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Jalousie (louvered) windows in a Vanagon
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:26 pm    Post subject: Jalousie (louvered) windows in a Vanagon Reply with quote

A while ago I was looking at how to get better ventilation for my '87 Westy. I really didn't like the stock sliding windows that let in the rain while you were sleeping or away for a while. I wanted something more like the old 70's style jalousie (louvered) windows.

I was in the midst of doing a windows off paint job so this was the perfect time to modify the windows.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that someone had written up an article on how to modify and install those older windows into a Vanagon. Here is the article.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Better copies can be found here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/dnd.obryan/JalousieWindows/photo#5174824782017607698
http://picasaweb.google.com/dnd.obryan/JalousieWindows/photo#5174824786312575010
http://picasaweb.google.com/dnd.obryan/JalousieWindows/photo#5174824790607542322


I am reasonably proficient with tools and using the instructions I was able to modify a Jalousie window to fit on the middle drivers side above the stove unit.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I strongly recommend that you use a table saw and a router as the instructions suggest. To do this by hand would be an exercise in frustration. The jalousies I got were in very rough shape. They had a lot of oxidation (aluminum) but it all came off very nicely by applying liberal amounts of elbow grease and sandpaper followed by a scotch-brite pad. I also rescreened them just like you would do a screen door. In addition the regular vendors sell a gasket kit that includes all the little seals and gaskets between the panes so you basically end up with an almost new jalousie when you are done. Very Happy

Next I wanted to add a jalousie to the rear most passenger window so I could get some air back there when I am asleep. (I am 6'-4" so I must sleep with my head at the back hatch and my feet slightly over the end of the bed. Hey, I've been doing that my whole life). I always disliked the fact that when it was hot I could not get a breeze on my face.

So I decided to take the modification one step further and adapt it to the rear most window. This is what resulted.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


In order to do this mod I had to not only go through the standard modification steps but also shorten the overall jalousie dimension and add a plate to cover the curved portion toward the rear. The plate was made from two pieces of the same 1/8" aluminum stock as was used for the other parts of the mod. I just painted it black. I used the original window glass as a pattern to determine how to shape the plate.

It was a little more tedious to shorten the jalousie window however. I had to completely disassemble the jalousie window, and I mean completely. I then had to shorten the horizontal pieces so the resulting window would fit the space available. I won't go into details (I couldn't remember them if I tried) because if you are capable of doing this mod then you are more than capable of figuring out how wide to make the window. Just be sure to pay attention to how the window pieces fit together since you'll need to make some intricate cuts where they meet. You cannot use the original glass panes since they cannot be cut down (ask me how I know). You'll have to replace them with some plexiglass that can be cut by your local hardware store. I did all my cuts using a table saw with a carbide tipped blade. The most challenging part was cutting down the torque tube that controls the opening and closing of the window. I was able to carefully use the table saw to cut the tube and then renotch it at the new length. Whew!

I am an engineer (civil) so the idea of taking something apart and reassembling it appeals to me. I feel that if you read and understand the instructions before you start cutting that you'll be OK doing this. I was a little lost when I first looked at it but then after I had the jalousie window in front of me it made sense.

The end result was everything I could have asked for. I can leave the windows open and get great air circulation without worry about rain. The passenger side window is shown in the photo open so that the sliding door will pass over it. When I open that window I first open the slider and then see how far I am able to open the jalousie while still maintaining clearance. The last thing I need to do is build a stop into the window so I won't be able to open it too far.

If you decide to do this mod I am sure you will enjoy it too. Very Happy

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by dobryan on Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:07 pm; edited 3 times in total
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tikibus
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice Effort with great Rewards.

Good work!
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Thank You! And... Reply with quote

Thank you, dobryan, for the longer write-up. One thing that's been bothering me about your mod--and it's just the product of simple ignorance--is why you had to shorten what I presume, possibly wrongly, was the horizontal dimension of your rear passenger's side jalousies.

Lookin at the pictures in this and your earlier post, it seems to me that you had at least room, horizontally, left in your installation--I mean, your plate goes in some distance on the top, and, of course, rather more so on the bottom. Did you just decide to allow yourself some extra room when you cut down your jalousies? What am I failing to understand?

Best!
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully the pics are now visible. I had to figure out the secret decoder ring way of posting pics from picasa.

I had to shorten the horizontal dimension because the stock jalousie is longer than the rear most window. The rear most window is shorter horizontally than the middle window. While the stock jalousie fits in the middle window opening just fine, it is too long for the rear most window opening. I could have made mine about 1 inch longer than I did but I was too afraid to cut it too close so I chose a more conservative dimension.

Hope you give it a go. It's really not that hard. It just takes some time, tools, and head scratching. Very Happy
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:38 pm    Post subject: Thanks Again! Reply with quote

Thank you for the additional clarification. I'm going to see if I can find a spare pane for that window so that I can shape at leisure, without leaving my van windowless for that length of time.

I just kept reloading your post 'til the pictures appeared... Probably IE being flakey, it's good at that.

I'll possibly use a machine shop, or buy a carbide blade for a friend of mine's table saw.

Best!
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure you need to find a spare window. You can do everything except the 'plate' ahead of time. Then all that is left is to remove your window, use it as a template to cut the 'plate' pieces, and then glue them to the previously prepared jalousie setup. You then install the next day. I'm assuming you'd have your window out during a weekend if it went this way. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really dig that modification. The jalouse window really looks at home in your van.

Nice work!

-Damon
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:04 pm    Post subject: There's Always One More Thing... Reply with quote

I'm undertaking 'The Jalousie Project' in earnest, now, myself. I wonder if we might ask dobryan for an INTERIOR picture of his installation, particularly the rear passenger's side? That's not a 'frame' installation, it's got to be (I think) a 'pane' installation, and I'd like to see exactly how he managed that.

Best!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a super cool mod! I f anyone was interested in pre-fabricating the setup I would be interested in buying one.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

photogdave wrote:
That is a super cool mod! I f anyone was interested in pre-fabricating the setup I would be interested in buying one.


I second that motion.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject: Re: There's Always One More Thing... Reply with quote

msinabottle wrote:
I'm undertaking 'The Jalousie Project' in earnest, now, myself. I wonder if we might ask dobryan for an INTERIOR picture of his installation, particularly the rear passenger's side? That's not a 'frame' installation, it's got to be (I think) a 'pane' installation, and I'd like to see exactly how he managed that.

Best!


Here are some pics of the inside of both sides. You are correct that the resulting 'window' acts just like a pane and accepts the gasket like the original window. The object is to have the jalousie frame be the same size and shape as the original window pane.

Don't be fooled by the black part of the passenger side window. I just painted the aluminum plate black since I liked it that color better.

Best of results to you.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dobryan:

Can you give us your perception for before and after wind noise?

Also - can I assume that you didn't do the sliding door window due to problems opening the slider across the Westy rear body?

Thanks.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the rear looks fugly
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Bootiful Reply with quote

No, the rear is a work of art in every sense of the word if it keeps me from barbecuing in an 80 degree summer night, and the van from turning itself into a barbecue pit in the heat.

Thank you very much, Dave, that was a generous and full response. How proud of yourself you should be! I came down with the coughing crud just as I started work, so I'm stalled at present.

Did you ever wedge (if so, how?) your rear passenger's side window so that you wouldn't open them too far? Too far as in someone creaming them with the slider?

Thanks and...

Best!
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really nice. I've thought of that mod for some time now. One of these days I'll actually have enough time for yet another project. Rolling Eyes

I assume, when you mention coming up with some sort of a stop, that it would be a stop on the window opening so you don't whack your sliding door into the opened panes?
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rockfish wrote:
Dobryan:

Can you give us your perception for before and after wind noise?

Also - can I assume that you didn't do the sliding door window due to problems opening the slider across the Westy rear body?

Thanks.


I don't have any wind noise at all from these when they are closed. I did replace all the gaskets and seals on the jalousie so they are like new in that regard. When they are open you get the same 'wind across a screen' noise that you do with the stock Westy slider.

I decided not to do the slider with a jalousie because I got enough ventilation with just the rear one (and I only had two jalousie's to modify Wink ).
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
No, the rear is a work of art in every sense of the word if it keeps me from barbecuing in an 80 degree summer night, and the van from turning itself into a barbecue pit in the heat.


I live in an endless summer climate...the equator. I think it is a lot hotter than Colorado unless global warming peed on my leg and said it was raining. One mans garbage is another mans treasure.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psych-illogical wrote:

I assume, when you mention coming up with some sort of a stop, that it would be a stop on the window opening so you don't whack your sliding door into the opened panes?


Exactly. I still have on my 'to do' list the addition of a stop of some sort so I can't open the window too far and cream it with the slider. I've been careful so far and have had no crunches, but it is only a matter of time so I better get off my keister and make the stop. Very Happy

Thanks for the compliments everyone. I am really happy with how cool this keeps the Westy. If there is a breeze I have interior temps of only three degrees or so higher than the outside ambient air (which was in the 80's to 90's).
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

real nice job. beautiful westy too. what's the paint code for that color red?

-Matt
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MattVW wrote:
real nice job. beautiful westy too. what's the paint code for that color red?

-Matt


Not sure of the code but it's called Titian Red.
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