Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rejuventaion - The windows

It would not work to paint the plane without replacing the glass. The windshield and the rear window in the 150 were in need of replacement. They were not shot, but this was the time to do it. I selected the thickest windshield that I could find. The rear windows are not as critical and as far as I could tell from my research, they only come in one thickness. The website at Great Lakes Aero Products was very helpful. It is just a matter of picking out your plane from the menus and choosing a color, a thickness, and whether or not you want a compass mount.

I chose a clear windshield that is 0.187 inches thick without the compass mount. The color choices are clear, green, or grey. In retrospect, the compass mount would probably have been a good idea. When we mounted mine my mechanic actually mounted it crooked. I spent many sleepless hours that night worrying about how to remove the mount and replace it. I reality, it came off easily since we used the wrong kind of glue to start with. The windshield came out pretty quickly compared to the rear window. We removed a bunch of screws and pulled. Then we cleaned all of the putty out of the channels that the window came out of.

The rear window was riveted in, which meant we had to drill out all of those rivets. This took another several hours. After lunch we put the new rear window in. We applied the supplied felt to the window and put fresh sealant in the channels that hold the window and then we shoved. This was an ugly process with lots of grunting and maybe an expletive or two. There is no good place to push or pull on the window and the channels are very tight. The window has to fit ALL the way into the channels or it will not fit properly at the bottom, where we had to rivet the hold-down piece back in. Once the window went in, it was time to rivet. This is a loud process in general, but inside the plane, bucking the rivets while my mechanic shot the rivets from the outside, was truly terrible. I wore my Bose headsets with the ANR on. I don't think they were designed for this but it was way better than nothing. The windshield went in easier. At least I was not involved in the process as we ran out of time that day. It is really nice having new glass, and from a cost standpoint, this is one of the cheaper improvements ,especially considering the benefit.

No comments:

Post a Comment