Bodywork, Paint, Interior, Trim, & Wiring

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Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4478 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
one method for installing removeable plastic windows...
Posted by: Moderator
Date: April 27, 2009 11:48AM

Ryan Reis e-mailed me a question this morning.

After I typed a reply, it occurred to me someone else might want the same information.

Ryan's e-mail:
Quote:
I bought a '59 Hillman yesterday with a quad 4 motor and it has quite a few issues to sort out. I'll have to get some pictures and info to you once I start figuring out all of its little secrets. Someone spent a lot of time building this car.

One of the first issues I need to tackle is that it has no side or rear windows. The door glass is intact but the "station wagon" side windows are gone and apparently are unobtanium. I was looking at your quarter windows and I was thinking that it would be neat for this car to have removeable side windows for hot days. Looking at your pictures gives me the general idea, but any info you can spare would be great. What did you use for the metal channel and how did you bend it to fit? How did you mount the poly to the channel? Thanks in advance!

My reply:
Quote:
Congratulations - you’ve found a very distinctive car there!

My patent-pending quarter windows are mounted on frames made from mild steel, 16 gage, half-inch box tubing. They’re flat, and two out of the three tubes comprising each frame are straight. The bends were made at home on my workbench – I don’t actually have any memory of how I made those two bends so it couldn’t have been too difficult. At the time I made them, I didn’t have access to welding equipment or even an oxyacetylene torch, so I know I didn’t “sand bend” them and I’m pretty sure the steel was cold when I made the bends. It’s a big radius, so there was no significant buckling.

http://www.britishv8.org/MG/CurtisJacobson/CurtisJacobson-EB.jpg

I had the car stripped-out at that time for installation of the rollcage. I hired a local welding shop to do a bunch of welding for me at that time – they welded in the mounts I had prefabricated for the rollcage and they also welded in the mounting tabs for the windows’ Dzus fasteners. (A different shop that specialized in building circle track racecars bent my rollcage tubes and welded them in.) My local welding shop also welded-up the three corners of the window frames (where the Dzus springs are mounted.) Their TIG welds were nice and flat, and I barely needed to smooth them on the glass side with a side grinder.

The polycarbonate is mounted to the steel frames with 3M (double-sided foam) “Trim Tape”. That stuff is great! It’s been holding strong for almost fifteen years now – through rain, shine, heat and cold. It’s even made exactly the right width. (I personally wouldn't want glass quarter windows on account of weight... but the trim tape would probably strong enough to hold glass in this installation.)

Before assembly, the steel frames were painted (actually, the whole car was...) and also I spray painted the polycarbonate. If I had it to do over, I’d paint the “inside” surface of the window instead of the “outside” because it would look much better – but I was concerned the tape might pull the paint off the polycarbonate. In either case, the purpose of the paint is only to conceal the frames and Dzus fasteners. The paint I used was especially made for automotive plastic – the guy who painted my car had a half-used can and he just gave it to me for free.

http://www.britishv8.org/MG/CurtisJacobson/CurtisJacobson-EC.jpg

One of the tricks to these windows is using the right trim seal for the job. This isn’t exactly what I used, but it’s pretty close:
ref: thefastenerconnection.com/Products/Pics/00018a.jpg
(Note: the second one down... not the first one.)

http://www.thefastenerconnection.com/Products/Pics/00018a.jpg

On my installation, the polycarbonate extends beyond the steel frame a little bit all the way around. The rubber trim seal bears against the steel frame, not the polycarbonate. Dzus pins come in various lengths, and I selected the length that would pull the windows tight into the foam rubber sealing strip all the way around the windows. The Dzus fasteners are only accessible from inside the car. I sewed a padded bag to protect the windows when they're not installed, and I made a bracket to store them on the bottom of the GT's plywood cargo compartment lid - but now that it's been removed I find that they stash pretty neatly above the battery boxes.

Before I made these windows, I had polycarbonate windows that were pop-riveted in. If you go that route - racecar style - be aware that the mounting surface needs to be very flat and hard, or else the rivets will pull the polycarbonate into a distorted shape and they'll look like hell. Sheet metal screws might work better in that respect, but I prefer trim tape instead of either rivets or screws.

Don't substitute acrylic. IMHO, it's too brittle.



mgbreis
Ryan Reis
Beatrice, NE
(203 posts)

Registered:
07/16/2008 11:07AM

Main British Car:


Re: one method for installing removeable plastic windows...
Posted by: mgbreis
Date: April 27, 2009 12:11PM

Thanks Curtis, that is exactly what I needed! After an hour of looking at your pictures and thinking about it, I finally just realised that the picture above showing the metal frame is the INSIDE of the window, not the outside. That makes a lot more sense now. The trim seal is what I pictured in my mind, but I hadn't even thought about where I was going to find it!

So, final question: The only thing holding the poly to the frame is the trim tape?


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4478 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: one method for installing removeable plastic windows...
Posted by: Moderator
Date: April 27, 2009 01:17PM

Yep, a half inch strip all the way around.


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