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Old 06-06-2004, 12:23 PM   #1
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Zip Dee Arms Too Long

I replaced the fabric on our 20' patio awning and now I cannot get the arms of the awning to lock in. The arms I'm having trouble with are the two "rafter arms"--the top ones on each end, as well as the middle support arm. They all seem too Long by anywhere from 3-5" depending on how far the lower arms are lifted up. It's definitely beyond the range of the spring tensioner to compress.

Our prior awning was the original 1978 and all the seams had practically disintegrated from UV damage. The Zip Dee man I spoke with said they've now fixed that problem with UV resistant thread. I ordered the replacement fabric for all the awnings straight from Zip Dee. I followed their directions on replacement to a "T". What could I be doing wrong???

TIA for any help!
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Old 06-06-2004, 12:59 PM   #2
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Could only be a size thing.
Do you still have enough of the old awning fabric to compare?
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Old 06-06-2004, 01:41 PM   #3
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dumb question: is the awning rolled all the way down? 3 to 5 inches would seem about one revolution of the awning tube.

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Old 06-06-2004, 04:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for your thoughts, gentlemen. I got it wrong when I originally posted. The top arms seem too long, so it would seem the fabric is too short! Yes, it is unrolled completely. I can take a little slack up from the fabric which wants to droop with gravity, but not nearly enough to account for the shortage of length to connect up the arms. Yes, the fabric from the old one is longer. It had probably stretched over time. With all the seams ripped out, including over the tube, we couldn't really stress it by hooking it up under tension before we removed it to see how that worked.

FWIW, the other fabric replacements fit fine on the side and rear awnings. I'm going to call Zip Dee tomorrow and see if they have any suggestions. I appreciate your thoughts as well. Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:28 AM   #5
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Just FYI for follow-up. I contacted Zip Dee and their solution was to shorten the rafter (upper) arms by the required amount. I hooked up the arm and then compressed the spring all the way, marked the end of the tube that slides over the solid bar then drilled a hole where the pin would be at that position. Final result...they lock up just fine now! Apparently the design of the bars has changed over the years. He had to look up instructions for this procedure based on the year of the awning. I wonder how the new ones work? Thanks again for suggestions. BTW, I remeasured the fabric and they were exactly the same. As I said above our old awning had disintegrated whereever there was stiching and I was measuring to the wrong set of stiching holes.
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