Originally Posted by nikmills
I was lucky enough to come across a barn full of New Old Stock windows for a 1975 argosy. I've taken out my broken passenger side window assembly and will replace it with a new assembly. I'll be drilling through 1/4" steel horizontal members on top and bottom where riveting will be blind. That is unless I start taking the headliner and wall panels apart.
I'm terrible at getting it all back together so I want to avoid pulling more panels than necesary. This window is already stretching my envelope.
Question: Buck rivets are superior. Okay. But how are blind Olympic rivets (I'm working alone) so much worse? Even the cheapest blind rivets look really strong to me when I've fixed car floors.
Is this window going to pop out with 30+ Olympic rivets in it?
Thanks for advice.
First off, there are no steel members in the shell of the Argosy. The ribs that you'll be drilling into are 1/4" (more likely 3/16") walled aluminum channel.
Don't bother taking the headliner out as most of the work is done from the outside. However you will find small pop rivets on the inside where the interior skin is riveted to the window frame.
If I remember correctly you will find either 2 or 3 large screws holding the leading edge of the window frame to the cockpit shell. I believe all other mounting points are rivets from the outside. At some point Airstream added a drain tube in the bottom of the window frame assembly which will necessitate you having to open up the upper section of the side wall that is below the window to disconnect the rubber drain hose that is attached to the window frame. You won't be able to pull the window frame out without removing that rubber tube and the copper tube it's attached to. I know the earlier Argosies didn't have this feature but I do know the 84 and later Classics did have the drain tube. I'm guessing all Classic's had this feature. With luck your Argosy won't have the tube
Olympic rivets are just fine for re-installation. However what you need to do when installing each rivet is coat it in Vulkem before sticking the rivet in the hole. I just stick the rivet in the spout of the tube of Vulkem to get a nice coating on the rivet. I have definite proof that if you don't do this the rivets can and will start leaking. Not a pretty site. The drivers side cockpit window on my Argosy had been replaced and Olympic rivets were used and I've got multiple places where water has been seeping through the rivets. Easy fix if you use Vulkem during the installation process. A real pain in the backside if you have to seal them after installation.
Once you get all of the rivets drilled out what I found worked best for removing the window was to use a putty knife about 1" wide. Work the blade in under the lip of the window frame, angle the knife and then start tapping it with a hammer working your way along the seam. These windows have been installed with double sided tape between the window flange and the outer skin. You need to break that bond which is what the putty knife is used for. Once you've worked the putty knife all the way around the window (and removed the 2-3 screws from the front edge) you can then push the window out from the inside starting at the rear.
Somewhere I have pictures on Airforums that show some of this and there is a thread or two that I've posted info as well. I'll see if I can track those threads down and post the links here.
If you need more info fee free to contact me.