We're now wrapping up the installation of the lexan windows on Ol' Blue and it's starting to look like a car again. I used 3/16" thick lexan with a smoke grey tint that I got from Regal Plastics in Joplin, MO. We bought a 4x8 sheet of it to do the rear and side windows. I debated a bit on getting the scratch resistant type, and finally decided to get the regular lexan as a full sheet was only $154 w/tax and scratch resistant was much higher. My thinking was I can afford to replace the windows completely several times for the cost of a one time install of the Maurguard type. I had also heard numerous problems with the scratch resistant coating, so decided against it for the rear windows. The front windshield however is a preformed Pro-Glass part and it does have the scratch resistant feature, it was quite expensive, so I'm hoping it will last for a while. On the doors, since I removed the wing windows for some weight savings I had to get 73-74 window fuzzies to fit the full length. However the rear windows on the 73's are quite a bit different than the 71 models, so that took quite a bit of tweaking to the trim to make it fit the window, in fact it took all morning last Saturday to get those in there. Since the clips don't line up either, the trim is pop-riveted to the upper door skin to hold it in place. There are probably a number of different ways of doing this, but I wanted to try and make the windows look "stock" if possible and retain the little chrome strip the fuzzies have. Since the Nova has a full door frame and the windows are reasonably flat, the sheet lexan worked out pretty good. The door and quarter windows are fastened with 10-32NF Flat Head Cap Screws with Ny-lock nuts screwed into the upper door skin to hold the window in place. In the window grooves on front and rear I used the original style seals which worked out decent. The 3/16 thick windows are a little thinner than the original 1/4" thick glass, but it seems to work out decent. I'm glad we went ahead and did 3/16 vs 1/8 as the windows seem less wavy than the thinner lexan and it probably didn't add but maybe a pound or two more than the 1/8" I'm guessing. [singlepic id=18 w=320 h=240 float=right] The rear window is sealed with 3/8" thick Butyl tape like used for regular windows and is also fastened with 1" long flat head sheet metal screws. That's a easy to screw up process getting everything laid out well so that the chrome trim will cover the screws, and the screws lined up well with the window lip. I used the stock glass as a template to cut the lexan, and in hindsight should have added maybe 1/8" or so bigger to give me more of a lip to put the screws in with. I won't make that mistake on the front window - I'll cut it out a bit oversize to make sure I have plenty of lip to work with. All the screw holes are countersunk with a 82° countersink that I got from Jerry Bickle Race Cars. It's a fancy took that sets the depth of the counter sink nicely. [singlepic id=20 w=320 h=240 float=right] I did learn that you can put the Nova's rear windshield trim on backwards, which was a real aww crap moment when I discovered what I had done, but luckily I was able to remove the trim without chipping the paint! One thing I hadn't realized was how bad the lexan is with static - it attracts dust like crazy. I'm going to try some Plexus Lexan polish to see if that helps with that issue. [singlepic id=30 w=320 h=240 float=right] We also wrapped up the front lexan window install and I actually remembered to weigh the difference, looks like right at about 10 lbs savings over the aftermarket glass window. An original glass window might be a bit heavier, this was as compared to a PPG glass window. The front windshield is a formed Pro Glass Brand that is 3/16" thick. Aside from the price, I was impressed with how well it fit the car. We did have to trim the window as they ship them oversize in case you want to flush mount it. Like on the rear, we used 3/8" thick Butyl tape again and used flat head screws spaced 6" apart. I know a lot of people put the screws in like every 3-4", but that really looked overkill to me. Hopefully it will work ok and not have any problems like that. An additional note, the installed height of the glass on the front and rear was about .400" which worked out pretty decent for the trim and it fit nice and tight. The clips for the trim were installed pretty tight, about 3/4 of the way full tight in the clip grove.
Last night I got started working on removing a bit of weight from the doors on the Nova and found there is quite a bit of savings there. Window and door handle hardware, window regulator and misc. hardware totaled 6.4 lbs. Door glass weighed 10.8 lbs and the vent window 4.31 lbs. I'm estimating the lexan to weigh in approximately 1/2 of the weight of the glass, which should yield a savings somewhere around 15 lbs per door, a total of around 30 lbs savings. I'm going to be setting it up like a 1973 Nova that doesn't have vent windows to get that extra ~ 4 lbs of weight. Sure, I'll miss the vent windows as they are real nice to let some air in the cockpit when you're on the return road, but even more interested in getting that 8 lbs out. For door handles, I'm going to make some aluminum handles like what the guys with fiberglass doors use at the top of the door. They will save a little weight, and make it easier to get the door open with all those door bars in the way. I'll also be doing some work to the doors as well, and I'd bet I can get at least 2-4 lbs there, so I'm hoping we'll end up saving around 40 lbs when it's all said and done.