feb 2009, Delivered July 2010, serial @ 7287, Power Brakes, Power Steering w HEIDTS Valve, Hydralic clutch, 15" Wheels, BFG Tires, 331 stroker w Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Edelbrock Performer Air Gap Intake and Quick Fuel 650 carb. IRS w 3.27, TKO-600. FFMETAL Firewall Forward, FFMETAL Dropped Battery Box in Trunk, Enlarged Passenger footbox, Breeze Cubby storage, Breeze Seat Brackets, Herbs Door Panels.

  34. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcwho View Post
    I have left the roadster ever since I had a Tonneau cover made because right about that time my windshield crackSO I have driven it about 35 miles since then with no windcreen at all.. I have taken measurements and fount that the brackets are not parallel and the top parts wgere the curve is does NOT match the curve in the windshield frame. I do have the Lexan windscreen but dont want to ruin it as well and keep trying windshields which will eventually crack. After looking at the MK4 manual again, the directions are very sparse. I see a picture with washers on one side of one of the brackets. DOnt know if there are soupposed to be washers on both sides or not.

    I should be out drivibg this thing but it has been sitting with 1000 miles on it aftrer 8 years of build and I am frustrated with this new problem.

    Pleas help if you know what I can do. I did take measurements using laser levels pointing to the back of a garage door of a friends Roadser. and I will do the same on mine. I dont know if the brackets are bent, have the incorrect washers etc etc.
    I cleaned & reused the existing gasket. Tedious but worked okay. While you are at it I would replace the existing 4 screws on each windshield support. Mine were only holding by 1-1/2 threads so I ordered polished 7/16" stainless ones from McMaster-Carr. Cheap fix. (I have Whitby steel inserts) MC Screws are measured from countersink shoulder to end of thread. Also get the centre windshield/rearview mirror mounting rod. Makes lexan winshield rock solid. Optic Armour hardened lexan can use any glass cleaner & is crystal clear with no distortion.

  35. #33
    Senior Member phileas_fogg's Avatar
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    As for washers, use whatever it takes to allow the windshield to sit on the car unstressed. I used more washers on the right side than the left because it's easier to get my hands in there. Plus, the left side only had space for one washer before the bolt interfered with the 3/4" framing. I also found that my right upright required one more washer on the top hole than the bottom, probably because the bend in the upright was not even.

    I used some painter's stir sticks under the bottom windshield gasket to hold the corners off the body. I also paid close attention to the line of the gasket when I tightened the bolts. The first time tightening everything down, I noticed that the gasket's arc became more pronounced; I was squeezing the windshield in the frame! Another pair of washers kept everything straight & steady.

    Take your time & sweat these details. My buddy CraigS & I spent the better part of a day & a half getting the windshield installed. Good luck!


    John
    MK IV Roadster #8631
    Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

  36. #34
    mcwho's Avatar
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    When We installed we did it incorrectly, We nounted the vertacle supports rails first and then tried to get the frame aligned to that. The top of the Windsheild where it curves to follow the shape of the frame did not match up. the top of the vertaclle rails were about 1/4 to 3/8 in front of the ws frame, therefore the top 2 screws did not line up etc etc etc yada yada yada.

    Now almost 2 years later I am replacing the Windsheild and will put the windshield LEXAN, in the frame the mount the frame to the rails and do it the correct way.

    By the way, I have a friend that has a Roaster, a mk3 i thinbk, i took my laser tools over and measured from the outside parattel sorface to the closed garage door, I know mine are way off (to be continued) and will show that here. Bob
    Baghdad Bob

    Complete Kit ordered Feb 2009, Delivered July 2010, serial @ 7287, Power Brakes, Power Steering w HEIDTS Valve, Hydralic clutch, 15" Wheels, BFG Tires, 331 stroker w Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Edelbrock Performer Air Gap Intake and Quick Fuel 650 carb. IRS w 3.27, TKO-600. FFMETAL Firewall Forward, FFMETAL Dropped Battery Box in Trunk, Enlarged Passenger footbox, Breeze Cubby storage, Breeze Seat Brackets, Herbs Door Panels.

  37. #35
    Senior Member chmhasy's Avatar
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    So I am still in the build phase and I have to use the DOT glass to get through inspection. But here is what I did so far. I took the DOT glass out of the frame and had the edges polished by a local auto glass shop, while I had the glass out I made a plywood template off the windshield. I had an old piece of polycarbonate that I routed from the plywood template and I put that in the frame to mount and get correct alignment while setting up the windshield. I the mean time I drilled the brass screw holes to releave the screws from going to deep into the frame and to get correct placement. I then removed the brass mounting strips and replaced them with steel T-slot fasteners from McMaster Carr.
    I also orded more phillips oval head screws in different lenghts
    I still have yet to put the glass back in. I will do this a few days before inspection

    PN 5537T425 T-Slotted Framing, Triple End-Feed Fastener, M5 Thread for 20 mm Rail
    PN 5537T464 End-Feed Dual Fastener, M5 Thread, 8 mm Long for T-Slotted Framing
    PN 90258A318 Phillips Oval Head Screws, M5 x 0.80mm Thread, 8mm Long
    PN 90258A246 Phillips Oval Head Screws, M5 x 0.8 mm Thread, 10 mm Long

    windshield1.jpg
    windshield2.jpg
    windshield3.jpg

  38. #36
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Yes there is a LOT of messaging of the w/s posts. As mentioned above there are definitely two areas to look at. I always attach the posts to the w/s first. They don't mate real well and usually there needs to be some bending to get the top curve to more closely match the w/s frame. Now onto the bottom of the posts. Of course one needs to be trimmed in length. The mounting pads on the frame are parallel to each other both in top view and in front view the bottom of the posts need to be bent a little and twisted a little. Unfortunately they need to be removed from the w/s to do the bending and twisting. So you make a guess how much to bend and twist and then remount them to the w/s. This illustrates the angles
    20190402_092159 by craig stuard, on Flickr
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

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