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Old 08-11-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Classic deadbolt & actuator access pictures

I'm not sure how many of the Classic style of motorhomes have problems with the dead bolts but our 84 310 does and the 86 345 we're parting out had the same problem. I'm attaching pictures and a brief description of how to access the dead bolt and its actuator and hopefully how to fix the problem.

Both the 310 and the 345 have the same symptoms, that is you can't get the dead bolt to lock with the rocker switch on the dash or with the key and it is difficult to rotate the dead bolt in and out by hand using the hand actuator on the inside of the door. When rotating it by hand you can feel a distinct popping feeling as you turn it.

Since I was tearing the lock mechanism out of the 345 I thought this would be a good time to see if I could find the problem. Originally I thought the actuator was bad and causing a binding action. Well I was wrong on that one.

To remove the dead bolt assembly and actuator you will need to cut an opening in the wall right behind the upper portion of the dead bolt and also drill a couple of 3/4" holes farther down to access the lower two nuts of the handle assembly. I made the initial opening way to large but since the 345 was being torn apart anyway it didn't much matter.

The mounting studs on the dead bolt handle are 8-1/8" apart top to bottom and one 1" side to side.

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The servo mounting plate is attached directly to the 4 studs of the exterior handle. You will have to remove the handle assembly itself from the coach which means you will have to remove all 4 nuts that hold it to the coach. The handle is pretty well caulked in place so you'll have to work at it to get it off.

You will not be able to remove the servo without removing it's mounting plate due to how it is fastened to the plate.

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The servo was made by NORMARK in Dallas Tx. It has a 90 day warranty and was made in the U.S.A.

Show below are pictures of the actual deadbolt assembly. The dead bolt itself is riveted to the side of the door frame so you'll need to drill out the rivets.

If you look at the first picture you'll see two little flat strips of spring steel. Those two pieces are actually supposed to be one piece. The strip has snapped in half. If you look at the other picture you'll see where I placed the two pieces back into the deadbolt assembly. The original single piece of spring steel is supposed to provide a smooth sliding action for the rotating cam but also provide a high center point so the cam is forced either left or right of center and the spring steel keeps it from an accidentally rotating back the other way.

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I'm still hunting for a source for the spring steel. Once I find one I'll rebuild the dead bolt and install it in our 310 and hopefully the dead bolt problems will be over with

Hope this helps those of you with dead bolt problems. If you need in further info let me know and I'll try and help.

Brad
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:15 AM   #2
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Hey Brad,
Yep, I've had problems with the lock...curiously, they have resolved...it's gonna happen, again, andI know it...I find it kinda interesting that the brass of the deadbolt wears more than the aluminum...my dash lock switch works, but only about half the time...a real pain if you've already strapped yourself in...
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ScrapIrony-2 View Post
Hey Brad,
Yep, I've had problems with the lock...curiously, they have resolved...it's gonna happen, again, andI know it...I find it kinda interesting that the brass of the deadbolt wears more than the aluminum...my dash lock switch works, but only about half the time...a real pain if you've already strapped yourself in...
For what it's worth, after looking at the broken metal strip I can see where it could possibly jam and you wouldn't be able to rotate the handle at all and if you could get it to rotate I could see where it would twist or break the square shaft. The hope would be it would do this in the open position and not the closed position

Definitely something I think I'll try and get fixed sooner rather than later.

Brad
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:37 AM   #4
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Oh, I guess you don't want to hear about the crawling/falling out the driver window thing, then...or the bit about the steps not opening until they are at shin-level...? Actually, the most difficult thing was crawling IN the driver window when the damn thing locked me out...
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:58 PM   #5
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Scrapirony-2, it sounds like you may have still come out with your dignity intact. When my coach locked me in I was alone out in the parking lot at Flying J and I didn't want to climb out the rear window again after the guy who sold me the rig almost slit his leg open in an attempt to escape it when he showed it to me the first time - I should have seen the signs right there- so I yelled out the window asking for someone to open the door from the outside - which worked the last time - but everyone ignored me so I drove up to the pumps and blocked as many as I could and asked, very politely, again. A stout, bored lady freed me with a flick of her wrist.
Then on the highway the foot blew open and I figured it was time for a trip to JC.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Then on the highway the foot blew open and I figured it was time for a trip to JC.
The *door blew open. Thank you Steve Jobs.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:10 AM   #7
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The *door blew open. Thank you Steve Jobs.
Dang, I had this vision of a bloody and mangled foot...

Yep, you gotta a love the auto correcting software features. One of these days a war is going to be started because a software program made a correction

Brad
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:20 AM   #8
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You have solved the mystery for me with your description and photo's. Thank you very much. I now just have to decide how to proceed. Should I cut an access hole or remove the kitchen and then take down the wall. Looks like both the top half and bottom half of the wall will need to be removed. That is a lot of work just to replace one part but my OCD requires that I make this keyless entry work. I think an access panel would be handy to service this part at a later date. Any thoughts? Steve
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by t7389sg View Post
You have solved the mystery for me with your description and photo's. Thank you very much. I now just have to decide how to proceed. Should I cut an access hole or remove the kitchen and then take down the wall. Looks like both the top half and bottom half of the wall will need to be removed. That is a lot of work just to replace one part but my OCD requires that I make this keyless entry work. I think an access panel would be handy to service this part at a later date. Any thoughts? Steve
Steve,

Having just finished tearing out the entire interior of the 345, if I were you I would think long and hard about trying to remove any walls or cabinets that are in the way. Especially if it is a wall that is next to the fridge. Those walls are sealed with mastic where the side wood wall butts against the aluminum inner skin. I literally had to use a sledge hammer to get those two walls out of the motorhome. Unfortunately on our 310 the deadbolt is right next the fridge There is just enough room to cut an access hole by the wall so that's the route I'm going to take.

I can safely say Airstream gave NO consideration to future repairs when they assembled these motorhomes.

If you need a small section of skin for a patch panel for the cost of postage I can send you small section of skin for use as an access cover.

Sometime in the next few weeks I will be cutting the opening for the 310 and will provide more pictures at that time showing how I did it. The only thing holding me back is trying to find a small strip of spring steel so I can fix the deadbolt.

Brad
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:14 PM   #10
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Looks like you could use a piece of band saw blade to replace that spring. Cut it with an abrasive cutoff wheel and try not to get it too hot and retemper the steel. I look forward to your pictorial report when you do yours. I may do the same since I have now sourced the servo for the dead bolt. Looks like the best course of action is to cut an access hole and then cover it with a small panel of some sort. If the servo will slip out of a hole the size of a no hole wall/switch plate, I may try that route. You can buy those covers/plate in many different colors and materials.
Thanks for your input. Steve
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:10 PM   #11
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Looks like you could use a piece of band saw blade to replace that spring. Cut it with an abrasive cutoff wheel and try not to get it too hot and retemper the steel.


Dang!

I've been scratching my head for days trying to think of something I have laying around that was spring steel. Never once did I look at my band saw blades. I think you found the perfect solution to the problem.

I'll report back with what I find.

Quote:
I look forward to your pictorial report when you do yours. I may do the same since I have now sourced the servo for the dead bolt. Looks like the best course of action is to cut an access hole and then cover it with a small panel of some sort. If the servo will slip out of a hole the size of a no hole wall/switch plate, I may try that route. You can buy those covers/plate in many different colors and materials.
Thanks for your input. Steve
You will still need to drill two holes for access to the bottom nuts on the outer handle. You can't get the deadbolt or servo out without removing the handle.

I'm assuming you're talking about a 4"x4" square access cover. I'm not sure you could access the two lower nuts with due to the servo blocking access. I could probably test that theory by remounting the handle and servo and then placing a scrap piece of interior wall with a 4"x4" cutout in it. I'll see if I can't do that tonight or tomorrow. I'm getting tired of tearing things out of the 345, it would be nice to actually try and fix something for a change

I'll keep you posted.

Brad
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:41 PM   #12
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It’s nice to find people on this site who are as fearless as you to dive into all this and document it for people like me who plan on doing it. Don't get me wrong, all the people on this site are amazingly great people but it seems like the limit to their experience is knowing a good place to get it fixed. Which is important knowledge to some but I insist on doing everything myself. Save for stuff I could do but choose not to like mounting tires. For the most part there are some really talented MOHO fixers here and I really do appreciate all that they contribute. I look forward to your posts. Steve
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:00 PM   #13
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Ditto
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:31 PM   #14
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Itís nice to find people on this site who are as fearless as you to dive into all this and document it for people like me who plan on doing it. Don't get me wrong, all the people on this site are amazingly great people but it seems like the limit to their experience is knowing a good place to get it fixed. Which is important knowledge to some but I insist on doing everything myself. Save for stuff I could do but choose not to like mounting tires. For the most part there are some really talented MOHO fixers here and I really do appreciate all that they contribute. I look forward to your posts. Steve
Thanks for the kinds words Some might call it fearless, I'd probably have to call it desperate

The longer I've owned the motorhome the less I want anyone else to work on it. We had some bad experiences early on in our ownership of the 310 that made me realize I could do the job at least as good and probably better mainly because I'm the one that has to live with it afterwards. The real deciding point was the brake work we had done. We had a shop in Little Rock AR replace the master cylinder and bleed the brakes. When it was done and as I pulled out onto the highway I realized I had almost NO brake pedal

I managed to ease my way back to the shop and they spent another 4 weeks trying to get them working right. I decided never again was I going to be put in that sort of situation. Fixing it myself means I know what was done and it also means I can fix it again the next time, possibly out in the middle of nowhere.

I do things up to my comfort level, after that I seek advice and will very reluctantly take it someplace. Fortunately since the brake incident I haven't had to have anyone else work on it.

If you like engine work stay tuned for the posts where I install the new 454 in my 20' Argosy. Won't happen till late this year or early next year.

Brad
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