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Old 01-21-2021, 03:27 PM   #1
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What slilcone sealant should I use on 68 Corning window hinge?

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Trying again here.

Anyone with a corning window have a recommendation on which silicone sealant to use on the hinge? I see a lot of different products and some have move flex or adhesive quality than others. I'm afraid if I use the wrong sealant I will inadvertently glue the hinge shut.

Need to get these sealed, the hinges leak like crazy.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:20 PM   #2
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Check both the VTS (Vintage Trailer Supply), and Vintage Trailer Gaskets for some good write ups/diagrams on the special 65-68 Corning Windows. Having just spent 8 hours a window scraping out I vote no silicone for you.
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:37 PM   #3
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I have always heard not to use silicone on an Airstream, and look forward to this discussion.

Sealants etc, sub-forum: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f456/
Sealants Summary thread: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...ry-116214.html

"No silicone caulk" search results all over the place:
https://www.google.com/search?q=no+s...=airforums.com

Galvanic reaction to acid-cured silicon: https://www.allmetalsfab.com/galvanic-reaction-caulk/

Happy trails . . . and . . .
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
Check both the VTS (Vintage Trailer Supply), and Vintage Trailer Gaskets for some good write ups/diagrams on the special 65-68 Corning Windows. Having just spent 8 hours a window scraping out I vote no silicone for you.
Thanks for the guidance.

https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/
https://vintagetrailersupply.com/ext...-and-sealants/

https://www.vintagetrailergaskets.com/
https://www.vintagetrailergaskets.co...stream-gaskets

Please let us know how it goes, zen stream.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:02 PM   #5
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I totally understand the importance of not using silicone, but believe it or not, this is what people are saying to do on the forums related to corning windows. They say to put a bead of silicone in the hinge part and work in by opening and closing the window a bunch of times. This hinge part has to move, it's dynamic. So I guess this is why they say silicone is the only sealant that wont inadvertently glue it shut. I'll try to find the forum where I saw this solution posted. They said it's “the only place where silicone should be used on an AS”.

And it's definitely the hinge that's leaking I can see where it's coming from the top of the window right where it hinges. We've sealed everything else with trempro and parbond. We also hit up Vintage Trailer Gaskets and replaced all our old ones.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:05 PM   #6
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Two different animals:

-- a silicone lubricant on the hinge moving parts;
-- a silicone caulk which hardens/firms, when used on non-moving parts like your window trim. [NG]

Two different animals, for two different porpoises IMO.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
You are talking about a silicon lubricant on the hinge part.

The "no silicone" discussions are about a caulk which hardens/firms, when used on non-moving parts like your window trim.

Two different animals IMO


Ok! Thanks everyone!

This is stating to make more sense. In the other forums they used the term “sealant”... Probably just a mix up? This had me a bit confused as one of the central tenants of AS repair is to NOT use silicone sealant.

Would a silicone lubricant be an effective sealing solution? I can see that if it's hydrophobic it might work pretty well. Has anybody with a late 60’s trailer tried this?
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:28 PM   #8
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I, too, would recommend silicone lubricant (or grease or paste) rather than caulk or sealant. It's pricy, but worth the price. Amazon carries it; I'm sure other places do, too.

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Old 01-21-2021, 05:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
66, 67 and 68 window hinges are famous leakers.

The fix it easy.

Get a couple of tubes of clear silicone sealer. This is one time it's ok to use that material.

With the hinged window closed, take a small wire brush and clean the hinge where the two halfs meet. Clean it well.

Next, inject as much silicone as you can into the complete hinge when the window is closed.

IMPORTANT. Every 5 minutes or so, depending on how fast the sealer is setting up, completely open the window. After another 5 minutes, completely close the window. Keep repeating that procedure until the sealer has set. That could take perhaps 30 minutes or more, depending on the ambient temperature.

What your doing, is filling the voids within the hinge, and, coating both sides of the hinge.

A couple of words of caution though. You must not
let the sealer set up so that it seals the window shut. If you do, then you will have to remove as much of the sealer as you can, and then start all over.

Andy
Here is quote from a different forum on leaking Corning windows. I actually think they ARE talking about rubber silicon sealant not lube... This is the solution I hear of over and over in the forums. What do y'all think?
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:32 PM   #10
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Sealant.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:11 PM   #11
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Zen, Andy of Inland RV was very knowledgeable about Airstream so I couldn't argue with that.

Also check with Steve owner of VTS. If you send a question to the VTS customer service folks and ask them to check with Steve he will get you an answer. The 65 - 68 windows are a special bread all to themselves.

Do you have all the seals and bulbs installed that are needed. Do you you have the top bar and bottom clips. Sounds like you've been to Gasket Supply also.

Maybe a flexible silicone?
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by zen_stream View Post
Here is quote from a different forum on leaking Corning windows. I actually think they ARE talking about rubber silicon sealant not lube... This is the solution I hear of over and over in the forums. What do y'all think?
Andy's advice in that quote is very specific, and you must follow it exactly, or you will end up "gluing" your window shut IMO. Unfortunately Andy is no longer with us, so his clarification is not possible.

My [non-expert] reading of his procedure is that you are forcing the silicone caulk [which WILL harden] into hidden recesses in the hinge that need to be filled, and this is the only way to fill them.

You have to keep moving the window until the silicone has set because the continued movement will prevent this silicone caulk from binding on the moving hinge pin and nearby hinge "halves" through which the central pin passes.

A dicey operation IMO -- good luck.

PS -- Here is a link to the full post in that 2007 thread:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...tml#post453650
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Andy's advice in that quote is very specific, and you must follow it exactly, or you will end up "gluing" your window shut IMO. Unfortunately Andy is no longer with us, so his clarification is not possible.

My [non-expert] reading of his procedure is that you are forcing the silicone caulk [which WILL harden] into hidden recesses in the hinge that need to be filled, and this is the only way to fill them.

You have to keep moving the window until the silicone has set because the continued movement will prevent this silicone caulk from binding on the moving hinge pin and nearby hinge "halves" through which the central pin passes.

A dicey operation IMO -- good luck.

PS -- Here is a link to the full post in that 2007 thread:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...tml#post453650


Thanks!

Yeah, it seems really sketchy and my intuition says hell no. We've worked so hard to rebuild these windows id hate to accidentally glue them shut. But I'm also at a loss for what else to do.

I'm willing to try it on one of my windows I guess. I'm just unsure what silicone calk to use. Like the same you'd use to seal around your tub or sink? Is there a particular product? Different silicone sealants have varying degrees of flexibility and adhesion. Any recommendations?
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by zen_stream View Post
. . .
I'm willing to try it on one of my windows I guess.
. . .
One step at a time . . . ?

I guess you have more than one window with the same hinging system? Can you open that window wide, and get a close-up photo [from one end of the hinge] of how the hinge works?

It would be helpful to figure out why Andy thought [in 2007] that his procedure was the only way to stop leaks in this type of window, or is there another way to skin this cat in 2021? Have you ever removed a window from the trailer [including the hinge's top half], which might have given some insight into the internal mechanics of this type hinge? Any spare replacement windows/frames lying around?

Andy may have [or might now if he were with us] come up with another solution in the last 14 years IMO . . . maybe using some kind of penetrating oil etc. that firms up enough in the hidden spaces to prevent leaks?

Have you looked carefully in the Sealants etc. forum/thread linked earlier in Post #3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
. . .
Sealants etc, sub-forum: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f456/
Sealants Summary thread: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...ry-116214.html
. . .
There are probably some crumbs to follow there, to get to Grandma's cabin IMO.
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:38 AM   #15
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PS -- ran out of edit time.

There are apparently silicone caulks which are not cured by adding acetic acid to the compound, so that kind would be one to look for as a possible product to use. It is more likely, however, that a better product has been found in the last 14 years IMO.

One step at a time, though . . .

PS2 -- You don't need to "Quote" me if yours is the next post in this thread IMO.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:52 AM   #16
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I'm not sure if this was mentioned already, but maybe it's Silicone Grease. Also used in plumbing. I just can't see how it could be silicone caulk.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:01 PM   #17
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With silicone caulk make sure you get one for aluminum, (might say gutters and flashing).

Don't be as ignorant as the people that fall for the "100% pure silicone" advertising BS. An intelligent person could go into a Lowe's or Home Depot and find dozens of different products from a single manufacturer that are all "100% pure silicone" and some cost nearly 3Xs as much as others for the same amount and a verity of colors. "100% pure silicone" is a clear liquid that does not harden on its own and only 1 of the ingredients in any of those products.


EDIT With that said silicone grease does sound like a better idea that should work but, might need to be redone more often. Probably less the once a year.
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:38 PM   #18
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Welcome to the Corning Philips Window



Here’s some anecdotal nonsense to follow at risk...

I’ve been a confused student of these windows for ten years. As a series of I, II, and III, the slightness of improvement each year, warranted further development, but IV, V, and VI never came, and this frail design was abandoned.

Corning makes the best glass in the world, but perhaps hobbled by the Philips mobile home window company, and Airstream’s build cheapest way budget, the beautiful and imaginative flush to exterior design, wasn’t very well executed.

I think Andy’s advise is misguided. I remember a post long ago of a Forum member doing it and commenting that they “re-siliconed” their hinges every few years. To me, it seems like Andy’s advise could have stemmed from a temporary “shop-fix” to get a disgruntled customer out the door. The eternally revered Inland Andy could have been wrong, and his sage advise may have been offered prior to the ’68 which has the little stainless tabs at the glassbar ends.

I’m wondering this because my thoroughly rebuilt windows don’t leak. Agreed, these windows are incredibly difficult and frustrating to leak chase. Every leak I’ve had has come from inside the skin. If you inspect the hinge design, water has to defy gravity for it to leak, and aluminum doesn’t provide much capillary action, or there could be a miniscus sucking action, not my field of science. That’s not to say that that the entire hinge wouldn’t have been better designed with a rubber seal, but perhaps the leak doesn’t come from rain washing over the hinge...Injecting dye into the hinge with a syringe didn’t create a suspect for me, but there could be yet unknown variables.

Even tho we spent two weeks of ardent Acryl R-ing and Captain Tolly-ing the shell and vents, the entry door’s side-lite window always leaked. I struggled with this for a few years with every imaginable test method, and in the end, my seemingly flawless shell re-seal still leaked at the front roof vent. There are hidden air conditioner rivets can leak too. Leaks from the same source can manifest at different windows depending on the trailer’s resting attitude. If the front of the trailer is elevated, the way back window can leak from the air conditioner where it previously leaked at the kitchen window. Don't think that the ribs are attached in a way that deflect water. Water can flow past them.

What if you glue up your hinge and that diverts the leak across the rail and down the inside skin? You fix the window and begin undetectable floor rot.

I just re-bushed the quadrajet for my ‘68 K10 Suburban, future tow vehicle. After research I find that the race-car guys are re-bushing with cylindrical .015 teflon strips instead the traditional ream and bronze bush procedure. I tried it and it works big-time. That makes me wonder about disassembling the hinge and lining along the hook with perhaps .015”+-? teflon/adhesive weather strip, I don’t know how wide or thick. I say this because I have removed Corning glass bedded in silicone and it it’s a procedure that I will FOREVER avoid, and a circumstance that I would NEVER create.

It falls on the shoulders of those who steward these relics, to discover and share. Figure out how to make a replaceable hinge gasket, you’ll go down in historical '66-'68 glory.

Alternatively, I would never defile the ‘66-’68 aesthetic with driprails. I’d rather let my windows leak. If you loosen a winder/crank, leave the bottom gasket open a little, the water doesn’t collect in the sill cavity, just runs outside. It won’t spill over into the interior. It could leak to the inside skin through the sill-winder mount holes tho, but those should have been sealed when crank assembly was rebuilt.

I hope the fella who actually, if successfully, “siliconed” the hinge will find this thread. It would be beneficial to know if it works, but I would NEVER use it. If out of stubbornness, laziness, or sheer desperation, I did resort to this technique, I’d use an acrylic or butyl or something that peels off aluminum.



Yup, they're frustrating
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:56 PM   #19
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Zen_Stream, I have a 1966 Caravel with the original corning windows [save for 1]. As Pete said above, Andy (may he RIP), was very knowledgeable...I have relied on a lot of the advice he posted on the forums for my restoration. Here is his post [sorry if a dupe] specifically for the 1966-68 windows:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ks-127541.html

In this, he recommends "vulkem, sikoflex and par-bond." The first two are self-leveling adhesives. The specific numbers you should look forward are Vulkem 116 (gray) and Sikoflex 221 (aluminum gray). I bought both for different applications. The Sikoflex is intended for horizontal applications, such as the front and back window jams.

The third is like a liquid aluminum that is used for smaller seams -- originally for aircraft. I bought some of that, as it was highly recommended by Melody Ranch who has restored three vintage trailers - stunners. Here is the thread I relied on where she and Andy had a whole discussion about Vulkem and par-bond. I tried Melody's approach for applying the par-bond...and let's just say that I clearly need more practice, as my bead was more like a schmead that I will have to clean up come spring...she is right, though, the coloring is perfect for Airstream applications. [I would go with Sikolfex 221, though, for the windows...and follow Andy's instructions to the tee. BTW: note that he wants to be sure that your gaskets go all the way to the top - I replaced all of mine (scraping out the old), making sure they were shoved up tight to the top of the frame. That "journey" took a couple of weekends but it was worth it.]

In full disclosure, Zen, I am a relative newbie...who has had to learn the "baptism by fire" way...but every aspect of the restoration I handled, including sealing the windows, was researched thoroughly, starting with asking for help on the Forums. I am sure someone will steer you clear if they think I am wrong. But I can say that Flo has stayed dry (save for a leak in a screw hole in the back window...yikes! Thank goodness it all drained into the shower pan); and all the front and back windows still work. I will re-test the windows come spring, when I can re-attach the hose. In an abundance of caution, I taped the windows until I can do a check to be absolutely sure I have the tops of the windows sealed...but we've had some wicked storms - so far, so good.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:27 PM   #20
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Best For This Application!

Sikaflex 715. Will not deteriorate like most!
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