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Old 07-21-2015, 08:38 AM   #1
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Cardinal283's Avatar
1963 26' Overlander
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 202
Butyl tape

I'm sure this has been discussed. But I'm traveling and searching using a phone on this forum is a nightmare.

Why do we use butyl tape on the windows instead of using a sealant? With a marine repair background, I get why on boats. They need to be popped out and resealed from time to time. But on an AS the window frames are riveted in. Not easy to remove and reseal. What are everyone's thoughts/understanding on this subject?

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Old 07-21-2015, 08:59 AM   #2
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1975 27' Overlander
Mission , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 825
Never heard of it, but I'm fairly new to this.

I did perform the dreaded wing window replacement on my 75.

There were no signs of leakage. The inside was gooped over with a rubbery never completely dried yellowish white compound, where the window frame and skin met was likely the tape mentioned. Removing the original bucked rivets and window revealed that bucking (beating) rivets can lead to a formerly flat surface having waves.

Re-assembly - after smoothing out the waves, gooped up the skin and window frame with a caulk line of Vulkem's replacement to the point it oozed out of the rivet holes, Olympic rivets, wipe the outside pretty with a paint thinner rag, goop up the inside as found, allow a couple of days set time - then leak test with a hose. No leaks.

My suspicion is that many seam leak problems are related to bucking, no goopy gasketing with a caulk line on both surfaces, and gooping the inside after riveting.

But I've never done a complete rebuild, followed by another complete rebuild 40 years later to see if the change in technique was any benefit or not. :P

Tape is likely used in original assembly as it is easier.

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Old 07-22-2015, 02:10 PM   #3
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1963 26' Overlander
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 202
I don't have the dreaded wing windows on mine so I can't say much about that. But the part where you used vulkem on the window frame to seal it to the skin is where the butyl tape goes. Butyl tape never hardens unlike sealants. I think I may have just answered my own question as to why we use butyl instead of sealant.
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:43 PM   #4
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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I used butyl tape when I put vent caps on my Bambi II. It was neat and clean as opposed to how some sealants can be. It takes to irregular shapes and makes for a good water tight seal.
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:49 PM   #5
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Tipp City , Ohio
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If you install a window with Vulkem or Trempro 635 it will be almost impossible to get it apart if you ever need to. The butyl is designed to stay flexible indefinitely. It will move with parts as they expand and contract due to temp changes, and due to stress and vibration from driving down the road.
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