Jimmy at texasbankers.com
Tue Jul 31 10:00:25 EDT 2007
Re: Lexan Windshields
First, let me address Mark's comment that glass is required for rally cars
because of street legality. That might be true in some states, but not in
all. Texas law:
"20.33 Windshield Wipers
Vehicles presented for inspection without windshields will not be required
to have wipers. The windshield is not an item of inspection."
Because, you know, horses don't have windshields. *snort* ;-)
Now let's run down Steve's comments:
> Lexan is not a very good choice for a windshield.
Maybe. Maybe not. ;-)
> While it is extremely durable, it scratches VERY easily.
Very true. Just wiping Lexan with a clean cotton t-shirt will leave
> Hence the use of tear away shields on helmuts, etc. that use lexan lenses.
I think tear-aways are used to clear the shield of typical debris (bugs,
oil, dirt) during a race, rather than as a scratch preventative. Maybe there
are similar products for road use (like a clear bra for face shields), so
this might be splitting hairs.
> Running windshield wipers over it with any dirt at all will quickly etch
it, and AFAIK, you really can't polish it.
Well, my glass is etched from the windshield wipers, so I certainly know
this is true. However, I thought you could polish anything, except a
tur...,well uh, I mean just about anything. Okay, ten seconds of research on
Google shows that there are products for this (sold at RPW, no less), but it
appears to be diificult and maybe not worth the effort.
> Other reasons not to use it is that it flexs and distorts...
I can believe that there could be some distortion (heck, some glass comes
distorted right from the factory), but the Lexan windshields that I have
seen are pretty thick and don't look like they would flex in any noticable
> ...and is difficult to fasten and therefore difficult to change quickly in
Okay, well I don't know what that is all about, but they are bolted-in, so I
can't see it getting much easier than that. Besides, one of the advantages
of Lexan is that unlike glass, there are fewer reasons to need to change it
during a race. A common mishap that I have seen is somebody forgetting to
put the hood pins back in after a service. They go out, the hood swings back
and *bam* - they need a new windshield. Not with Lexan. The same goes with
FOD - an errant bolt, hard part, or rock gets kicked-up and hits the
windshield. Bad for glass, no problem for Lexan.
Another advantage is cost. My rear Lexan cost $140 and that's because I had
somebody else cut it. Material cost was closer to $100 and it is about the
same area as the windshield. A Lexan windshield would need to be thicker,
but even with that added cost, it would still be less than factory glass (at
least for this car), and more readily available. At that kind of cost (less
than one tire), it _could_ be replaced after every race to provide maximum
clarity. Spares would be easy to transport, too.
Some shops might not like Lexan, but there are other teams that use them, so
they must feel it is an advantage. STaSIS uses them on their cars; if
somebody has an inside line there, you might bend their ear to see what they
think about the stuff. While you are at it, you might check for geeky stuff
like what thickness they use, etc.
Now, with all of that said, I would probably prefer glass, so I will be
ordering a salvage glass until we find a good source for new. I will have
photos of their rear Lexan after Wednesday.
More information about the Es2