Instructables
Picture of How to polish a Lexan windshield for under $4
Hello,

I ride a large cruiser motorcycle, and it has a Lexan brand windshield on it. I have researched online, and it turns out I can only find people who will polish and repair Acrylic windshields. They say Lexan windshields need to be replaced. Phooey to that.

A new windshield alone can run upwards of $200.

These days times are hard for all sort of people. Your 50 MPG motorcycle that costs $5 a month in insurance may just be your best bet to get around. There's no reason why you should have to drop more than $4 to get a clear, safe windshield.

A bottle of polish is under $4.

The windshield on my motorcycle is slightly yellowed from age, scratched up from the harsh desert environment where I live, *and* someone apprently had taped a sign to it at one point.

(NEVER tape a Lexan windshield, it removes the protective covering!)

I would have to look over the windshield, or around it, when I am offroad, to avoid rocks, ruts, etc. I couldn't see through it, and that is dangerous on a motorcycle.

Read on and see what I found out worked to make it clear again.
 
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admin5 years ago
This is a great Instructable, but you need to add a main image of the final project to the intro step. Please do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks!
tundrawolf (author)  admin5 years ago
OK I did it, thanks!
unpro122 days ago

Ah ha!

Let it dry first before polishing! I simply wipe and wipe until dries.

Will try with Turtle Polishing Compound.

ah've installed an old dishwasher in mah shop after reading this communique!! And ah've found an assorted pack of 1000, 1500, 2000, and 2500 grit sandpaper @ a local autoparts store, although, like Tunny(sic), this is only a very last resort for the worst case. Also, sems rain-x i not a good thing to use on lexan as a wax.... the ammonia maybe?
bpfh3 years ago
Toothpaste works well too....
thinkpadt303 years ago
Only use sandpaper to remove scratches that are too deep to be removed by the Plastx. The purpose of the sandpaper is to get the surface flat, as light reflects off the scratches, which causes the glare and haze. Use the highest grit that will cut the surface to the point that the scratches don't show. I use 400 (for really rough plastic), then 600 (for light haze), then 1000 (for restoring the translucency), wet-or-dry sandpaper. When you use the sandpaper, always do 2 things. First, rub the sandpaper against itself several times before use. That will knock down the larger pieces of grit that would leave deeper scratches. Second, always wet sand! What I do is sand with water first, getting a uniformly smooth surface. You don't want any scratches showing that are deeper than others. Then using the same piece of sandpaper, I put the Plastx on the plastic and sand, using the Plastx as the lubricant instead of water. I use the old piece of sandpaper because it has all the high pieces of grit already worn off and won't add any deep scratches, like a new piece would. Then use the Plastx by itself with a polishing cloth. I hope this helps.
yourAVTECH4 years ago
Try using a product called PLASTX it is made by Mequire .It does an exelent job . just follow the directions it removes that yellow haze and removes fine scratches and polishes the surface. It is about $5 a bottle. 
http://meguiarsdirect.com/detail/MEG+G12310
MsLizVt5 years ago
Tundrawolf, Hi!

Great job, thanks!  

The bike I ride has a top and bottom windscreen that both are lookingrather ragged.    I'll give this a try, probably using anold handheld electric shoe polisher I have.  

I wonder if a mixture of baking soda and something else might work as apolishing compound.   Any thoughts anyone?

Enjoy,


Liz


tundrawolf (author)  MsLizVt5 years ago
Hi Liz!

Every time I use the above method it comes out looking a little better.

Here's something you might find interesting:

I recently tried to polish a helmet visor (Scorpion).

I polished it many times with the No.4 polish but it was mediocreat best. So, I took some 1100 grit sandpaper and sanded the frontof it (Trust me when I say, the visor was unusable anyway, Ithought what the heck).

I proceeded to polish it like the above method after sanding (Thesanding left the visor barely translucent) and it is coming out GREAT.But, it has taken me at least 35 separate times to polish it.

I think if you have the motivation and time, you can make just about anyplastic clear again. It would be very interesting to see how baking soda(And water?) would polish the windshield.
Tundrawolf, Hi!

Thanks!   I'm going to give it a try.   Thepolishing and all might happen over the winter though.  Up here inVermont it's been snowing already.   Although I might run awayfor a couple of months when it's slow in the winter, maybe ride to thesouthwest or something where it's warmer.

One thing I thought of when I was reading about you washing thewindscreens in the bathtub is that I've been putting mine in thedishwasher.   Yep, silly maybe, but the two pieces come outspotless.   I took the top drawer thingie, that the glasses go in,out of the dishwasher, so I had more height for the wind screens.  Does that make sense?  

I'll try the 1100 grit too.  

Enjoy,


Liz

tundrawolf (author)  MsLizVt5 years ago
Liz,

If I was you I would try the straight polish first.

Honestly, the sandpaper method is for plastic that is so far gone...I have invested much more than $30 in my time (The cost of thevisor) to make my visor usable, and I have no doubt you will bepolishing your windshield for a few weeks to get it so you can seethrough it again after the sandpaper.

I actually do not have $30 so it is worth it for me to have investedliterally 10 hours of polishing so far into my visor (My visor is 1/20ththe windshield, so it may take 100 hours of polishing to get mywindshield to this level of clear) to make it usable in these coldwinter days.

Plus, the visor isn't Lexan, I cannot say how sanding Lexan andthen polishing it 50+ separate times will make the windshield come out.

What I am trying to bring out here is that IF you use the sandpaperroute (I recommend a much finer grade, I just had 1100 at thetime) you MAY be on a MUCH more involved road to making it clearthan you are willing to endure. However, if you are snowed in for weeksat a time, by all means, go ahead!

You could sand a teeny tiny spot on the lower windshield and see howlong it takes to make it the level of clear you want.

However, the dishwasher idea is fantastic, because you are almostguaranteed to getting the bugs off. I almost wish I had adishwasher for this purpose. Well done! :)
TundraWolf, Hi!

I think I'll stick to using your method of polishing the windscreen.   It's really not that bad that I'd want to take onthe task of sanding it.    I might try polishing my faceshield too.

Cool that you like the dishwasher idea.    Someone oncetold me a good way to get the bugs off is using hydrogenperoxide.   They said it literally eats the bug up, like itdoes when it bubbles in a dirty cut.  

Enjoy,


Liz


I work with Lexan daily, and you can't really polish it, you just make the scratches smaller. The compound fills them in, for a while. Lexan is used for it's strength to deflect debris off of the rider , Acrylic is too brittle and shatters on impact. Not good on a bike if you get hit by a chunk of tire going 55 mph.
tundrawolf (author)  underwhelmed5 years ago
I hear you. But I do know that I can actually see the road better now, before when a wash and a wax didn't hardly do anything. Also, if you look, there are windshields made of acrylic, and companies who specialize in restoring them.