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  1. #1
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    I am in the process of fixing up a 1965 17' Starcraft. It has a plexiglass "bowed" windshied that is pretty foggy to look through. It also has some hairline stress cracks along the bends to the sides of the boat. Does anybody know of any way (or cleaner/solvent), that will solve either of these problems? I have tried nothing on the cracks. As for the haze, I have tried common things like windex, alcohol, purple power, etc. There has to be some kind of good cleaner out there...Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    As far as I know, there is no cure for fogged plexiglass. Maybe someone may know some magic cure, but you may have to replace, as you said you have some cracks starting.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    That's what I was affraid I would hear. I can only expect that molded plexiglass like that would be very expensive as well...let alone hard to find!The cracks are just "flakes". They are simply surface cracks. I'm thinking some eye-glass scratch repairer, or fish tank scratch repairer would fix that. I am more worried about getting rid of the fogging! It isn't bad as long as the sun is out, but it is hard to see through on nasty days.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Search this site for windshields. Some people are able to make their own. It involves getting a large enough sheet of plexiglass (any hardware store) and bending it with a heat gun.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Make a new windshield from polycarbonate, it bends cold and doesn't crack or craze, but be sure to get "scratch resistant" material as the normal stuff scratches rather easily, you'll probably need to go to a specialist plastic supplier to get this, it's not the sort of stuff that a normal hardware store would stock.Try companies that make display cases, they often use this material and will most likely sell you a piece the size you need rather than a full sheet.

  6. #6
    Moderator JB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Hey, PCM. If the fogging is only on the surface, from abrasion, you can take it out in three steps:1. Sand the surface with #800 wetordry paper, wet.2. Power buff with rubbing compound.3. Hand polish with a suitable plexi polish.If the fog is actually discoloration in the plastic you gotta replace it.Good luck.

  7. #7
    Fleet Admiral Mark42's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Like Petrolhead said. I did it. If you are the slightest bit handy, have a jig or saber saw, it is a rather easy and inexpensive job. Here is mine during the trial fitting stages after cutting and installing the polycarbonate and re-using the rubber deck gasket:
    1985 Bayliner 1600 Capri Cuddy, 1965 MFG Niagara Custom. >> MFG Video<<. >> MFG Project<< >>Bayliner Hard Top Project<< >>Bayliner Repower Project<<


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    There is a coating on the market for eyeglasses that have crazed finishes.You would need an aweful lot of it to do a windshield but it may work.You need to watch TV late at night and you will see an infomercial on it.Charlie

  9. #9
    Lieutenant Commander AMD Rules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Look for polish called "Novus" or "Meguires PlastX". Depending on the severity of your cloudiness, you may be able to bring the original windshield back to life.As an example, wetsanding and polishing my headlights with PlastX I was able to restore the headlights on my old van. I have since used PlastX on my boat windshield to keep it in good condition.Click to see image (39kb)
    '86 SeaRay Seville 195BR c/w Mercruiser 170
    '72 Glastron GT160 & 1985 Merc 150HP V6 Outboard
    '67 Merc 3.9hp , '70 Merc 9.8hp, '61 Merc 50hp The Merc Nut

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Look at some of the aviation supply houses for a product called MicroMesh. I have saved lots of aircraft windshields with this stuff. The kit has a foam sanding block and padded "sandpaper" ranging from 1000 grit to about 10,000 grit. You do lots of water sanding. If it is only surface abrasions this might work. It won't quite make it look new but it will be pretty darn close. Making a new one is best but if that is not an option you might give it a try.Russ In Texas

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Thanks for all the help. With winter coming up, it should be a good time to mess with the polycarnonate idea. Maybe I will pull out the jig saw and test my handy skills. :-) Isn't that stuff kinda pricey though?One of these days I will update my website and put up pictures of this project. For never working on boats before, I've become pretty proud of it. I owe this site many thanks!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Just a quick comment. I was reading somewhere last week (can't re-find the site, sorry), that both ammonia and alcohol type cleaners ...including Windex... are very bad for Plexiglas and in fact cause most of the fogging and crazing. Apparently, some of it is caused by UV light as well. The site I was reading said to never use ANYTHING but water to clean Plexiglas.Barely $0.02 worth,Joe

  13. #13
    Admiral Dunaruna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    I've used the novus brand with mixed results, overall not too bad.Maybe this: http://www.convertiblecar.com/instructs/instr_pwp.html Aldo
    Watch this space......................

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Vapor Polishing....If you look it up you will find some info on it. Im not sure how they do it, but I have had it done on small items and it works great...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Originally posted by PCM: I am in the process of fixing up a 1965 17' Starcraft. It has a plexiglass "bowed" windshied that is pretty foggy to look through. It also has some hairline stress cracks along the bends to the sides of the boat. Does anybody know of any way (or cleaner/solvent), that will solve either of these problems? I have tried nothing on the cracks. As for the haze, I have tried common things like windex, alcohol, purple power, etc. There has to be some kind of good cleaner out there...Thanks in advance!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    At one time, maybe yet, JC Whitney Co, sold a product for cleaning oxidation from plastic windows and it may work very well on your windshield...disolves the haze and makes it clear. Will probably not do too much for the cracks though.

  17. #17
    Fleet Admiral Mark42's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Hey! I got published! http://www.mfgboats.com/windshield_repair.htm Regarding the UV business, the polycarbonate I bought came with UV protection built in.
    1985 Bayliner 1600 Capri Cuddy, 1965 MFG Niagara Custom. >> MFG Video<<. >> MFG Project<< >>Bayliner Hard Top Project<< >>Bayliner Repower Project<<


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Congrats Mark42! I called the local hardware store and found out that there is a plexiglass scratch filler, but that won't solve the hazing! I have no intention of getting into the wet sanding it stuff...from my past experiences with worksmanship, sand paper and glass/plastics don't equal clear. lolI think I'm going to see if I can rent a heat gun somehow because plexiglass is so durable and cheap. If I can't, I think I will go with the polycarbonate. $77 for a windshield is less that getting on at a bone yard or having glass cut or molded!Thanks for the help, and I hope this string has helped many other!

  19. #19
    Lieutenant Commander AMD Rules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Mark42,Congrats on your article...that is fantastic!I mentioned the wet sanding & polishing technique I used earlier on smaller acrylic auto lenses. I was considering polishing the scratches out of my windshield, but since reading about your success with complete replacement I am favoring your method.Do you believe that I would have success bending the 1/8 polycarbonate (without heat) to fit my frame? You can see in the image below it is a 90 degree bend with perhaps a 2-1/2" to 3" radius?
    '86 SeaRay Seville 195BR c/w Mercruiser 170
    '72 Glastron GT160 & 1985 Merc 150HP V6 Outboard
    '67 Merc 3.9hp , '70 Merc 9.8hp, '61 Merc 50hp The Merc Nut

  20. #20
    Fleet Admiral Mark42's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    AMD,It should bend without a problem. The supervisor at the plastic supplier told me that polycarbonate works well for cold bending. I tried bending a piece of scrap in my vise to see what would happen. I was able to bend it over at a sharp 90* bend and it just bent! It did bounce back to be about a 60* bend, but I was able to force it to 90* by hand out of the vise. The corner was clear, did not turn white, and no cracks. So I am sure you can bend it tight enough to make that 2" radius. It is rather springy stuff. You might want to try bending some around a length of 2" pvc pipe or something to help mold your shape.Good luck!Mark.
    1985 Bayliner 1600 Capri Cuddy, 1965 MFG Niagara Custom. >> MFG Video<<. >> MFG Project<< >>Bayliner Hard Top Project<< >>Bayliner Repower Project<<


  21. #21
    Lieutenant Commander AMD Rules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Thanks Mark,I'll follow up at a later date to let ya'll know what I chose to do. I expect your advice has helped a lot of people make up their mind to manufacture their own windshield.Sorry for temporarily hi-jacking your thread PCM.... I'll behave now.
    '86 SeaRay Seville 195BR c/w Mercruiser 170
    '72 Glastron GT160 & 1985 Merc 150HP V6 Outboard
    '67 Merc 3.9hp , '70 Merc 9.8hp, '61 Merc 50hp The Merc Nut

  22. #22
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Originally posted by PCM: I am in the process of fixing up a 1965 17' Starcraft. It has a plexiglass "bowed" windshied that is pretty foggy to look through. It also has some hairline stress cracks along the bends to the sides of the boat. Does anybody know of any way (or cleaner/solvent), that will solve either of these problems? I have tried nothing on the cracks. As for the haze, I have tried common things like windex, alcohol, purple power, etc. There has to be some kind of good cleaner out there...Thanks in advance!

  23. #23
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Removing "haze" from plexiglass windshield

    Before you spend money or a lot of time, try this-take some everyday automotive polishing compound (the white cream, not the red paste-the red paste is too abrasive) and try just polishing the plastic with a polishing wheel. I did this to fogged up old car polycarb. lenses over my headlights and it worked like a charm. Good luck.

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