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Old 02-10-2007, 08:33 AM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
roanoke , Texas
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1972 Sovereign door closes hard

I have to pull hard while holding the lever up from the inside or push hard while holding the lever out on the outside in order to get the door to engage. Is there a cure for this?
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:20 AM   #2
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1971 25' Tradewind
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If there's a solution let me know

I have a 73 Sovereign with the same problem. In fact, I put a fixed handle on the inside of the door so I don't have to torque the KT200 lock handle and shaft. If there was a thinner rubber door gasket seal I think that would solve the problem. I cut the gasket down some around the lock and it helped some.

On my 71 I do not have this problem at all, in fact the door can almost be described as loose. There are some differences in the doors. 71 has a single big hinge, 73 has 2 smaller ones. 71 does not have a trim flange or nosing around the circumference of the door the 73 does. And I think the 73 door jamb frame is extruded and the 71 cast.

I guess these differences factor in the equation as unknown quantities. If you figure a solution I want to know too
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:40 AM   #3
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1981 24' International
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We had a problem with our 1981 24', especially trying to get the door to latch. Discovered it was because the travel was not completely level.

Pam
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:47 AM   #4
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1970 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
Greeneville , Tennessee
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Check for crack

Our 1970 is hard to close as well. The latch works fine and has been lubed very well. A month ago I discovered a hairline crack in the right hand side door casting. I suspect this crack (which goes all the way through the casting) has been there a LONG time. It looks like miles and miles of vibration has removed some material within the crack and now the bottom 18" of the right hand side of the door contacts the trailer body 1/2" before the rest of the door. When I push on the door I'm actually having to flex the door a half inch before it fully closes. So when repairs are made I'm sure the pressure needed to close it will be greatly reduced.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:36 AM   #5
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Got the same problem on my '73. I've found that from the outside, I can hold the handle open and gently push the door closed, then release the handle and it latches correctly every time. Form the inside, I can't seen to get it to work exactly the same way.

I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with teh door being misaligned as well. Possibly could have something to do lubrication, haven't taken the door apart yet to lub the inside.

Like y'all, I'd sure like to know the answer.

Jim
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:21 AM   #6
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KT lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Got the same problem on my '73. I've found that from the outside, I can hold the handle open and gently push the door closed, then release the handle and it latches correctly every time. Form the inside, I can't seen to get it to work exactly the same way.

I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with teh door being misaligned as well. Possibly could have something to do lubrication, haven't taken the door apart yet to lub the inside.

Like y'all, I'd sure like to know the answer.

Jim
The problem is that the entrance door lock striker bolt has a groove in it.

That groove is caused by the cast striker plate cutting a groove into the striker pocket, when traveling.

Airstream in short order modified the door lock installation by adding a brass shim to the backside of the striker pocket.

When the shim wears, the striker bolt will ride on the striker pocket, that is cast stainless steel, that in turn, cuts the groove.

Sometimes the striker pocket is worn as well.

Inspect the sriker bolt for that groove. If it's there, then you must replace the striker bolt, the brass shim, and possibly the striker pocket.

The striker pocket has a rectangular vertical hole one one side. That is where the brass shim is at.

Replacing the striker bolt in a KT lock is somewhat tricky, as it has two split pins in it. Replacing the brass shim and/or striker pocket is easy.

Unfortunately, not many dealers have the proper parts or want to work on a 30 plus year lock. Some dealers don't even have a clue about the "famous" KT lock.

Many years ago, we put a "same day" turn around repair for the KT lock.

For those that are new to Airstreaming, the Airstream current price of a new KT lock is $600.67.

The repair parts are expensive as well.

We did some homework, and came up with two different "replacement lock kits," one for 1970 to 1972 that has a cast entrance door frame, and another for 1973 to 1978 that has an extruded entrance door frame., that are considerably cheaper.

But, some door modification is necessary when installing these kits.

Andy
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:05 AM   #7
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Hard Closings

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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
The problem is that the entrance door lock striker bolt has a groove in it.

Andy
Hi Andy,

I have several spare KT lock bodies. On at least one there is a groove on the dead bolt. It is so rounded concave it looks machined. If I understand you correctly, this groove was not part of the design but the result of wear?

The problem on my 73 does not seem to be the lock but the force needed to get the door into a closing position. There is considerable resisitance, from the door gasket?, to pull/push the door into the position so the lock can engage. This seems to me to be also what the others are saying.

Marshall
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
Hi Andy,

I have several spare KT lock bodies. On at least one there is a groove on the dead bolt. It is so rounded concave it looks machined. If I understand you correctly, this groove was not part of the design but the result of wear?

The problem on my 73 does not seem to be the lock but the force needed to get the door into a closing position. There is considerable resisitance, from the door gasket?, to pull/push the door into the position so the lock can engage. This seems to me to be also what the others are saying.

Marshall

The groove should not be there.

Which door gasket are you using?

Is it the same as the windows, or is it triangular shaped?

Andy
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:36 PM   #9
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wrong door gasket?

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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In

Which door gasket are you using?

Is it the same as the windows, or is it triangular shaped?

Andy
I am using the same gasket as the windows which is U shaped with 2 flanges. I replaced it once, but I'm pretty sure this was on the 73 when I got it. It's the same as on my 71 which is probably the original.

This is not a big deal, I just need to give the 73 door an extra push or tug to get the deadbolt to spring into it's receptacle in the door jamb.
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Old 02-11-2007, 03:01 PM   #10
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I recently replaced all gaskets on my '73 Sovereign with double flange gasket and the latch was difficult to catch, especially from the inside.

After reading Andy's post, I got really worried and took a look at mine. I don't see a groove on the bolt but did spray some silicon lubricant and it improved significantly.

Another thought I had was to install a handle on the inside to apply a little extra "pulling" against the new gasket.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:40 PM   #11
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1972 27' Overlander
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I have a 72 overlander and it's a finger push to get the door to latch. I had to replace the striker on the jamb because the other one was worn out.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
I am using the same gasket as the windows which is U shaped with 2 flanges. I replaced it once, but I'm pretty sure this was on the 73 when I got it. It's the same as on my 71 which is probably the original.

This is not a big deal, I just need to give the 73 door an extra push or tug to get the deadbolt to spring into it's receptacle in the door jamb.

Lubing the striker bolt, "and" the door gasket with Silicone spray does wonders.

Use lots of it on the gasket, especially on the hinge side of the door.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:44 AM   #13
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Andy, I think I just figured out what you mean about that groove on the bolt. I'm going to take a picture later and post it so you can tell me if on the right path. And yes, that shim is missing on mine. We may need to talk later

Jim
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Andy, I think I just figured out what you mean about that groove on the bolt. I'm going to take a picture later and post it so you can tell me if on the right path. And yes, that shim is missing on mine. We may need to talk later

Jim
1970 to 1972 striker pockets are very different from the cast stainless steel pocket that was used with the KT lock from 1973 to 1978.

The brass shim was only used with the stainless steel striker pocket.

The striker pockets used from 1970 to 1972, are cast using a softer metal.

The above is how Airstream built the trailers. Yours may have been changed by someone.

A picture would help.

Andy
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