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Old 07-26-2011, 11:01 AM   #1
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Shattered window in '98 Airstream- advice needed

I have a shattered panoramic (?) or corner wrap-around window in my 1998 Excella. I need to replace it quickly for an upcoming trip. I know this is probably blasphemy, but has anyone used lexan as a temporary solution, and how difficult is the replacement? It looks like the window can be removed from the outside without removing any interior panels, correct? I am really not concerned with aesthetics, as the window is behind a rock guard and a curtain on the inside, but I need it to not leak. Any suggestions or advice? Is it possible to remove the whole frame and have it repaired by a local glass shop? Has anyone had any luck finding these used? I've e-mailed a couple of salvage yards and had no response yet.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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I used lexan. Make a good template with cardboard and transfer, the window is shaped funny when flat. Also make sure you a sharp blade; i used a jig saw. Any "jumps" in the cut may cause it to crack when ypu bend it to the curve.

Its a good temp fix untill you can get the glass replaced.

Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:05 PM   #3
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You do know those are still available from any Airstream dealer?
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #4
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How fun is that? Lol!
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_lewis77 View Post
I used lexan. Make a good template with cardboard and transfer, the window is shaped funny when flat. Also make sure you a sharp blade; i used a jig saw. Any "jumps" in the cut may cause it to crack when ypu bend it to the curve.

Its a good temp fix untill you can get the glass replaced.

Good luck!
Thanks- at least I know it is possible. A few questions- did you have to remove the window frame to install the lexan? If not, I assume you did it from the outside? What did you use to fasten it to the frame? Did you have to heat the lexan to bend it, or would it flex that much? Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:54 PM   #6
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Yes but...

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You do know those are still available from any Airstream dealer?
I'm still recovering from the price I was quoted... safe to assume that the current budget does not allow for that expenditure in the immediate future.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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Thanks- at least I know it is possible. A few questions- did you have to remove the window frame to install the lexan? If not, I assume you did it from the outside? What did you use to fasten it to the frame? Did you have to heat the lexan to bend it, or would it flex that much? Thanks!
John,
I'm interested in this thread. Hoping to learn-by-lurking here. Our Excella is similar to yours. Yay for Virginia Excellas! Are you coming to the Commonwealth Rally in Louisa in September? I'd love to see how the repairs come out.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
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I applied it to the exterior. I predrilles the frame on the as and the lexan, applied a gasket to the frame and used wode flange sheet metal screws to secure. I layed out the screw holes symmetrically so it looks more "intentional". Bend the lexan carefully; it is a two man job. One to hold one to fasten. I caulked around the exterior for extra waterproofing (belt and suspenders).
The correct fix of course, is to replace the window. The lexan has worked good for me as a "long term temp" solution and it is cheaper. I have had no issues with leaks from the window so far. And, like you mentioned, the rock guard covers it. On the inside you dont really notice.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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Thanks c lewis. That's exactly what I needed to know. I'm hoping a used supplier will come through for me, but if that doesn't happen before our trip, I will be going the lexan route.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:20 PM   #10
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Good luck!
That window is still on my "captains list", just further down now
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:31 PM   #11
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John,
I'm interested in this thread. Hoping to learn-by-lurking here. Our Excella is similar to yours. Yay for Virginia Excellas! Are you coming to the Commonwealth Rally in Louisa in September? I'd love to see how the repairs come out.
Hi Greg,

Always nice to see a fellow Virginian on the forums! I'm only 45 minutes NE of Richmond, and approx an hour from Louisa, so I will have to check out that rally. I've never been to one. I don't know if my Excella will be ready for that, as it is something of a work-in-progress. It was damaged by a previous owner not chocking it properly. It slipped the jack and rolled into the nearby woods, sustaining damage on the rear curbside panels and front by the entry door (shattering the curved window.) I've popped the dented panels back out enough for it to be servicable, and will eventually seek replacements but for now we are anxious to hit the road. After owning two "vintage" Airstreams- a 1963 Tradewind and a 1971 Sovereign, and being completely overwhelmed by the scope of the work needed, I'm looking forward to using this one as-is.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:35 PM   #12
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P.S.- Greg, if you have any info on the rally I'd sure appreciate it. Also, how is that clearcoat on your Excella holding up?
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:37 PM   #13
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I've got a roadside-front/curbside-rear NOS panoramic window that I'd be willing to sell for 1/2 of retail. Not sure of the exact years for the application, but it is certainly for the newer models - the Airstream part number is 372088-101. Let me know if this would work for you.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:55 PM   #14
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P.S.- Greg, if you have any info on the rally I'd sure appreciate it. Also, how is that clearcoat on your Excella holding up?
Here, if I can do it, are two small pages on the rally. Our clearcoat is pristine. The PO took really good care of the unit, and the 1999 year was the first year, research seems to indicate, that Alcoa bonded the clearcoat to the panels during fabrication.
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