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What's the deal with these old conversion van windows? #748426
May 15th 2019 9:18 pm
May 15th 2019 9:18 pm
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 4
Comox BC Canada
S
SalmonVan Offline OP
stranger
SalmonVan  Offline OP
stranger
S
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 4
Comox BC Canada
Hi everyone.

New old van owner here. I have just replaced the flooring in my 1987 Chev G20 and noticed evidence of water leaking in these big side windows.

The design of these things doesn't seem great. I live in a rainy area and these things look bound to leak.

The side vent windows have this seal where water can easily pool. The track that these windows slide on does not seem to have any way for water to drain away. (Unless I'm missing something)

Were these things water tight even when new?

[Linked Image]

The outer frame of these windows even has a gap where water can collect. I'm assuming any attempts at sealing this are going to be temporary at best. Are there any "how to's" showing how to reseal these?

[Linked Image]

Thanks

Last edited by SalmonVan; May 15th 2019 9:20 pm.
Re: What's the deal with these old conversion van windows? [Re: SalmonVan] #748442
May 16th 2019 9:24 am
May 16th 2019 9:24 am
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,426
Michigan
Dyno_Dave Offline
pooh-bah
Dyno_Dave  Offline
pooh-bah
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,426
Michigan
Are you experiencing any leaks? This is a std. conversion van window...100s of thousand built just this way.

As for the rubber seal and drain...there is a drain. It's that little black plastic square along the bottom face of the aluminum frame. Look at it from underneath, and you should see openings in the bottom of that plastic square. If water accumulates in that open channel, this will let it out. Theoretically.

The windows are generic, and do not exactly match the curvature of the van side (sometimes called tumblehome). That's typical. One window design, fits any van you cut a hole in (Ford, Chevy or Dodge, full-size, mid-size and mini). The seal is sort of an oversized balloon, and fills the gap.

That said, can water collect there? Yes. Can it find a weakness in a seal and leak? Yes. My previous van ('95 Chevy shorty Santa Fe conversion) had leaks there...not that dripped inside, or got the interior wet, but enough moisture slipped by the seal to cause rust at the raw metal edge left when the body side is cut to create the window opening. All the conversion companies I know of used a brush on sealer on that raw edge to prevent rust, but that's only so good. Eventually I had rust blistering out from under the window. I had to largely gut the interior to get to the backside of the window, remove it, have paint and body work done, then put it all back together. Not a fun project at all. Worse, in a few years the rust was back. That's when I traded for my Suburban.

My Midwest conversion could suffer the same fate if I don't get it in out of the weather. I'm working on that. Also, when Dad sat down with Midwest's owner and placed his order, he paid to have those window openings double coated, just in case. So hopefully that is saving me/it.

Re: What's the deal with these old conversion van windows? [Re: SalmonVan] #748450
May 16th 2019 1:02 pm
May 16th 2019 1:02 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,917
Fircrest, WA
Reed Offline
Maniac
Reed  Offline
Maniac
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,917
Fircrest, WA
I have an 89 E150 and I live in rainy western Washington State. It is a full conversion with three of thoe windows. The factory rear door seals leak more than the windows do. The conversion windows don't leak at all (as far as I can tell).


Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!
Re: What's the deal with these old conversion van windows? [Re: SalmonVan] #748465
May 16th 2019 4:10 pm
May 16th 2019 4:10 pm
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 94
Suffolk County NY
D
DontComeKnocken Offline
journeyman
DontComeKnocken  Offline
journeyman
D
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 94
Suffolk County NY
I have a side window with a small gap in the seal and it leaked like a bucket with a hole in the bottom every time it rained. I put a small piece of duct tape over the gap like it was a flashing strip going over the window and walla no leaks and you can only notice it if you look closely.

Re: What's the deal with these old conversion van windows? [Re: SalmonVan] #748476
May 16th 2019 5:17 pm
May 16th 2019 5:17 pm
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 79
Arkansas
Lister Offline
journeyman
Lister  Offline
journeyman
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 79
Arkansas
The colors on that van look awesome, got any pics of the whole thing?


[Linked Image]
93 Chevy G20 Explorer
Re: What's the deal with these old conversion van windows? [Re: Lister] #748549
May 18th 2019 6:52 am
May 18th 2019 6:52 am
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 4
Comox BC Canada
S
SalmonVan Offline OP
stranger
SalmonVan  Offline OP
stranger
S
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 4
Comox BC Canada
Thanks for the responses guys.

I guess I will have to look closer to find that drain. I'm not sure if the window seals were leaking or someone had spilled something. There are some wooden drink holder there too that seemed to have discolouration from water on the back side so I'm not sure. The cloth on the walls below the windows seems fine.

Thanks for the heads up on the rear door seals. I can see one of them is out of place and there was definitely a little water under the plywood back there. No rust that I could see though. Are the rear door seals still available?

Originally Posted by Lister
The colors on that van look awesome, got any pics of the whole thing?

Sure. It is an odd colour. It seems to change in different lighting throughout the day. Sometimes it looks brownish. Other times almost silver. The stripes at times look maroon and other times a reddish brown.

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image][/url]

Re: What's the deal with these old conversion van windows? [Re: SalmonVan] #748562
May 18th 2019 8:48 am
May 18th 2019 8:48 am
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,761
Georgia, USA
CatFish Offline
carpal tunnel
CatFish  Offline
carpal tunnel
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,761
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by SalmonVan
There are some wooden drink holder there too that seemed to have discolouration from water on the back side so I'm not sure. The cloth on the walls below the windows seems fine.


Those big windows do condense moisture on the inside, sometimes a lot in cool weather, and it will run down and dampen whatever is close by under them. This may be what you are seeing.

Last edited by CatFish; May 18th 2019 8:48 am.

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