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Old 10-21-2008, 11:45 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Here's my first failed attempt at bullet-proof fog lamp covers.

Like I said before, the stuff is thick. I'm not sure what temperature Lexan becomes pliable, but I do know that it's above 212F; boiling water didn't do the trick. I don't own a heat gun, so I tried my new propane blowtorch ( I just replaced the faucets in the bathroom...'nuther story...). Apparently, the point it becomes pliable is pretty darn close to the point where it bubbles and deforms!

'DOH! I hate it when that happens.
So my next idea is to heat it in the oven and drape it over some kind of form.

Anybody know the correct temperature for forming Lexan?

Here's a shot of me and the family at our traditional fall photo outing;

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Old 10-22-2008, 09:08 AM   #42 (permalink)
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A heat gun would be a lot easier to use for this type of thing. At the very least, a heating tip for the torch would be best so it spreads the heat out more evenly. I'm not sure of the lexan forming temp, but I think its just going to take practice to get things right anways. You'll get a feel for how much heat to put into it and how much you can bend/form it.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:47 AM   #43 (permalink)
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I brought the mangled piece into work with me today with the intention of trying out the heat gun in the shop during my lunch break. I've got enough material to goof up one time per side, so we'll see how it goes.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:58 AM   #44 (permalink)
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The bubbles are from moisture in the Lexan (polycarbonate). This tells more about thermoforming plastics:

http://support.knowlton.ohio-state.e...acuumGuide.pdf
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:06 AM   #45 (permalink)
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I personally recommend oven forming, although I've only done it with acrylic. Bit about when i did it in a thread over here
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:35 PM   #46 (permalink)
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I dunno, socalsuperhero, that seems kinda fishy... I crack myself up.
Seriously (as I can be), I am leaning toward oven forming. Not sure about the form, though.

Call me the King of ADD. (Okay, howya doin', King of ADD? Oh, not bad, thanks for asking...) I decided to do an automatic headlight/DRL mod on my lunch hour instead of play with the heat gun. I started out reading a thread in the Instrumentation section, and then went here and then here. I decided the 'Cut The Yellow Wire' mod was what I wanted. Badda bing, badda boom, no more automatic lights or DRLs.
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:37 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Thanks for the link, moorecomp. Good stuff.

I'm going to have to bake my Lexan for 8 hours???
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:20 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Futzed around with the heat gun at work today. It does seem to work better (and slower) than the blue-flame-spewing blow torch at home. Got just a few bubbles toward one edge. Next step: build a mold.

Not sure how to do that...
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:19 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Hokay. Time to dust off the thread.
The bullet-proof fog lamp covers are on hold for now. 'Cause I'm a slacker, OK?

I ordered a block heater from an online outfit (midwaypartsteam.com) and had to wait for it while it was back ordered. Grrr. I hate waiting. I'm way too American in that regard. But it finally showed up today as promised.



Not a shred of instructions came with it, but I ain't skeerd. I'm smart'n the average bear.



Hey! It's made in Canada! (Insert your own joke here)

The first thing is to try and find the hole it fits into. Not as easy as it sounds. I found this one, is that it? The one in the mirror? Huh? Huh?;



Nope. Try again, sucka. (And yes, I did clean my throttle body before reassembling...) Ooh ooh, how about one of these?



Nooooope. But we're getting closer! See it hiding in the shadows up there? Here, lemme point it out for ya;



Yeah, y'all are sitting back and enjoying the show, aren't ya? But I'm telling you, this is one of the more frustrating things I've done in a while. I missed half of Knight Rider because I couldn't find a stupid hole in my Vibe.
Since there were no instructions, I decided on my own to apply some antisieze to the heating element. I've used this stuff on aircraft and never had one fall out of the sky, so I figured it'd be safe for Olivia.




Let me tell ya. If you use this stuff, don't even try to be careful and neat with it. As soon as you open the lid, bam, it's all over your hands, shirt, and anywhere else you don't want it. So just go ahead and take the lid-mounted brush and smear it all over your face. Indian war paint style. Darn, forgot to get a picture of that step.

After a bit of a fuss and tussle, I got it slid in and the clip snapped over the edge of the hole. I was able to wiggle the camera down between the firewall and engine and snap a pic. So this is what you would see if you were a master cylinder and had eyes;



And plugged in;


Well, that's all the pictures I had the patience for. And interestingly enough, I'm getting tired of typing, too.
We'll see what happens in the morning.
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Last edited by Tango Charlie; 11-16-2008 at 12:01 AM..
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:22 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Looks good. You really went all out with the pictures, very nice!

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