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Old 10-21-2009, 04:03 AM   #1
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Wing Window replacement

The broken wing window lasted all the way to Seattle and back--my hat's off once again to duct tape.

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With the last two days of warm weather I decided it was time take the big step and remove it. I'd done this with the Safari, but since the Safari is still in the "hangar" and its replacement panels are still installed with clecos, I wan't sure this was a good idea. Removing the frame takes about an hour. The hardest part is removing the sliding cleat that holds the wing window to the center window. After a few minutes of zero progress using a hammer and wood block I remembered the rivet gun--a few minutes using the air hammer and it was out.

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I used the same technique to make the compound curve as I did in the Safari. Although the task went quickly, it didn't go quite as smoothly. I used 3003 in the Safari and that patch is mirror smooth. Here I used 5052 and it didn't roll quite as well--there are tiny irregularities that are too small to feel, but when installed are noticeable in the reflection. Darn.

Since the patch is made in one piece, then cut and slid together to make the center seam, it takes a lot of trial fits, particularly to determine how to fair in the cut line.

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The bottom and outside edge require a little more work, since the shell curve, right at the edge, is hard to fit. The bottom requires a sharp bend, about 3/8" wide, to hug the shell as it makes an inflection change at that seam.

The final installation isn't as esthetic as I hoped, but it's better than the dirty, leaky, ugly window and definitely better than a broken window!

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The joint at the upper outside corner could have been sharp, but I elected to round everything and flow all three panels together.

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Likewise, deciding how to continue to line of the seam down through the patch could have gone directly to the inside corner, as in the Safari. However, UWE had suggested that maybe continuing the curve [implied by the shell] would be more attractive, so I tried it. It looks very natural, but I'm not sure [yet] which line is better.

Now I need to do the other side. Total time was about10 hours. The second window will be quicker, since I copied the panel shapes onto the other piece of 5052 that will be used for the curb side patch.

Well, quicker if I'm lucky. The real danger in doing this mod is the terrible quality of the holes that the assemblers cut in the shell for windows. In many of my replacements for the vista views, and in doing the wing windows on the Safari, I found very ragged edges and in some cases places where the rivets in the window frames weren't actually in the shell skin at all--no margin or negative margin. You can handle this by making the patch bigger, except at the top edge, since this is now exposed. In the Safari, I had to cut the skin back about 1/2" along the entire edge, so the edge of the shell skin matched the top of the center window. Here, you can see it's a little bit lower. Hope I have the same type edge on the other side.

Cutting the shell has to be done with a cutoff blade, since the two skins are overlapping at the corner. I used a piece of sacrificial sheet tucked between the skins to avoid cutting the piece underneath.

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Zep

PS--no, I'm not going to get rid of all the windows!
PPS--the couch fabric is the last piece of original interior in the Overlander. It will be going soon!
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:34 AM   #2
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Nice detailing at the Joints Zep.

What are you doing on the inside at this location?

Kevin
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:55 AM   #3
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Nice work! I like the flow of the seam coming off the roof seam. Hard to visualize how it would look going to the bottom corner, but I donít think that would look as nice as what you did. I really like how you joined the panels together at the top with the curves!

But, whatís wrong with the sofa fabric?? So bright and cheerful and flowery!

Chris
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:25 AM   #4
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Well Zep it looks like you are winging it again. I wish I had your time. I'm leaving for Peoria Ill next week for awhile. Is it snowing there this morning?

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Old 10-21-2009, 08:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
Well, quicker if I'm lucky. The real danger in doing this mod is the terrible quality of the holes that the assemblers cut in the shell for windows. In many of my replacements for the vista views, and in doing the wing windows on the Safari, I found very ragged edges and in some cases places where the rivets in the window frames weren't actually in the shell skin at all--no margin or negative margin. the couch fabric is the last piece of original interior in the Overlander. It will be going soon!
Yours are not the only windows I've seen that on, almost every Airstream I've replaced windows on has had many rivets only partly through the skin, or just bucked against nothing at all. You have to wonder about the guy inside the trailer with the bucking bar, whether he said anything and was told to shut up and hold the bar, or if he didn't care, because it wasn't his job...

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But, whatís wrong with the sofa fabric?? So bright and cheerful and flowery!
That's what's wrong with it. It's so bright and flowery, and, ummm, bright, and errr, flowery...
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin245 View Post
...What are you doing on the inside at this location?...
It turns out that the inside is not a compound curve. It's a single curve from the edge of the center front window back to the first rib. It's counter-intuitive, but it's because the inside skin fits between two horizontal stringers and doesn't have to bulge outward to be fair with the outside curves. So, the connection between the two stringers is always a line, not a curve.

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When I was putting the new dome inside the Safari I discovered I could use a single sheet all the way around between the front and side windows. (No photos yet, but soon...).

I'm not going to do that in the Overlander, just a short piece to cover hole. I wish I had some vinyl coated inside skin for this. The bare aluminum sorta gives the patch away... I need to find a totalled 70s model.

Zep
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:26 AM   #7
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I have some vinyl coated inside skin that you can have.

Kip
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
I have some vinyl coated inside skin that you can have...
This is a trick, of course. You just want me to show up with your roller...

Thanks, Kip, you da man, as always. As you can see, I got the window skin installed just in time.

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Zep
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:50 AM   #9
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Some 2 buck would be enough
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:51 AM   #10
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Zep, what are the pinkish blocks you have mounted to the inside of the outer skin in post #6 above?

Chris
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Zep, what are the pinkish blocks you have mounted to the inside of the outer skin in post #6 above?...
That's 1-1/2" solid foam insulation, attached temporarily with spray adhesive. When you trial fit the dome petals, you need something solid to push against, both for fitting and then later for drilling when you are ready to rivet the petals together. It's surprising how just 1/4" of in-out flex in the position of the petals makes a major change in the required edge shape [and width] of the petals.

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Old 10-21-2009, 01:23 PM   #12
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So would you now call this a "7" panel end-cap? Nice work....
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:33 PM   #13
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An unexpected break in the weather! Yay!

The other wing window is out and skinned over. A little polish and it'll be good to go. I might even get that running light fixed (on the street side).

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The closeup shows the difference in panel width between the street side and this curb window (the space between the two lines). I don't understand how the curb side wing window, with all that heavy frame, can be 3/8" different in width from the street side wing window. I guess every window was cut into the shell individually.

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Happy, happy. Not sure the new look is any better than the crudy interiors of the wing windows, but this makes it much easier to hang drapes! And it looks sorta 60-ish, which I like.

Kip, I'll be right up to get that inside skin. Thanks.

Zep
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:47 PM   #14
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Just for the record, both sides are finished and moderately polished.

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Putting on the inside patches wasn't quite as easy as I thought. There is not access to the rib that runs horizontally above the windows, unless you remove the dome. So piece of appropriately curved "L" channel, riveted to the rib, provides a downward flange for the upper edge of the new skin.

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Theoretically (notice I said theoretically) the patches should have been able to be replaced with a single curve panel, but it turned out that a little bit of shrink along the outside edge helped them fit more easily. They are not flat, even though it appears they are in the photo. Thanks to Kip for the skin, which blends in pretty well, even though the flash doesn't do it justice.

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No, the Overlander doesn't seem too dark without the wings and vista views, at least not to me. I suppose all you pre-70 vintage owners are used to this view and I'll be getting used to it, also. No I've got to decide if I replace the goucho with a new one, or put in a dinette instead. And the overhead magazine rack has got to be replaced, too.

Zep
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