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Old 03-22-2009, 06:12 PM   #1
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1970 18' Caravel
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Help With Window Replacement 1970 Caravel

I had the unfortunate luck to have a neighbor report that my window shattered on Sunday afternoon. Best we could guess might have been a miracle ricochet from a lawn edger.

Does anyone know how to disassemble the street side front window on a 1979 Caravan? Is there glass available for it? I tried to take it apart following something I googled on line, but found that I could not get the guide rod disconnected. I am attaching a pic. Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:40 PM   #2
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IIRC, the 1970 trailers had a C clip that held the actuator arm in place. Carefully remove the clip (CAREFULLY--it will go flying into never-never land, and you'll be stuck), lift the window frame way up over 90 degrees, and the window frame will drop out of the channel. Then you can call with width measurements in the morning, we'll probably be able to get a replacement out in the mail (or UPS) the same day.
Trying to install a replacement glass in your old frame is an unholy nightmare, as there is a steel bar top and bottom to help hold the frame together. Dissimilar metal corrosion will almost guarantee you will distort or destroy the old frame getting it apart.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:52 PM   #3
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So you have replacement glass, but it's a difficult job installing once the window is removed? Is there anywhere that specializes in window replacement?

I did see the spring clip, but there is absolutely no gap in it and it looks impossible to pry off. I will try again, but might put some tape on it so it won't get lost. I am pretty sure that a real C clip might work as a replacement.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:12 PM   #4
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The glass in early 70s AS is tempered glass which is prone to inexplicably shattering for no apparent reason. In addition the earlier windows were only about 1/16" thick. The good news is a used window from 1969 to at least 1975 will fit. The later windows were double paned with each pane 3/16" thick. Double pane windows can be a double pain because condensation and deteriorating butyl tends to collect between the panes. The windows can be dissasembled but the hard part is getting the old gasket back in, if you can do it at all. I had to fake a gasket out of Vulkem. There are a couple of old threads with some good photos in the forums including mine and Zeppelenium's. There are various sources for used windows including ebay. I think Inland RV may have new replacement windows. Some people have replaced the glass with plastic. Use Lexan rather than Plexiglass, which does not last.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:16 PM   #5
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opening windows

The 1969 opening windows have a very different hinge.

If you try to install a replacement window, the first thing that happens is the hinge rivets shear off.

I have argued and begged Airstream to at least have the 69 hinge available, so that it could be changed out when someone that has a 69 is replacing an opening window.

So far, my suggestion has fallen on no ears at all, as opposed to deaf ears, for about 25 years.

The only way a current replacement window will work on a 69, is that the old hinge, MUST be installed on the new window.

By the same token, only because of the different hinge, a 69 window will not properly fit a later model, either.

Andy
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:24 AM   #6
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Andy is right on as usual. It is possible to replace the hinge form your 70 window, but you had better know what your are doing or your will break the tempered glass. Overlander is correct too; but fails to mention the differences between Cal. and Ohio built units. The "c" clips are subject to galvanic corrosion due to the dissimilar metals , and so is the area where they supposed to grip; as a result the about 1/4" (?) diameter on the end of the steel lift rod often times is reduced in diameter so much that a replacement Tinnermen (sic) fastener will no longer grip well.

I suggest you deal with Andy for possible replacements for the arms if still available. I machined my ends for a real SS snap ring some years back, a great solution but unless you ahve a machine shop the cost would be very high. (Time was about 45 minutes each after the learning curve).

PS: I think some early 1970 models might have had the 1969 hinge extrusions; Not sure if this was only Jackson center or Cerritos issue; maybe Andy knows and if there is a S/N crossover).
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:56 PM   #7
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OK, so I have the widow frame out. I did have to grind the cir-clips off and will have to come up with a method of retaining them when I reassemble. (I may just drill and use a small cotter pin...)

Am I understanding that I can only buy the entire window and aluminum frame unit? I think Inland has it, but it is pretty costly. Has anyone ever successfully replaced just the glass, perhaps with Lexan?

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weiss1957 View Post
OK, so I have the widow frame out. I did have to grind the cir-clips off and will have to come up with a method of retaining them when I reassemble. (I may just drill and use a small cotter pin...)

Am I understanding that I can only buy the entire window and aluminum frame unit? I think Inland has it, but it is pretty costly. Has anyone ever successfully replaced just the glass, perhaps with Lexan?

Thanks,

Mike

Mike.

The metal frame around the glass, is called a"sash." That comes with a new window.

The frame is the part that is riveted to the shell.

Should you be able to take the sash apart, please be advised that the gasket is not available, and after 30 some years, the gasket is your window will more than likely fall to pieces.


Next problem would be to ressemble a piece of Lexan into the sash, with some type of gasket.

The final challenge is that the sash, because of internal corrosion, may not go back together as you would like it to, along with the problem of properly riveting one half of the hinge back in place, without distorting it.

Your insurance on the trailer, or Homeowners insurance would pay for that window.

Andy
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:17 AM   #9
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Window issues

Hi Weiss,
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I tried this method some time ago, kind of because I did not like the cost(s) for the replacement. It failed rapidly. It was on one (the larger over sink) side window and then (being a retired engineer who worked for GE for many years) I realized lexan and chlorinated hydrocarbons do not mix (much longer story).

The labor hours to refit the lexan and seal it with urethane's - no gasket available as Andy said ( first time attempt for me of course) was about 12hours spread over a week. This to me does not pencil out.

My advice is just suck up and get a replacement. I think the current chemically treated saety glass that is available today is much less likely to shatter "for no apparent reason" unlike the original (either an age issue or possibly the new has better scratch resistance, I think the cause of unexplained failures of all tempered glass).
I have made 2 replacement side windows ( one from salvage and one from a dealer who sourced from Andy) on my Caravel and one rear window replacement (from Airstream via insurance) that have never failed over so far, I am covering over 30 years of ownership, and I can explain at least two of the original failures from really weird incidents, such as grinder sparks and a possible welding slag dingleberry. My advice; suck up and buy a replacement.
WJ.
PS Be aware, only one of the replacements I have done did not require a skilled job to fit into the opening; the original build in 1970 was just not that accurate.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:08 AM   #10
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Roger that. I will order a new window and frame in the morning. I appreciate all of the help. Insurance, I think I'll stay clear of those folks on this one...

Thanks,

Mike
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