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Old 04-18-2004, 01:06 AM   #1
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1974 Excella front window docu post

’74 excella front window docu post.

Hey gang, here is the story of 2 men who hate leaks. And 80 rivets, one tube of vulkem,10 feet of autotrim tape!

Background: rickstream’s ’74 excella was purchased about this time last year, after the running gear was put in proper order, we decided to tackle a nagging leak in the front center window.

Sometime in the trailers prior ownership it took an object through the curbside wing window, destroying it and wiping out the rockshield at the same time! You could tell it was repaired prior to rick’s ownership because of the hundreds of olympic rivets around the front window frames.

As we found out later, the repair to the wing window was sound. However, the top of the center window leaked like a sieve!

Here is the story of how we repaired the front window frame seal, bare with me, there will be plenty of pics!

john
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:17 AM   #2
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get it out and find the leak

as suggested by the service manual we pulled the excella out of the barn with the "mule" and got a ladder and a hose.

going over the windows and vistas one at a time we found the trouble area.
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:21 AM   #3
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the suspect area...

with the rock shield up i was squirting water at the upper portion of the center window.

a virtual flood started in the center!
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:24 AM   #4
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you can't fix what you can't see!

once the leak was discovered, we chose a plan of action!

take it out!
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:34 AM   #5
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three kinds of rivets!

removing this window we discovered 3 different rivets used in its construction, regular bucked rivets, olympics and the blind pop rivets andy at inland has spoke of in other posts. we only need to remove the first 2. i added the pic of the blind rivets just for interest...

we found the olympics come out easy with an automatic center punch. the punch knocks the center in, and then can be drilled. the remaining bucked (factory installed) rivets come right off with 2 taps of a very sharp cold chisel. the remaing part can be driven through the frame without much trouble with a pin punch.
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:40 AM   #6
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the bars

once all 80 rivets were removed we tackled the retaining bars that hold the sides of the windows.

they run verticle on either side of the window, a grove machined in the back of them clasps the three window sections together.

they are one use items, pound them off and have new ones for reinstallation curtesy of inland rv!

and don't hit the wing window with the hammer!
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:45 AM   #7
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once the rivets and bars were off we carefully pried the window out.

it is sealed to the trailer frame with 2 sided tape! NOT vulkem! more about the tape later....

here is the cause of the leak, a crappy repair rivet job and failed tape!
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:50 AM   #8
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blind rivets...

this when we discovered what blind rivets are, here is a pic of the window opening.

notice how nice and shiney the trailer is under the window frame! she musta been a beauty back in '74 when she was new!

also you can clearly see the old 2 sided tape
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:54 AM   #9
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prep for reinstall....

rick and john are not men of great patience when it comes to old cruddy gaskets! so we decided to use a brass wire wheel chucked in a drill to decrud the frame and window opening!
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Old 04-18-2004, 02:04 AM   #10
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after everything was nice and clean we decided to do a quicky polish job with some wet dry sandpaper and the 5 dollar cyclo polisher!

this will give a nice but not perfect area to remount the "airstream" letters that were removed last year in a vain attempt to find this leak.

if the trailer gets a full polish job later, this area is already done...
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Old 04-18-2004, 02:13 AM   #11
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tape

we called andy at inland to discuss the seal for the window, he was on a call with another customer at the time, but was nice enough to take a second and confirm what tape we wanted, and to absoulutely NOT use vulkem on the frame.

all we can say is THANKS FOR THE ADVICE ANDY!!!!!

here is the selection of tape we found, rick chose the one in the center, a 3-M product for attaching auto body trim. it is closed cell foam about 3/4 inch wide and about 1/16 inch thick. very sticky stuff.

the next pic shows the frame with the tape in place....
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Old 04-18-2004, 02:22 AM   #12
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time for rivets!

once the frame of the window was back in place we reriveted it.

standard procedure, olympic rivets, vulkem on each rivet. we used a small awl to align the holes.

one note, the j channel at the top of the window frame would not allow the rivet gun to seat properly, so rick found a couple of small nuts to space the nose of the gun up to allow full pull on each rivet. tedious work.
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Old 04-18-2004, 02:29 AM   #13
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rivet shaver? what rivet shaver?

being men of modest means we chose a die grinder to knock the rivet nubs down.

a rivet shaver would not have worked anyway because of the "j" channel at the top.

we cleaned up the excess vulkem with acetone, or was that beer!
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Old 04-18-2004, 02:32 AM   #14
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almost done!

next the bars were reinstalled on each side.

they are crimped on the top and can only slide on one way.

careful with the hammer!
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