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Old 04-09-2011, 08:24 PM   #1
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Adding side windows to GMC Van (EB)

Hi,
I am getting a 2007 Savana EB but only doors on the passenger side have windows. I suppose that's how the cargo van comes with.

There is an insulation panel inside the van so I need to figure out the trim stuff to make it nice.

My specifc questions are:
- What are the choices of Windows that can be installed? Pros/Cons?
- Where can I buy them?
- Can I install them? if not, can I take it to a bodyshop or RV shop?

I am located in Seattle in case there are local experts.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:18 PM   #2
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Re: Adding side windows to GMC Van (EB)

Google van windows or similar wording. Got my first set through the mail and installed them myself. It is not hard. Second and present van had a van conversion shop install them. Picked them from one of their catalogs. Did not want to take the time to do it myself the second time and they were also already doing other work. Measure twice, cut once.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:40 AM   #3
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Re: Adding side windows to GMC Van (EB)

I got mine from this CRLaurence but through my local glass shop. Here is the link to the chevy/gmc products.

http://www.crlaurence.com/crlapps/showL ... 1889&pom=0

I did it myself to save money, but the glass shop would be a good place to start if you wanted to pay for an installation.

show us some pics when finished!

as for pros and cons, in another thread, Jage wisely suggested awning type opening windows due to rain. Mine are t-sliders which may give more open surface area than an awning, but couldn't leave them open in the rain.

You'll see there are conventional with the black frames, then modern windows with an all-glass look- frame hidden behind the glass which are more expensive, but would match your existing side windows.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:49 AM   #4
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Re: Adding side windows to GMC Van (EB)

Quote:
Originally Posted by teeots
show us some pics when finished!
Better yet, some video of plunging your cutting tool of choice into that pristine van wall!

Are you going to take out the inside panels to install? Does anyone know if that's necessary?
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:28 AM   #5
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Re: Adding side windows to GMC Van (EB)

Fore-aft wiring harness runs along the top edge. Should identify where the vertical ribs run though. No use cutting more of them then you really have to. I would think the interior panel might have to come out anyway to screw the window into the opening. Could try it first w interior panel in place.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:32 PM   #6
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Re: Adding side windows to GMC Van (EB)

Thank you all for great info. I better find someone to do this work in Seattle or drive to Van Specialties...
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:32 PM   #7
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Re: Adding side windows to GMC Van (EB)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenS
Fore-aft wiring harness runs along the top edge. Should identify where the vertical ribs run though. No use cutting more of them then you really have to. I would think the interior panel might have to come out anyway to screw the window into the opening. Could try it first w interior panel in place.
Hi
I've done lots of reading and it looks like installing big windows require the vertical rib(s) to be cut. I am concerned if cutting the rib would lessen the structural integrity.
It looks like you've done this already according to pictures in your album and I would like to hear your thought on this.
Thank you.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:20 PM   #8
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Re: Adding side windows to GMC Van (EB)

I just cut in two large windows into the sides of my Econoline van. If the windows are big enough you will have to cut the interior wall about 1 1/2" to 2" more than the outside cut to accommodate the trim ring that holds the window in. I worked in body shop for quite a few years and these interior ribs don't offer strength for protection in a collision. They are bonded (glued)to the outer layer of sheet metal to keep it rigid and to be used to attach interior pieces. Once you install the window it stiffens up the outer sheet metal so it doesn't flex and make noise and there will still be lots of interior ribs to support the rest of the sheet metal. When you do your trim panels on the inside walls you will have to incorporate a window ledge of sorts since the cut ribs will now set away from the window.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:49 AM   #9
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Re: Adding side windows to GMC Van (EB)

If I remember right each of my windows required cutting a rib. As noted above the ribs are glued to the exterior skin. You will need to buy or make trim rings for the inside of the van. I bought some but never used them, they were way to thick. Designed for the interior wall to be 2-3 inches from the outer skin. I made my own trim rings. Will take a close up pick later and post.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:54 AM   #10
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Re: Adding side windows to GMC Van (EB)

time2mtbike, and Len,
Thank you for the info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenS
If I remember right each of my windows required cutting a rib. As noted above the ribs are glued to the exterior skin. You will need to buy or make trim rings for the inside of the van. I bought some but never used them, they were way to thick. Designed for the interior wall to be 2-3 inches from the outer skin. I made my own trim rings. Will take a close up pick later and post.


Len, this is what i found in your folder. The construction of GMC/Chevy is a bit different in that the beams (ribs) seem to play a bigger role than the innder sheet of the Ford body.

Also I would like to know where I can get the window molding/ring you mentinoed.
According to the SMB who built the van, the thickness of the wall is 5/32 wall panel and 3" of fiberglass insulation meaning I have a lot thicker wall to cover than that of yours.

Thank you all your help.

-Cal
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