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Old 06-08-2013, 02:34 PM   #2806
Hardware02
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Sitting in traffic this afternoon I saw this...



...reminded me of this thread...
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:54 PM   #2807
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talk about timely

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Old 06-08-2013, 03:13 PM   #2808
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(I'm going to be doing step-by-step because I cross-post this to the Sprinter forum where I've had several guys ask me to take detailed pics)..


ok.. here's how the day went
After running out of excuses.. it was time to man up and cut a big hole.

I decided to do the Driver's side rear window first.

I'd never seen what a CR Laurence window looked like in person so I was curious how it worked/looked.

I pulled it out of the box



...and then flipped it over - here's the interesting part - how these "seamless glass" windows work.


Knowing there would be overlap, I was wondering if I was going to have to paint the window edges of the van black so to not have white show through the glass... turns out they've already painted the overlapping glass backside s

Basically you slip the window into the hole.. then using self tapping screws you secure it with this inner-ring:


The ring squishes down onto this rubber seal which seals/holds the window in place


The windows come with zero instructions whatsoever... I guess they figure if you are tackling this project you should know what you are doing
...more to come

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Old 06-08-2013, 03:14 PM   #2809
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Tip:

Before taking the window off of the bench, I pre-screwed one screw into each of the four corners (and then removed the screw) so that when we were inserting the window I could easily & quickly get one screw back into each corner and hold the window in place.

I could then take my time with all of the other screws (pushing hard to tap/contract them).




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Old 06-08-2013, 03:23 PM   #2810
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So next came the scary part... cutting a big hole

One small problem...

You are supposed to cut out along the seam stamped into the INSIDE of the van (you can see it in this photo.. ignore the adhesive/damplifier that we had to remove from when the van had walls where the windows would be going):


...but you have to do the cutting (at least for me, with a jigsaw) on the outside:


so somehow you need to transfer the inside's markings to the outside...

Solution:

Drill to the rescue...


Drill a bunch of a little holes tracing the template on the inside.. then play connect the dots on the outside



Mask it off to protect the paint a bit


...and start cutting!


You can see where I drilled a bigger hole (bottom right) to get the jigsaw started.. then as I cut away the material I put big pieces of tape to hold it in place as it got flimsier and flimsier.

While I was cutting on the outside, Cheryl was on the inside with the shop vac tracing my cut and sucking the shavings straight into the vacuum. We did tape up an old bed sheet to help control the mess.



...and before you knew it.. VOILA!

Hi sweetie

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Old 06-08-2013, 03:29 PM   #2811
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After the hole was cut I spent some time deburring/sanding the edges of the hole... and while I was doing this Giggity arrived...

If you don't know Giggity.. he's 20 feet tall and as grumpy as they come...


ok.. he couldn't hold that face for long...


That's the real Giggity. Always smiling and a can-do attitude; the perfect guy to help with something like this.


He held the window in place while I screwed in the compression ring.

...and before we knew it.. the window was in place!



...originally I was only going to do one window today.. but with Giggity's help I we decided to give another one ago.

This is when things got interesting.....

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Old 06-08-2013, 03:30 PM   #2812
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That looks great, Geek!
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:43 PM   #2813
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I have a total of 6 windows to install.
Two of which are replacements for the factory windows. The new windows have opening screened-awnings which the factory windows do not.

The problem is the factory windows are glued in

Not just any glue.. but super-duper-german-over-engineered-whatever-is stuck-to-it-will-fail-long-before-the-glue-fails type glue. I don't know what the stuff is.. but if they'd used it to hold the Space Shuttles tiles on back in the 80s they wouldn't have had all those zipper-tile issues they were having.

So we started off with a scraper... then an cordless-electric-scraper... then a corded electric-scraper... then a heat gun... and we were working our arses off fighting for every inch to get the adhesive to release.

We took a break and I emailed Bill at Oak Tree Vans: "How the hell do you get the factory windows out?".

While waiting for bills replay we kept fighting for the adhesive.

We got the back edge to release enough we could slip some leverage in there...



...but a little too much torque and BOOM!



The window exploded showering us both in glass

Cool.. now we can get after it



...here you can see the glass still attached to the bead of super-duper-german-glue


...eventually we had it all removed by one of us leading with the heat gun and the other following with the scraper - thank goodness we had leather motorcycle gloves because it was a fight.

By the time we had the beat removed, Giggity was 30 minutes later for an appointment and had to run (thanks again for all the help mate! ).

I masked off the hole, cleaned and prepped it with paint thinner and then hit it with self-etching primer to fill in anywhere we'd scratched the paint off.


After the primer dried I put the window in and screwed it in the inside. It was a PRECISE fit (i.e. the factory cut out was exact - unlike the cutout I'd done ).

80/20 advantage: I need to be able to get to the bottom right corner of the trim for the screws - but my cabinet was in the way. Four screws later and the front of the cabinet had been popped off so that I had access to what was needed


...more to come.

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Old 06-08-2013, 03:44 PM   #2814
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This was about when I got the reply from Bill @ Oak Tree: "just break it".

He suggested putting masking tape over the glass to minimize the mess.
I'll do that for the other window.

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Old 06-08-2013, 03:55 PM   #2815
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The Results!

2 out of 6 windows in.

Still remaining to do:
Replace driver's side forward window
Install custom right rear awning window (which should be here monday)
and then install the two back-door windows.

As it looks now:







each awning will open to whatever angle you want - in the photo below the rear awning is fully extended:


...and then here is the sliding door awning open


...that's enough "window stress" for one day... now back to cabinet building.

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Old 06-08-2013, 04:07 PM   #2816
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Nice job!

Questions: Does losing the structural members cause any concern for loss of body strength/integrity?

After you cut it out, did you treat the bare metal edge to prevent corrosion? Saw you did that for the forward one, wasn't sure of the rear received the same treatment.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:13 PM   #2817
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Yes, the rear cutout was also covered using the self-etching primer. I was also going to run a bead of dap... but the gap was such that it would have taken more than I had to fill the gap. I've read that others haven't bothered filling the gap and have been problem free.

As for structure, Mercedes sells the van with full glass in it in their passenger version (but their windows do not open); so I'm not worried about it.
The structure is exactly the same; with the strength being in the A B C and D pillars (which are still in tact).

From the factory:


The "supports" you saw that were cut out are not a structured part of the van - they are to support the super flimsy sheet metal (which you could practically punch a hole in with your fist) to keep it from buzzing/denting so easily. The entire cut out piece weighs next to nothing; there is no structural strength to it (unlike the A B C and D pillars which are a solid/stout part of the unibody construction.)


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Old 06-08-2013, 04:43 PM   #2818
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Nice work!

Thoroughly enjoying your build!
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:29 PM   #2819
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Geek, there's a wire tool that I *think* is made for this. Assuming you can push the wire through the glue (say from inside the van to the outside), you can then attach it to a handle on the other side, and then you have a handle on each end. Would take two people for this thing, but then you can pull using the two handles using the wire to "cut" the glue. I think there's even a heated wire version of said tool, but haven't looked into it further.

This was the extent of the discussion I had with an employee of mine when we talked about how *we* would tackle this problem, since mine is the passenger van model and thus has all the windows in it. I'm not a huge fan of the "break it" idea, but I think the "tape it up" idea makes sense just in case, no matter how you do it. I'm thinking some larger contact paper instead of an assload of tape, but same difference. I think I'd do both sides, too, since I'm guessing shards could fly from the untaped side when it goes. I've been around some pretty violent tempered glass explosions, so I'm a bit gun-shy!


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Old 06-08-2013, 06:36 PM   #2820
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On the inside the window tint kept any glass from going that way.

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