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Old 11-28-2004, 06:47 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6
How to replace front window hinge, '66 Caravel

It appears that our '66 Caravel was in an accident long ago. One result (among many) is that the front window was replaced with plexiglass as a permanent, non-openable window. Unfortunately, whoever did this did not leave the hinge intact for me to install an original equipment, operable window.

THE QUESTION: Can one "repair" the hinge with a replacement lower flap without having to remove and/or replace the entire window frame?

It's the front window, which is flat.

I'd try to go take a picture, but it's pouring down rain just now. So, I'll try a visual picture. If you have an older owner's manual, you can see a side view of the hinge mechanism. It's Figure 17A in the 1966 manual. In that schematic, the solid black part--the bottom of which is like a capital G--is intact on my trailer. The vertically crosshatched part--the top of which looks like a candy cane with the hook facing left--is the part I want to insert into the capital G. It slides in from the end, then all across the width of the window.

The glass is attached to a metal strip. This strip slides into the lower flap of the hinge at the top of the whole window structure, and is held securely to this lower flap by a series of tensioning screws. I have simply removed the window and this strip from the hinged mechanism a parts trailer (a '67 Overlander, a 24-footer we bought for parts).

Picture a hinge (any hinge will do). It has two flaps. For most door and cupboard hinges, the two flaps are held together by a pin which slides through the eyes of the flaps. Well, on the Airstream window, the two flaps of the hinge (which runs across the entire top of the window) are not joined by a pin. Rather, they are joined by sliding the lower flap (the candy cane) into a channel in the upper flap (the capital G). (The upper flap is permanently joined to the window frame; the lower flap is attached to another metal strip, which is in turn attached to the glass.)

The problem I have is that the channel on the upper flap does not extend far enough out and beyond the side of the window frame to enable one to slide the lower flap into the upper flap. Nor can it be bent out enough.

What needs to be done, it would seem, is to find a way to move out just the top part of the frame. In the alternative, it seems like the whole darned window frame has to be taken out of the trailer.

I can take the entire frame (and window) out of the parts trailer and install it into the Caravel. But this seems like a heck of a chore. It looks like I'd have to drill out a LOT of rivets, bend out some siding, then take out the window frame, then reverse the whole process to install it in the target trailer. Has anybody done this? Any tips?

I appreciate your willingness to help.

armycot is offline   Reply With Quote


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