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Thread: Tips for removing original portlights

  1. #1
    Sustaining Partner adam's Avatar
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    Tips for removing original portlights

    Getting the outside screws out isn't too terrible. But there are two sets of two screws inside of the frame which are a real PITA.

    The biggest problem is that I can't even get straight access with a screwdriver. The screwdriver has to go in at an angle and not have a good fit on the screw.

    Im not even sure how the portlight was installed. Maybe they just lightly tightened these screws from an awkward angle, then over 4 decades they've frozen into place.

    ---

    Note - I'm going to reinstall these portlights. In additional to traditionally sealing them, I also want to seal the edge between the deck and the liner with epoxy so if they ever do ever leak again, they'll leak directly into the cabin rather than disappearing and water showing up at random places in the boat.



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    Ericson 35 #282 - "Kiki"

  2. #2
    Contributing Partner dt222's Avatar
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    Adam,
    On the portlights to my '27 (same design I believe) those 2 screws are holding the seam to the frame together, they are not holding the frame to the hull. You should be able to remove the units without taking those 2 screws out, and then once the unit is removed you would have a better angle to get at them. In some cases I had to drill these out and replace them.

    Don
    *************
    Don Thibault
    E31 Independence # 60
    York Harbor, ME

  3. #3
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    those could be rivets

    I just completed this job and took copious notes to share with others. those notes aren't done or cleaned up. But what I'm seeing in the picture, I think, are rivets that need to be carefully drilled out from the other side. and don't forget how it was put together (don't ask). The little piece of alum is on the inside of frame and flat side of rivet goes from outside in. Also, when rebedding I found that that spot where the frame comes together is where most leaks are happening, for me anyway. the ericson 27 facebook group page has an excellent thread on this project as well. My notes will be an attempt to fill in blanks for those less handy, like me.
    Southpaw, E-27
    Yanmar 2qm15

  4. #4
    Sustaining Partner adam's Avatar
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    Definitely screws not rivets. Though drilling them out may still be an option.

    And I've tried, but the portlight will not come out without either removing this inside frame or grinding the fiberglass to enlarge the cutout.
    Ericson 35 #282 - "Kiki"

  5. #5
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    I believe they are a pair of #4/40 screws backed by a scrap of aluminum that fits into the channel, drilled and tapped. They hold the two halves of the frame together and you only need to remove them if you're removing the glass from the frame.
    (At least this was the case for my boat.)
    I also found it impossible to remove most of the ports without enlarging the holes or breaking the glass. Apparently the liner and/or cabin trunk shifted slightly after they were installed? That's all I could come up with, anyway. I used a straight blade on the oscillating tool to reach around the frame and cut where it was needed.
    Kind of a tedious and frustrating job, since I couldn't help wondering if I only spent another hour trying to rubics-cube the thing around some more, maybe it would magically pop free without wounding my boat! Nope. Back to cutting...
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  6. #6
    Lake Erie Viking 716Ericson27's Avatar
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    Portlight Removal

    I did this project and as mentioned above I tried to post detailed steps on the E27 Facebook page. These screw / rivets (seems like some people have rivets others screws) shouldn't need to be taken out to get the frames out. I do remember the frames being difficult to get out as they are a tight fit. You may be getting held back from the old adhesive between the frame flange and outside of the hull. Try using a spackle knife or something else that is thin enough to slide in between the flange and the hull to break any sealant that might still be holding on to the frame.
    Chris

  7. #7
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    If anybody has Bomar portlights (certain models, circa mid-80s) I proved they can't be taken apart to change the lenses.

    See Message #6, for amusement.

    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...hts-circa-1985
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    "Alone Together--the Book" trailer here

  8. #8
    Principal Partner Keith Parcells's Avatar
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    Adam,

    To go back to your original question, your ports are probably held in place by large amounts of 3M 5200.since you have the inner trim ring off, take a couple of putty knives and work them into the outside, under the lip. Then go back inside with a sharp utility knife and start cutting straight in all around the frame to cut that 5200 loose. Do this in the same area as you are poking the screwdriver into in your picture. It's terrible stuff so have patience. Cut all the way around and keep cutting over and over. Alternate by going outside to work the putty knives all around. At some point you will be able to push a corner out, then you can see where more needs to be cut. Work your way around and you can ultimately push it out. The two screws will come out later, after the window & frame are extracted.
    Keith Parcells
    1983 E-33
    Hull #24
    Rocinante

  9. #9
    Sustaining Partner adam's Avatar
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    It definitely won't come out without some minor-demolition. I'm going to cut the fiberglass a bit to get this one out and seal it really well as it is directly above my relocated 12v electrical panel.

    As for the rest of them, at least for now I'll just add some 4200 to the exterior and see if I can make them leak less.
    Ericson 35 #282 - "Kiki"

  10. #10
    Contributing Member III
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    a few weeks ago I removed the two larger ports on one side... once I got through the multi layers of goop they popped out very easily. They should not be mechanically fastened into the 'sidewall' unless a PO got creative.... but hard to imagine. They will be reinstalled with butyl but while they are out I do need to disassemble the frame and replace the rubber gasket that seals both sides of the glass to the frame. Going to all this work and still have them leak due to a bad gasket is a real pita. Yes I know this from sad experience. I think I have a line on replacement gaskets, will inform if it proves out. Very difficult to find. If anyone has had any success with this, please let me know.

  11. #11
    Contributing Member III
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    a few weeks ago I removed the two larger ports on one side... once I got through the multi layers of goop they popped out very easily. They should not be mechanically fastened into the 'sidewall' unless a PO got creative.... but hard to imagine. 'Too small' holes btw are SO much better than 'too big' holes which I had to deal with on my previous boat doing this same thing.
    They will be reinstalled with butyl but while they are out I do need to disassemble the frame and replace the rubber gasket that seals both sides of the glass to the frame, and I strongly suggest this. Going to all this work and still have them leak due to a bad gasket is a real pita. Yes I know this from sad experience. I think I have a line on replacement gaskets, will inform if it proves out. Very difficult to find. If anyone has had any success finding these, please let me know.

    1978 E35-2
    Crystal Current

  12. #12
    Contributing Member III
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    and sorry for the double post :-|
    the first one did not seem to 'send'

  13. #13
    Sustaining Member woolamaloo's Avatar
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    Mine appear to be the same design as yours and I just took them out a few weeks ago. In fact, they're still out. I'm scraping off all the sealant before reinstalling. But those screws you're trying to get at are definitely holding the frame together - not holding the portlight in place. For me, after I got to where you are, I was able to slowly and firmly push the portlight - frame and all - out of its opening. Nothing more was needed but to gradually break the hold of the sealant that was in place. After getting the trim pieces off - like you've already done - it took me less than 5 minutes to have all four portlights out.
    Jim
    Woolamaloo
    Cleveland, Ohio
    1985 E30+ #685/Universal M18

  14. #14
    Contributing Member III
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    as mentioned above, I honed a very sharp edge on a 1.5" putty knife and worked it down around the frame on the outside... there will still be a residue of sealant but with a steady push it should pop out at one of the corners
    1978 35-2
    Crystal Current

  15. #15
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    I believe goop is better than butyl for bedding portlights because it fills gaps, gets firm, and doesn't ooze out over time.

    Avoid 5200, which is a strong adhesive. Boatlife products or 4200 or similar work well.

    If current old goop won't let go, a Dremel saw beats a putty knife.
    Last edited by Christian Williams; 12-17-2016 at 09:18 AM.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    "Alone Together--the Book" trailer here

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