Worn out Vent Mechanism
In a previous post I was having trouble with the forward vent leaking after I put new weather stripping in it. Andy sent me the correct stuff and I replaced the weather stripping on both of the forward vents. The middle one seems to be fine, it doesn't leak and it tightens down pretty consistently all the way around.
The one in front is still not closing in the rear very well and a heavy rain allows water to come in. I was playing with it while the hose was trained on the rear of the vent and if I pull the levers for the lid down a little ways, it seals. There is no way to make the current mechanism pull the vent down that far though.
It appears that the problem mechanism has been removed at least once before since it is held in place by rusting screws while the one in the middle is all done with aluminum rivets. The screw mechanism has at least 1/8" of play in it in the vertical direction which is why it won't seal. Also the fan shroud has been sort of repaired but needs more work to make it hold together. The fan blade is in rough shape too.
Being that this vent has a fan plus the lights for front of the camper, I am trying to decide how to proceed.
Do I take the mechanism apart and either attempt to make or have someone machine new parts for it, or bag it and replace it with one of those nifty variable speed fans and figure out how to add replacement lights?
Both options appeal to me. I like the old light. I installed one of those fan vents in the rear vent (that vent was falling apart and it wasn't original anyway) and it works great, having a second one in the front would make the camper exchange air very quickly.
What I would really like to do is replace the vent and then install a modified version of the original lights but that doesn't look particularly practical.
Is replacing the vent a particularly difficult task? I have so far avoided the need to be able to do the Olympic Rivets, are these requred/recommended to replace the vent? There isn't an Airstream dealer within a days drive from where we live now so I would like to be able to accomplish this on my own.
Any help on this is appreciated.