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Old 08-18-2003, 08:29 PM   #1
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Window Lifting Arm Repair

I have two windows on my 71 AS Tradewind that have a lifting arm bracket break away from the window. It appears to be broken rivet connections from longtime corrosion and I suspect other windows will eventually give way soon. What is needed to repair these brackets? Tools? Rivets? Is this a common problem with vintage Airstreams?

This is my first question. I suspect I will have many, many more as I start digging into fixing things. This reminds me of my first house that had plastic tile wainscoting on the bathroom walls. I thought I was going to take them off and simply refinish with ceramic tile. I ended up stripping the whole bathroom of its plaster walls down to the wood lath and completely rebuilding it.
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Old 08-18-2003, 08:36 PM   #2
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Davidd,

If you are referring to the slotted holders that the window arms prop into they are a typcal failure point on trailers as old as yours. The good news is for less that $16.00 a window you never need worry about it again. The new ones also are black and I assume have a UV inhibitor in them.

They are sold in a left and right side model. Most dealers will have them in stock. It requires removal of the window lift arm ends, and the interior screen. Then the rivets that hold them in place get drilled. New ones pop rivet into place and you are done.

Remember to slip the window lift arms thru the bail on the new ones before riveting in place. and reinstall the screen and knob ends. Also I reccomend that you replace them in pairs.

If your problem is with the attachment point between the arms and the window frame itself, I have no advice, never seen it happen before.
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Old 08-21-2003, 06:40 PM   #3
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Maybe this explains better - a picture

Brett,

The slots are fine. It is the arm attachment to the window that is broken. This picture should explain it.
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Old 08-22-2003, 05:53 AM   #4
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Davydd,
Just drill out the old rivets and re-rivet the bracket to the window with pop rivets.
Dan
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Old 08-22-2003, 08:40 AM   #5
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anyone else find that these windows are really difficult to open from the inside, or is it just me? there just doesn't seem to be quite enough leverage when the windows are closed. I usually just unlatch the windows, then go outside to actually open them. is there some adjustment that would help this, or is it just a design flaw?
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Old 08-22-2003, 08:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by chuck
anyone else find that these windows are really difficult to open from the inside, or is it just me? there just doesn't seem to be quite enough leverage when the windows are closed. I usually just unlatch the windows, then go outside to actually open them. is there some adjustment that would help this, or is it just a design flaw?
The windows on mine tended to stick on the rubber and were very hard to open. A little silicone wiped on the rubber with a rag helped a lot. I put silicone on the rubber about every 3 months when I do the 90 day stuff.

If one of my windows is reluctant to open, I use the latches to push it out and get it to let go of the rubber. Once the glass is unstuck, I have no trouble opening the window the rest of the way. it is just the unsticking that requires more leverage than the levers provide.
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Old 08-22-2003, 06:24 PM   #7
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Thanks all, I figured it out

Dan, I come from a world of bolts, screws and nails. It dawned on me it was simply a rivet problem and I didn't know a thing about them. I see that Airstream is a rivet world. javascript:smilie('')

I bought a rivet tool and guessed right that 1/8" dia. x 1/8" long rivets were what to use. Most of these small rivets could be pulled out with pliers but I did have to drill a couple of them out. I also bought a swivel head rivet tool at Home Depot. That turned out to be a good decision I think. It worked in a contorted position.

Chuck, When the windows are loose they move rather easily. It is that initial stickiness that seems to make it appear difficult. John's suggestion to apply some silicone is right on.
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Old 08-22-2003, 07:04 PM   #8
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nah...pretty sure that's not it, (but thanks for the tip). the windows don't stick; they'll flap in the wind as soon as I un-do the latch. the gaskets don't stick to much of anything anymore. (all dried out and cracked...just got a box in the mail w/ 70 feet of nice new gasket from our favorite parts dealer in CA;-) its just a leverage problem. once they're an inch or so away from the window frame, its easy to raise them. maybe there's a trick that I'm missing...push out on the levers? pull in? I don't know. haven't really played with them much. not a big deal.
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Old 08-22-2003, 07:59 PM   #9
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Chuck,

What you describe sounds like the pivots in the arms have worn to the point that they are binding.

Mark
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Old 08-22-2003, 08:23 PM   #10
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It might be technique

Chuck,

I've only had my Airstream for three weeks but I think it is more a matter of technique. I think if you just lift parallel to the frame it will move easily. Pulling away and pushing against the frame will cause resistance.

Then again you may need more starting torque. Back to the gym for a Suburban body?
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