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Old 03-27-2007, 01:12 PM   #1
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Denton , North Carolina
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Installing NEW Light Lens

I have had people ask me about Light Lens installation for the interior of some early 70's to early 80's Airstreams. I have installed these many times myself for customers and never seem to have the problems I had heard about. I did ask a guy to write me and show with pictures, if he could ,as to what the problem was. I proceeded to install a lens and did have some-what of a similar problem. I do not feel as though the unit I worked on was as bad as the guys unit that wrote me. (pictures below) Part of the problem it seems is the older Lens has formed with age and heat to where it fits like it seems like it ought to, where it may not have done so the day it was first installed.
This is what it looks like installed

What I did to install the new one was(after taking the old one down) was look at the new lens and determine which hole was for the 3 way switch and which was for the Vent Crank.

The switch hole is larger and is ABOUT 1-3/8 in from the side of the lens' lip.

The vent crank hole is smaller and is ABOUT 1-5/8 in.

I got the vent and held it up to where it is suppose to go putting the larger hole over the light switch and put the Knurled Threaded Nut (screw-on) onto the switch.

Then pull the lens over until the hole for the crank spindle and the spindle met. It may be off by a 1/2 in and should not be a problem. If the braket that holds the switch pulled lose then you will have reattach. One person told me that was the way he had to fix it anyway. I have put on over 25 of these lights Lens and have never had it come lose.
This next picture shows the way I pushed the lens.

The original handles vary. (as the one shown below) Some have a spacing at the base to keep it from rubbing the new lens and scratching it.

Some of the handles do not and will scratch. There is a white plastic bushing that use to go to the handle with no base. Good luck on finding them.

The new handle from Airstream looks like this: [moderator note: image missing. See follow-on post.]

I hope this helps and if anyone finds a problem that I did not cover or a bettter way, or were my way does not work please jump in and tell us about it.

If you have not seen the new Lens installed it is so brite compaired to I heard one fellow discribe it as" like installing florescent light" Very nice.

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Old 03-27-2007, 02:11 PM   #2
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1990 29' Excella
Lexington , North Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 22
I just went through that and had an extreme amount of trouble getting the knob end to engage the shaft. The shaft was WA-A-AY to short. Ultimatelly, I drilled out the hole in the lens to a little over the diameter of the knob, then inserted a stainless steel washer over the shaft of the knob to keep the knob from rubbing on the lens. It still took a fair amount of effort to deform the lens to fit the knob to the shaft but I assume that with heat and age it will conform to fit.
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