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Old 02-04-2004, 10:20 AM   #1
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Hard closing door on 1968

The door on our 1968 Caravel has always been a tough one to close. Now it seems to be getting worse. I'm wondering if there's an adjustment I can make to make it better.

Here's the history:

1) It was scraped against a brick wall by a prior owner and re-skinned. At that time I'm sure it was re-hung.

2) At some later date, the door skin was damaged again near the lock. It looks like someone tried to pry it open with a crowbar. See pic.

3) I replaced the door gasket with the correct material last fall hoping that it would help, but it made no difference. (In any case, the door never leaked.)

You can see in the picture how the door is slightly crooked. It is tight near the lower left and upper right, and loose (gapping) in the opposite corners.

Any ideas?
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Old 02-04-2004, 10:22 AM   #2
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Another photo

In this picture you can see the hinge in relation to the interior. The rusty nuts you see to the left of the hinge (barely visible through the screen) are two of four that may provide some adjustment -- I'm not sure.

-- RL
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Old 02-04-2004, 10:35 AM   #3
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Just before the door reaches the closed position, are you able to rock it back and forth in the hinge? In other words, is the hinge pin or the hinge worn out or damaged?
It looks like the door is sagging to the front, which would indicate either a bent door frame, a bent trailer frame, or a wearing hinge mechanism.
Or maybe a little bit of all three.
Take a 2x4 and wedge it under the door and on the threshold, and GENTLY lift up, and have a second person watch the hinge, sometimes the door can be slightly " adjusted" in this manner. Make sure the door is 3/4 of the way or more closed.
If there is much play in the hinge, then new parts will be needed. If the hinge is tight, then the door needs adjusting with measured force and a 2x4
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Old 02-04-2004, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Just before the door reaches the closed position, are you able to rock it back and forth in the hinge? In other words, is the hinge pin or the hinge worn out or damaged?
Yes! That's exactly what it does. I can get about 1/4" of play in the door but only close to the closed position. So which is it, the hinge pin, or the hinge?
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Old 02-04-2004, 11:24 AM   #5
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Quote:

I can get about 1/4" of play in the door but only close to the closed position. So which is it, the hinge pin, or the hinge?
I am going to guess it is the hinge. BUT the pin is replaceable and available, the hinge is not, available as a new part that is. You could start by removing the pin and checking it for wear. If it is the hinge, on reassembly you could add nylon washers at the hinge contact points to fill the gap and slow or stop the wear if it is not the pin.
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:25 PM   #6
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I am guessing it's the hinge, also.
If it can not be reset to take up the slack ( poor mans repair) and make the door close straight, then perhaps a machine shop could drill it bigger and insert a bushing for the hinge pin to ride in snugly.
Just ideas, I never actually repaird this problem before.
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:27 PM   #7
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This could clearly be another symptom of unbalanced running gear. Imagine the closed door being vibrated in the hinge while driving.... how else could the hinge wear out in the CLOSED position?
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:34 PM   #8
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Wear

It appears to me that there is quite a bit of room for the door to be raised on the hinge, (at least in the photo).

Why dont you try this (just as an experiment) lift door vertically and slide a C clip or "Jesus" clip or maybe even a few washers that have been cut to just big enough to accomodate the hinge pin.

Slide the "shims" in between knuckles of hinge to hold the door up on the hinge.
Now try to close it.

I bet there is a wear spot on the lower frame where the door has been rubbing on the sill.

Give it a shot

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Old 02-04-2004, 12:57 PM   #9
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Thanks for the thoughts. We'll be working on this afternoon and I'll post results.

Uwe, my running gear has not been professionally balanced but the trailer does run smoothly. Just lucky. You forgot the obvious reason the door hinge may be worn: it's been used a lot (opened and closed)!

-- RL
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Old 02-04-2004, 01:31 PM   #10
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I know, I was half joking......
However, how do you explain that it is mostly worn in the closed or near closed position? Well? Hah - out of balance!
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Old 02-04-2004, 02:26 PM   #11
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We have the hinge pins, should you decide to go that way.

Andy
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:14 PM   #12
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Our '03 Bambi did the same thing. It was worse when I had the stabilizer jacks on it....Jack showed the the proper torque settings and it was better, but never really 100%. I talked to the factory and they said they could adjust it....only by then, we'd decided we were going to upgrade.
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:18 PM   #13
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The single hinged doors have an entirely different problem than the two hinged doors.

Andy
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:18 PM   #14
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How does the door close on your new one?
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