15 Jan 2012

On a whim, the windscreen and frame was dealt with and since it hadn’t been thought through, there was a lot of sitting around and staring at it before work started. On the one hand, it would look nicely finished with black silicone between the glass and frame. On the other hand, any car that sees track use – like this one – should have its windscreen easily removable, making things a bit more challenging.

What was done ahead of time was to locating a custom glass place that caters to hot rods, and this windscreen should be a piece of cake since it’s flat. A friend expressed concern early-on that a flat windscreen is asking for trouble since wind pressure can easily bend it. That’s one big advantage of curved windshields, that the curve acts like a dome, making it far stronger to wind pressure. A flat windscreen has no way to politely direct the force to the edges, so it bends. However this shouldn’t be an issue since this windscreen is less than 12″ tall and will be supported around the entire perimeter. If there is any bending seen, a subtle support down the center can be added later.

One thing learned on Kimini was that over time, a hot windshield will soften and cold-flow even fully-cured silicon. For that reason this windscreen will have positive supports so it can’t slowly creep down like a glacier. Because the glass vendor can put holes anywhere in the glass, screws will be used as the hard mounts, suitably insulated from the glass by plastic bushings.

Another issue that’s been dealt with is avoiding a windscreen with corners of less than 90 deg, like the windscreen on a Caterham. I saw a new 260 hp model (around $60K I believe) and one bottom corner of the glass that “wraps around” the cowl had already snapped off. For this reason there’ll be an aluminum filler panel along the bottom of my windscreen, so the windscreen ends being a simple rectangle. Pictures when there’s something worthy.

Oh, and the fiberglass air inlet came out “okay” enough to use. Being of moldless-construction, it was assumed that it would need a layer of Bondo to smooth out the imperfections, and so it will.