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Hot Rods For those of U that have used (Lexan) ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blazedogs, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 470


    I see this products name coming up more & more; is used in place of auto window glass. For those of you that have used it ,were you satisfied with the product . can you explain a little about it ? I hear it scratches very easy , will discolor in time, is more workable than glass,is very strong, your opinion gene in Mn
    p1yotaboy likes this.
  2. Gene you cannot use if for windshield glass on a closed car for street use. You need to be able to crash through the windshield.

    It is good for side glass or a back light. It does scratch easy but you can get hardened Lexan that is mildly scratch resistant and it can be polished when it becomes scratched up. You can cut it with anything that you can cut wood with.

    If you are using it in a street car you want to use the thicker stuff. Like at least as thick as the original glass, it does warp and get wavy with time the thicker material is less likely to warp.

    If you got money to burn you can get it tinted from the factory. Or you can tint it just like regular glass.
    Fordor Ron and loudbang like this.
  3. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,077


    Makes reasonably good side curtains.
  4. p1yotaboy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2016
    Posts: 97


    I’m curious of this as well for car application. I’ve only experienced it with tractors but it is very strong. Have had small logs hit the stuff and not bust. It does scratch and when it does it can be a pain to see out of when the glare is right.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app

  5. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020


    It is used on airplanes a lot. I use it for a windshield on my race car. It cuts and drills easly. Bends well. I used Lexan with Mar-Gard. What Beener was saying. It will scratch but it also will polish. I don't know about needing to crash through the windshield. I have been trying to avoid that.
    flt-blk, swade41, warbird1 and 4 others like this.
  6. Can't use it legally for a wind shield on a street vehicle. Against federal DOT. They will normally look the other way but it can cause you a problem when they decide to harass you. ;)
    loudbang and gimpyshotrods like this.
  7. fms427
    Joined: Nov 17, 2006
    Posts: 864


    First - don’t ever use plexiglass - it breaks in splinters and stabs you in crashes. Lexan does not - safe for windows. But not legal for road use in many places - especially in windshields - check state laws.

    Lexan does scratch , but if you are careful with what you use to clean it , is not too bad. Also , not all products are safe to use on it ( I think windex is good , but not all cleaners are ) There is a scratch resistant Lexan , but much more expensive - and still scratches, just not as easily.

    I have used a lot of Lexan on race car windows , I don’t usually use the scratch resistant stuff. Have never seen it discolor. And, of course , there are lots of motorcycle windshields running around using Lexan. But, I would hesitate to use it on road cars - but that is just me......

    Lexan is pretty easy to work with , bends easily , but does not keep the shape by itself, but if you use a sheet metal break, you can get a good , permanent bend in it. Easy to cut with a band saw, and you can sand the edges smooth. Can also score and break.

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
    Elcohaulic and loudbang like this.
  8. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,968



    Lexan is a formal name for hard plastic. Yes, it scratches easily similar to plain plastic sheets we see at crafts stores. But there are Lexan plastic suppliers that have different grades of Lexan. The harder the compound, the more expensive it will be. I needed several waterproof blocks of Lexan for a mainsheet floor mount ratchet on a racing sailboat. The boating suppliers and manufacturers did not have what I was looking for and I had to create my own version. Thicker versions are harder to cut and shape, but will outlast most other products with a minimal effort to create a new shape or object. My finished product worked flawlessly.

    I went to a plastics supplier and his showroom had tons of different clear sheets, blocks colors and shapes of Lexan quality pieces. I found one I could use as a starter for this part I was making. As we all heard back in the early 1968… I want to say one word to you: “Plastics…there is a great future in plastics.” …the Graduate Movie 1968. It is still around in various formats getting plus and minus looks from most everyone in our society.

    Back in the 70’s the local schools had outlying portable buildings to get more classroom space. The windows were glass and easily cracked or were broken into for those nasty robbers/vandals. A friend told me that ½ inch thick Lexan was being used to replace the lower level glass panels that got broken on those school portables. The Lexan could be hit with a hammer or metal bar and not flinch a bit. No broken shards, no damage, except for a few scratches. The initial cost was higher than a simple glass replacement and in the long run, cost effective. Then the vandals moved to the main buildings for their dumb@$$ moves.


    Replacing side windows was popular for drag racing coupes and sedans. Some even used it for the front. But it was not for street vehicles.
    Elcohaulic likes this.
  9. 26Troadster
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 626

    from Texas

    seen it used for motorcycle windshields but don't use rain x on it cause it will frost.
    loudbang likes this.
  10. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,345


    Lexan is the tradename for "polycarbonate" in sheet form and it's available in various thicknesses. It actually does not polish very well. That trait is more in-line with acrylic but acrylic (by itself) is also very brittle. Modern Jet aircraft canopies are made from a laminate of both of these materials.

    - EM
    jimmy six, squirrel and loudbang like this.
  11. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,937

    Marty Strode

    I used it on this Lakester windshield. IMG_3202.JPG
  12. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,930


    loudbang likes this.
  13. deuce1932
    Joined: Jul 24, 2006
    Posts: 106

    from Australia

    Some Lamborghinis manage to pass DOT requirements with a lexan front screen !
  14. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,082

    from California

    what are you doing where you can't use glass?
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,516


    I've had some as side glass (side curtains) in my 48 since the mid 90's. It must be the real soft stuff because it did scratch easily and years of sitting outside caused it to become real cloudy.
    I'd have to agree that it is very easy to work with though.
    loudbang likes this.
  16. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414


    I bought a sheet of Lexan from Home Depot and made the windows for my Morris Minor.
    Also hard water will cause it to become hard to see out of. I work at a golf course and the windshield's on the golf carts are Lexan and need to be replaced about every 3 years because of washing with well water. The water has a lot of minerals in it. DSCF3536.JPG
  17. I work with poly carbonate plastic(GE Mar guard mainly) on a regular basis at work on the side windows of all our passenger coach cars for the commuter railroad i am a contractor for. The scratch resistant lexan we have passes through a car wash with harsh chemicals and spinning brushes no less then 3 times a week and eventually will scratch, but it takes quite some time. These windows are exposed to direct sunlight and travel hundreds of miles every day. We do not have a regular replacement interval, but windows I installed thirteen years ago is still in service now.
    I would not hesitate to use it on side windows, but not a windshield unless its a dedicated race car. If you have wipers, it will scratch in no time that way, mar guard or not. As hard as it is to break, it can flex easily and could cave in on the occupants of hit struck by a heavy object.
    NOT ALL POLYCARBONATE IS CREATED EQUAL. Do your homework on scratch and UV resistance before buying.
    loudbang likes this.
  18. Lexan would be good for race cars ( lightweight, easy to shape, will withstand impact), not so good for streetcars for two reasons: one is it scratches easily ( never touch with a dry rag) but most important you must use a material for the side windows that you could break incase of a rollover. That is why safety glass is not recommended for side windows but tempered glass is. Tempered glass will break with a sharp object into a million small pieces which won't harm you significantly.
    loudbang likes this.
  19. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    For my 56 Chevrolet Bracket Car, I used 1/4" Acrylite for the side windows; comes in many colors if you're so inclined. It's really strong and flexible, but it seems to "create" a film on itself, but it wipes away with a soft cloth. I supplied the patterns, and the glass shop I bought it from cut it to my specs. I'd always heard Lexan yellowed with UV exposure, and also became brittle from those same rays. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
  20. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 4,810

    Lloyd's paint & glass

    The last piece of polycarbonate i bought to cut a piece out of for my blasting cabinet cost more than i pay for laminated glass
    loudbang likes this.
  21. I've been thinking of using it for wind wings, what do you think ?
    loudbang likes this.
  22. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 856

    from boron,ca

    i have used lexan in race cars for years. i learned in the army to use polishes like Pledge. we had to replace the windows in helicopters from all the bullet holes.
    jimmy six, Flathead Dave and loudbang like this.
  23. Yikes, that's scary.
    loudbang likes this.
  24. My brother first tried plexiglass to make a windshield for his morris racer....had to force it to curve and when he came out the next morning to check his work, every screw hole had cracked.
    Next, he used a good grade of lexan and installed it in the hot sun...worked so good he also used it for side and back windows. He had the car over 25 years and never had issues with it but he babied it and always parked it inside. Scotty's morris on 6th street..JPG scottysmorrisatB'villeback.jpg
    Elcohaulic and loudbang like this.
  25. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,373

    from illinois

    Made mine out of 3/16" lexan 19 years ago , they're scratched , sand blasted , pitted from a lot of things , but they haven't cracked or yellowed and you can still see through them OK ,after 50 k miles..
    HemiDeuce and loudbang like this.
  26. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,252


    I have polycarbonate vent windows in two cars...they do flex, since they're plastic, not glass.

    Also, Lexan™ is a brand name for polycarbonate, but there are several other brands, so you might see a different name on it.

    I would not use plastic windows on a car unless there was a really good reason...such as weight reduction for racing.
  27. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,930


    Like squirrel says, there are other brands. I found one called makrolon that feels just like lexan. Shop around.
  28. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,345


    To further clarify, "Lexan" is a SABIC tradename (formerly GE Plastic), "Makrolon" is a Covestro tradename (formerly Bayer).

    - EM
  29. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 781


    McMaster-Carr has a lot of good info on this and other materials. I built a guard for a tensile testing machine out of something between plexiglass and bulletproof material. $$$$

    Sent from my LG-TP450 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  30. You don't work with anything from GE unless you have had it around for more than 10 years. GE sold that part of the business to the Arabs. A company named *SABIC bought the rights to GE's poly carbonate in May of 2007.

    @deuce1932 I got an idea that you can buy different autos in Australia then those sold in the US. Federal DOT in the US is way different then it is on your continent.

    *Saudi Basic Industries Corp

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