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Old 08-27-2007, 12:45 PM   #1
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1976 31' Excella 500
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The new kid - 1976 31 footer

Well, here goes, my first thread.
I purchased my first Airstream last fall. It's a 1976 31' Sovereign .
I have decided to remodel and I am having a hard time finding parts. It seems that if your trailer is older or newer there are site with replacement parts. I feel stuck in the middle.
I have taken pictures and I'll have to figure out how to post those.
I can already tell you some of the posts I've read have been so helpful.

My immediate issue is windows. The calk or seal inside my windows has melted and I think I have to replace the windows. Not the Vista View's but the oval stationary windows under the crank out's. Do I have to replace the whole window or just the glass?
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:11 PM   #2
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congrats on your new soon to be obsission. Double check the vista view windows because they tend to leak someting awful with out you noticing. We tore off some interrior panels on a 68 Safari once that had those in it and you could see the mildew from the vista views all the way down to the floor.
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:13 PM   #3
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Sounds like you have double pane windows and the problem is between to two layers of glass. Some owners have converted to single pane by breaking the inner glass. The trick is to only break the inner piece of glass
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:31 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum, Otter... You should be able to find lots of helpful information here...not to mention knowledgeable folks who are patient and have good senses of humor.

Good luck with the remodel...put up some pictures!

TB
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:01 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum! You will indeed find a lot of help within the group! Unfortunately, none of it from me! You're a lot braver than me... While I think the project would be a ton of fun, I just couldn't imagine the undertaking! I too would love to folllow the project if you have the time, post periodically... I am always so very impressed by you guys with the time, tallent and patience to invest into the rebuild process! Make sure you read Tim's thread "my 15 minutes fo fame". I had a wonderful time reading the article! Wow. Best wishes as you begin the project!

BTW: We're just up the road in Duluth. If you're in the neighborhood drop me a line! Regards! Bill
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:36 PM   #6
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. Congratulations on your new baby.
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:51 PM   #7
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The following is one way Can-Am is repairing Vista Views and I wonder if the lower vista view looking windows can be repaired the same way:

1975-1984 Non Snap Ring Windows - Glass Inner Pane.

These windows are the most difficult to do. The inner pane is glass set
in the gooiest caulking you have ever seen. First you need to break the
inner pane with a hammer and a screw driver near the edge, don't go
through and break the outer pane. The larger chunks of glass in the
middle will drop out easily but the small shards of glass stuck in the
caulking need to be pulled out one at a time with pliers.

There is a soft plastic moulding in the frame that goes from the outside
of the outer pane through to the inside of the frame, you will see a lip
of it on between the outer frame and the glass. Cut the lip off of the
outside by running a sharp knife all around the inside edge of the
frame. Then it you grab the moulding on the inside with pliers you can
pull it out of the frame with the last of the glass pieces and the gooey
caulking.

Unlike the snap ring windows the outer glass will not come out through
the inside frame so you need to clean the glass and the frame with it in
there loose. Clean the inside of the frame out completely and wipe it
with a solvent so that it is totally clean, make certain that the
solvent does not run down the outside of the unit and damage the
lacquer. Next clean the glass off completely (you can remove the
remains of the old tint with a razor blade) and wipe it off with a
solvent such as lacquer thinner as well.

Coat all of the inside surfaces of the window frame with about a 1/8"
thick layer of silver silicone sealant. Take the clean glass and push
it into the silicone and then push in the rubber gasket (larger size)
that will take up the extra space in the frame. Then all that is
necessary is to clean off the excess silicone on the inside and out and
let the remainder harden. The trailer should be kept dry for 6 hours
and not be towed for 48 hours.


There you have it. It is not a job for the faint hearted but it is more
tedious than difficult. When it is done with the rubber gasket in place
it looks professional, like the factory made it that way.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:54 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum's!
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:16 AM   #9
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As far as finding parts, do a Google search for "Vintage Airstream Parts"
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otter
It seems that if your trailer is older or newer there are site with replacement parts. I feel stuck in the middle.
Welcome! I'm with you on the 'stuck in the middle' but I figure sooner or later the Vintage folks will migrate toward our age trailers. I'll just sit and wait...
One big advantage we have, the newer accessories as well as the vintage parts don't look out of place on our units. A '40's polished unit, with a brand new roof top AC or a '07 model with gas lamps kinda looks outta place, we can play both sides of the fence
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:20 PM   #11
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1976 31' Excella 500
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when i google "vintage" airetream parts, seems like i only get 1974 and older.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:35 PM   #12
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1976 31' Excella 500
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moving forward

Thanks for the warm welcome. Now I need to learn to navigate around this site. I will need lots of information during the remodel. I did post pictures the other day. The day I brought her home and stage one, she's ripped up!!!And by the way I haven't come up with a name for her yet. Any suggetions?
My first area should be in the restoration part of the forum. I broke my fresh water tank...YES, CRACKED it bad!!! Now I need a new one and can't find anything that even looks close.
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