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Old 04-13-2004, 10:49 AM   #1
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Door Handle - Replacement for 1981 Excella

I am looking for a replacement door handle for our 1981 Excella motor home. We are spending the Summer on the family farm near Ridgeway, OH just 20 min. from the Airstream factory in Jackson Center. According to their Service Manager the original handles are no longer available. Their fix would require patching the door and installing a new, different size handle for $600.

I am planning on creating a CAD drawing of the handle and having a new one machined out of an aluminum plate. If anyone knows of a source for this part please let me know before I reinvent the wheel. The cast handle was cracked for some time and came off this morning. The rest of the mechanism is in good condition, just the cast handle is broken.

Dick
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Old 04-13-2004, 11:45 AM   #2
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I checked out the Bargman site for you, didn't find anything similiar other than the L series lock for motorhomes which is available all over. It is NOT the same as ours. Luckily you can get the tumblers from Keeler. If you do make a working handle, it might be something others would want to buy....maybe listed on our parts section here? Just a thought.
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Old 04-13-2004, 01:10 PM   #3
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if you find a source for the Handle i would be interested. a bargeman L-300 is the recommended replacement for that lock and is takes a larger opening. i think that is the one Andy at inland recommended. he also mentioned a rebuild kit, i didn't get any specifics for that. might ask Andy what is in the kit, or where you might get a handle.
true you would have to do some trimming but it is not an impossible job.i took mine off and cleaned it and it was nasty, the door opens with a lot less force on the lock handle.
the L-300 is less than $75 at a few sources i have found.
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Old 04-13-2004, 01:14 PM   #4
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i think that handle is stainless not aluminum. but i will check when the rain goes away.
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Old 04-13-2004, 01:18 PM   #5
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I need a handle for the 76 Overlander too... These prices are outrageous!!!! It's just a door handle..The frige is only going to run us $700.....
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Old 04-13-2004, 01:20 PM   #6
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TCL,

The trailers use a different setup than the Motorhomes do. IF you can find one in a bone yard, buy it. The refurbished ones are the only way to go unless you are willing to re-skin or patch the door. The NOS locks for the mid to late 70's models have all been used up, so rebuilt is the only option
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Old 04-13-2004, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
TCL,

The trailers use a different setup than the Motorhomes do. IF you can find one in a bone yard, buy it. The refurbished ones are the only way to go unless you are willing to re-skin or patch the door. The NOS locks for the mid to late 70's models have all been used up, so rebuilt is the only option
GRRRRR!!!!!! so I am pretty much SOL.....I'll keep my eyes out....
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Old 04-19-2004, 11:41 AM   #8
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Update on door handle

I found the source of the handle. My latch was made by Keeler Brass Co.; the inside of the latch casting has KBC molded in. They e-mailed me the drawing for the handle and I'm in the process of converting the TIF file to AutoCAD. The material, by the way, is chrome plated die cast Zinc. I will go to a local machine shop for a quote to machine it from 6061-T6 Aluminum soon and post the cost back to this thread.

Dick
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Old 04-19-2004, 12:28 PM   #9
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I can't imagine what that is going to cost you, but I'm sure it's cheaper than $600.

Good luck.
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Old 04-21-2004, 06:58 PM   #10
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keeler door handle

dear D1; Had the door handle on my 85 Excella break on my return from L.A. this past weekend. I was @8300 ' with no rest stop and needed to use the bathroom. I found a scrubby pinion pine to do my business but have had the same problem locating a door handle since my return to the flatlands. Andy had a Keeler handle @ Inland RV. It was the 3" long one. I needed the 4" long handle. But that may be the one you are looking for.Talk to Michele. She found it for me on Tuesday if that is the one you need. I decided to go to my machine shop this morning and have one made out of stainless steel and then have it polished. It won't be exact but I don't think it be as obvious as installing a replacement assembly w/cover plates to hide the old hole. But if you have a better plan please forward it to me. I think the stainless steel will be unbreakable and polished it will shine like chrome. I'm afraid the original was under-designed. My door has to be pressed in with your left hand and the door handle pulled with your right to open it. When friends or kids try to open it they end up just pulling harder and harder. Sooner or later I'm afraid I would end up with another broken door handle. You'll break your hand before you break the stainless steel handle. Hope it looks oK when i'm done. Let you know.

God speed and may you find the promised land.
oml
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Old 04-22-2004, 09:22 AM   #11
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Handle drawing

The drawing I am working on is for the 4.110 high by 1.970 wide handle. It is Keeler Brass Company #35143 Outside Handle. I also broke a tab off the #35149 Bolt Plate while using a pair of pliers to slide the plate. The original drawings e-mailed to me were not of the quality that I was comfortable with. I am recreating them in AutoCAD to take to a machine shop.

Dick
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Old 05-07-2004, 10:46 AM   #12
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Handle drawing update

I found a machine shop close by (West Liberty, OH) that has quoted a replacement handle fabricated from 16 gauge Stainless Steel. The design they propose should have superior strength compared with the original Zinc die-cast. When I get it installed I'll post a picture of it and let the forum know price and location of the shop.
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Old 05-07-2004, 10:52 AM   #13
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Thanks

All of us without handles send out a big THANK YOU!!!! Look forward to the pricing...

Ron
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:56 AM   #14
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New door handle

I picked up my new door handle last Friday. I wanted to wait until I had it installed and used it a few days before I recommended the fabricator. It looks and works better than the original. They fabricated it from three pieces of stainless steel. The location of the holes in the cams is something that can't be measured from the old handle. Over the years these holes wear and the centers can no longer be located. I left copies of the drawing with the fabricator so that he can duplicate it for anyone else that needs one. Remember, this is the KBC (Keeler Brass Company) #35142 Handle Assembly used on my 1981 Excella motorhome and may not be the same one used in all applications. These letters and numbers are on the inside of the outer casting.

They charged $195.95 plus tax. They are:

Holdren Brothers, Inc.
P.O. Box 459
301 Runkle
West Liberty, OH 43357

Phone: (937)465-7050

The contact is: Jim Clevenger, Engineering Manager
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