Replacing windows with sheet metal??

volcomsurfer

Adventurer
So the search didn't show anything related to this. Maybe I'm not using it accurately. Anyway, I'm trying to find a 7.3L e350 and everything i seem to find in my price range has at least ONE thing off. Either sliding door or passanger van with windows all around. Has anyone ever taken the windows out and replaced them with sheet metal? I wouldn't mind the front one behind the drivers seat since I'll be putting one there anyway. So it would be the two rear ones on the sides. I'm going to rhino line the whole thing so it won't have to look too pretty because the paint will have a texture to it.
 

boardrider247

Weekend warrior anarchist
If I were going to remove the windows and replace with steel I would buy a parts van to cut the sheet metal from.

Another option is spray painting the inside of the windows black. From the outside it just looks like window tint. But obviously you can't see in and anything you do on the interior won't be visible from the outside.
 

landyachtcaptn

Observer
I ran into the same problem. I really wanted a cargo van but all the 7.3 vans I looked at were ragged out. I finally settled on a one owner passenger van. I looked into removing the rear side windows. I had seen a quigley van on line where the rear windows were replaced with fiberglass inserts with tool box style doors. I searched for months but wasn't able to find anything like that for sale. I eventually gave up on the idea. The upper cabinets in my interior block the rear third of the windows. I painted the back black. From the outside it is not at all noticeable. With 6" Ujoint suspension on 35s the windows are above the average persons head when standing next to the van so you don't see in them from as close up as you would a car or even a stock van.
 

LowTech

Dirt Track Traveler
I did pull the glass out of two of the windows, and thinking of doing two more, on a metro bus that we converted. That's right . . . windows alround like a fish bowl.
The way we did it was to remove the glass from the frame and put in a sheet of alum that was the same thinkness, 1/8". For us that left the upper sliders. Did the lower window on the rear door also.

11-11-18 (7).JPG 11-08-06 (4).JPG
 

QCAuto

Observer
Get parts from van for easy fit and profile and use body structural adhesive, I have a full on cargo, I'm going to swap out rear doors and thinking of transplanting a rear side door glass into the drivers side for a little window, I don't want the long one piece drivers glass
 

derjack

Adventurer
Actually I am planning the same. I have these huge windows (one on the left side) http://www.derjackistweg.de/wp-content/gallery/e350-first-look/imag0992.jpg and don´t like this. Mostly because I like the bigger and taller Truck better - you have just more privacy (and security).

One thing to note first is, that there are 2 different types on windows:
- the first one is the narrower one that does NOT cut through a kind of frame in the sidewall. Mostly on passenger vans seen.
- the second one is like mine. Cabin torsion is on an off-road vehicle always a topic/issue and these windows make it worse!
I know some people don´t care about stiffness of their cabin at all. I´ve seen a lot of things that cause the street legal licence of the car in Germany just because of cutting into the body.

So 2 reasons why I don´t like it. The third is: I will place the kitchen behind the window, that will have 80-90cm height (32-37") and therefore cover half of the window.

As I am not a metal guy and don´t want to pay $$$ into body cosmetics, my first thought was to just replace the glass inside the windows with a metal, too. Only Aluminium makes sense on this, as other options are too heavy. This is what would fist come into my mind:http://www.das-blech.de/images/product_images/popup_images/569_0.jpg The glass should be 4 or 5 mm thick. These aluminium metal are in the same thickness available.
Should be relative easy, though it needs to have the same shape, a little curvy one, in my case with the big window.

If you can weld or have a source for that, you can replace the window with cabin metal. That should be roughly 0,8mm thick. So welding needs to be done right to not burn though it:
Window.jpg
These welds are not perfect, obviously, and a frame should be added from behind as you can see at the inside of the cabin. Both sides of the cabin are the same. You can see the inside and the outside.

btw I would eventually foil the glass but definitely not paint a window. Foil will look much better and is very cheap also.
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
I'm cheap and don't care what things looks like so I'd probably pop rivit aluminum sheet over the opening to save weight. First thing I'd do is cruze by local small body shops for a quote. You will have a couple hundred in aluminum anyway and a body shop repair will help resale down the road to offset cost. Why the window behind the driver?
 

QCAuto

Observer
The body adhesive method is reasonable, its as strong as weld, its fully sealed, no warping, sealing rivets etc, easy to clean up if you ever want to fully finish
 

Jredone

Member
Old thread revival...
Anyone find someone making these for our passenger vans?
Came across a company called opt overland, but after some digging over on the Sportsmobile forum they are no Longer in business.
 

Riptide

Explorer
A friend of mine just did this on his Sprinter. Can’t vouch for the long-term results yet, but it looks pretty:

 
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