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lexan windows
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austintyler



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 64
Location: westerville, ohio

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:20 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

I am building up a 1987 325is. I stripped out the power steering, ac, and all of the interior.
I've taken on the project of lexan windows.
I have already completed the side back windows and connected them to the original window frame with pop rivets. Next is the back window.
I have seen all of the e30 race cars and they seem to have two metal braces running up and down the window.
I dont understand how to make them because I havent seen a good enough picture.
Could anyone tell me how they could be made or where they can be purchased, or if they need to be there for structural support?
Also, should I just make my back window out of lexan from home depot, or should I just order one from the internet that is pre cut and molded ?
Doing it myself will be about 150$ plus all the work and no mistakes.
Ordering one is like 260$ plus shipping.
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3085
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:42 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

I don't recommend the method I used. I'll try to get some pictures together of how other folks have done this. Bill Sportnitz probably has the cleanest job on this one that I've seen. He has the Orange(Inca) Jaegermeister E30.

Dale
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austintyler



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 64
Location: westerville, ohio

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:54 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

thank you for your reply dale. i will wait to see those before i do mine.
i was trying to send you a pm earlier but it said your pm box was full. i was wondering exactly how you have your exhaust setup.
i was planning to get the shorty headers, and then pipe them through two straight through resonators and the in to a dual inlet muffler.
are the resonators necessary? is this the best was to get the best performance?
i am very open for suggestions, thank you
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Tom Olsson
Site Admin


Joined: 03 Nov 2004
Posts: 242
Location: Seattle, WA, US

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:04 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

Hi Austin (and everyone else)

I helped Bill build the Jager car: We used just regular Lexan stock, traced out the original window onto it, and cut the stock with a jig saw. Not too hard. Any areas we didn't like were easily fixed with a belt sander. Love that Lexan! Super easy to work with.

OK, install: We used the stock gasket and locking trim strip, and put in the Lexan window just like you would the stock one. Once that was in we made two bracing straps out of 1" aluminum stock from the local hardware store - nothing fancy. Divided the window into 1/3rds, drew two straight lines top to bottom. Cut the stock to length, and then did several trial runs dry fitting it to get the shape right. (easy to bend, you'r working with aluminum). To secure the straps we used pop rivets top and bottom, and one in the center of eace strap. Since it was going to have to grab Lexan on the back side, we used a washer inside the car for the pop rivet to grab. I'll see if I can dig up some pictures.

[ 11-05-2004: Message edited by: Tom Olsson ]
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Tom Olsson
Site Admin


Joined: 03 Nov 2004
Posts: 242
Location: Seattle, WA, US

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:18 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

OK, here goes. These pics make me all misty eyed. She's not quite this pretty anymore!









[ 11-05-2004: Message edited by: Tom Olsson ]
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austintyler



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 64
Location: westerville, ohio

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:37 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

Wow that car looks amazing. he lexan windows that i have already put in dont look nearly as nice as those do, but they work. I think I will just go ahead and make the back window myself and not buy one. i understand the aluminum braces much better now and i believe i can make them. thank you.
i just need to find the molding for the back window. when i bought the car the glass windows were already out, and i only got the molding for the doors and the back side windows. please let me know if you know where i can find one. thank you very much.
austin
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Tom Olsson
Site Admin


Joined: 03 Nov 2004
Posts: 242
Location: Seattle, WA, US

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 6:51 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

It only looks like that once! Especially if Dale's driving.

On the molding - wrecking yard? Not sure if you're talking about the seal or the locking-thingy, but we reused the old ones. Weren't perfect, but what the h***, it's a race car. How about a parts car? Rollers seem to come up all the time around here, and you can save a heck of a lot of money on spares.
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austintyler



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 64
Location: westerville, ohio

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 7:04 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

yeah i have the locking things for the two back side windows. i just need the molding for the back window. i just bought the car about a week ago so havent had alot of time to look around in the salvage yards neer me for parts. i will do that this weekend.
that lexan is great stuff, i just wish it wasnt so expensive. i think the piece i need for the back window will bw around 150. oh well i believe its worth it, tempered glass is heavy.
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McK



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 1126
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 8:06 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

Out of curiousity, why do you cut the window into thirds to install it?
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Tom Olsson
Site Admin


Joined: 03 Nov 2004
Posts: 242
Location: Seattle, WA, US

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 8:18 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

Hmm, this would be a case of bad English. We marked the window just to position the strap equally and straight. Never cut the window. Shouldn't use "stock" when talking about Lexan AND the aluminum straps. Next sentence should read "Cut the aluminum bars to length." or something of the ilk.
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McK



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 1126
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 9:43 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

No, your post probably would have made complete sense if I knew what I was asking about... so my case of bad english.

Why not use a single piece of lexan for the rear window? Why do you use three?
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3085
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:12 pm    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

I used a single piece of plastic. I believe it was under $70 at Home Depot.
Just traced it using stock rear window, installed it in the stock gasket, then added the aluminum strips down the back, and pop-rivet them in place.

Dale
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McK



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 1126
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:15 am    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

I guess what I'm asking is why the need for aluminum strips? What do they do? Reinforcement?
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3085
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 8:02 am    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

They prevent the lexan or plastic from blowing out of the gasket at speed.
The plastic is very flexible, and when doing 130mph, it can easily bow out enough to pop out of the gasket.

Dale
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Tom Olsson
Site Admin


Joined: 03 Nov 2004
Posts: 242
Location: Seattle, WA, US

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 9:07 am    Post subject: lexan windows Reply with quote

Ditto what Dale said - one piece of Lexan. The braces are to keep it from blowing out at speed. We run with the door windows down, so there's a fair amount of pressure on it from the inside.
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