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Old 08-20-2014, 09:45 PM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
Indian River , Michigan
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Posts: 4
Help getting window frame apart

Ok, so I'm really dumb for taking on the windows as my first project on my Airstream, but now in the middle of it and need to fix my windows so I can put them back in.

I have a 1977 Excella 31'. All windows are double-paned and look terrible. I want to make all my windows single paned so that they are easy to keep clean from now on. I took my first window out and removed the weather stripping, cleaned up the frame and then broke the inside glass out. I removed all the glass and the sticky putty and the old gasket. Unfortunately I was not able to get the sliver tap out that I guess held the two pieces of glass together, so I had to drill out the top and bottom rivets to try to separate the widow. This is where my BIG problem started. The top of the window separated just fine, but the bottom would not separate no mater what I did. Upon inspecting it a little closer I could see that it appears that the metal bar seems to be so rusted that it will not budge. In fact as you can see from my picture, it ended up breaking. So I have a clean window but no frame to put it in.

So my questions:

1. Any tricks on how to get that metal bar to separate from the aluminum frame?
2. Where in the world can I find a replacement bar? I've searched vintage trailer supply, and airstream supply and did a google search and came up with nothing.

Don't be too hard on me, I know I have made so many mistakes on so many levels. Lesson learned--do more research before you start a project!

Thanks,
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:57 PM   #2
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Sorry Here's the picture!
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:42 PM   #3
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1978 28' Ambassador
Pacifica , California
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These windows are the bane of my existence. In fact I'm working on two right now. I've had varying results -they seem to each have distinct personalities- some are more easy going and some are just grumpy old men that won't budge. I wrote up a blog post on the link in my signature below that lists the supplies like gaskets and butyl that I used for my '78 if that is helpful for you. It looks like our windows are more or less the same. Right now I'm dueling with some that are totally rusted shut on the bottom and I'm doing an experiment with different methods of rust removal. WD40 worked in the past but these are a little more stubborn than the rest. I will report back if I find out anything helpful.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:55 AM   #4
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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Use Aerokroil as it is the best penetrating oil available. Spray the Kroil around the splice bar and let it work for awhile. Tap on the aluminum that surrounds the steel splice to break up the corrosion, then you should be able to pull the splice apart. Longer soak times results in better penetration of the Kroil

Penetrating-Lubricating Oils
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:28 AM   #5
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1976 25' Caravanner
Salt Lake City , Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
Use Aerokroil as it is the best penetrating oil available.

Penetrating-Lubricating Oils

I'll second that. I've used Kroil for several years. Works really well on, among other things, rusted together 100-year-old machinery.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
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1972 25' Tradewind
fort lauderdale , Florida
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x2 Aerowood,

I'm on my third window and it was the first one I had problems getting apart. That little still bar was rusted a bit but I used the Kroil and with some help of a rubber mallet, I finally got her apart.
You may have to get a replacement bar machined.

FYI, Measure the thickness of your glass. My rear, dual panes were 1/8" thick, which works great with the sash gasket sold by VTS, but not with the side windows , which measure 3/16" thick. I've ordered a new sash gasket off amazon, which is also sold by Technology LK. I hope to get it by friday to try this weekend. I'll post my results.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tip guys! I went down to our local gun shop and they had a small can of it and it did the trick. Got one window disassembled and I'm going to keep working on the other one tomorrow.
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Old 10-03-2014, 09:29 AM   #8
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1981 31' Excella II
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Why are you having to separate the frame if you are busting the inner pane out? I would think that you would bust the pane out remove the pieces and then fill the gap with caulk and or filler material.

Perry
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Old 10-03-2014, 03:09 PM   #9
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1977 31' Excella 500
Indian River , Michigan
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Hey Guys, I'm sorry I have not posted any responses yet.

Well it's been a long road but I just got my first window done and reinstalled on Monday! I was pretty stoked. I have a friend who does automotive restoration and he was able to help me get the old splice bars out. I had to do some hunting around online to find replacements. I ended up finding somthing from onlinemetals.com that was a perfect fit. For those who might need it the dimensions of the bar is 0.1875" x 0.25". I ordered them in 1 foot lengths and cut them down.

I'll have to get some Kroil, it sounds like it works really good. I still have 6 more windows to go so I think that will come in handy.

The only problem that I'm running into now is that the reassembled window is not hanging strait for some reason. I hung it back up and it's rubbing on the bottom left side. I can get it closed but it's not smooth and once closed you can see a little light coming in where it's supposed to be sealed up against the trailer. Not sure what that's all about.

Thanks for all your input!
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:28 AM   #10
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1976 31' Sovereign
downers grove , Illinois
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any other ideas?

I'm resurrecting this thread in hopes of finding a new idea...I have the exact same problem as the original post. trying to separate the window frames, the top came apart no problem, but the bottom is stuck. I have started with 2 windows and both have the same issue. I've been dripping in some Kroil every day for several days now but cant get it apart.

anyone come up with something new in the last couple years?

whats the best way to separate - I've been using a wood block on the inside edge of the frame and hitting with a mallet. anything better?

thanks
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:14 PM   #11
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Use lots of Kroil and tap the area where the stuck steel bar is to break up the corrosion.
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