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Old 05-25-2019, 07:18 PM   #1
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Rivet Replacing your plexi glass Rock Guards / Stone Guards

Some time ago, I promised to write a short tutorial on how to replace the Plexiglass with original material. Here is a list of the tools and materials needed. When using a jig saw for the corner segment cuts, it should be used with a fine metal blade, on low variable speed, orbital turned off or else you could crack the material.

Other than a good quality Jig saw, the rest of the tools are rather simple as you see on the picture. II used 5/32 pop rivets 3/8 long for putting the frame back together
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:32 PM   #2
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You will need to source a 4x8 sheet of Plexiglass (see info below, i purchased mine at a place called Regal Plastics), if your trailer is a wide body, you will need 2 sheets. Besides the few rivets you also try find some spline to replace the old hardened spline
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:37 PM   #3
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Lets start with doing the easy center panel. There a 2 rivets on the top rail that keeps the center panel from moving left to right. You need to drill one of them out. I used a 5/32 drill bit, since I will be replacing it with a 5/32 pop rivet.
You also need to drill out 2 rivets on the extender arms, so you can slide the arms out.

After you drilled out the 3 rivets, you can lift the panel and slide it out to one side
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:41 PM   #4
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Now comes the surprising part. All you need to do is drill two rivet out in one of the corners, after you only partially pulled the rubber seal away. No need to pull the seal of completely. you only tear it trying.
After drilling the 2 rivets out (in 1 corner only) use a piece of wood to tap the frame apart.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:45 PM   #5
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If you can get a hold of the old spline, try to pull it out, if not don't worry about it. Just carefully pull the frame apart and pull the old panel out. Take the frame to a hose and wash all the dirt out of the channel. Now you can lay your old piece as a template on the Plexiglass (Note: do not remover the protective coating until you are done cutting )
I prefer to score straight cuts, just be very careful you score it deep enough, especially at the corners or you will see it break uneven
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:53 PM   #6
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Once you cut your replacement panel, your are ready to slide it back into the frame (it is always better to cut it 1/16 smaller rather than 1/16 bigger, unless you already notice a gap in the old sheets)
Before you proceed, remove appr 1" of the protective coating on the edge of both sides, so you dont have to struggle with that after you installed it.

Slide the corner bracket back into position and set the 2 new rivets. Use the old or new spline to fasten the plexi glass to the frame. This is of course done from the back side. Now you are ready to re install the center panel by sliding it back onto its rail and setting the stop rivet you previously drilled out. Remove the remainder of the protective paper.

Center done!
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:07 PM   #7
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Rivet

The corner segments are done in the same way, except you have to use a good Jig saw with a fine metal blade to cut the material. Removel of the corner segments is easy enough, so no need to waste time on it. Before you take the corner segments apart, take a good look at the rounded corners and see if they were cut short before. Almost everyone I have done was cut shy in one of the rounded corners. Now is the time to correct that.

The corner segments only have 1 rivet to drill out to pull the frame apart. If you drill one corner out and the frame doesn't want to budge, try the other side before you bend the frame. It takes a little patience to pull the old panel out and to slide the new panel it.
Total time spent: 5 hours with some time spent adjusting the corner segments to line up better, $130.- in materials.
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:13 PM   #8
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Rivet

If you like this tutorial, you may want to ask the administrators to make it perm, so it floats on top.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:37 PM   #9
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Peter, thank you for taking to time to photo document and share. This is outstanding!

Janet are listening , can this be made perm?

Bob
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:24 AM   #10
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Thanks for your posting. This is great information! I followed your plexiglas description from Regal Plastics and noticed that the color you selected for replacement was bronze (2370)? Also, what thickness did you use? Was the replacement spline difficult to find?

Excellent information!

---Daniel
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:43 AM   #11
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I’ve been waiting to see this! Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve got a hole on the street side, and a couple of big cracked areas on the road side. I’m afraid I may have done it myself while brush hogging near by. Not sure, but they need replaced none the less. Fortunately the middle window over the propane tanks is unblemished.
Thanks again!
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:34 AM   #12
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Thanks for the tutorial!

Thanks for the photos and step by step instructions., just found my next project!
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:49 AM   #13
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Excellent writeup!
Thank you for sharing!
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dford77 View Post
Thanks for your posting. This is great information! I followed your plexiglas description from Regal Plastics and noticed that the color you selected for replacement was bronze (2370)? Also, what thickness did you use? Was the replacement spline difficult to find?

Excellent information!

---Daniel
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2017 F150 Lariat

Daniel, yes it is Bronze, which is close to the original which appears to have a bit of a green tint. The material is 3mm, like the original, which is part of code on my invoice:

Acry 118x48x96 2370 Paper masking, meaning
.118" (3mm) thickness, 48"x96" Bronze (2370) protective paper masking on both sides.

Again, before you slip the cut new sheet inside the frame, remove appr 1" of the paper masking around the edges. You will not be happy trying to remove it at the end.
That size spline is not readily available at Home Depot. I reused a lot of the old and used rubber engine vaccuum line to replace the real hardened stuff. Be careful tapping it into place, no need to crack the panel so close to completion.
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