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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there , I finally got sick of leaking windows on my Crown 23. there are 4 windows, 2 at 18X6 inches and 2 at 8X6 inches.

The windows are surrounded by an aluminum frames that are bolted thru the deck sides with #8 nuts and bolts. Now the nightmare part

I removed all the bolts and the frames are held solid by some kind of dried up glue, most likely 3M 5200. I lost patience and tried to pry the frames off with a big screwdriver, after a horrible cracking sound I found the fiberglass had delaminated and split around the window. so now the frames are still stuck fast and the fiberglass is splitting:eek:

Do you guys know if I can maybe heat the frames or try to disolve the glue.
Any ideas of where to go from here. My windows are really leaking bad now.
Is there a way to seal them without removing the frames.
 

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Damn man...that really sucks,
I dont know about 5200 properties, but I often use heat (from a heat gun) with good results, to get stuff apart.
Good luck with it.
 

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I have no idea what I am talking about, so be warned ;)

Is there enough room between the bottom edge of the frame and the lower deck and the top edge of the frame and the top to cut the window and frame out completely? If you can do that and have a few inches left over, maybe you can replace the windows with flush mounted ones. See this:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance-articles/33774-surface-mounted-ports.html

Just a thought.

You would have to figure out a way to finish the inside, because the frames won't be available to fill in.

And I promise, I'll stop pushing this! It just looks so cool...
 

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As water leaks through the windows' sides, some of it passes to the fiberglass and causes osmosis. Delamination is most probably due to this. I am sure you did not apply enough force to break sound fiberglass. The breaking is due delamination due to osmosis. In my opinion if you are planning to change the hatches, use force and remove them. You have to repair the fiberglass any how, therefore breaking the fiberglass is not really a problem. After repairing the fiberglass make sure you apply a coat of epoxy to the sides of the fiberlass where the hatch is located. In this way you can decrease the possibility of delamination even if water penetrates.
 

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Try a guitar string for a flexiable saw.

Use wooden dowels for handles.

If you have to you can have one person inside and one outside, always fun!:D

Hi there , I finally got sick of leaking windows on my Crown 23. there are 4 windows, 2 at 18X6 inches and 2 at 8X6 inches.

The windows are surrounded by an aluminum frames that are bolted thru the deck sides with #8 nuts and bolts. Now the nightmare part

I removed all the bolts and the frames are held solid by some kind of dried up glue, most likely 3M 5200. I lost patience and tried to pry the frames off with a big screwdriver, after a horrible cracking sound I found the fiberglass had delaminated and split around the window. so now the frames are still stuck fast and the fiberglass is splitting:eek:

Do you guys know if I can maybe heat the frames or try to disolve the glue.
Any ideas of where to go from here. My windows are really leaking bad now.
Is there a way to seal them without removing the frames.
 

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Telstar 28
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There's something called Debond, which is designed to help remove/dissolve 3M 5200... well worth using.
 

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Sea Slacker
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There's something called Debond, which is designed to help remove/dissolve 3M 5200... well worth using.
I'll second that. Debond makes it a quick job of ungluing anything that was glued with polyurethane adhesive like 3M 5200. Spray a bit, give it a minute to work, pry with a screwdriver, marvel at ease of application, clean up with alcohol (presumably alcohol neutralizes it).

I have a couple of aerosol bottles, not sure if it is still being sold - it seems to come and go.
P.S. Here is the website - Marine Formula , seems to be very much available.
 

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I used DeBond for my windows and it did a good job at dissolving the 5200. You need to give it time, more the better. Also if you can score the 5200 with a razor or the guitar string saw idea, it will work faster. I would make sure you have good ventilation.
Don't try the other dissolving product on the market. It doesn't work as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you much for the ideas, I thought of just cutting around the old frames , but the cut on the top side of window would be too close to the deck, ( be a bugger to seal). looks like Debond is it(thanks SD). I looked on the WEB and it is still available:)

Has anybody heard of " Captain Jacks creeping crack filler" This stuff goes on like water, seeps into very small spaces and then hardens, They have some at our local marine store. wont fix my delam probs but may stopp the leak.

terry
 

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I never heard of Captain Jacks creeping crack filler but I did use another "captain" and it worked for tiny cracks, nothing major.
 

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And that is why I would never use 5200 for anything on my boat! I have and I'm sure many here have also damaged hull and deck glasswork when trying to remove a previously bed 5200 item. I don't have the numbers in front of me but 5200's breaking strength is much greater than fiberglass. According to the manufacturer it is a PERMANENT adhesive. In my humble (depending who you ask) opinion, NOTHING on a boat is permanent!

Yes, there are those who say that 5200 has uses. So, I have to concur that if I had a 16 year old daughter, I may consider using 5200 to "secure" her bedroom window lets just say from stray drafts. :) But thank god I don't have a 16 year old daughter!
 

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I've done it twice. The first time took four hours with wedges, levers, wire, 5200 solvent, and lots of collateral damage. The second time took 25 minutes with the scraper blade on a Fein multimaster. It stunk as the blade melted its way through the 5200 but it was easy to clean up and there was minimal damage.
 

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The crack filler is like a thinned epoxy, it works very well on HARD SURFACES and rotting wood. It isn't for leaking portlights. Basically, if you want a temporary kludge you can buy a toilet bowl seat (big beeswax donut) for about $4 and use the wax to seal the frames for now. Anything better will still leak again soon anyhow, at least thewax is cheap, easy to apply, easy to remove. (And you must clean it off to apply anything better later with the new portlights.)

You might be able to break the bond by hitting the frames with a torch (have an extinguisher on hand just in case). That will cause most sealants to break down and as long as you get them hot without overheating the fiberglass--that should do it. If the thought makes you uncomfortable--don't do it that way. A professional strength heat gun might also work for you.

I like the idea of using the Fein but of course that means buying tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is one of those time I shud have left well enough alone,
I got some DEBOND on order. when I get the frames off I'll have to fix the busted Fiberglass. Im hoping to stick a wedge in broken spots and goop epoxy into the broken bits, then let set and reinstall everything sealed with Lifecaulk, curse you 3M
 

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If you use any clamps when working on the busted fiberglass with epoxy, be sure to use wax paper, so nothing sticks.
 

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Sailbot, before you go "strcking bits" and placing curses...consider that 3M would be the first ones to tell anyone DO NOT USE 5200 UNLESS IT WILL BE FOREVER. It was the wrong material to use--if it was used--on those frames.

And, you're about to make the same mistake of using the wrong materials without consulting a maker as to how to do the job right. Find the West System Epoxy web site, look at their article archive on how to properly fix fiberglass, and fix the cabin sides properly before you reseat the frames. Just gooping stuff in is likely to leave you in the same situation you started in. If their articles don't tell you exactly what you want to know, call them. They provide free technical assistance (your dime for the phone call) to anyone who asks, and they just hope you'll return the favor by buying their products. (Which are certainly competitive.)

They are both great companies, that produce top quality products and top quality support. If someone misuses them--that's not their fault.
 

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I'd second what HelloSailor said about not barging ahead and making the situation worse. Do the repair properly, and don't do anything that is going to screw the future repair up as a stop gap measure. If you really need to protect the ports from leaking, use duct tape and a large trash bag and tape the trashbag over the ports.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Its allways good to blame a PO for a mess your in. but in this case its true, I would have stuck to Lifecaulk,
I guess the 3M is just dooing what they said it would, Sorry 3M:(

Any way decided on cutting the whole mess out, I'll just use the old frames for a guide for my jigsaw, then I got a fresh new surface to work with.

Allways nice to have bigger windows anyway...
 

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Any way decided on cutting the whole mess out, I'll just use the old frames for a guide for my jigsaw, then I got a fresh new surface to work with.
What are you going to replace it with?

If you have some extra time, snap some pictures for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was going to get some smoked Lexan and not use frames at all, I'll just LifeCaulk and #8 stainless bolts, I can wait to see her with smoked windows, now that will be sexy...
 
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