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Old 01-18-2011, 11:46 AM   #1
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Argosy Door

Argosy Door Problem
The exterior door on my '74 Argosy is not sitting correctly in the opening. Therefore it is not sealing properly. On the hinge side of the door there is a gap of 3/8" at the top and /1/8" at the bottom. There may be .010" slack in the hinge pins but nothing that would cause the door to "sag" the way it does. The hinges are tight to the door and tight to the frame. I can grab the top right corner of the door and push and pull on it and it doesn't move.
The hinges look like they are made of cast aluminum and have 2 bolts on each hinge holding them to the door frame. I can't tell how the hinge is actually attached to the door.
How does one go about correcting this problem?
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:06 AM   #2
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Could you post a few pictures of the misalignment?

I'll bet you already know this, and it may not apply to your problem, but I am posting my experiences on door alignment issues to help any other people that run into something similar and see this post.

Normally, a gap at the top is caused by the door blowing open at 60 MPH and banging against the side of the trailer. (A "sprung" door.) The force is usually enough to leave a small scrape mark in the paint near the latch on the side of the trailer, and it can easily flatten the door enough it pulls the top away from the trailer, causing a large gap. I can't think of any other way this could have happened unless the hinges were installed incorrectly at the factory.

When the door is closed and latched, is the gap on the front and rear of the door even from the top of the door to the bottom, and does the curve of the door match the curve of the outside of the trailer exactly? Ours was sprung near the hinges as well as on the opposite side, though by varying degrees.

I've been able to make small adjustments to the top of the door by placing a short 2x4 between the door and the frame opposite the hinges about 1 foot down from the top or so. This should leave a gap of about 3 inches or so at the top. Carefully push on the very top of the door straight inward to close the gap. Remove the wood block and check the clearance. If it gets better after a few tries, repeat. Don't push too hard, or you'll kink something, but the weight of a full grown man bouncing gently against the door (You will probably need a step ladder) will usually be about right. The aluminum frame is very strong, but it will have a little spring to it if you push hard enough. You want to apply enough pressure that after 3 or 4 tries so that the top of the door moves inward a 1/4 inch or so from when you started. Once you get the hang of it, repeat until fixed. You can vary the pressure from the hinge side to the opposite side until the gap is even when closed. Go slow, check often, and you should have it fixed in 15 minutes or so.

The bottom is similar, but be very careful, as it is straighter, longer and consequently weaker, and can kink easier. Place the block of wood near the door lock, and gently push on the outer edges of the door about 2 feet up from the bottom until everything lines up. If you know any old school auto bodywork guys, this is a common technique for aligning door window frames in cars, and they should be very familiar with how it works and can do it for you in a few minutes.

Once the door is fixed, you need to make sure the door doesn't come loose again on the freeway. Maybe someone forgot to lock the door, or perhaps, like ours, the lock is failing. Fix the lock, and make sure that it's on your checklist to double check before driving away. As an added measure, some folks on here have fashioned wooden "chocks" that fit into the grab handle next to the door that make it impossible to open until the chock is removed.

Larger gaps require more drastic measures. There is post on here somewhere that details how to remove and disassemble the door completely, reshape the frame against a wooden forming buck until it fits perfectly, and then reassemble it.

Happy trails!

Sean
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:25 AM   #3
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Door photos

Here is a shot of the bottom and top right side of the door. As you can see there is no gap at the top and about 3/8" at the bottom. The same is true on the other side of the door except the gap is at the top.
If I could loosen the door from the hinges and just shift it counterclockwise about 3/16 of an inch it would set square in the hole.
There are two machine screws in each hinge; what I'm not sure of is whether the nuts are fastened to the inside of the trailer wall. I dont' want to lose the nuts down inside the wal and then have to remove the inner skin to correct the problem.
I have photos of the hinge assembly but I can't tell how the hinge is attached to the door itself. Don't know where I could find an exploded view of the door. If the door is bolted to the hinge there might be some adjustment; if it is riveted then that is another story.
I'm sure the door came open at sometime because besides being shifted in the hole it has lost some of the arc; I don't know if that is what cause the shift or it was just poor workmanship at the factory. The top and bottom hinge position is the same on the door frame and on the door when I compare them.
The photos also show how I keep the door from coming open going down the road. When the door is clamped down, the gasket seals all the way around the opening. If it is not clamped there is a small gap at the top left and bottom right corners of the door. Again; if I could just shift it counterclockwise, I think I could make it work.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:42 AM   #4
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TG on mine the door was too far forward. That is to say the gap on the hinge side vertical edge was greater than on the handle side vertical edge. I have all the inner panels off so I was able to access the nuts that the hinge machine screws are attached to. Don't worry about losing them in the wall. They are completely covered with a thick layer of Vulkem and are firmly set to the wall.
That being said once I removed all the vulkem and loosened the nuts I found that there is no adjustment of the door with these screws and nuts. The holes in the door frame are the same size as the screws. What i did was to elongate the holes with a boring tool on my die grinder. This allowed me to move the door and hinges rearward and match the gap.
I still have to rearc the door to fit the frame better. Both the top and bottom has gaps between the horizontal door edge and the door frame. It's worse at the top. There is a service procedure to repair this. You need to drill out the rivets holding the inner skin of the door, rearc the door,drill new rivet holes and reattach the inner skin.
Minno has done this with good success on his lil girl. He might be able to tell you if some fit adjustment is possible through the door to hinge connection as he has had the door skins off. I don't know what's in there.
P.S. check the hinge pins for excessive play. looking at the pics it seems that the top hinge may have too much play from worn pins allowing the door to sag.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:31 AM   #5
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One of the first things I did was to check the hinges for slop. When I had the door opened I tried lifting up on it to see if there is a significant amount of slop in the hinges. Very little if any movement and certainly not any rattling.
I did notice that the bolt in the door lock is closer to the bottom of the opening in the striker plate than the top. Indicating to me that the door needs to be shifted up and to the left. I think it would solve the problem.
I had a similar thought about enlongating the hole; only I was going to do it on the hinge itself. My problem was that if I took the machine bolt out would the nut fall off the back or worse yet start turning and then I wouldn't be able to retighted it.
I'm going to look at Minno's thread to see if there is more info there.

Thanks
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:45 AM   #6
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Tg yes the nut will start to turn freely inside the wall and you would not be able to retighten it. That is if and I say If you manage to break the cement death grip the vulkem has on the nut. That stuff really holds tight.
If you have a manual it describes the method to rearc or bend the door.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:02 PM   #7
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Fixed the Door

By removing the inner skin on the door. I gained access to the hinge bolts.
I removed the nuts from the upper hinge and pulled the hinge bolts out of the door. I had the the door supported to prevent excess strain on the lower hinge.
I filed the holes to enlongate them to the left by about 3/16" which allowed the door to move to the left (viewed with the door closed).
It appears that the door was installed from the factory out of alignment with the opening because there was no sign of excess wear causing the door to shift.

Here are the before and after shots.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:11 PM   #8
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Hinge Bracket

Here is a shot of the upper door hinge bracket. Not much to it.
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