Cracked Window - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-30-2006, 05:16 AM   #1
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Name: Gerry
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Just purchased an Amerigo,1977, slide-in camper as a winter project and it has a large curved window in the front that has a crack sort of shaped like a 12 inch sideways "L".
All the pieces are still there but there are a few small fingernail chips that could come out if poked and just clear tape (with bears on it) is holding it all together right now.
I work with epoxy fiberglass in building canoes and was going to fix it by slathering some fillet on the inside but this will leave a vanela pudding color on the window. The window is tinted so from the outside it may not matter but inside it will not be to attractive.
Any other "Clear" glues that I just spread on inside of window without taking window out?
I am sure I will have a million other questions about this dinosour.
Gerry
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Old 10-30-2006, 05:58 AM   #2
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Gerry, is the curved window similar to the front window in a Scamp or Boler?? Those front windows start out as flat plexiglass. It's through the installation that the actual curve happens. I have no suggestions for a possible "fix" for your current window, but was thinking perhaps replacement may be feasible

Then too, you might check with a home window company...the kind that install the "bubble" style skylights. Those are plexiglass and maybe they have a suggestion for it's repair.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:15 AM   #3
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Auto stores carry a “fix” for BB type rock chips in windshields. Perhaps that might be an approach.
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:28 PM   #4
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Gerry, is the curved window similar to the front window in a Scamp or Boler??
Donna D, no the window isn't anything like the window in my Boler, If your familiar with slide in campers that have sleeping bunks above the cab of the truck while hauling, the window in the Amerigo, comes from about 4 feet down the side around the front and down the other side for 4 feet.
I plan to check with local glass place to see if they may have answer and will be sure to post results and also plan to post some PRE-RESTORATION pictures tomorrow.
I think the crack that is about 14 inches long and then turns and goes up for about 7 inches is to big for that stuff they sell to fill in BB holes and I do not know if that is a glue or just a filler.
Gerry
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:37 PM   #5
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To stop the crack from traveling longer you need to get a drill bit slightly larger than the crack and drill a hole at each end of the crack. This is called "Stop Drilling".

Because it is plastic, you may want to go to your local airport and see if any of the mechanics might have a solution to filling the cracks as aircraft use plastic windows.

If I could not find an answer and had to dream up one on my own, I would try model airplane glue that is used on plastic models. The clear stuff that will melts plastic.
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:52 PM   #6
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I wonder if "Super Glue" might do the trick? I've heard that it works with actual glass by creeping into the crack.
We wish you success with whatever method you choose, and we'd all appreciate learning from the experience.
Thanks in advance for keeping us posted on the ongoing saga of your Amerigo.

Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 10-31-2006, 08:46 PM   #7
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I believe acrylic can be "glued" with methylene cloride. It melts the plastic. However, you can't clamp the crack. There is also a method as mentioned for repairs in airplane canopies. I have seen a bullett hole repair, polised clear leaving no indication of previous damage. It's a real art. Another problem would be the tint. I'm not sure how they "color" for those repairs. At any rate, I would avoid glues until you have some better information. Wish I could offer more.
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Old 11-01-2006, 06:45 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the great ideas.
I think I will try the model airplane glue. will have to vent better!
I will use the type that comes in a bottle and is a liquid to see if it will go into the crack and then I will get the type in the tube so I can bead it up a bit on inside to make a good seal.
I plan to do this this weekend and will let you all know how it works.
Gerry
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:03 PM   #9
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From this document.


8.6 PLEXIGLASS REPAIRS:

Should a crack in the plexiglass canopy be discovered, the hole should be stop drilled immediately. This will relieve the stress around the crack and prevent it from going further. If the crack is longer than 10 mm, then it should be repaired. The sides of the crack should be beveled and cleaned. Then apply plexiglass cement to the groove (Acrifix 92). This cement hardens only in sunlight, so the canopy should be exposed to direct light. If that is not possible, a sun lamp will be of use. After the cement hardens, clean the bonded area with a small scraper and polish out with a good plastic polishing compound.
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
From this document.
8.6 PLEXIGLASS REPAIRS:
After searching the adhesive isle at local box store I opted for Loctite Extreme Repair.
It said it can be used on fish aquiriums and on plastics as well. It went on and looks like a silicone but did it glue the two sides of the crack together? Who knows.
It is waterproff now and doesn't look too bad and it stays flexible so any deflection of this huge window while traveling should not hurt seal.
Time will tell.
Gerry
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:50 AM   #11
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I don't know where I was when this thread started... and Gerry, I'm glad you found something that works.

For future reference for anyone finding themselves in a similar situation, I will add that any glue that contains cyanoacrylate (superglues) will fog plastic. Cyanoacrylate glues are the stuff that we use when "fuming" an item for fingerprints. The fogging that cyanoacrylate glues cause is permanent, so they're not the best thing to use on something made of clear plastic that you want to look through later. Further, the fumes will migrate and polymerize any finger oils left anywhere near the application into a lovely white, permanent smear.

Model airplane glues, while not as nasty as cyanoacrylate glues, will also fog clear plastics.

I think that clear epoxies are a much better choice in this circumstance.

Roger
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