I have a truck topper (Hop Cap brand), that has the typical rear window
that lifts up (above the truck's tailgate), and stays up by those small
shock absorber looking things on each side.
The frame of this window is aluminum. The window material is a tinted
plexiglass. Yesterday I had some boards on the back and the window fell
(those shock absorber things are weak). The plexiglass hit a board and a
piece of the plexiglass broke and fell out.
I'm going to price a new piece of plexiglass. It wont be tinted, but
that's ok. But I'll have to get it professionally cut because it has
round corners. But if the plexiglass is costly, I may try to just glue
that cracked piece back using epoxy. (unless there's a better glue for
Either way, I want to take the whole window off the topper so I can work
on this on my workbench, rather than trying to do it in a vertical
position, on the truck. (not to mention that it's cold outdoors).
I see there's a clip on each of those shock absorbers, but I can not see
how the hinge holds it in place. The hinge is NOT screwed on, it's part
of the assembly. Looking at it from the side, it's sort of like a round
sleeve inside a larger round sleeve with a slot in it.
I thought that maybe it would slide out sideways (toward the right or
left of the truck), but that dont appear to be the case. (I did not yet
remove the shock absorber things). I'm wondering if it needs to go
straight up, pointing toward the sky..... (just a guess).
So, I thought I'd ask on here before I try anymore. Its probably simple,
but first I need to know the trick.
Has anyone on here done this?
On Sun, 25 Oct 2015 05:10:48 -0700 (PDT), bob_villa
After the spring strut is removed the rear windoe, or upper door half
slides off one side or the other. There is likely 1 screw somewhere
preventing it from sliding under normal circumstances. Remove the
screw, and the window will slide off.
This from memory of having to remove mine this summer and replace the
shattered glass with plastic.
On Sun, 25 Oct 2015 05:16:11 -0700 (PDT), bob_villa
Thanks for the link. However that dont help, because it keeps asking me
for the year, make, model of vehicle. This is an add on topper. Not part
of the vehicle. I was hoping it would show some photos or describe how
to remove those lift supports though. But I think I can figure that out.
Yet, I'm still lost as far ias how to get the window off the hinge.
On 10/25/2015 8:39 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Hold on a minute. Sometimes you get lucky. Before putting a couple of
hours into this, check with a place that does repairs. They may pop
that out and back in for a very low price and save you a lot of labor.
Or maybe not. Worth asking though, things that take a DIY two hours can
sometimes be done ay a pro in ten minutes.
Where I live (a rural area), there are no topper or camper companies.
But there is a glass company that repairs/replaces glass in both homes
and automotive. I may just drive there and ask the price. Of course this
is plexiglass, not glass, but I'd assume they do both.
Even if I replace it myself, I'd need to have them, or another
professional cut the plexiglass. I can make a straight cut, but never
tried to make round corners and angles, (which this is). I'm sure they
have special equipment to cut it.
Either way, I still want to remove that entire window from the topper
and still dont know how....
I dont want to stick a lot of money on this. If I can just epoxy the
piece back in, my only cost will be about $5 for the epoxy. But I'd
spend up to $50 to get new plexiglass in it, but not much more than
that. I often see these toppers sell for $5 to $10 at auctions, so it's
not worth spending a lot for the window. Yet, this one matches the truck
so I'll put some money in it.
I already had the bottom metal piece off of it, because the rivets came
loose and the bottom piece (under the plexiglass) was coming off. I
removed the rivets on the other side, cleaned out the groove where the
plexiglass sits, then put it back with small nuts and bolts. But even
then, I noticed there were small cracks developing in the plexiglass
near that bottom edge. I think it got very brittle from years of sun
hitting it. So, I put some silicone on the inside where these small
cracks were showing, and it's held for several years now. I guess
plexiglass gets brittle over time and becomes weak. All it took was for
the window to slam shut and hit that board, and it broke a chunk out of
On Sun, 25 Oct 2015 06:39:00 -0600, email@example.com wrote:
As for cutting the plexi - I used Lexan, but I transfered the pattern
to my lexan, cut it slightly large, then finished the edge to shape
and size with my belt sander. I tried ny block plane first and did
some roughing with it, but found the sande much faster and more easily
On Sun, 25 Oct 2015 14:43:24 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The belt sander sounds like a good idea.
What's the difference between plexiglass and Lexan?
Since you did this, did you have to replace that rubber gasket around
the p-glass? Mine looks dry, but if needed I could apply some silicone
in the goove.
Thanks for the help!
On Sun, 25 Oct 2015 15:30:39 -0600, email@example.com wrote:
I re-used everything except the rivets and the broken glass.
Plexi is acrylic. Lexan is polycarbonate.
Plexi doesn't yellow and can be polished, and it burns.
Lexan yellows over time, and scatches cannot be polished out. It is
Lexan is virtually unbreakable.
Lexan costs about 15% more than plexi and is available in fewer
On Sun, 25 Oct 2015 17:11:32 -0700 (PDT), bob_villa
There are UV coatings that work well, and those that work well for a
while. Lexan will yellow when the UV coating (if applied) fails.
Plexi will not. BUT, plexi gets brittle with UV exposure, lexan does
not. Plexi is also sensitive to any hydrocarbon exposure.
On Sun, 25 Oct 2015 06:39:00 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
We call that a cap.
gas struts iirc.
Especially in cold weather.
Besides plexiglass, you can get Lexan, although that is only one brand
name. Wikipedia's Lexan entry will tell you the generic name.
As to price, if you can find a plastic store, it will have the best
price. In the whole city of Baltimore, over a million in the met area,
there is only one plastic store, but it has a lot of variety** and the
staff is real nice***. And they had quarter sheets, after someone
else bought the rest of the sheet. **and will order whatever they
don't have, but you have to order a 4'x8' sheet. (I mention this for
future projects.) ***Sometimes the quarter sheets are in the back,
but other times, they or smaller or all mixed together in racks in the
front. Sometimes they give me a piece from the racks for free, even
though I don't ask.
Lexan comes in tinted. It's less likely they'll have it in stock, less
likely they'll have a partial piece, but ask.
Maybe mor e important is that it come in UV resistant. So it won't
get brittle with age.
But really, you might just want whatever you can get a quarter sheet
of. I guess they'll sell a quarter sheet of anything but maybe
charge about half the price of a full sheet, something like that. If
they already have a left-over quarter, they'll charge a quarter of a
full sheet, at least that's what the store here does. (People like
you and me are not their big customers, fabricators are. and maybe
Last summer I tried to make a new rear window for my convertible. But
the design of the 2000-2002 Toyota Solara did not leave enough room
for the window. That's how it broke, just by lowering the top. Later
years they made the window shorter, top to botoom.
I think I paid 20 or 30 for a quarter sheet, probably both. I
actually bought two pieces. I didnt' allow for how strong lexan is,
and I bought 3/16" maybe. Then I decided 1/8" was plenty thick, that
if it sagged (remember it's held up only by cloth at the sides) it
would still never break, so 1/8*** was enough. But by the time I got
it small enough to fit in the well, it was too small to be able to
tape it into place (using VRB tape (or some initials starting V, Very
Strong Bond, or something.) So I ended up buying vinyl sheet at a
fabric store, and sewing it in, and a year later, it's already cloudy.
Also the very heavy thread that my friend an upholsterer gave me broke
in one place a month ago, and 2 more places since. I would have been
better off with button hole thread, I think, which is cotton wrapped
polyester, or something like that. I'll repair it with that.
***For you, the rubber grommet might be the deciding factor on
thickness, but your window is held in place a lot more than mine. 1/8
should be plenty, unless someone hits it so hard it bends and pops
out. It will bend in the middle horizontally but not vertically, I
I agree with Clare. An electric sander of some sort will make nice
round corners. Write the line on with crayon or eraseable marker and
sand up to the line.
Gluing the edges? Maybe. Plexiglass if that's what it is is easy to
glue and "dries" immediately. Acetone is the glue. It dissolves the
plexiglass and you push the pieces together, or at least make them
touch firmly, and take the time it takes the acetone to evaporate,
multiply 10 seconds by 2 or 3 iirc and it's dry. Plastic stores
will have little bottles with iirc perfume in them so they don't smell
the same. Use with adequate ventilation. Bad to inhale.
Dont' blame your self too much for breaking it. Plexiglass gets
brittle with age, more that lexan. (In 1973, I did a larger car
window with plexiglass. I'd paid to get vinyl put in then parked
facing north for 7 weeks (which meant the convertible rear window
faced south, the sun. ) and it got cloudy during those 7 weeks. So I
gut a hole and pop riveted in a trapezoid-shaped piece of plexiglass.
Maybe I covered the edges with tape. A couple years later I barely
hit it and I broke the corner. I didn't know about acetone then, and
lexan might have been new. Well, it was invented in 1898 and
production started in 1960, but it still might have been new for
slob-level use. I can't remember where I bought it, lived in Brooklyn
And Lexan is "polycarbonate".
A friend with a heated garage? A public garage that's sort of warm?
In Brooklyn, I noted a public garage that had electric outlets, but
never ended up needing that. Oh, except once I couldnt' get the top
up and it was about to rain, so I scampered to a public garage and
fixed the top.
On Sun, 25 Oct 2015 21:47:54 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
That 's great. Thanks. I bought a quarter sheet of both thicknesses,
and still have an 1/8 unused, plus I still have the window I cut out
of each, also unused. Maybe I'll find some use for them.
None of the shops were willing to put in a vinyl window, like I got in
1973, so I did it myself.
Putting in a glass window meant taking off half of the top, which
meant maybe I should replace the top too. Decisions make my head
hurt, so for 8 dollars I did the vinyl window.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.