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Old 08-30-2020, 11:54 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Chassis: FS-65
Engine: Mercedes-Benz MBE 900
Leaky Windows...Still.

Hey there! We've removed one side of our bus windows, cleaned and resealed them, gone back and additionally sealed what appeared to be vulnerable spots. And we still have water. How do we move forward? Do we take them out completely again? Are there any solutions for sealing the inside as well? Please help, my husband is so down about it. We're thinking of having a mechanic come out and try to help. What should we do next? Here are some pics, feel free to ask any specific questions.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:08 PM   #2
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We had persistently leaking windows, even after removing, sealing and reinstalling them. It was tear-out-your-hair maddening. The culprit was the gasket/glazing between the bottom of the glass and the aluminum frame. That gasket was dry rotted and allowed water to get into the aluminum frame, then it was channeled to the corners where it migrated to the inside of the bus. Our temporary solution was to put some weathersealing tape (packing or electrical tape would work too, to test it) over that gasket. We've since used Henry's clear sealer over the gasket.
I'd recommend trying some tape over the gasket to see if that solves the problem.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:38 PM   #3
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Mine leaked from the bottom corners under the window frame where it sits on the ledge. I didn't remove the windows I just calked around the bottom and the bottom corners.
When I took off my wall panels I could see right where the water was coming from. I could look up into the corners and see day light.

Each corner had a big gap that was filled with calking/sealant that was 30yrs old and deteriorated. I removed the old calk and redid it. It all sealed up nice no leaks since.
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Old 08-30-2020, 01:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexVega360 View Post
Are there any solutions for sealing the inside as well? Please help, my husband is so down about it. We're thinking of having a mechanic come out and try to help. What should we do next? Here are some pics, feel free to ask any specific questions.
Save the $$ for when you really need a mechanic. The thing about water leaks is that where you see water may not be where the leak started. If possible I would use a garden hose at the bottom and slooowly work my way up to see where and when it begins. It could be at a marker light or the roof hatch that the leak starts. Is that silicone caulk just outside of the window?
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:01 PM   #5
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Many thanks so far! Great insights, this has def. been maddening.
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:36 PM   #6
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The frame of a bus window unit (the part that surrounds the one fixed panel and one movable panel) is made from four separate pieces of bent aluminum sheet that are press-fit together and then have a couple of small rivets added. Over time, it seems that the seams between the bottom piece of this frame and the two vertical pieces can open up slightly, allowing water to pass through. Since the bottom fixed frame is on the inside track, this means this seam is on the outside part of the sill, so if water collects on this sill outside, it will leak through to the inside, in exactly the spot you indicated.

On my bus, when I had the windows out for cleaning, I could turn a hose on this part of the window and water would spray right through. I realize now that when I had the windows out, I should have sealed this seam on the inside. I sealed them up in all my windows on the outside and this stopped the leaking, but the problem I'm facing is that when I open the window and lower the top part all the way, the two little feet at the bottom press into the seam sealer and dislodge it from the window frame, allowing water to leak in again. I'm currently trying to fabricate a different kind of foot that doesn't press directly into the corner.

An interesting feature of these leaks is that if my bus is parked perfectly level (as it is at my house) then my windows do not leak at all (since no water accumulates in the corners of the sills when the bus is level). But at my parking spot the bus is nose-down and leaning to the left, so water accumulates in the front corners of the passenger-side windows, and those are all the spots where it leaks. If I park in the opposite way, the leaks are all on the driver's side in the back of each window.

FWIW I've never seen anyone else report this as the source of window leaks, so maybe I have particularly dysfunctional windows.
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:48 PM   #7
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when my bus was gutted?
i actually put sprinklers on the roof to find roof leaks then moved them to each side one day at a time and then the back and front of course.
then i could kind of focus on each area one at a time.
but remember you need to give the water time to find its way in and just hitting a spot with a water hose might not show everything.
i do piping for a living and when i test i fill everything up to street pressure/provided pressure from wherever and let it set for 24 hours(saturation period)find and fix if any leaks before my test pressure of 150-300 psi depending on what the system is going to be.
thats why i chose the sprinkler method?
to give everything a saturation period like a weeks worth of rain and i live in a hurricane prone zone.
just my thoughts and ideas.
good luck
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:54 PM   #8
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musigenius .
i didnt report it but have had to address that also on the windows i kept and have to address it also in the shortie i have just recently bought with a collins body.
almost identical windows that are in my thomas but the latches are alot bigger/thicker and more finger friendly.
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Old 01-10-2021, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
We had persistently leaking windows, even after removing, sealing and reinstalling them. It was tear-out-your-hair maddening. The culprit was the gasket/glazing between the bottom of the glass and the aluminum frame. That gasket was dry rotted and allowed water to get into the aluminum frame, then it was channeled to the corners where it migrated to the inside of the bus. Our temporary solution was to put some weathersealing tape (packing or electrical tape would work too, to test it) over that gasket. We've since used Henry's clear sealer over the gasket.
I'd recommend trying some tape over the gasket to see if that solves the problem.
Ohh! I found your post about gaskets! I just posted the below to on of your older posts - hoping you can give some feedback on how you fixed your gaskets?

We've removed all our windows, cleaned them and the bus frame, and reinstalled, with pa-lenty of new caulk (urethane, not silicone). Most painful job so far, even more then gutting.

However, after a power-wash on the roof, we noticed there was a bit of water pulling inside the bus, in the little track at the bottom of a few windows. We suspect its the gaskets.

So, how do you suggest going about sealing up your gaskets? We were going to use Sikaflex 220+, and, well, try to run a bead right over the gasket, all the way around, top and bottom panes. We'll be sure it will adhere also to the aluminum frame and the glass window. Was going to put painters tape on the glass window to try to keep a nice clean line (or, it sounds like we can wait till it cures and easily trim off with a razor blade?), so we arent smearing our windows too much and making it look awful. The SkiaFlex can be painted over, and we will be painting our window frames anyway.

And in a few spots where a bit of the gasket has fallen down out of its little gasket crevice, we were going to cut that bit off, and then fill the gasket crevice with caulk (will need to cut a teeny tiny hole in the nozzle!) as well as seal over the entire gasket.

What do you think?
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Old 01-10-2021, 07:41 PM   #10
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So, how do you suggest going about sealing up your gaskets? We were going to use Sikaflex 220+, and, well, try to run a bead right over the gasket, all the way around, top and bottom panes. We'll be sure it will adhere also to the aluminum frame and the glass window. Was going to put painters tape on the glass window to try to keep a nice clean line (or, it sounds like we can wait till it cures and easily trim off with a razor blade?), so we arent smearing our windows too much and making it look awful. The SkiaFlex can be painted over, and we will be painting our window frames anyway.
I think the way to get a nice-looking line is to freehand the sealant over the gasket, maybe with a craft brush (this is how I did mine with Dynatron-550), let it dry and then mask off maybe 1/8" from the edge of the gasket and paint it all. When you peel the tape off you'll have a nice clean line.

This is almost what I did except I put down the tape first and smeared the sealant and painted. Now I can't just pull the tape off since it's under the sealant, but I instead have to carefully cut it out with a utility knife, which sucks.

My bus has so much sealant on it that I just can't care any longer what it looks like up close.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I think the way to get a nice-looking line is to freehand the sealant over the gasket, maybe with a craft brush (this is how I did mine with Dynatron-550), let it dry and then mask off maybe 1/8" from the edge of the gasket and paint it all. When you peel the tape off you'll have a nice clean line.

This is almost what I did except I put down the tape first and smeared the sealant and painted. Now I can't just pull the tape off since it's under the sealant, but I instead have to carefully cut it out with a utility knife, which sucks.

My bus has so much sealant on it that I just can't care any longer what it looks like up close.
Thankyou Musigenesis! I hear you on the "cant care what it looks like up close" - a dry and healthy bus is much more important.

Did you also seal the gaskets on the inside of the bus/window panes also? Or just the outside?

I think I'm going to still tape it, pull off before the sealant dries, and then will have to retape when we paint.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:43 AM   #12
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Thankyou Musigenesis! I hear you on the "cant care what it looks like up close" - a dry and healthy bus is much more important.

Did you also seal the gaskets on the inside of the bus/window panes also? Or just the outside?

I think I'm going to still tape it, pull off before the sealant dries, and then will have to retape when we paint.
I didn't seal anything on the inside. I think that if the outside is sealed nothing else is required, and if the outside isn't sealed then sealing just the inside would allow water to sit in little cracks and whatnot and eventually corrode through (even though the windows are aluminum - my windows actually had some noticeable corrosion from all the leaks).

Disclaimer: I'm not really entirely sure of anything.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:46 AM   #13
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I think I'm going to still tape it, pull off before the sealant dries, and then will have to retape when we paint.
I actually tried this and I found the sealant adhered better to the tape than to the glass, so the tape tended to stretch and pull the sealant with it.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:49 AM   #14
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I actually tried this and I found the sealant adhered better to the tape than to the glass, so the tape tended to stretch and pull the sealant with it.
And how are your windows doing after sealing over the gaskets? Any leaks? You used Dynatron 550, correct?

We used Sikaflex 220+ to seal over the gaskets on our windows (something different for the rest of the wondows, after removing and thoroughly cleaning), and, nowhere on the data sheet for the product, nor anywhere on any forum where I've seen others use it, nor during multiple conversations with Sika reps, was it ever mentioned that a primer needs to be applied first.

But ... apparantly it does, were just told this by a sika rep when we called with a followup question, after the fact. So, we sealed 22 windows wrong, and were told we have to clean it all off and do it all over again with the primer, for it to properly seal. He also said it wont bind to rubber (while other Sika reps said it does).

So curious about your experience w Dynotron 550? Did it seal to the rubber?
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:16 AM   #15
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And how are your windows doing after sealing over the gaskets? Any leaks? You used Dynatron 550, correct?

We used Sikaflex 220+ to seal over the gaskets on our windows (something different for the rest of the wondows, after removing and thoroughly cleaning), and, nowhere on the data sheet for the product, nor anywhere on any forum where I've seen others use it, nor during multiple conversations with Sika reps, was it ever mentioned that a primer needs to be applied first.

But ... apparantly it does, were just told this by a sika rep when we called with a followup question, after the fact. So, we sealed 22 windows wrong, and were told we have to clean it all off and do it all over again with the primer, for it to properly seal. He also said it wont bind to rubber (while other Sika reps said it does).

So curious about your experience w Dynotron 550? Did it seal to the rubber?
I've had not a drop of water inside since sealing up all the gaskets on my windows. As far as I can tell, Dynatron-550 sticks to everything - bare metal, primed or painted metal, wood, rubber, human skin etc. etc.
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:27 AM   #16
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I've had not a drop of water inside since sealing up all the gaskets on my windows. As far as I can tell, Dynatron-550 sticks to everything - bare metal, primed or painted metal, wood, rubber, human skin etc. etc.
Alright then! If we have to peel all this 220+ off, then Dynotron 550 it is. We actually have 15 tubes of it and planned to use on the rest of our window re-installation, but couldnt use it because we were told it wouldnt seal in the 35 degree temps of winter.

And I think you also used Dyno 550 on all your seams and rivets? No issues there either? What was your prep technique? Did you sand to bare metal, or just rough up and clean w mineral spirits?
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Old 01-21-2021, 12:08 PM   #17
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Alright then! If we have to peel all this 220+ off, then Dynotron 550 it is. We actually have 15 tubes of it and planned to use on the rest of our window re-installation, but couldnt use it because we were told it wouldnt seal in the 35 degree temps of winter.

And I think you also used Dyno 550 on all your seams and rivets? No issues there either? What was your prep technique? Did you sand to bare metal, or just rough up and clean w mineral spirits?
For the roof seams I cleaned with soap and water then with mineral spirits, then scuffed everywhere the sealant was going to go and wiped again with mineral spirits. Then I taped off on both sides of the seam to give me about a 1" strip of sealant and applied the 'tron. Rivets are basically the same, but the rusty ones I scrape, apply oshpo, clean, scuff and apply the sealant. I wouldn't go to bare metal for any of this, just too much work.

For the windows the same, just clean, scuff and apply.
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Old 01-21-2021, 12:34 PM   #18
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For the roof seams I cleaned with soap and water then with mineral spirits, then scuffed everywhere the sealant was going to go and wiped again with mineral spirits. Then I taped off on both sides of the seam to give me about a 1" strip of sealant and applied the 'tron. Rivets are basically the same, but the rusty ones I scrape, apply oshpo, clean, scuff and apply the sealant. I wouldn't go to bare metal for any of this, just too much work.

For the windows the same, just clean, scuff and apply.
Thankyou! Feeling like theres hope for us yet!
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