Broken screws in windows: seeking wisdom... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-24-2016, 03:29 PM   #1
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Name: Sylvio
Trailer: 1975 Boler
Quebec
Posts: 195
Broken screws in windows: seeking wisdom...

On top of my rivet questions I'd like to solve by tomorrow, I have this question:

Yesterday, since it didn't seem like I was going to be able to take out enough rivets to take out my jalousie windows, I tried to take out the four vertical screws that hold each windows in place. I broke one screw per window and managed to remove one screw per window. That means that there are two screws left per window and I can't take them out.

I'll forgo the bad pun, but what can I do with this situation? As hard as it is to take out rivets, I can't imagine I'll need to drill out those screws...

If you understand that tomorrow's project is exactly the same as tomorrow, you're pretty much roght on! Except that someone will look at the frame with me.

Thanks!

Uncle Cereal
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:53 PM   #2
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Name: Steve
Trailer: SCAMP
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Hey Silvio,


I'm not sure why you are breaking drill bits, the rivets are aluminum which is much softer than a drill bit! Here's what I do.... I use a drill bit that is larger than the body diameter of the rivet. If the rivet is 1/8", I'll use a 9/64" drill which is 1/64" larger than the body. This ensures that you remove the head of the rivet even if the drill bit is off center a little. You don't have to apply much pressure when drilling, and just remove the head! Larger rivets, just use a drill bit a little larger than the body dia. Concerning the protruding center piece (also called the mandrel) I use a 1/16" punch, give it a few taps and it will push in enough to drill. On the larger rivets, I use a 3/32" punch. You can also use punch to push the rivet out once the head is removed. Concerning the broken screws, you won't be able to drill them out as they are sheet metal screws and hardened. I will look at mine tomorrow, see if I can come up with something...on the ones you can't get out, what kind of head is on them? Mine were 1/4" hex heads.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:41 PM   #3
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Name: Sylvio
Trailer: 1975 Boler
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Arvonian,

Thanks for taking the time. My drill bits are breaking because I'm using a different technique that I read about: drilling through the head and a little bit into the stem in order to pull it out or push it in. I realize that I need a good plan B. This morning, the older gentleman who'll look at my frame tomorrow (who has redone 10 trailers!) shared with me the same tactic as you did. I will try it. Thanks for the specs as far as size!

The 4 vertical screws on each jalousie window are a "small square", I think you call it "Phillips" in English. I have three Phillips size on my screwdriver and it's the smallest. The screws are about 1,5''. Thanks for looking into it, it makes me feel special...
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:44 PM   #4
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The trick to removing the screws securing the window frame on the Jalousie windows together is to heat the area where the screw is first, before trying to loosen it. This expands the aluminum and the screw will come out easily. To remove the broken screw you will notice the extruded channel where the screw is located has a slot on one side. You can carefully grind away a short section of the aluminum beside the screw to allow you to get some needle nose pliers onto the broken end. Heat the area with a heat gun then with the pliers you should be able to remove the screw

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Old 01-24-2016, 09:18 PM   #5
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Name: Sylvio
Trailer: 1975 Boler
Quebec
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Ian,

I was trying to get my window from the Boler to the workbench in order to follow your directions. Am I right in thinking that there's one or two steps missing from your tutorial? To get the window to the workbench, one needs to remove the rivets, right? Or, maybe, those four vertical screws? I've spent a few hours already and feel like I'm nowhere near the beginning point of your tutorial... Maybe you could do a "prequel"?

Thanks for the tips about the heat: it makes sense. I'll go take out my heat gun so I don't forget it...
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:32 AM   #6
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Yes you are right on the that the windows need to be removed first, most are held in with rivets but on some screws were used along with a wooden frame on the inside. Drill the heads of the rivets off using a 1/8" drill bit.

You should not have to talk apart anything on the window although it is often a tight fit over the screw heads holding the window frame together but the window can be removed with these in place. Then disassemble the window on the bench.
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:02 PM   #7
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Name: Sylvio
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Ian, your answer is very useful as I managed to take out my windows and am now ready to follow your tutorial. (In other words, I am now aware of the prequel... The whole story in the thread: "Rivets, more questions".)
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:28 PM   #8
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Name: Sylvio
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The broken screws came out easily with lubricant, heat and squeezing the slit open. Thanks!
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