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Old 12-23-2012, 11:54 AM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
1985 25' Sovereign
South Central Rockies... , "...'Stream'n the Dream" thru the USA
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 533
Images: 39
Keeler Main Door Lock Repair/Replacement

...well, it finally happened. I closed the main hatch to the '85 Sovereign yesterday only to find this morning that the Keeler Brass Company lockset failed. I'm locked out.

So, I convinced my wife to use her stealthy ninja self to crawl thru the curbside access door to gain entry inside our rig. We didn't know before trying this stunt if there would be enough room for her to fit between the foot of the queenbed frame and the bulkhead. After some negotiating she made it through the opening. No we were able figure out how to dismantle the broken Keeler from the inside.

After passing several hand tools to her through the access door, she dismantled the lockset. Removing the handle, inside access plate, and circlip we were able to open the main door. Whew!

The culprit of the broken Keeler was a failure of where the sliding plate connects to the steel lock bolt. See photo where screw driver is pointing.

I intend to carefully weld this area together, clean, and reassemble the lockset.

If there is anyone out there that knows where this part can be found for sale, please advise soonest. We are planning to attend the 4CU Picacho Peak New Years Eve Rally in AZ on 27DEC - so we're leaning forward to getting this done ASAP!

More information and photos to follow...

Cheers,

Art
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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1977 31' Sovereign
1985 25' Sovereign
South Central Rockies... , "...'Stream'n the Dream" thru the USA
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 533
Images: 39
Follow-up on Broken Keeler Brass Company Lockset...

Please refer to my first post above.

After examining the failure, I decided to MIG weld an 1/8" thick strap over the top of the defected part. I spot welded on either side of the latch that contains the main spring then flipping over the piece, a weld was applied to the four sides of the strap.

The additional strap material welding together the latch and slider plate was about .012" thick (after grinding off excess metal) which caused a slight adjustment in the cover plate. I had to remove a quarter inch square piece of the coverplate to allow the now "thicker" latch slider to clear the coverplate when actuating the lockset.

The lockset appeared to have never been lubricated in many years (or maybe decades) by judging the consistency of the residual lubricant. Whatever material used to lube this mechanism was dried-out and almost resembled paraffin wax. This may have contributed to the failure of the latch slider plate.

NOTE: I also ground-down the latch face smooth and flat (that surface of the latch which contacts the striker plate when door is closed). I suggest AS owners inspect this area of the latch because what appears over time, that a "groove" develops where these two surfaces contact. As the rig rides down the road, twisting, buckling, and moving causes this groove to form. Once this groove is formed, each time the door latch is articulated it must overcome the "groove" and wears out other internal lockset components - namely the latch slider plate.

A thorough cleaning with solvent and following up with a high pressure grease to lubricate friction surfaces left the mechanism operating smoothly - much smoother than before I broke it.

I replace the repaired lockset using new weatherproofing sealant (polybutyl rope caulking).

With hope and luck, this fix should last a few more years.

Cheers,

Art
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