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Old 01-08-2016, 03:03 PM   #1
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1965 17' Caravel
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Whew! '65 Door Hinge Pin Hell.

Well well well. The end is near - to putting a screen door on Madge.

A year ago I began a quest to put a screen door on the Caravel. I searched high and low and finally found a used screen door, but it had no hinge. Months later I found the hinge and pin. Then I began removal of the existing pin. I followed the instructions at VintageAirstream.com, as I did successfully with our last vintage trailer, which had an awful squeak. But the damn pin would not budge.

The first issue was the roll pin. There appeared to be a roll pin in the hole, APPEARED. Turns out that it was two ends of a roll pin sticking out of each side - with a broken off drill bit inside. With a bit of blood sweat and tears I got it out. After DAYS. Dremel, drills, punches, chisels...

Only to discover that sometime in the past someone had actually drilled the main hinge pin IN HALF, two pieces, when the drill bit broke on them. Thats hardened drill bit and 2 stainless steel hinge pin halves. Not only that, but they apparently BEAT the pins from each end until each half of the pin INSIDE the cast aluminum hinge casting was mushroomed where they met. Meaning they were locked-in at the point of the roll pin hole.

After more DAYS of frustration, I elected to use a cut-off wheel and cut the hinge in several places between the castings. I got the door off. Leaving the two halves of the pin locked in the center casting. I used a dozen Dremel tool bits with diamond coatings and a vice grip to rotate the pin while grinding off the widened/mushroomed "head" through the roll pin hole. Took FOREVER.

FINALLY the two pin halves came out of the casting, TODAY! Leaving a pin remnant in the top casting of the door which was also mushroomed from being beaten in several attempts to get that damn hinge off by both me and whomever in the past. It had to be beat out using the new hinge pin from below, while laying on the grass. But with the help of a vice grip locked onto the pin and a hammer and new hinge pin I beat it back out! Yay!

Now to install the new screen door hinge…
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:45 PM   #2
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Wow!
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:16 PM   #3
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1965 17' Caravel
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Angry I am an idiot.

Screen door and main door back on the trailer!
Came time to install the used screen door. So I placed it in the doorway, shimmed it upwards so if and when it ever sagged it would have some slop. Good! Until I test closed the main door and discovered the jalousie door crank and crank mechanism protrude into the screen. D'OH!

So I marked on the screen with sharpie with intention I'll make some kind of small aluminum box and frame (3"x6") to allow the crank to be used from within and still keep out pests. I quit for now.
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:04 AM   #4
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Only to discover that sometime in the past someone had actually drilled the main hinge pin IN HALF, two pieces, when the drill bit broke on them. Thats hardened drill bit and 2 stainless steel hinge pin halves. Not only that, but they apparently BEAT the pins from each end until each half of the pin INSIDE the cast aluminum hinge casting was mushroomed where they met. Meaning they were locked-in at the point of the roll pin hole.

Some people should be denied all access to tools. I mean those who think with their temper, not their brain.
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:12 AM   #5
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Looks like you won an ugly fight with the door hinge pin. Wasn't '64/'65 a door design change? Are you saying that there is a jalousie window in your 1965 single hinge door?? Isn't that unusual? would a fold-away window crank help? Photos?
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:40 AM   #6
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1965 17' Caravel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALUMINUMINUM View Post
Looks like you won an ugly fight with the door hinge pin. Wasn't '64/'65 a door design change? Are you saying that there is a jalousie window in your 1965 single hinge door?? Isn't that unusual? would a fold-away window crank help? Photos?
Well, it has the jalousie window, I can't say how unusual that is. Ive never seen a fold away crank, this one is two pronged, plus the mechanism itself sticks out (actually sticks IN). Even the window does a bit too. I seriously goofed by not noticing that.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:29 AM   #7
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caravel screen door

There is a type of dog proof screen out there that stretches when pushed against that might work in your case. I have the exact same door and a screen door with NO hinge! where did you find a hinge?
thanks, joe q in Minnesnowda
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:47 AM   #8
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There is a type of dog proof screen out there that stretches when pushed against that might work in your case. I have the exact same door and a screen door with NO hinge! where did you find a hinge?
thanks, joe q in Minnesnowda
Airstream Parts from Airstream Supply.

Where is that screen?
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:04 PM   #9
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1965 17' Caravel
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Memphis , Tennessee
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The problem with your hinge pin might be more common than you think. I had a cracked door frame on my 65 and had to take the door off to fix the crack. I found a good welder to help me take the door off and weld the crack, but when we went to remove the door I found a similar situation. We kept hitting the pin with a hammer and it wasn't budging. Finally, we figured out, since the top half would turn but the bottom half didn't, the pin was two pieces! We also decided that it was mushroomed inside. So, now we concentrated on the two halves independently and finally, after a lot of work, removed them. He had some stainless steel rod the same diameter as the pin, so replacing it was not going to be a problem. Once the door was fixed, and the new pin was fabricated we did an alteration to the original design. We came to the conclusion that a hole in the hinge pin for the roll pin to go through is a weak point in the design. So, our solution was a flat place in the center of the hinge pin. Drill out the aluminum hinge where the roll pin was to accommodate a hex screw. Now tighten the hex screw to hold the hinge pin in place. That was 6 or 8 months ago, and it is still holing up fine.
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