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Old 09-16-2013, 03:26 PM   #1
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Fergus , Ontario
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DIY Door Hinge Repair

One of the door hinges on our '98 Safari was loose and the bolt and nut were turning in the hole. The nut is held on by sealant applied by AS. The nut loosened from the sealant causing the bolt to turn freely.
These photos show the process of accessing and replacing the nut and bolt from the hinge. Paper towel was loosely stuffed into opening below the bolt in case the nut was dropped.

New stainless steal nuts and a bolt were used to slow down rust in the future. One of the two nuts was a lock nut (i.e., double nutted). The nut was held by vice-grips to insert the nut and hold it in place while the bolt was turned from the outside (by another person).
The inside wall consisted of two layers (wood laminate cut with utility knife and aluminum skin cut with sheet metal cutters). After bolt replacement, the cavity was re-insulted with rock wool insulation, the aluminum skin was replaced with a new piece of aluminum and the cut laminate was reused and screwed into place.
NOTE: only replace one bolt at a time.
The photos may not be in order but post any questions you may have about this fix.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:46 PM   #2
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Good repair. I notice that the old nut appears to be rusty. If that is the case, perhaps you should check for leaks around the upper part of the door frame?
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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Looks like I am into the same repair - thanks for the detailed pictures - they really answer a lot of questions.


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Old 10-06-2013, 02:40 PM   #4
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Have not had this problem yet, just doing homework in case it happens to our '83 Excella.

Has anyone tried using a 3/4 or 1 inch hole saw on the inside to go through the inside trim and inside skin, then a socket from the inside to make the repair and then filling the hole with a simple push in hole plug?

Might be better than cutting the inside wall to pieces. If it doesn't work you can always do the big cut.
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Foster View Post
...Has anyone tried using a 3/4 or 1 inch hole saw on the inside to go through the inside trim and inside skin, then a socket from the inside to make the repair and then filling the hole with a simple push in hole plug?...
That's exactly how I did it on my '77.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:00 PM   #6
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1981 31' Excella II
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I just drilled two little round holes to get to my hinge nuts. At some point, I may drill the heads off and put in stainless steel bolts. Airstream should have but a nut plate back there so you can tighten the hinges without taking a can opener to your trailer.

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Old 03-25-2014, 08:43 PM   #7
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1998 34' Excella 1000
Richland , Washington
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Fixed Loose Door Hinge with 1 inch hole drill

Fixed Loose Door Hinge with 1 inch hole drill
We are on vacation, and after moving to another location, the door went nuts. Yep, the lower hinge was floppy loose. And tightening the Phillips head screws had no effect, they just turned and turned. I read several posts and decided to drill 1 inch holes, remove the nuts with the flimsy lock washers built on, and replace them with a back-reinforcing washer and ny-lock nut. 3 trips to ACE hardware and 4 hours later, the door is solid and working again.
One should realize that a flat head screw in plastic or wood turns to tight ok, but in solid metal it is a taper-fit, and will never really get tight before self-binding. The proper way to tighten flathead screws in solid counter-sunk metal is to tighten the back-side nut; the screw head will self-lock and not rotate.
Some time back I located some black hard nylon washers that when cut (split like a lock washer) will slide easily onto the hinge pin via a pair of pliers. This will both solve the metal-to-metal grinding within the hinge, and give the door a small lift to replace worn missing metal. I get many months of use from each washer.
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