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Old 03-04-2018, 07:05 PM   #197
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1986 34' Limited
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My Trade Wind hinge was quite worn. I might have had 3/8" movement when lifting the door from the bottom right corner. My door was also a bit bent and not fitting just perfectly. Still is as far as I know. I never restored the hinge.

The door frame is cast aluminum on these trailers. I like the idea of a backer plate for riveting. I've also used the next size up rivet to accommodate an oversized hole.

I think it was Aerowood in his thread who removed and disassembled the hinge, and then line bored the hinge pin hole some .010 oversized, and then made a new, slightly bigger hinge pin. The door hinge on these trailers is a massive thing of beauty. My 75 Overlander has the standard two hinge arrangement. I'm not sure what year the big single hinge went away.

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Old 03-05-2018, 06:45 AM   #198
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Two hinges make sense.

One massive one, though a thing of beauty, recalls to mind the quintessential rub between architects and the engineers and contractors tasked with grounding their flights of fancy. Da Vinci may have had a knack for blending art and science, but he also started a lot of stuff he never finished.

So, its off to the hardware store for this disciple of function over form.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:53 PM   #199
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Good plan. I'll take function over beauty any day of the week. In fact my wife says I have no right side of the brain activity at all. No appreciation of artistic endeavors at all. Oh well, someone one has to paint the house while other artistic folks paint pictures.

David
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:39 PM   #200
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Dale and Terry get a '66 Tradewind

Our division of labor is DW does the design stuff, and I do the engineer and build part. I have long been aware that this is the best way to build and decorate our homes, and Iím sure it extends to Airstreams.

In our rather long marriage, this include building two homes starting with paper (I do the AutoCad computer stuff) to building and decorating. The current owners of these are absolutely infatuated with them. Not bad for a housewife/registered nurse, and a Computer-engineering type

As Iíve often said, Iím not an architect, nor do I play one on Television, but DW is inherently artistic, and the two of us together are quite good at designing homes...as long as I run the computer
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:03 AM   #201
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Dale - Iím curious how the door hinge connects to the trailer? On my Ď68, the hinge was bolted to the door frame and the door itself, which allowed for an adjustment.

Also, be sure your trailer is level prior to making any adjustments.
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:41 AM   #202
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"improved" hinge

One of the “improvements” listed for the 1968 Airstream, is the door hinge. The external appearance of the '68 is smooth and thicker, perhaps to accommodate the threaded stud mounts instead of rivets.


Who knows if they are interchangeable, as the cast frames for the door and jamb could be different in order to accommodate the “improved” stud mounts of the '68??


Maybe the “improvement” cracks the cast door frame differently when the wind suicides it, instead of tearing the skin rivets.


May have been better to abandon this design than "improve" it.

...
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:36 AM   #203
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One side of the hinge is riveted to the door jamb and the other to the door frame. The part of the hinge riveted to the jamb has pop rivets and the part riveted to the door frame has buck rivets. If you look closely at the picture of the hinge, you can see that the part riveted to the door is not very precisely aligned with the edge of the door, accounting for the gap between the door and the jamb in the upper left and the 1/16" overlap on the upper right.

Closer inspection yesterday revealed a previous repair to the door frame. The door had obviously opened while headed down the highway and banged back, cracking the door frame above and below the hinge. The repair involved bending a 1/4" steel strap to confirm to the interior side of the door frame and riveting the strap to the frame.

The plan now is to drill out the rivets in the door half of the hinge and realign the hinge on the door in order to straighten the whole mess out. It seems a pain in the butt to use rivets and I am thinking of alternatives, such as heavy duty self-tapping screws or nuts and bolts.

Thanks, Brian, for the tip on making sure the trailer is level before reinstalling the door.

So it looks like things are back to using the old Da Vinci design, functionality be damned. The unanticipated problems and work-arounds in rebuilding one of these old trailers can be, I guess, part of the fun. I was reminded of tearing out the walls of my first house and finding the charred studs from an old fire.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:08 AM   #204
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Would Da Vinci approve of stainless steel carriage bolts??
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:34 AM   #205
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Looks like the '65-'68 cast door frame is the same. Mine was broken-repaired-broken at the same place as yours.

If you are going to weld the cracks, I'd at least remove the rivets that attach the skin to door-frame alongside the hinge. Better to remove the entire door-skin, then re-buck after welding.

I didn't, and the consequence was rippled skin between buck rivets from the cast frame shrinking so much from weld heat. I may have got it too hot because I re-enforced the welds with aluminum triangle plates.

Welding the cast frame might reshape your door, so maybe weld before you re-fit it for seam allowance.

I made a full-length curvature jig and clamped firmly, door didn't bend, but did shrink.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:34 PM   #206
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Thanks for the advice.

Actually, I'm not planning on doing any welding at all. That steel strap the previous owner formed and riveted to the inside of the door frame may not be pretty, but it is structurally sound. So I'm going to leave it as is, reinstall the interior skin and dismiss it all as being out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

After I drill out the hinge rivets in the door I plan to clamp the door firmly in place, drill new holes through the hinge and into the door frame and then fasten them.

I'm not at all sure what Da Vinci would have to say about stainless steel bolts, but that is what I'm leaning toward.
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:24 PM   #207
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Sounds like you have a good handle on how you are going to fix your door/hinge problem. Hereís hoping that I donít have to deal with this problem on my Tradewind. I always travel with my simple but effective wood door keeper to make sure it doesnít open while going down the road.

Dan
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:36 AM   #208
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"So it looks like things are back to using the old Da Vinci design, functionality be damned. The unanticipated problems and work-arounds in rebuilding one of these old trailers can be, I guess, part of the fun. I was reminded of tearing out the walls of my first house and finding the charred studs from an old fire."

For me, a big part renovating something old, is letting some of the old scars remain. The thing has had a life and I want to preserve that life. Of course a knee replacement is sometimes a good thing.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:04 PM   #209
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The folks participating in this thread are like me. Function over form. I doubt of any of us have sewed decorative hearts and flower patches on our shop coveralls.

My former 66 Trade Wind also had a cracked cast door frame, but on the forward edge where the previous owner pulled it into a brick bbq fire pit. He also repaired it with a steel strap and fasteners. If you squint or put cheater glasses on, maybe you can see the repair in this photo. It seemed strong to me. I did replace the patch under the window. I think the old one was an old road sign.

Again, function over form.

David
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:15 AM   #210
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Well, I have wrestled the door off the hinge. It took some persistent drilling of the rivets. Drilling them from the bucked side is much easier. You can better center a nail punch on that side and the rivet removal tool from VTS, although it works well on shell rivets, doesn't center so well on the domed hinge rivets.

Reassembling the door latch mechanism after it fell apart on removal was a bit of a challenge, but it is back in working order, ready for reinstallation. Now on to re-riveting the hinge in its new position to eliminate the gap between the door and the frame.

On a bit of a side issue - what to get for a bathroom sink - I was struck by the one in our room at the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas, where we were last month, pictured below. I'm trying to get the folks there to tell me where I can order one. I think it would look cool in the Tradewind. Thoughts?
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