Fred₂O

Door window crazed like crazy. How to replace?

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Hi all,

The window installed in the door of our C is crazed like crazy.  At certain sun angles it is almost impossible to see through.   Has anyone had this replaced?  Any suggestions?

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20 minutes ago, MyNameIsNobody said:

Search is your friend.  There are step by step “how to’s” within.  Search window replacement etc.

I tried that.  Personally, I find the MS search functionality pretty limited in most cases.  The reliance in boolean terms like "AND" in the search term is pretty old-school, and actually not properly implemented because it returns posts containing the word "and".

Unless you are searching for a specific unique word like a brand name, or very narrow technical term like "Turbo Encabulator ", a search using the words "window", "replace" or "replacement" turns up a whole bunch of non-window related posts.   The low signal-to-noise ratio of MS in some threads  because of topic drift (e.g. this post) doesn't help with discovery either.   A lot of the older info is stale due to turnover in the industry and MS membership.

On topic and to the point, I'd still really like to learn from any MS members who have successfully had the door window replaced in their vintage Mooney in the past 12-18 months.

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23 minutes ago, Fred_2O said:

I tried that.  Personally, I find the MS search functionality pretty limited in most cases.  The reliance in boolean terms like "AND" in the search term is pretty old-school, and actually not properly implemented because it returns posts containing the word "and".

Unless you are searching for a specific unique word like a brand name, or very narrow technical term like "Turbo Encabulator ", a search using the words "window", "replace" or "replacement" turns up a whole bunch of non-window related posts.   The low signal-to-noise ratio of MS in some threads  because of topic drift (e.g. this post) doesn't help with discovery either.   A lot of the older info is stale due to turnover in the industry and MS membership.

On topic and to the point, I'd still really like to learn from any MS members who have successfully had the door window replaced in their vintage Mooney in the past 12-18 months.

Think of it as a treasure hunt.

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The short version:

Take the plastic off the door.

Mark the plastic mounting tabs so they go back in the same place

Remove all the hardware

Gently pry the sheet metal away from the old window

Remove old window

Trim new window to fit

Precisly drill pilot holes for countersink

   I do this on two opposite corners first with a helper holding the window in place

   A hinge drilling jig from the Home Depot works great for getting the holes centered in the dimple

Countersink the holes to match the dimples

Drill out the holes slightly larger than the screws

Trial fit the window, fix any binding, mask the outside for easy sealant cleanup

Apply too much sealant to both the sheet metal and the window, work it in with a brush or a gloved finger to get good adhesion 

Quickly reassemble all hardware

Let it cure overnight, clean up sealant on the outside with your fingernail

Enjoy your new widow

 

 

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Thanks for your reply @N201MKTurbo.   Reading "trim window to fit" - doesn't it include a layer of glass?   Sounds really challenging and like something a specialist would do.   Looking at the LASAR www site, I don't see side windows.  Anybody know where they can be had?

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3 minutes ago, Fred_2O said:

Thanks for your reply @N201MKTurbo.   Reading "trim window to fit" - doesn't it include a layer of glass?   Sounds really challenging and like something a specialist would do.   Looking at the LASAR www site, I don't see side windows.  Anybody know where they can be had?

There is no glass, the windows are made of PMMA (Plexiglas) 

http://www.glapinc.com/

http://www.lpaero.com/mooney.html

There are a few more.

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6 minutes ago, Fred_2O said:

Thanks for your reply @N201MKTurbo.   Reading "trim window to fit" - doesn't it include a layer of glass?   Sounds really challenging and like something a specialist would do.   Looking at the LASAR www site, I don't see side windows.  Anybody know where they can be had?

I would not attempt it unless you are very handy with hand tools and have experience with aircraft construction methods and tools. It is not an easy job and it is easy to ruin your new window.

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I replaced my door window on my F last year. It takes a bit of time as you must remove all the door trim, all hardware for the window and trim around the window being careful to keep everything in order so it goes back in where it came out of. Also, on the F, there is one trim screw that is cut very short as it is over the push rod for the upper door latch. If you put a long screw in there, the screw will go into the rod and prevent the door being latched. The adhesive from the old window must be completely removed from the frame to ensure a good bond with the new adhesive. I went with a thicker than stock window which is nice, but that additional thickness extended my work time by a couple of hours because I had to modify all the existing retaining clips to allow for the additional thickness. The new window will come over sized and will need to be trimmed and drilled to fit.

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If I were you, once the old window is removed practice drilling and trimming on it before you grab the new one. There are special drill bits for plexiglass (under 10 bucks). Go slow and keep the protective covering on as much as you can, very easy to scratch your new glass when working with it

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I just replaced our C-model door window with a replacement from Great Lakes Aero Products.  It was pre-trimmed but needed about 1/4 cut off one side before installation.  Easily done on a band saw and edges tapered on a sander.  

Window replacement is pretty easy - just go slow and use the correct plexi drill bits, as others have mentioned.  

I used a smaller bit for the first set of holes and cleco'd everything in place.  A second pass with a larger plexi drill bit prep'd the windows for the attachment hardware.  

To me, it's a crime to re-use crummy old hardware.  I replaced all the screws with new cad-plated and it looks great.  

 

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Yes OK for owner maintenance, must be signed off correctly , by the owner doing the work, with name , pilot lic. number, date, hours and what was done and reference the proper section of 43.13 that lists what an owner can do.  You technically need the maintenance manual at hand while you do the work. Plexi drill bits can be bought or made by grinding the leading edge of the cutting point paralleled to the length of the drill so it doesn't dig into the plexi.  

Again, technically, if you use a thicker plexi for replacement you "technically" are making a change to the type design of the airplane that goes into a "minor alteration" of the airplane and that needs a real A&P for sign off-"TECHNICALLY"

 Any band saw blade used in cutting plexi should have a very fine tooth spacing. A wood cutting blade may/will crack and break the plexi. 

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So much good advice!  Thanks to all who have replied so far!   

I've established a very good working relationship with an A&P who will be happy to help, inspect, and approve the work.

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Looking at the Great Lakes Aero Products www page, there are five different "styles" of replacement windows:

Clear, *Green, Gray, *SC Green, and SC Gray, with * denoting OEM

I guess *Green is the default.  But, they don't explain exactly what the others are.  I would guess gray is "smoked".  Not sure what "SC" means.  Why not go with clear?  Is there a durability or visibility issue?  Anybody have info on the meaning of these different styles?

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Green is the default as that's what the factory used. Again, technically if you change the color it qualifies as a minor alteration although it probably would never be questioned

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22 minutes ago, Fred_2O said:

Looking at the Great Lakes Aero Products www page, there are five different "styles" of replacement windows:

Clear, *Green, Gray, *SC Green, and SC Gray, with * denoting OEM

I guess *Green is the default.  But, they don't explain exactly what the others are.  I would guess gray is "smoked".  Not sure what "SC" means.  Why not go with clear?  Is there a durability or visibility issue?  Anybody have info on the meaning of these different styles?

http://www.glapinc.com/Corporate/faq.html#Q13

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9 hours ago, Fred_2O said:

I tried that.  Personally, I find the MS search functionality pretty limited in most cases.  The reliance in boolean terms like "AND" in the search term is pretty old-school, and actually not properly implemented because it returns posts containing the word "and".

Unless you are searching for a specific unique word like a brand name, or very narrow technical term like "Turbo Encabulator ", a search using the words "window", "replace" or "replacement" turns up a whole bunch of non-window related posts.   The low signal-to-noise ratio of MS in some threads  because of topic drift (e.g. this post) doesn't help with discovery either.   A lot of the older info is stale due to turnover in the industry and MS membership.

On topic and to the point, I'd still really like to learn from any MS members who have successfully had the door window replaced in their vintage Mooney in the past 12-18 months.

O.K.  I tried.  I did an extensive post with photos and specifics years ago.  The stuff is “there” Some are kind enough to re-boot again.  Good on them.  I am not that guy.  Carry on.

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@Fred_2O, as you noticed our search isn't the best. Its often better to use google and include Mooneyspace as a search term, maybe "mooneyspace side window replacement" for starters . . .

Good luck with the job. Many people like the SC gray. Clear is nice, but can be very hot, and one green window with everything else gray will look mucho strange.

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What color windows do you have? Open the storm window and stixk a piece of clean, white printer paper through it. Compare how the paper looks through the window itself to looking at it through the open storm window, the color shift will be obvious.

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As far as projects go...

The door window is the simplest.

A single pane is pretty inexpensive.

You can learn to clean out the old sealant, refresh the hardware,

Consider getting a window with the pilot’s mini opening window in it.

Select green to match the old windows, in case you only change one window.

Skip going clear, unless you only fly at night.

Think twice if going thick... lots of weight, lots of additional sound deadening insulating materials will be needed.

Things you will learn...

getting the roll pin out of the door handle challenge... a replacement may be needed.

removal of the plastic door interior, screws and fancy washers might be desired.

Clean and lubricate all the door hardware while you are in there.

buy the drill and countersink from GLAP....

If you need to change the door plastic interior, the wheels fall off the wagon... and wether you have skill or don’t have skill becomes apparent....

 

Go ahead and try. You may have all the skillls you need...

it is a memorable project.  I did it to an M20C a decade ago, so they are not new memories...

But they are lasting...

Best regards,

-a-

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Don't buy the window that matches your current one, buy the window you want all them to be when you are done replacing the rest. Once you see the difference you will want to replace the rest of the "glass" in the plane. My vote is for SC Gray, it is the only way to go on an airplane now.   You can go to my personal albums to see the replacement of side windows.  I was documenting going to single back window on an "F" so not good pictures of the steps for the window install.

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52 minutes ago, TTaylor said:

Don't buy the window that matches your current one, buy the window you want all them to be when you are done replacing the rest. Once you see the difference you will want to replace the rest of the "glass" in the plane. My vote is for SC Gray, it is the only way to go on an airplane now.   You can go to my personal albums to see the replacement of side windows.  I was documenting going to single back window on an "F" so not good pictures of the steps for the window install.

@TTaylor the link to your photos is broken.

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