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Old 08-25-2003, 09:31 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1972 Argosy 20
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Fort Collins , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 94
Report of window replacement in 1977 Minuet 6.0

Just finished a project that I thought would be much harder than it was. I had purchased a 1977 Minuet 6.0 with a broken front, streetside curved window. Following are the steps I went through.

1) Ordered the new window from the Airstream dealer in New Smyrna, De. Was told by Airstream Central that they marked up their parts the least of any dealer. Price w shipping to Colorado was $611. Kind of steep, but explored other possibilities (used, plexiglass and others), decided to go w new.
2)Talked w a technician at AS, and he recommended a technique to use. AS was extremely helpful.
3)Remove trim strip from it's start on the middle of the streetside. This is done because the trim covers the lower rivets that hold in the window. First you tease up the plastic insert carefully, I pulled this out as far as to the middle of the front, middle window. Then you use a 1/8 inch bit and drill out the pop rivets. I removed them to the same place, although it is so easy you could remove the trim as far as you wanted and get it out of the way.
4)Remove the Olympic rivets. I did this by first using a medium sized, flat end screwdriver as a chisel to knock off the heads. Try to direct the blows so that the screwdriver does not slide and scrap the paint. I then used a 1/8 inch bit and drilled out the rivets. As I remember there were 88 of them.
5)Pry out the old window. I used the same screwdriver for this. Mine came out rather easily.
6)Clean the area with a sharp instrument of all old caulk. Besure there are no remnants of the old rivets. These will make it difficult to seat the new window.
7)Try in the window.I had to kind of fiddle to get it to fit.
8) Place a copious amount of silicone,PAINTABLE caulk on the area to be coverd by the window flange.
9)This next step was again recommended by AS. Instead of using Olympic rivets, I used stailess steel #8 1/2 inch, phillips head sheet metal screws. These were purchased at a place called Fasteners, Inc, and cost about $4. With some one helping hold the window in place, affix w duct tape. Then start to place the screws. * I started in the middle, top and bottom placing about 3 or 4 screws at a time then alternating, working from the middle toward the sides. In my case, the window seemed to be about 1/4- 1/2 inch shorter than the old one so I had to drill holes for the screws. I again used the 1/8 inch bit. So I would drill 3 or 4 holes,place 3 or 4 screws top and bottom and then drill more holes, place more screws and so on .
10) Then I cleaned up the caulk and went inside and used a small bead of clear silicone to caulk the inside.
11)Replacement of the trim strip is quick. Just line up the holes and pop rivet it back on. Then you have to tediously slide the plastic insert back in the grooves.

12) The next step will be to paint the window flange, but I may leave mine unpainted to remind me of a day when everything went almost perfect. My friend and I did this project together, one drilled holes and one screwed in the screws. Total time start to finish for the two of us was an amazing two hours.

Hope this helps. The screws are not that noticeable, And if one is a purist, you could caulk in or some other way seal the phillips hole and w paint, no one would knowthey wre not Olympic rivets
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Old 08-26-2003, 09:01 PM   #2
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
1989 29' Excella
Lorain County , Ohio
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Hope you will be enjoying the new view! Great and courageous job!! Good for you! And it sounds like you have a true, good friend.
Lou and Larry
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:11 AM   #3
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Austin , Texas
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Sounds like you took care of it.

Thank goodness I never had that problem on my Minuet. I am perplexed though as to why an Airstream dealer would tell you to use silicone caulk and screws to put it back in. That is not the way they do it at the factory, they use double edge tape, Vulkem or Parbond and Olympic rivets just like back in the 70's . Exact same window as well.

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