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Old 03-31-2012, 06:19 PM   #1
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1957 26' Overlander
Victoria , British Columbia
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1957 Hehr Windows

I have a '57 Overlander that I am doing a full restoration on....my question is about the windows. They are in really good condition- all work, and only one is cracked. Only one of the 11 windows leaks ( I have all the skins down- so I can check) despite all of the window glass seals being cracked and shrunk.
I want to make sure I future proof my restoration, not cut corners and do the right steps....but at the same time don't see the point of taking apart perfectly good windows...
So my question is - do I have to take the windows right out of the body to rebuild them, rescreen them, etc? From what I can tell I only need to replace the grey window sash seal- between the glass the the frame and polish them up....
For the ones that open there seems to be an additional black seal that is in good shape except for one window where it is badly split...so I think those windows need to come right out?

I can't find anyone who has done 57 windows but certainly someone has, so what is the advice here?
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:58 PM   #2
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1958 26' Overlander
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Your Hehr windows are probably the same as on my 58 (except for the front and rear windows) You can just replace the grey gasket around between the frame and glass, however if you want to polish them you could remove the window exterior by first removing the screws holding the window crank in place. remove the crank arm from the channel, then on the exterior lift one of the aluminum tabs on one end of the window frame and slide the exterior window out. Simple to do. Now you can work on all parts of the window. If you are referring to the black gasket between window frame and body. That is riveted in place. To replace that you would need to drill out the rivets replace gasket and re rivet. I chose a different method. I riveted my frame in place with flush rivets and put a closed cell foam gasket on the exterior window edge. This allows me to more easily replace the gaskets. That said, your black gaskets probably lasted many years without needing replacement. I rebuilt all of my windows and replaced the glass with 1/8th tempered. Trust me completely rebuilding them is a fairly time consuming undertaking but not difficult. VTS sells all the gaskets you need. Ed
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:43 PM   #3
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1957 26' Overlander
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Ok, makes sense...
What about the interior frame that is screwed in place with the little hex head screws? Must I take those down, or is that only to polish?

How did you replace the glass in the non opening windows? Did you have to take the rivets right out?
In the openers you don't take the drip rail down to slide the window out, right?

Tempered is on my list too...but not till I figure out how to do it first

Mark
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:22 PM   #4
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1958 26' Overlander
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The interior frame with hex screws would need to be removed to get the glass out for replacement. They are probably badly rusted. Spray some WD40/liquid wrench on them and try them the next day. Also mine have a center bar that must be taken out by removing small screws at the bottom and top. These are also likely rusted/corroded.
I have 2 non opening windows. I took the entire frame out ,replaced the glass and re riveted. You could, I believe take out those interior pieces with the hex screws and be able to take the glass out. I found these windows on mine to be fairly difficult as you are fitting flat glass into a frame that takes a slight curvature of the body. (If yours are the same as mine). You will most likely not have to take the drip caps down. Just bend up one edge. They are thin aluminum and can be bent back to position. Hope this helps. Ed
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:52 PM   #5
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We took the windows out of our '56 and rebuilt, rescreened, polished and put new rivet-on gaskets in place. You can see what we did here, posts #207, 239 & 246-258.

We already had decided to replace the street side panel and the three windows on that side came out on that account, so removing the others wasn't that much more work. It was kinda a PITA, but I KNOW the windows are good for another 50+ years...

Shari
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:54 AM   #6
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1957 26' Overlander
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Ok, now I get it. Thanks both of you. I have 11windows......I will take a run at one window and see what happens....
Ed, why new glass? Safety?
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:53 AM   #7
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1958 26' Overlander
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Yes tempered has more strength than regular but the biggest difference is that when it breaks you don't get the flying shards of regular glass but rather more of a pebble type breakage. It is more costly but I think worth it. I was able to get a local glass shop to make mine for not too much more than regular glass. Feel free to contact me further as I may have some tips to help you save some time depending on how much you want to restore the windows. Ed
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:16 AM   #8
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Any Idea wher i can get a window for my '53 FC
size 23-3/4" wide x 17-3/4" High 2-tier push out

Thanks
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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1957 22' Caravanner
1964 26' Overlander
1954 29' Liner
Washington , Washington, D.C.
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57 Caravanner with standard Hehrs

So we were caught with our windows open during the Derecho that hit Washington DC a couple of weeks ago. We were at a beach in Delaware so the storm hit there at 1 AM. All of the windows on the street side of the trailer were destroyed by the fierce winds. Imagine being woken up in total darkness from a sound sleep to the sound of a freight train and crashing glass!!! That is what happened to us...total nightmare. By the time we managed to figure out what was happening all of the glass was smashed and one of the outer frames was ripped off of the trailer (that one had a piece of plexiglas in it so it became a sail in the wind). The awful part was that I had no idea non-tempered glass was used in these trailers and so with great luck neither of us or anyone in the park was hurt by our flying glass sherds!

We found the missing outer frame after a long search the next morning about 60' from the trailer under another trailer. It was pretty banged up. But it was found and that was all that mattered to me!

So, now, I've taken each outer frame on the trailer completely apart and have replaced all of the glass with tempered Old Castle grey and replaced the outer frame gasket with new from Vintage Trailer Supply. It is beautiful. Reconditioning the outer frames was the best thing I could have ever done. Though the work is long it is well worth it. I developed a system that worked well for me too. Thanks also to helpful hints and tips on this forum!

Anyone who might be interested in the system I developed I'm glad to share, just let me know.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:14 PM   #10
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I am interested. Why not post it here with pictures if possible. We are an open reference catalog, as you know. Glad its was not worse for you in the storm.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:56 PM   #11
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1957 22' Caravanner
1964 26' Overlander
1954 29' Liner
Washington , Washington, D.C.
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Posts: 95
My system such as it is

Great well I'll try to keep it as simple as possible. Since the torn off outer frame was pretty trashed I started with it. Using simple tools, pliers and a small hammer I was able to remove most of the dents and kinks in the frame pieces. The plexiglas actually helped the frame keep its shape so I was lucky there. But taking it apart helped me realize that Standard Hehr's were each individually made by hand and so to reassemble one meant that I had to carefully take it apart, noting where each piece was placed in relationship to each other piece...otherwise it would never go back together again.

So I took each screw off carefully placing them in a zip-lock bag, noting where each screw came from, removed the frame bars marking the right and left bar on the larger windows and then removed the glass clips, writing on each one in Sharpie marker, top, bottom, right, left (on the reverse side).

Once the window frame was disassembled I used Goof-Off from a spray bottle to clean all of the gunk off of the aluminum. Being fairly new to Airstreams, particularly ones from this era I didn't realize that my windows had all of the window gaskets removed! LOL, I always wondered why the darn windows made so much noise!!! Needless to say the frames were filled with all kinds of gunk and dirt. So using the Goof-Off made cleaning them really easy (the spray version is much less toxic than the bottled version).

Next I used 0000 steel wool and Brasso to do the initial oxidation removal. This worked really well on my windows since they were not badly oxidized in the first place. The trailer was polished, not particularly well, but polished about 10 years ago. Brasso is slightly abrasive so it does leave very slight scratches. On some really bad spots, particularly the rear window I got a little tougher and used a Fine, Scotch Bright sanding pad to removed the oxidation and then went over that with the steel wool and Brasso.

The final step was to use a product sold at Lowe's called Truck Box Polish. It is a concentrated aluminum polish. It is very liquid and a little goes a very long way. I used this twice, once with 0000 steel wool and then once with a clean cotton rag. This polish is great as it left each of the window's parts looking brand new.

This level of oxidation removal was done on all sides of every piece of the window. The large windows took from 3-5 hours each to do, completely by hand with no power tools of any kind.

Once the frame and parts were cleaned I then installed the new window gasket from Vintage Trailer Supply. I chose the black color as I think it looks more striking with the grey glass. It comes in grey as well which on clear glass would be a better choice. The gasket is very easy to install and just takes a little getting used to. I seamed each piece at the top center of the window.

I reassembled the windows one at a time returning all pieces to their original location with the original screw if possible. Where a screw had been changed by a prior owner or if a screw was unusable I replaced it with new zinc ones. It is amazing how much stronger the outer frame became with the new gasket and by using the Old Castle glass, 1/8" tempered! When completely reassembled they look and feel like they are brand new.

Prior to this event, while on a trip to Newfoundland I had a lot of leaking in the windows and I had no idea why they were leaking. Of course as it turns out it was the missing window gasket! It stormed here last night and it was a beautiful thing to see the water beading off the new glass and making its way off the window!!!

Any questions feel free to ask.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:26 PM   #12
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1957 26' Overlander
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Wow, those look great. Very nice work. I think I'll try that polish and steel wool on mine.

Thanks
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:09 PM   #13
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
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Mayday...Mayday...Mayday!

I really need help from all you scroungers out there. My 57 is missing the front window assembly. Someone in the past had a great idea and removed it and put in an AC unit. Now that window is missing. If I can't find a front window at 47 in across then if I can get a rear one at 41 inches I can fab what I need. Any one have any leads? I do have a parts wanted ad but that has proven futile. Know of a complete wreck? Any leads? Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:43 AM   #14
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