Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-28-2014, 08:09 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Installing aftermarket windows... Can I do it?

I have searched around this forum a bit and havent come across the answer to my question. Im looking around for a cargo van currently (E250 probably) and plan to put my kitchen counter top behind the drivers seat. I would like to get an aftermarket window to install right above the counter top. My questino is would the job be too much for me to handle or is it doable? I just dont want to cut a big hold in the side of my van and then realize that I cant finish the job. I havent been able to find any detailed instructions on how to put the window in so I figured I would come here and see if anyone had any thoughts.

photocodo
__________________

photocodo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 10:52 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
dhally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SE Washington
Posts: 783
Garage
Re: Installing aftermarket windows... Can I do it?

It shouldn't be too hard to make the outside look good, with the right tools and the right window. I haven't installed a window, but I did install a propane refrigerator in a van which had some big vents. I think I used a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade. That was NOT the right tool.

I would be more worried about the interior trim. You pretty much have to fabricate that to fit whatever interior you have.

Here's a picture of the one Van Specialties built for our van.


And the finished product


If you don't have an interior, here's what it would look like:


Here's the refrig vents I installed in 1999 (they looked better then).
__________________

__________________
---------------------
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
dhally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2014, 09:19 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Re: Installing aftermarket windows... Can I do it?

So after looking around a bit it looks likes a fairly simple process (says the guy who really doesn't know what he is talking about). This is how I understand it works. First you layout and cut your opening. Seems like most windows will come with a template to trace onto the outside of the van. After cutting and cleaning up the opening, applying some type of anti-rust product to the edges you just cut (primer and paint?). The window should come with some type of foam/rubber weather stripping that goes on the outside edge of the window. The window is inserted from the outside with the weather stripping touching the outside of the opening you cut. Now here is where my research has come to a halt. It appears there is some type of retaining ring that goes on the inside of the van and screws to the actual window frame itself, effectively compressing the weather stripping between the window frame and the retaining ring creating a water tight seal.

Does this sound about right or am I way off base? What other difficulties might I run into? I know that a fixed pane of glass gets glued to the outside of the van but I am looking at one if the aftermarket windows that have the slide on the bottom for ventilation.

Photocodo
photocodo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 06:27 AM   #4
JWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 1,256
Send a message via Yahoo to JWA
Re: Installing aftermarket windows... Can I do it?

You're pretty spot on in your assumptions. Do keep in mind the flimsy weather strip on the outside flange should be supported or enhanced with a flowable sealant like a 100% silicone RTV intended for exposure to weather.

The inner ring does most of the retaining work so if that's installed correctly there shouldn't be any issues.

Once the metal is cut definitely use an automotive water proof primer or exposed metal protectant on the raw edges.

When you're cutting the opening and you're using something like the typical jig saw make sure the tool base or the van's outside skin won't scratch the paint. 2" wide masking tape on the outside of your cut line should be sufficient for this.

Hope this helps.
JWA is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 12:55 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Re: Installing aftermarket windows... Can I do it?

JWA
That helped a lot, I think I am going to give it a shot. Do you have any recommendations for where to purchase the window? I have been looking around and haven't found too may companies out there who sell them. It looks like CRL is the place to go for the windows but they don't sell to individuals. I will look around and see if there are any companies that sell CRL
photocodo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 02:03 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Re: Installing aftermarket windows... Can I do it?

Looking at some interior views of a ford E250 it looks like there is a vertical support beam that runs right through the middle of where the window will be placed. How is this addressed? I assume there is no other way but to cut through the support beam. If this is the case will you have to cut more of the support beam to make room for the retaining ring on the inside? It seems that the window will provide enough support to replace what you cut out so hopefully I won't need any additional support. I am sorry for all of the questions as Im sure they seem silly to most of you here but I just want to make sure that I have all my ducks in a row before I order the window and realize that I am in over my head

Photocodo
photocodo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 05:07 AM   #7
JWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 1,256
Send a message via Yahoo to JWA
Re: Installing aftermarket windows... Can I do it?

Two things to keep in mind: a) this IS a major undertaking and once begun not easily reversed & b) none of us here have done this more than a few times at the absolute most. What you have in bits and pieces is collected knowledge along with many helpful ideas formed as much from learning what NOT to do as any other way.

With a bit of pre-planning this process is straight forward and simple for the most part---you're simply cutting a hole and screwing something together. As with anything else the details are vitally important----so far you've got the basic idea in mind which will serve you well.

CarringB contributed this link from Ford: https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/topics/incomp.html Go to that manual, find your van year (or within a year or two either way) then scroll down to find the pages addressing "body panel window removal" (typically about halfway thru the entire file) and read carefully about where to cut.

Most good brands of aftermarket windows are sized to fit into the factory approved areas like those the Club Wagon uses. You don't want to cut into any of the vertical structural sections that run from floor to roof---you'll greatly compromise the body strength. Careful reading of the manual in the link above PLUS looking at a Club Wagon will give you a better idea what's possible.

IF you're able to see a Club Wagon with the interior removed all this makes perfect sense. Don't look at an aftermarket conversion as a guide though---some weren't done correctly. Factory only OR a member here who has complied with the best practices as outlined in the manual.

Most any autoglass shop would gladly sell you a CRL window if you specify you'll be installing it yourself. I've priced a few for another member here, was under the assumption I enjoyed a decent discount but for E-Series windows I have no advantage what so ever. Shipping is another consideration so your distance from one of CRL's warehouses figures greatly into the final price.

Additionally windows may or may not interchange between brands so that's another consideration. This link to CRL's full line of van windows is where you'll begin---look for the models fitting your year and brand: http://www.crlaurence.com/apps/sites...y=Van%20Window

If I can be of any help please feel free to PM me.
JWA is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 10:28 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 11
Re: Installing aftermarket windows... Can I do it?

Thank you for this information, it puts the project into a bit more perspective. If I were going to have someone else install the window for me where would I go? You mentioned an autoglass shop, would they be able to install the window? Or some type of RV store? And how much do they charge for something like that? It seems likes a fairly simple process for someone who knows what they are doing.

Photocodo
photocodo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 05:44 AM   #9
JWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 1,256
Send a message via Yahoo to JWA
Re: Installing aftermarket windows... Can I do it?

This is something you can do with a bit of planning ahead. Your major considerations are the choice of a window unit that will fit in an area that doesn't require cutting of important body structural elements.

If you'd want to farm it out local auto body, RV service/repair or van specialty shop would be okay IF they've done this before. I don't know many auto glass shops that do this with any frequency so they might be avoided. Speaking for myself and not needing the work I wouldn't accept this sort of job for a customer.

While there are quite a few really great ground-up DIY builds here on SMB one I'm most familiar with is by Skinny, see it here: http://sportsmobileforum.com/viewtop...11990&start=30. Read through that start to finish and it might help a bit.

I'll also look for bare van photos and mark them showing where windows could be installed without affecting body strength. This might take a few days so be patient.
JWA is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2014, 02:08 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
JohnandMandi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Pan-American Highway
Posts: 288
Re: Installing aftermarket windows... Can I do it?

Not sure if you ever did this but we used the information here to install 2 CRL frame less awning windows in our van. We used the referenced body builder as well as Google images for height placement. We were actually replacing previously installed windows with larger ones so body placement was already determined, we adjusted it the most we could to suit our needs. We learned a lot. This being the first change we made to the van it was a real humbling and confidence building experience.

On our Ford, two holes are required for the frame less window install. One for the exterior and a larger interior to allow frame placement. This requires patience and focus to cut the larger interior hole without piercing the exterior skin, there's about an inch between the two in some places. After emailing Sportsmobile Texas for guidance we settled on using an air saw for the interior cuts. We emailed them AFTER starting this process so the van was tarped while we waited for the new tool to arrive. We refer to that as the cone of shame. We somehow missed the requirements for two cuts and learned it the hard way. Project stopped, tail tucked, ego bleeding and flag raised for help.

Once we got the right tool it was straight forward, albeit quite nerve wracking. Would we have done it knowing what we know now, probably. We couldn't find anyone who would do it anyway. Is this something other home builders can do, probably. I'm an application developer and Mandi is a CPA, not you're wrench turning types even though we really enjoy it.

Window install write-up on our blog --> http://www.johnandmandi.com/pages/vanwindowinstall

-John
__________________

__________________
2001 7.3 E350 Ujoint 4" w/ SMB Penthouse
johnandmandi.com
JohnandMandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

Bearsmobile

mmocken

Tatonka

gephoto
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.