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Old 08-30-2010, 02:25 PM   #1
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ZipDee Z-Lock Repair

At the end of my last trip I could not get the awning to retract all the way up. Glad it was the last day, at least.

The first picture shows the state of the awning; the second shows how I had to secure the awning arms (using velcro tape). I removed the claw arm and carried it home in the truck.

When I tried to "help" the awning up, I heard something give and I was afraid I had partially de-tensioned the spring.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:31 PM   #2
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(posting this in spurts so I don't time out).

Anyway - I did the smart thing and called our friends at ZipDee. The expert who answered the phone listened to me and my diagnosis and then, nicely, explained that the problem was likely that the z-lock had become jammed. So I ordered a replacement and home it came in a few days, complete with instructions and replacement bolts and rivets.

The instructions were easy to follow; installation of the new z-lock went like a charm. Only problem is that when I initially tried to help the awning closed, I bent the lower awning arm. So now, even with the z-lock repaired, I still could not close the awning.

So - back on the phone to ZipDee and got the lower arm ordered - and it was delivered today.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:38 PM   #3
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This was pretty straightforward; extend and support the awning, remove the bottom of the arm from its bracket and replace the old piece with the new. I laid the parts side-by-side so you can see how I bent it.

I swear - I didn't think I had it in me!

Anyway - we're now back in business, the awning is working just like new.

So - I don't know if there is any preventive maintenance you can do on your z-lock. Mine worked 100%, although in hindsight I recall now that is was a little balky to close those last few inches. Perhaps that is the only warning you'll have.

Mine is a '98 - so keep this in mind as yours ages.

Pat
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:54 PM   #4
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When a Z lock jams it is often broken teeth. Since it is the same area of teeth that lock you can rotate the Z lock to expose a fresh area of teeth, and not replace the Z lock.
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:02 PM   #5
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You're likely right, Lumatic. However, when I had the old one in my hand, there was a lot of friction when I twisted it. The new one spun freely and smoothly like a new open-faced reel.

My advice is, if you're on the road and the z-lock hangs then do as Lumatic says and rotate it. But take it as a fair warning about a future failure and go ahead and order your new z-lock.

Pat
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:19 PM   #6
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FYI
The release lever on my Z lock snapped off 2 years ago. I made a "temporary" repair with JB Weld. Also used JB Weld to tighten up a loose radio antenna. So far, it still holds.
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