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Thoughts on plastic vent windows


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<BR>I have owned my Reatta for about 3 years and just recently found this web site and am very pleased I did because of all the helpful comments and questions. About a month ago I was in need of a vent window for my Reatta and my body shop found one in a salvage yard in Colorado. At first my<BR>insurance company was trying to get me to put in one of the plastic replacements as they didn't want to pay the $ 900 for the original factory window. I had to argue with them but they finally relented, because I was<BR>entitled to a correct part since that is what I was paying insurance for, and also the value of my car would be less with a plastic window. I also did some checking on the safety and legality of the plastic windows and was told that plastic is considered "AS3" and not allowed, on the side of, or in front of the driver. "AS1" is the glass in the windshield and can also<BR>be used in the rest of the car but is more expensive than the others. "AS2" is tempered glass and can be used in the side windows. "AS3" can break into sharp pieces and possibly injure the driver or passenger in the case of an accident and possibly leading to a lawsuit against the installer. If a person doesn't have insurance I can see why they may want to put in a plastic window for about $ 125 as opposed to the higher cost of an original replacement but in the long run the value and liability to me aren't worth it.

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I AM THE MANUFACTURE OF THE POLY-CARB VENT WINDOW FOR BUICK REATTAS. THIS MATERIAL IS AS CLOSE TO BULLET PROOF AS YOU CAN GET BEING ONLY 3/16 .1875 THK. TO BE BULLET PROOF IT MUST BE 1/2 =.5000 THICK .THIS MATERIAL IS CALLED LEXON I HAVE BEING USING THIS MATERIAL FOR OVER 12 YEARS IN MAKING ENCLOSURE FOR MACHINE TOOL BUILDERS.THIS MATERIAL WILL NOT SHATTER IN SMALL PIECES LIKE YOU INDICATED.MOST LIKELY THE VENT WINDOW WILL COME OUT IN ONE PIECE MIRROR AND ALL ,THE ADHESIVE WILL FAIL AND WINDOW WILL POP OUT .I HAVE SEEN THIS MATERIAL HOLD UNDER BROKEN PIECES OF GRINDING WHEEL. THIS WINDOW IS MADE THE GUY THAT DOESN'T WANT TO PUT $1500.00 FOR A DOOR AND $300.00 INSTALLATION INTO HIS $5000.00 REATTA.I HAVE PEOPLE IN THE B.C.A. BUICK TOWN CHAPTER CANN;T TELL WHICH VENT IS REPLACED IN MY REATTA.LOOKS GREAT .MANY BUMP & PAINT SHOPS<BR>LIKE THE EASY OF INSTALLING THIS STYLE OF WINDOW AND THE ELIMINATION OF EXACTING THE WINDOW FROM ANOTHER DOOR.THE ONLY THING I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO DO IS ADDING THE LIBBY-OWENS LOGO AND NUMBER TO THE WINDOW . IF YOU HAVE ANY FUTHER QUESTION CALL ME @ 810655-6113

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I, for one, understand your point well, Greg, and I'm not sure which way I'd go should someone ever damage my vent window (beyond getiing my buck-knife and having a run with them, which basically would probably mean going to jail :rolleyes smile.gif. I do, however, thank Scott and everyone else who put forward the effort necessary to come up with a reasonable solution to our vent replacement problem. Were this just a plexi-glass and spit quick-fix, I'd probably agree that it's not worth the effort it takes to write a check, but I've seen lexon in action, and I concur; it'd probably just pop out, and potentially, could actually save someone's life (depending on the circumstances). This IS what bullet-proof glass is made from (at least one type of glass) and also is used, as Scott stated, to make protective shielding for heavy machinery. I once saw Lexon stop a girder that had went wild and hit a window in an office I was working in. The stuff is strong! As far as legality is concerned, I'm no lawyer (thank goodness smile.gif), but I do know that Lexon and other "bullet-proof" glass is allowed on vehicles side glass for the protection of drivers and passengers. I also believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that the Lexon brand of "bulletproofing" material is what they use on Armored and Police cars. I know Cabs use it as a shield between the passenger/driver compartments, though it's not Lexon (but comparable as I have seen the charts), and I pray Lexon is of better quality. My only concern, Scott, is is it likely to yellow or become cloudy, as I also have known Lexon and other "bulletproofing" plastics to do?

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I believe this is actually "Lexan" unless someone else has a similar product with a nearly similar name. Lexan is a good product but will not match the surface durability of glass for sure. <P>Secondly, I work for PPG and the questions I see posted about the safety aspect deserve more investigation and attention. I agree that the replacement cost ( I can't believe they would charge that ) is not justified for actual safety glass. <P>Just a thought

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regarding whether the lexon material will yellow or not. Most of the applications I have seen have coolant of some type of water base pouring on them ,with grinding dust or metal chips hitting the window,they do after <BR>a period fog up a bit.This material is tinted to as close as I can get to the orginal tint on GM cars, and donn't forget<BR>there is not much open space around the mirror,there is about 1" painted area around the window to help with sun rays on the adhesive to prevent damage of ultra-violet rays on adhesive & window contact . I have had a window on my dads car in Florida for <BR>9 months in the hot sun know damage yet.

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The correct name of the product is LEXAN, a trade mark of the General Electric Co.<P>To reduce the tendency to show scratches, use LEXAN MR. I believe MR stands for mar-resistant. It is a surface treatment.<P>I cannot help wonder why the manufacturer of the vent windows does not know the correct name of the product he is using and why he does not use LEXAN MR.<P>However, I am new to this forum so I may not understand the rules.

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I think we should appreaciate Scotts side windows at a reasonable price. I wish there were more companies making replacement parts at fair prices for these cars. The one thing I hate about the Reatta is what some parts cost. I wish I knew more about plastic manufacturing and had the resorces. I would make door sill plates, front plate brackets, and other plastic trims. It is the lack of new replacement parts that keep the salvage prices so high. Let those salvage yards keep those $900 side windows sitting around. At those prices someone could make a proffit dismantiling every Reatta that costs less than $2000. Are most people going to want to spend $900 plus install of a vent window for a Reatta worth $3000? <P>As for Lexan I think it is very safe. It's used for NASCAR Bush serrirs. At the local NASCAR sanctioned tracks the stock windshield must be removed and replaced with Lexan (I want to say 1/4" thick). Some braces are required in the center to keep the whole sheet from comming in maybe from flexing too. On our race car you could hit it as hard as you could with your fist and nothing would happen. I'm not a glass guy but I think Lexan looks like plexi glass but is much stronger. Lexan seems to flex instead of breaking. A friend of mine was a glaser. He said 1" (4 layers of 1/4") glass and 1/2" lexan is called bullet proof but some places go thicker than that and angle the window slightly. Someone elce I knew did not believe him so he took our extra 1/4" lexon somewhere, put it in a vice and shot at it. I don't remember if he doubled up the sheets. I think he said it was a 357 magnum. I just remember the next day he was very inpresed with the strength and said it held up. <P>If anyone was wondering I found the glass thickness specs for Reatta. I believe it is in MM and the thinner side window is the vent window.<P>Windshield:<BR>Tinted 'C' safety laminated (vinyl plastic) 5.3 grade 3<BR>Side glass:<BR>Safety solid tempered float glass tinted 3.7-4.3 thick and 5.0 thick<BR>Back glass:<BR>Safety solid tempered glass (heated) tinted 4.7-5.3 thick<P>Tom<BR>

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IN MY HASTE I DID SPELL LEXAN INCORRECTLY<BR>SORRY I NEW SOMEONE OUT THERE WOULD CATCH IT. <BR>YES THE MATERIAL LEXAN IS TINTED <BR>AND MAR -RESISTENT ==MR<BR>ALSO IF ANYBODY WANTS TO KNOW I DO SUPPLY THE WINDOW WITH THE CORRECT ADHESIVE FROM 3-M

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Scott It sounds like you did it right. Sorry if my post was a bit abrasive, but your response did add a lot of valuable information. Your efforts are appreciated.<P>

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