Lexan has been long recognized as an excellent way to remove weight from quarter-mile warriors and extreme street sleepers. The hurdles limiting its mainstream utilization have been cost and fit. Lexan costs a pretty penny, with a typical 4x8-foot sheet of 1/8-inch thick "non-breakable" Lexan from the local home improvement store would set you back $200 to $250. Installation of the Lexan puts a further burden on the neural synapses, as the sheets must be cut to fit the first time, or else it's back to The Home Depot. In many cases, a chassis shop or other specialty installer is called upon. The chassis shop supplies the Lexan-in most situations, higher-grade 5/16-inch sheets. The cost for a chassis shop to custom-cut and install Lexan windows runs about $1,000. It is wise to remember that, since the Lexan windows are made from flat pieces, a weatherproof seal is near impossible.
The first step is to remove the weather-stripping on the stock glass.
FAL has developed affordable, pre-formed Flexite(tm) window insert kits for the dietary-minded, high-performance enthusiast. Flexite is similar to Lexan, but offers more scratch resistance than its counterpart. FAL has circumvented the initial costs of Lexan by purchasing its Flexite in bulk to lower costs and FAL uses top-of-the-line 5/16-inch material. Fitment problems have been obliterated by developing a procedure to form the Flexite to the contours of the original window. Installation is a simple remove-and-replace operation, and can be done by the enthusiast or any automotive window shop. Since the kit retains the OE weather-stripping, the interior remains impervious to the elements.
With a little prying, the glass should come out easily.
FAL is producing kits that consist of factory shaped left and right rear quarter glass and rear hatch window. The kits provide a weight savings of 20 to 50 lbs, depending on application. Getting DOT approval on front side windows and windshield is too difficult at this time, and there are no plans for race-only front window kits. But we suggest you call Flex-A-Lite, if they get enough interest in front glass, the company may produce it. As the accompanying installation photos illustrate, the procedure is a snap.
After cleaning the window frame, it should be re-caulked with adhesive.
|WEIGHT COMPARISON |
| ||Stock ||FAL Flexite |
|Rear Quarter (2) ||3.5 lbs ||2 lbs |
|Rear Hatch ||15.7 lbs ||5 lbs |
|Total ||22.7 lbs ||9 lbs |