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Old 05-19-2009, 10:11 PM   #1
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Window Replacement, etc. The Good/Bad/Ugly

Fellas

My front window on a 1970 Safari is broken, and I want to fix it myself.

The Good= Have New Replacment window from Airstream

The Bad = No nothing about how to get the old one out , weatherstriping, and how to rivet the new one back in. I want the rivets to look like the rest on the exterior of the AS trailer.

The Ugly = Have no idea on what Specialty Tools to buy or what types of bits to use. Same logic also applies to the Bannana Wrap and Belly skin. Which wil be removed this saturday.

Any help would be greatly appreciated Thanks Pat
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:43 AM   #2
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Which forward window, the center or one of the wing windows?
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:58 PM   #3
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Aerowood:

It is the left side wing window which is broken. Need to clean up the center one as well, if that has any implications. Thanks Pat
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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Do you want to install it with solid shank rivets (you will need access to both sides) or will you install with blind rivets (access needed on outside only)?
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:20 PM   #5
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The center window could not be easier. Detach the lifting bars from the window and raise the window from the outside. When you pass 90 degrees it comes off the J hinge.

The wing window is not rocket science but more work. Dimple the rivets with a nail punch and drill out the rivets with a 9/32" bit. Clean off all the goop. Put a generous bead of Vulkem*down and reinstall the wiondow. You can use buck rivets but Olympic rivets* work fine put a dab of Vullkem on each rivet. Clecos** are handy for temporarily attaching the window and are fun. Use your extra Vulkem on the inside of the window frame.

*Inland RV or Vintage Trailer Supply
** Aircraft Tool Supplier
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:46 AM   #6
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Fellas Thanks for the input. Sorry for the late reply, had T Ball from 6-8; then a hockey game at 9pm. Kids were fast asleep when I returned and couldn't acces the computer.
I don't undertand the difference between Shank Rivets, Blind Rivets and Clecos. Sorry for the ineptitude. Want to do this in the most tightly fastened & weatherproofed manner, so which method is better or is it irrelevant? Can I get this Vulkem at Home Depot? Thanks Pat
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:22 AM   #7
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You can get Vulkem locally at a Fastenal store.
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:23 AM   #8
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Hi Pat,

Vulkem is a urethane-based sealant (works much better for aluminum than anything silicone-based). It's also called TrempPro, and you can't find it at box stores, but you can find it at local Fastenal stores if you have any nearby. You can also order online from Vintage Trailer Supply. If you buy it a Fastenal, they have many colors, be sure to get the aluminum/gray/stone color to match your Airstream.

Solid shank rivets are the strongest, and they are what was originally installed on your windows. But you need access to both sides of the rivet, which might mean removing interior panels of your Airstream, or perhaps just the window trim, I'm not familiar with the 1970 model. You also need a 3x rivet gun (air tool that attaches to a compressor, small compressors are fine for this), and a "bucking bar" which is a solid flat piece of steel that sets against the backside of the rivet. The gun hammers the rivet from the front side, and the bucking bar holds it steady from the backside, forcing the rivet to spread out inside the opening and sealing the holes as well as pinching the two (or more) pieces of sheet metal together in a tight bond. Thy are stronger and more leak-proof, but you must have the proper tools, and you must have access to both sides of the material you're working on.

Blind rivets don't require the removal of interior panels. For this application, the style of blind rivet you'd use would be an Olympic rivet, and you'd need a hand-held riveter to squeeze the rivets in place. You put the rivet through the hole, and squeeze the handle. On the backside, there are three legs that pop out and tighten against the backside of your material, pinching the sheets together. This bond is not as strong as bucked rivets, but is fine for your application. However, it is also more leak-prone, so be sure to use lots of Vulkem to seal it up.

Clecoes are aka sheet-holders. They are wonderful little spring-loaded devices that hold the sheet metal while you're working elsewhere. They go into the holes and then you release them and their tips spread out just a bit on the backside, enough to hold the sheet in place while you work on something else, such as drilling more holes or riveting. You can think of them as an extra set of hands (or 5 or 7 extra sets). For a small job like this, you could also use small sheet metal screws to hold your material in place while you are drilling or riveting elsewhere, just be sure they aren't too big or they will stretch out your holes. Not sure what size is appropriate, maybe a #4? That's a complete guess.

Good luck!

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Old 05-21-2009, 08:33 AM   #9
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For clecos you will also need a pair of cleco pliers to use them.
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Old 05-22-2009, 06:47 AM   #10
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Fellas

Another late one last night. Thanks for the info. Will order supplies for all work to be performed. Toolsez has some 3x drill kits and will pick up the shaver as well. Will post pics if my wife lets me work on the AS this weekend. Lokking more like No then yes. Will keep you updated. Pat
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronGiant View Post
Fellas

Another late one last night. Thanks for the info. Will order supplies for all work to be performed. Toolsez has some 3x drill kits and will pick up the shaver as well. Will post pics if my wife lets me work on the AS this weekend. Lokking more like No then yes. Will keep you updated. Pat
Rivet shavers are pricey. If this is the only riveting job you can do just about as good with a Dremel tool, but it takes a little longer.
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