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2022 T350HD #11000 Avalanche Gray
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I installed the AMA small half sliders on the rear sides of my van as bunk windows. Now those sections of side paneling are very flimsy and I would like to reinforce them.
what ways have people done this without going too thick away from the wall?
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The factory uses that foam you see behind the internal structure.
I didn't have any problems when I added my Motion brand windows, but if I had, "body panel adhesive" is where my research would have begun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The factory uses that foam you see behind the internal structure.
I didn't have any problems when I added my Motion brand windows, but if I had, "body panel adhesive" is where my research would have begun.
So are you saying to glue the supports more firmly to the outer panel?
I was wondering if gluing hard insulation foam to the panel would help to stiffen it also.
 

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what ways have people done this without going too thick away from the wall?
I have found Liquid Nails Fuze It Max to be an extremely strong adhesive with good temperature stability. Silicone Adhesive Caulk is also good, but not typically as strong. My first thought would be to adhere another stiffer material to the sheet metal. If you want it as thin as possible, some 16 gauge stainless steel sheet metal strips about 2 inches wide would work well. You will have to remove the sound deadener first. Also, many people use construction foam with an insulated board, but that will add some thickness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have found Liquid Nails Fuze It Max to be an extremely strong adhesive with good temperature stability. Silicone Adhesive Caulk is also good, but not typically as strong. My first thought would be to adhere another stiffer material to the sheet metal. If you want it as thin as possible, some 16 gauge stainless steel sheet metal strips about 2 inches wide would work well. You will have to remove the sound deadener first. Also, many people use construction foam with an insulated board, but that will add some thickness.
I like the metal strip idea. I know home depot has strips of metal that are about 2 inches wide but not stainless.
So maybe bond the factory supports better and then add some strips of metal also as a backer. That may work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have found Liquid Nails Fuze It Max to be an extremely strong adhesive with good temperature stability. Silicone Adhesive Caulk is also good, but not typically as strong. My first thought would be to adhere another stiffer material to the sheet metal. If you want it as thin as possible, some 16 gauge stainless steel sheet metal strips about 2 inches wide would work well. You will have to remove the sound deadener first. Also, many people use construction foam with an insulated board, but that will add some thickness.
What is the easy way to remove the factory sound deadener? I will be adding kilmatz after I'm done
 

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IF you know of a shop near you that works with fiberglass, they can lay up some strips of unidirectional carbon fiber tape around the windows - 4 layers would stiffen the panel up significantly and add about .040" (1/4 of an 1/8") to the panel thickness there.

here's a link to the unidirectional carbon fiber tape 702-12 Unidirectional Tape 1-1/2" - Wicks Aircraft Parts
a quart of the resin (105) + a pint of the hardner (205) would run about $78 - if you want to attempt it your self, i can detail some instructions to working the epoxy resin and laying up the CF tape
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
IF you know of a shop near you that works with fiberglass, they can lay up some strips of unidirectional carbon fiber tape around the windows - 4 layers would stiffen the panel up significantly and add about .040" (1/4 of an 1/8") to the panel thickness there.

here's a link to the unidirectional carbon fiber tape 702-12 Unidirectional Tape 1-1/2" - Wicks Aircraft Parts
a quart of the resin (105) + a pint of the hardner (205) would run about $78 - if you want to attempt it your self, i can detail some instructions to working the epoxy resin and laying up the CF tape
I'm really surprised there is not much talk about this here. I only jut away what the window needed and while driving down the road you can see it moving. Maybe I'm being overly critical but I would rather take care of it now then later when I have a problem.
Thinking of using Sikaflex and squeezing some in between the outer wall and the factory supports to stiffen that part a bit and then maybe attach some metal straps to the wall and hope that works. We will see
 
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It it makes you feel better, reinforcing it won't hurt but don't get too caught up in it. My windows are installed in the same location with the ribs cut out. I've been running it this way without adding reinforcements for ~2.5 years without an issue. My wooden window frames meet up with the van sheetmetal and are adhered to it, so I suppose that provides a bit of strength.

Also for what it's worth I think adding Kilmatz is a waste of time/money. You might notice a difference when the van is empty but by the time you add insulation and interior walls slight sheet metal flexing won't be noticeable. Noise from all the random junk inside the van rattling around will be the issue.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It it makes you feel better, reinforcing it won't hurt but don't get too caught up in it. My windows are installed in the same location with the ribs cut out. I've been running it this way without adding reinforcements for ~2.5 years without an issue. My wooden window frames meet up with the van sheetmetal and are adhered to it, so I suppose that provides a bit of strength.

Also for what it's worth I think adding Kilmatz is a waste of time/money. You might notice a difference when the van is empty but by the time you add insulation and interior walls slight sheet metal flexing won't be noticeable. Noise from all the random junk inside the van rattling around will be the issue.

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Are yours the CLR windows? They look bigger.
I think I will do as listed above and hope I have no issues.
I already have the kilmatz. Did not cost much so I may as well use it.
 

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Are yours the CLR windows? They look bigger.
I think I will do as listed above and hope I have no issues.
I already have the kilmatz. Did not cost much so I may as well use it.
I'm sure you'll be fine. Yes, they are CRL. I forget the exact model but they are 33"x10". Your windows look close to the same width but not as tall.
 

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What is the easy way to remove the factory sound deadener? I will be adding kilmatz after I'm done
I have removed butyl sound deadener by just peeling it off and cleaning the surface first with mineral spirits, and then following with alcohol to get off the mineral spirits. I don't know what the factory sound deadener is like. My van didn't come with any on the sheet metal.
 
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