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Old 12-03-2011, 07:13 PM   #21
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Day One with 28 year old gasket

Day One: We carefully cleaned the first set of double panes on the living room for the second time. It took a lot longer than we suspected because once you looked on four different surfaces, there was a lot more there than you thought. Once we had spent about three hours cleaning after we thought we had already cleaned them, we set about trying the 28 year old gasket I got yesterday.

Amazingly, it was the exact size gasket we needed which is kind of like winning the lottery. That is the plus side to visiting the funny farm for 45 minutes. Only deal was that the corners gapped and we could not get them to fit tightly. How the factory did this is beyond us but after a few hours of fiddling around, we decided this was not the route to take. I think it has something to do with two Norwegians working together..... No offense to smarter Norwegians out there and to those that tried to tell me it can't be done.

The gasket fit perfectly in the straight sections and looked great. We would have gone with it but the corners were not fitting tightly nd so we knew we would have problems with the seal. I also submitted the question to the VAP and they basically said the same thing "There is no gasket out there and just do them single panes." The other option presented was to buy NOS which we may end up doing if we can't do it the Norwegian way. We can't say we didn't try every available option first.

Hating to admit defeat, we will fumble along tomorrow. We are going to try another window and do it single pane trying to salvage both panes just in case. I think what we have done with the first one looks pretty good but we are not sure we can maintain the condensation free environment for long. That would really be disappointing to have to redo this in another year.

I know some people have suggested just buying new windows but we are trying to keep as much of the exterior original because the interior is going to be all new. We wanted it to be looking 1976 at first glance but 2012 on the interior. I also think we have spent so much more on this already than I ever dreamed we would be spending that it seems like complete folly some days. I try to fight the urge to give up and admit defeat. It is sort of like Monte Python's Holy Grail castle story.

Thanks for all of the advice and help along the way. I will keep everyone posted on our progress. I will put up pictures as soon as I have them. We need to get the first window installed successfully before I can do that. I am hoping in all of our trials we don't end up breaking any of them but I guess we take it as it comes.
Sandy
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:42 PM   #22
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.
I know some people have suggested just buying new windows but we are trying to keep as much of the exterior original because the interior is going to be all new.

Thanks for all of the advice and help along the way. I will keep everyone posted on our progress. I will put up pictures as soon as I have them. We need to get the first window installed successfully before I can do that. I am hoping in all of our trials we don't end up breaking any of them but I guess we take it as it comes.
Sandy
Sandy.

Replacement windows are exactly the same as you now have, except they are single pane instead of the double pane.

Same hinge, glass, sash, latch and gaskets for the opening windows.

The stack, vista view and wing replacement windows are exactly the same, but again, single pane.

Andy
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:45 PM   #23
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Sorry Sandy...Here's the thread

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f454...ion-43879.html
Hope it helps you with your solution. It worked perfectly for me. Converted all my fogged Airstream double panes to single and am glad I did!!! Airstream sells single panes as replacements anyway..!!

Mike
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:14 PM   #24
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Beautiful...a solution!

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Sorry Sandy...Here's the thread

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f454...ion-43879.html
Hope it helps you with your solution. It worked perfectly for me. Converted all my fogged Airstream double panes to single and am glad I did!!! Airstream sells single panes as replacements anyway..!!

Mike
Thanks Mike,
Having read through your thread, I can see it might be good to try your method. Amazingly enough, by the time I got out of bed this am, my husband had completed the first window we had already attempted the day before. He actually got the gasket I got at the circus store to work. So tomorrow, as soon as I get off work, I will be headed back to the circus to buy the rest of the gasket. I can hardly wait for that adventure. More entertainment for the crew.

I will show my husband your thread and see if he is game to try it. I know the reel the shop had of this old gasket is not going to be enough to complete all of our windows so we may try your approach to finish them out. Thanks for sharing that with us and helping me to figure out where I needed to go next.
Sandy
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:20 PM   #25
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Thanks Andy

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Sandy.

Replacement windows are exactly the same as you now have, except they are single pane instead of the double pane.

Same hinge, glass, sash, latch and gaskets for the opening windows.

The stack, vista view and wing replacement windows are exactly the same, but again, single pane.

Andy
If we can't make our originals work, we may end up ordering them. We are hoping we can fix them in one way or the other and save the funds to buy the other items we are going to need yet on this trailer or the 1959 Pacer. Thanks for your help and I appreciate your willingness to assist us in this adventure.
Sandy
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:13 PM   #26
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Window weekend slaves

We spent all weekend deconstructing double paned windows and cleaning them up top to bottom. All new butyl tape and new gasket at least until we ran out of both supplies. Now we await our order for more so we can get the windows finished up.

This part of the rebuild has been rather painstaking because we don't want to break any glass (broke one inside pane aleady...I guess rivets and glass don't like each other when they get rudely introduced). It has taken a lot of time to pull the window apart as each one had layers of old stickly gray butyl and a type of foil edging around the perimeter of the windows.

This work is messy but satisfying because you can actually see progress as you work along. We discovered that the self adhesive small D gasket works the easiest but of course we didn't order too much that because we didn't know how it would work. Turns out we should have picked up about a case.

We have the large center front window out and all cleaned up awaiting the butyl and the gasket. I cleaned up each set of window handles and operators while I left my husband to pull the windows panes apart. We developed a good system that make it hum along and no major, major disasters...yet. We are even still speaking to each other.

The large bathroom window and the two wing windows are lthe only ones left to take out and rebuild. We are hoping the wing windows are a little more forgiving and less troublesome than we expect. Both of them appear to have held a large amount of water at some time during their adventures because you can see the mineral deposits between the two panes. The time these windows have taken from both of us is unreal. I know we move slowly but this is wild. We are taking our time to avoid any problems that are irreversible and still manage to save all of our digits.

I had purchased some white bristle brush 3M wheels that went on a drill that Aerowood (I think it was him) recommended to use on the windows. I had gotten them last winter after reading how well they worked. I asked my husband why he wasn't using those to clean the frames up and he said "If you had gotten the mandrel for them, they would be a lot easier to use." Geez....I gotta think of everything for this operation.
Sandy
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:42 PM   #27
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Great news Sandy. The wing windows may prove to be a bit more challenging. The straight edge of the frame is screwed to the ciurved part both top and bottom. The screws are very small and will be severely rusted into place. The screws are steel and they will have nearly fused to the aluminum frame. If possible soak the entire window is a rust buster for several days before you try to remove the screws. The screws are not very forgiving as they are thin and you can break the heads off them very easily. Don't ask me how I know that. LOL.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:19 AM   #28
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Wait...that isn't good news!

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Great news Sandy. The wing windows may prove to be a bit more challenging. The straight edge of the frame is screwed to the ciurved part both top and bottom. The screws are very small and will be severely rusted into place. The screws are steel and they will have nearly fused to the aluminum frame. If possible soak the entire window is a rust buster for several days before you try to remove the screws. The screws are not very forgiving as they are thin and you can break the heads off them very easily. Don't ask me how I know that. LOL.
Ugh....We were hoping since things have gone relatively well so far, that maybe, just maybe, we would luck out on the hardest ones. I will tell Glenn that you said to soak the windows first. Do you have a reccommendation on the type of rust buster to use? He got some spray on screw loosener stuff that he said "This stuff is a piece of *^%$#!" so I am guessing that wasn't the best buy he ever made.

Did you have any trouble cleaning yours up or did you just replace them? It will be nice to have these windows done before Christmas as we will be having a housefull over the holidays. Two kids are here already, and two others with husband/significant other in tow due by Friday along with two of the most delightful little grandchildren as well. Yippee!! I wonder if my daughter would mind if I put the little girls to work painting interior skins for the Airstream? They are too little to start to try polishing. Besides that will give them something to do next summer when they come for their annual summer vacation at our place .
Sandy
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:28 AM   #29
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Keep up the tedious work Sandy! I took an old wing window that was gifted to me by Zep, to the biggest window shop around. After four months of nothing, it was handed back to me. The owner stated that if you can buy a new replacement, do it. It would cost twice as much in labor to disassemble, clean and reassemble the old window than just buying a new window. I do recall that, Chris had fitment issues with a new wing window and someone suggested to fill the gap with Vulkem or Sikkaflex. Probably not the look y'all are going for. Good luck!
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:51 AM   #30
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Sandy I did not have as much luck finding a replacement gasket as you did. So I chose to find NOS windows and just replace them. The first purchase I made was for two curbside wings. I had to buy two to get one. I sold the other one to Top. UPS ( United Parcel Smashers) managed to bang it up pretty good so I don't think he has used it yet. My plan was to replace the one and disassemble the old one and try to rebuild it. If I was successful then I would pull the roadside one and just rebuild it. Then I found a roadside NOS window and ended up just replacing the roadside one. I have kept both old wings and have a far distant plan to rebuild them.
When I disassembled the curbside wing I got impatient and broke off the heads on two screws so now I need to find out how I can get the shafts drilled out and retap the tiny holes in the frame. So that is why I tell you to soak it well for days in a rust buster.

If you heat the rookery you can have all the kids/ grandkids "camp" out in the Albatross for the holidays.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:49 PM   #31
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Now I am nervous...

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Keep up the tedious work Sandy! I took an old wing window that was gifted to me by Zep, to the biggest window shop around. After four months of nothing, it was handed back to me. The owner stated that if you can buy a new replacement, do it. It would cost twice as much in labor to disassemble, clean and reassemble the old window than just buying a new window. I do recall that, Chris had fitment issues with a new wing window and someone suggested to fill the gap with Vulkem or Sikkaflex. Probably not the look y'all are going for. Good luck!
Oh, oh....if a large window shop doesn't want to tackle these wing windows, than what are we thinking? I have not seen any replacement windows offered up so far on Ebay but maybe I don't know how to search properly. I am expecting most would be in as bad shape as ours unless we got really lucky and found NOS. I will keep my eyes open just in case....
Thanks for the info.
Sandy
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:54 PM   #32
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Sandy,
Don't be nervous! He just said that it wasn't economical for HIS SHOP to repair. I'm sure you can and will do great at it!
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:17 PM   #33
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Stay tuned....

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Sandy,
Don't be nervous! He just said that it wasn't economical for HIS SHOP to repair. I'm sure you can and will do great at it!
Hey Top,
When I think about some of the labor intensive, back breaking work that doing this restoration has involved so far, I think most companies would not want to think about what they would have to charge the customers. Strange thing is that I think most AS addicts take to it like a duck to water. Part of it is the challenge to try to figure things out and see if you can make something out of it. Thanks for your support and I will let you know what happens....
Sandy
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:43 PM   #34
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One down, one to go

Here are the pictures of the two wing windows on the Albatross. Two pictures show one all cleaned up and reinstalled and the other one is waiting patiently for its beauty treatment. Compare the cleaned up one to the icky one and you know how much better the fixed one looks over the original state we found it in. The additional picture is proof that my husband and son do know how to use window cleaner! All this time they told me they didn't know how to clean windows.

The worst part of doing the wing windows so far has been the fear of breaking one and a close second is the 3 inches of sticky white foam caulking around all the sides. It is quite a chore to get the window loose from that stuff so it is slow and steady as it goes. Luckily we only have one more to go.

We had to develop some inventive approaches to seal the wing window. We have a couple of lines of thin butyl tape and lots of sealant on the window. It was also interesting to buck the rivets around the window because it gets deep in a couple of places and the bar wasn't quite the right depth. Luckily my husband had a couple of left over pieces of steel frame that he modified to use in those tight spots. Necessity is the mother of invention yet again.
Sandy
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:55 PM   #35
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Looks great Sandy! See, I told you you could do it!
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:06 PM   #36
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Thanks Top!

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Looks great Sandy! See, I told you you could do it!
Thanks for that compliment but it was really my dearest's accomplishment. I help but he is the brains of the operation. I did clean up the second window's frame this am so he could take it out tonight. I have this week off of school so have some time that I don't usually have. If I could figure out how to start wiring, I would be on that. That is a really scary idea I am afraid!
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:49 PM   #37
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Tonight we finished the second wing window and now all of our windows in the Albatross are DONE!! On to bigger and better things now. Hopefully the Pacer windows won't be the chore these ones were. For those of you thinking about taking this type of project on, I would suggest the following:
1. Take your time.
2. Don't intoduce rivets into the glass because something bad happens.
3. Plan to take four times as long getting it done than you originally thought.
4. Buy at least two different kinds of bucking bars and lots of sealant.

Time to celebrate by trying to find ties to hang the bundles of wiring onto the outer shell. Can't say I don't know how to have a good time!
Sandy
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:02 PM   #38
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Does anyone know where to find the plastic knobs that go on the window levers on the Albatross? Some of ours are broken, some are missing, and some are just in really rough shape. They are an off white (at least I think that was the original color?!?) and are connected together with a metal screw/bolt that fits on the end of each lever that opens and shuts the windows. I am hoping there are new replacements out there and not unobtainum. Thanks for any sources anyone has.
Sandy
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:17 PM   #39
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Does anyone know where to find the plastic knobs that go on the window levers on the Albatross? Some of ours are broken, some are missing, and some are just in really rough shape. They are an off white (at least I think that was the original color?!?) and are connected together with a metal screw/bolt that fits on the end of each lever that opens and shuts the windows. I am hoping there are new replacements out there and not unobtainum. Thanks for any sources anyone has.
Sandy
Sandy.

Sorry, but Airstream declared those round knobs for the "deluxe" window lift arms, "obsolete", many years ago.

Andy
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:12 PM   #40
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Sandy,
I'm sure your local machine shop would be glad to make you some exact copies for a small fee. If you have a technical community college with a machining program nearby, that is where I'd start.
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