Sealing and Riveting the Rear Window Frame into the New Rear Panel

Howdy all! Saturday came and it was time to get some work done on Wally the Airstream. As you had seen in our previous posts, We’ve been working on getting the rear aluminum panels put back together and replaced as well as repairing the rear window frame.

Having repaired the window frame, it was time to get the frame into the new exterior 2024 T-3 AlClad aluminum panel we had cut by Discount Steel in Minneapolis. The process went as follows:

  1. Remove the hardware from the window frame.

  2. Clean both the frame of the window and the aluminum with cleaner. We used mineral spirits to make sure it was clear of oils and debris

  3. Apply a sealant tape to the window frame. This butyl tape putty is flexible over time and works great between metal surfaces. It will also allow us to tighten down and make it tighter as the rivets pull together the materials even when the metals aren’t perfectly straight. The putty tape we used is below.

  4. Buck rivet the window frame into the new aluminum panel.

Overall this took us about 2 hours to complete having practiced some buck riveting previously. Here’s a link to all of the tools that we used from Vintage Trailer Supply:

Here’s a couple videos of the buck riveting in action: