Targa Miata
August 7, 2007 - Now that the hardtop is painted, it's time to make the rear window.
I'm going to cut one out of 1/8" Lexan for lighter weight.
Step one, take a pattern off a glass window. Tape the paper to the outside of the glass and trace the shape (then take a blurry picture when you're done). Looks as if a 60x24" piece will be more than enough.
entry 273 - tags: weight loss, lexan window
August 8, 2007 - Next step in the rear window: cut it out.
I use a pneumatic reciprocating saw, but a bandsaw or jigsaw works just as well. If you have a good template, you can have the plastic shop cut it out for you. The problem with that is that I've always had to do a bit of trimming afterwards to get the edges right. In this picture, I'm partway through that process. The first few rivet holes are drilled and various alterations to the shape have been marked and cut. The protective plastic was peeled up so I could see the lip on the hardtop.
entry 274 - tags: weight loss, lexan window
August 8, 2007 - Installing the window is fairly easy.
Just start in the middle and pop in some rivets every few inches. In this case, I used a 6" spacing until I got to the hard curves at the edges, when I dropped down to 3-4". It's also important to mark which way is us, I've learned the hard way in the past that it's easy to install the window upside down!
entry 275 - tags: weight loss, lexan window
August 8, 2007 - After about three fittings, I riveted the window into place.
To keep the rivets from pulling through the fibreglass hardtop, I used washers on the back side. The polycarbonate (generic term for Lexan) is flexible enough that it will simply bend around the curves without any need for forming, and the rivets will easily hold it in place even before they're popped..
I also tried sealing the window in to place with silicone, I'm thinking this wasn't a good idea aesthetically. I've never had to worry about weatherproofing before. It's supposed to dry clear, we'll see if that happens after more than 12 hours. The fact that I painted the lip around the inside of the window black before starting didn't help there.
By the way, the original glass window weighed a bit over 11 lbs. I didn't weigh the polycarbonate, but based on the density of the material it should be right around 5-6 lbs. A Miata windshield is 20.9 lbs.
entry 276 - tags: weight loss, lexan window
August 9, 2007 - Out of the garage!
The Targa Miata visited Flyin' Miata today for the first time. Well, it's been there before, one piece at a time. But this is the first self-propelled visit. The car behaved itself and all of my coworkers were suitably impressed with the paint job.
I spent enough time looking at the car from a distance to start spotting sections of the stripes that I could have done better. It's time to get the decals on the car and distract myself from all that, I think.
One good note - the silicone on the rear window is slowly drying and going clear. In another couple of days, it should be all done.
entry 280 - tags: testing, Martini, lexan window
August 11, 2007 - From the rear.
The chunky black lettering on the rear bumper is taken off the Martini cars as well. I'm considering something for the nose, but it'll have to be smaller to work. Maybe a MAZDA logotype. You can't tell from this photo, but the silicone around the rear window is finally going clear.
entry 285 - tags: Martini, lexan window