I’m turning a 1987 Ford E-350 Econoline extended van with Quadravan conversion by Pathfinder into a camper. I purchased a long abandoned 1989 Ford E-150 Tiara conversion van for parts (stripped it of everything usable and recycled the remainder. Among the items I used from the parts van was a large window (T-slider, 41 1/4″ x 29 3/8″?). Unfortunately, the plastic interior trim on all three windows had grown brittle with age (and heat?) and were broken beyond repair. I’ve been searching the internet for a replacement source with no luck so far and hope you might be able to point me in the right direction.
Dear Robert S.:
I had the same trouble with the window trim of my 1992 Dodge B-250, but I was able to save and reuse them with minimal damage. At that time I did the same research with unfortunately the same results.
These frames seem to be custom made or at least modified to each van.
Adding to my frustration, many van conversion firms, including MARK III of Florida that converted my Dodge, disappeared in the late 90’s, eliminating another possible resource.
On the positive side, if you are handy AND you are a woodworker, you could produce these frames yourself and even improve on the original design.
However I should give you a fair warning. The woodworking techniques for these frames with rounded corners include bending and possibly steambending and require a good amount of experience and equipment to accomplish.
If you’re not a woodworker, I can recommend you the possibly contact a local woodworker or woodworking club, where you may find somebody that is willing to help you.
Good luck! Van Williams
Thank you for your very prompt reply. My next dream project after the van is to build a wooden sailboat, so I will have to learn any woodworking skills I lack. I’m planning laminated frames for the boat. I might use the same techniques for the window frame and shape molding for the front to hide the laminations. I’ve read books and watched videos detailing the steambending process, but I’m not certain I want to tackle that for a one-off window frame. Then, again, since everything else in the van, from the fiberglass shower base to the propane locker & storage battery compartment is going to be a custom fabrication, I might get brave and try to learn a new skill..
Thanks again, Robert.
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