A rock guard for the window was something we had always wished we had for Bobby Jean. Although nothing ever happened to her front window, we knew it was always a risk and replacing that glass would have been $$$. When we saw that Billy came with one, although hideous, we were pretty excited. We assumed we would just clean it up (it was literally covered in swamp slime) and be on our way. Well, we were wrong. It ended up being cracked all over with a bent frame and, unfortunately, unsalvageable.
We looked up DIY tutorials online to see what other people had done and there seemed to be a few pretty janky options, you could either use foam and canvas and make one that would snap on while you drove, or pay someone to custom build one for you.
We took a look at the existing piece and thought, what if we just build some sort of frame and use the hardware that we already have and did it that way? It seemed too simple and we couldn't figure out why other people didn't do it that way.... but it worked!
We went down to our local hardware store and bought two different sizes of aluminium U channel (1 inch and 3/4 inch) and some corrugated greenhouse siding.
We measured the window size, not the old rock guard, to figure out the proper size for our new rock guard. We cut the 1" piece to fit the left and right sides, and the 3/4" piece to the length of the top and bottom. The smaller pieces insert into side pieces, creating a rectangular frame. This configuration allows the corrugated plastic to fit into the narrower top and bottom channels while the sides, which are thicker from the curves in the plastic, fit into the wider channels securely.
In hindsight we may have asked the staff at the hardware store to cut the plastic to size since they probably would have done it for us and saved us a bit of time but we did it ourselves with tin snips and it came out fine, just a bit rough on the edges.
We caulked the insides of the channel to give them a bit of sturdiness before putting everything together. The narrower channels fit like a dream into the wider one and our plastic slid in nicely. We used metal screws on the corners (on the backside) and put the whole thing together in only a few minutes.
We put four hinges on the top of the new rock guard, and pulled the folding arms off of the old one, attaching them to the sides.