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Old 05-21-2015, 06:02 PM   #1
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Corning Replacement Stock differences

I need to replace four windows, three of which are curved, on my 67 Overlander. Both Inland and VTS offer replacement stock, but there are significant price differences. Their shipping costs are also wildly difference ($180 from Inland, $21 from VTS). Has anyone compared the windows from each? VTS notes a tiny difference in curvature from the original, the person I talked to at Inland was not sure about the curvature. Are there differences between the stock (other than price)? I hate to spend so much and find I am not happy with the replacement stock.

Michael
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:14 PM   #2
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I would call Inland and request to speak with Andy.

Shipping can be expensive! From California to you for these seems reasonable. (Include insurance)
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:57 PM   #3
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Nearly fifty years ago Airstream Philips and Corning met and conspired this window design.



I'm not a Forensic Philips-Corning Scientist. There's certainly greater authority, but I have read nearly every post about them. I don't fit into the debate as I have never held the “replacement” glass in my hand and am unable to make a physical or molecular comparison. What I understand is that the thickness is different, the temper is different, and the logo/label/stamp/bug is different. I would guess that what also differs are the ratios of glass formers, flint, sand, quartz, Potash, fluxes, coefficient of expansion, heat ramps, annealing temperatures....


“Replacement” glass is not Corning Glass.


I have thoroughly rebuilt all my Corning windows. They operate and fit as new.


If you've read all the posts about Philips/Corning, you've read the argument between the two prominent suppliers as to which is the superior “replacement”. Safe to say, that they are both inferior to original Corning.



I can't imagine that AS went to Corning and asked for the finest glass that money can buy. It was more likely “Furnish the cheapest glass that you're willing to put your name on.” Corning of course, would have replied, “Our way or No way.” So, there must be some Corning science employed.


I'm a bit fascinated by the science, design and manufacturing expectation that the glass has to bend just enough to evenly compress the seal. That's not an easy task. I'll bet that getting the glass to bend and seal evenly upon closure with the sill winders isn't something considered with the "replacement" glass, otherwise why does it seal better upside-down?? Yup, folks get better sealing that way.





1966 type 1... Very difficult to replace silicone bedded glass, leaked at top horizontal edges.


1967 type 2.. Introduced the clamp-bar and tape bed, leaked at top edges(clamp-bar ends). Easier to replace glass.


1968 type 3... Improved clamp-bar end design?, maybe leaks less, stainless steel glass edging to enable deeper skull gouges and enhance outward appearance by hiding black window seals. The edging may protect glass and aid in prevention of breakage. Seal is a little better hidden from UV by stainless edge. Not real sure if there is much difference other than stainless edge.



The desperately needed type 4, 5... were never conceived.


All types leak through the long horizontal top hinge in wind-blown rain.


If you leave them open in a wind-storm, they'll blow away.


The foam tape deteriorates and windows fall out if not latched closed. Always close windows for travel.


There is very little concurrence on how to restore these windows. There are pages and pages of posts with varying opinions. Everyone is trying to help, but without the knowledge and material of Corning scientists....


The ten pound 3M outdoor tape is grey foam with red release film. I think it is important that the glass centers in the channel exactly as corning intended. The rack and pinion winder mechanism appears to stop at a specific point of closure and if the glass is “cocked” in the head-rail channel, it'll be a bit too open or closed more than intended by Corning. This could matter a bunch.


There is no agreement as to which type gasket/seal to use along the two vertical jams and sill. The rectangular solid foam v the hollow “D”tops the list, but other gasket types have been used with unreported results.



No one has surfaced to say, “I was there in 1966 and remember that Airstream window gaskets looked like …??” Where's a witness?? The old, apparently original gaskets that I removed from my 1968 GT looked like the square foam style replacement available today, so that's what I used. Whether it is formulated to have the same compressive resistance as the original gasket, I don't know. I also don't know if it is 1968 original.


If it is what Corning/Philips specified in the sixties, I'll trust it. Corning isn't going to put their name on something that doesn't work. Corning makes the windows for the US Space Shuttles and Space Stations. Here on Earth, Corelle plates and Pyrex. No Contest.


When the window is being pulled shut by the silly little Philips sill winders, somewhere along the body contour, the vertical jamb gasket becomes the fulcrum for the flex of the glass. As the glass bends, the fulcrum moves. The amount of loft and resistance provided by the gasket determines how deeply the glass seats into the gasket, and how well the glass curve matches the body curve. Closed, my all original corning glass windows have no more than .030” deviation top to bottom, a visually undetectable deviation and don't leak. I mop the gaskets with Aerospace 303 hoping to prolong the gasket's resilient quality.


Your large front facing window could be bullet resistant clear polymethyl methacrylate, polycarbonate, in order to prevent it from shattering by rocks and road debris, and it would eliminate the need for a front “rock guard”. I enjoy the see strait through out the back trailer window from my TV rear view mirror. I can always identify the vehicle following me, and observe its behavior...


I was pleased to find that in the $20 VTS reproduction, every piece of the mechanism is an exact replica of the original Philips. The nob of the winder has a slightly different profile than 1968, so I used my old nobs. The stainless steel cover has a VTS logo, so I used my originals, which better matched the patina and logo of the original. Last year, I saw original, used, winder/closure mechanisms battled for on eBay, selling for $75. $20 to get all new guts is a great deal... And they work like new.


There are more than a few folks who have installed their replacement windows upside down because they seal better. Some say that they cut strips of tire inner-tube to make shims to compensate for poor fit. This would cause pause to me. The replacement glass which is said to “fit the window frame perfectly” is 1/8” thick, and if it is indeed fitting the window frame perfectly, it's my contention that it cannot seal as designed for the flexibility and uniform compression of the gasket, and maybe that's why they seal better upside-down. Maybe that's why the loftier hollow “D” gasket is a better seal, as it is more compensating for poor fitting replacement glass. The original Corning glass is closer to 1/10”, and there may be a reason for that thickness with respect to the sealing design...



If I were faced with your concerns, and if you're as fussy as I, I suggest that you make poly windows and wait for original Corning windows to surface from a donor trailer. I would not waste $$ on “replacement glass”.


Kind of a long-winded thread bump. Now maybe we'll find someone has had miraculous success with “replacement” glass, and explain their satisfaction???
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:30 PM   #4
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Great response. One of the reasons I went for the 67 was the Corning windows. Guess I like a challenge! Your last point is the best. No matter what, unless found from a donor, no new windows are going to be Corning. Sort of what I thought. I probably will not make poly windows, but will keep looking for originals for the four windows I need to replace. Fussy here also!

Michael
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Old 05-23-2015, 12:52 PM   #5
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I will check on Tuesday but the ones Inland sells are from Airstream and I believe of off of the original fixtures. Stay tuned.
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Old 05-23-2015, 03:02 PM   #6
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I already heard from Andy at Inland that his windows supposedly come from Airstream. However, I have other issues there. Decided to go with replacements from another vendor and will spend time searching down old Cornings. Once the windows are sealed with something other than garbage backs and cardboard, I can take the time to find the true old stock. Already have a lead on one, maybe two.
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Old 05-23-2015, 03:39 PM   #7
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Forgive me if this is not the right thread for this, but my 67 Overlander has original windows. One of the long top rails holding the glass has split at the point where the linkage applies pressure to open. It still holds the glass but the resulting flex keeps the window from opening more than an inch or two without propping it up with something. Any idea where I can get a new rail and how to remove and replace the glass assembly?
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Old 05-23-2015, 04:18 PM   #8
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I recently replaced one window on my 66 safari and bought the replacement from inland rv as they were on sale for only slightly more than vts but were supposedly a perfect match to the originals rather than close. Upon receipt and installation it is clear that they are not an exact match and it was tough to pay $50 shipping on a $89 window. The fit is close and as far as I can tell it seals with the d seals included by inland rv but the curve is definitely off a little bit whether installed upside down or not. I would guess it is the same window vts is selling but I do not know for sure.
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:53 PM   #9
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Conjecture and speculation is all we have where “the curve” is concerned. It would be interesting to wet a corning window, and lay a replacement glass on it and see if it will seal onto the corning window. Two wet panes of glass are difficult to separate. If the contour is exactly the same, they would stick together firmly with water.


The corning windows are a little less than 1/10” and chemically tempered. We're told that replacement glass is .125” but it may be annealed in air, not a chemical bath of salt consisting of potassium nitrate or whatever Corning's secret brew is, so it might bend differently as it is drawn closed. If it is more or less rigid than Corning, it would need a gasket that is more or less resistant to compression.
Chemical temper can be stronger, but Corning is thinner... Go Figure??


The corning windows are tough. People of unspecified weight say that they can place them on the floor and stand on them. I won't be conducting this test.


I don't understand all the complexities of these unique windows. For years they were much maligned. I don't think that it's a bad design, just misunderstood, under-developed, and somewhat delicate when open. Today, with the support of much appreciated suppliers making replacement glass and mechanical parts, they are able to be put into repaired service. Compared to some other styles, '66-'68 windows are easy when it comes to rebuilding.

In its day, considering it was purely an aesthetic goal, the effort to make the windows contour the Airstream shell so closely was indeed successful. I was standing alongside my trailer on a clear day and the blue sky reflected off the street-side in such a way that, you couldn't tell that there were any windows. I said to myself, Ahh, now I get it. Pretty Sweet.


Jacob,

If you have a photo it might be more clear. Maybe TIG weld just the inside clamp-bar or drill for additional screws?

The top rail extrusion is available. Appears to need ends machined. I'd call them before ordering.

Window Glass Holder double extrusion 66 - 67
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Old 05-24-2015, 01:08 PM   #10
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I do not know about the differences in replacement stock available for the original glass. I used 1/8" (double strength) Tempered flat glass to replace the broken rear window in our '66 Sovereign. Original glass was 3/32" (single strength). Cleaning out the channel was a bit time consuming but not difficult. Once cleaned up I was able to re-silicone the channel and set the new glass. I am currently experimenting with bending a piece for the side curved window. We'll see how it goes...

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Old 05-24-2015, 01:38 PM   #11
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I'm about to install back window. I'd heard from a restorer to use outdoor carpet two sided tape instead of caulk. Any opinions?.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:29 PM   #12
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Thank you aluminuminum for your time to thoroughly explain these Corning curved glass windows to us. I've learned a lot from your experience and understanding of these "unique" PITA windows and operators. I agree the "type III" windows in 68 are the best, especially with the framework around them. I wonder why Airstream didn't continue to develop light weight, strong Corning glass windows. Cost I suppose.

I think I have a photo of the original sill gasket from Airstream. I thought I would share it here. (he, he)

I did use the rectangular rubber gasket instead of a "D" type seal. I have some trouble with the glass sticking to the rubber in the summer sun. Maybe more silicone?

I think the front and rear glass is flat Corning, not curved. Right now, my glass bar clamp "U" on the rear bath window has lost its strength and won't stay tight. It tends to bend and loose its grip on the glass bar. I believe I have some bending in the hinge also, as the window does not close all the way with the opener disconnected. I would expect gravity to have the glass sit very close to the seals. Mine is an inch away at the bottom.

Airstream Life has an interesting article on the 66 and 67 trailers in their latest issue. Fred talks about replacement glass being available. Fred talks about how the Corning glass will shatter if struck on the edge, but it is strong straight on. So we hope to learn about these replacement glass windows from others.

Beatrix, tell us how your replacement glass project goes.

David
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:31 PM   #13
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1967-68....tape... 3M/Scotch outdoor mounting #411
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:44 PM   #14
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"Fred talks about how the Corning glass will shatter if struck on the edge, but it is strong straight on."

Thanks, David

Maybe that's why the metal edge for '68? Sounds like you have a glass-bar issue to solve. Hopefully the glass will only need to be re-bedded in the bar.


Historically, opinion and myth become "fact" at some point. There are plenty of posts to search, read, and form a "confusion". There's certainly mystery about the Philips/Corning window series. Seems that one fools around with them until they're not leaking too badly, and calls it done for now.
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