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Old 07-01-2014, 08:24 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1976 Argosy 26
Southampton , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 5
Window repair

If this has been posted before please let me know.

I'm replacing the pano window on my 1976 26 foot Argosy on the roadside.

Looks like about 90 rivets

What is the best line of attack?

Should I drill all the rivets out or grind the heads off of them.

If drilling, what size drill bit is best? And what size rivets replace to hold the window frame in? Are there any special kinds of rivets that should be used?
Best kind of sealer or weather stripping for behind the window?
Any pitfalls that I should be aware of?
How many hours should it take?


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Old 07-01-2014, 09:02 AM   #2
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Belegedhel's Avatar
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,261
You can drill the rivets out by putting a punch mark in the center of each head and then going at it. These are 1/8" shank rivets, so get you some good sharp #30 drill bits, which will drill out the original rivet and leave a slightly oversized hole. Alternatively, you can get a good sharp putty knife and insert it between the window frame and the skin and shear the rivets by hammering on it--you will still end up drilling on some of the sheared shanks, in preparation for the new window, though.

If you have access to the back side of the rivets, then the best rivet to use to reinstall is a solid or "bucked" rivet with a 5/32' shaft. These are available from Vintage Trailer Supply with heads that will match the others on your trailer. If you can't access the back side of the rivet, then use Olympic rivets (also available from VTS), and you will have to shave the heads so they look like bucked rivets. Rivet shavers can be rented from some of the aircraft supply companies.

When you install the new window, liberally apply vulkem (Trempro 635) to the joint, and seal every rivet hole as you go as well. You will also need around 50 5/32" clecos, which you will use to clamp the new window in place as you drill the new mating holes. You will also use them while installing the "clamping bar" that joints the pano window to the center window frame.

This is a job that can be done in a few hours or a few days, depending on how skilled/exuberant you are, and how much trouble you run into getting the old window out.

good luck!

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Old 07-01-2014, 01:37 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
1976 Argosy 26
Southampton , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 5
Wow, thanks for the detailed and informative response. I'm sure you've saved me hours of investigation. Much appreciated!
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