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Old 04-06-2003, 05:18 PM   #1
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Angry door gaskets in 1974

Help!!

I need some input from any 74 model A/S owners as to what type of entry door gaskets they have on their units. I have spent the last three hours installing a new one which I fully believe is the wrong style. Spent another hour removing it and the $#@% 3M weatherstrip adhesive. Supposedly A/S changed styles in the early 70's and went from a three-lipped flat gasket (just like the current window gasket) to a hollow wedge shaped gasket. I have been sold the wedge type gasket and after installing it there is no way in hell the door will ever be able to close. It originally had the three-lipped gasket but my supplier who shall remain nameless (innocent until proven guilty?) assured me that for some reason it was incorrectly installed on my unit and thus sold me the wedge gasket.

(Info from owners post and pre 74 would also be helpful to pinpoint the changeover year)

Thanks,

Chas
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Old 04-06-2003, 09:55 PM   #2
 
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Our 1971 has nothing. Removed I suppose by previous owner.

Our 1974 & 1990 have similar stuff. We can only try to describe that as thick wedge shaped, with a foam filler. Just trying to guess about filler.
It does not look like the same thing we have on the windows of the 74.
We are not really sure of what you mean by "three-lipped flat gasket and hollow wedge shaped gasket".
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Old 04-07-2003, 09:31 AM   #3
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Smile pic

chas

my hardy fellow wisconinite snowshoed up to his excella and snapped this photo for you!

he said it is wedge shaped and about one inch wide.

john
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Old 04-07-2003, 09:47 AM   #4
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What a friend! Can't believe it is snowing up there, I was working up a good sweat here yesterday and even had to break out the sunscreen. O.K., it seems someone had installed the old syle gasket instead of the wedge gasket. Under closer examination it appears they modified the door latch to get the door to close properly when using the old style flat fingered gasket. What a P.I.T.A.!! I think I will just get some of the old style gasket and put it back the way it was.

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Old 04-07-2003, 11:25 AM   #5
 
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Chas,

This is getting more interesting by the minute:

I think that the someone who modified your latch, is..... the Airstream factory.

What is the coincidence that our 1974 too had a similar modification ?
In our case, the bolt itself had been filed. We replaced the striker plate 3 times, and it still does not close right.
What we think is: in 1974, they changed the style of gasket, but the AS were ready made to receive the old ones, so they modified the latches to accept the new gasket. Classy.

On a similar topic: if wou need the drawing for the lock cylinder, we got that: an Airstream dealer sent us the wrong one. They insisted it was the right one. Mike sent them the drawing with all the discrepancies in measurement, they were still not convinced and refused to discuss it... but decided to take it back anyway.
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Old 04-07-2003, 11:37 AM   #6
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Femuse,
It appears my latch bolt has had metal added to it in the form of a shim welded on to make the the door latch tighter and making it flush with the exterior skin. If I were to remove the welded up portion and use the thicker wedge gasket the door would be protruding out, into the airflow and rain while towing, probably scooping up water, bugs and trash all the way! I think there was indeed a problem at the factory, they probably had a bunch of new gaskets, older door latches and door units and just mixed them all up. Kinda like that Johnny Cash song about the Cadillac the guy built from parts, "55,56,57,58 Cadillac automobile" Seriously, I believe it happens all the time.

Chas
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Old 04-07-2003, 11:47 AM   #7
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Chas.
Thanks for providing your serial number. You indeed have a 1974 27 foot Airstream built in California.

The triangular gasket is the correct one for 1974.
The bottom of the gasket, the side that has the double sided tape on it, is applied with adhesive to the back side of the exterior sheet metal.

The correct striker pocket is cast stainless steel and a brass shim is also used with it.

The striker bolt on all the KT locks, the lock used from 1970 to 1977, all had the outside portion of the bolt machined down. That was necessary so that the striker pocket outside edge still had enough thickness left for strength.

That area is a good sign of the condition of wheel balance or lack thereof. A groove will eventually be cut into that striker bolt when a unbalanced condition exists.


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Old 04-07-2003, 11:50 AM   #8
 
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In 1974, were they building them in various factories ?

That could explain the differences..... in one case, file a little bit, in an other add a little bit....until it nearly works right.
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Old 04-07-2003, 11:53 AM   #9
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I was afraid this would digress into wheel balancing. Should I just put the old style gasket back in and be on my happy way? Like I say, if I mess with the latch the door will be hanging out into the airstream (yes, airstream means something else as well)

I am about ready to go to the corner drugstore and see if they have door gaskets, (just kiddin' Andy)

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Old 04-07-2003, 11:59 AM   #10
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Chas.
e-mail me a picture of the striker pocket so that I can see the inside of it as well. Also the outside edge of the striker bolt.
I think that is where the problem is at.


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Old 04-07-2003, 04:33 PM   #11
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Andy & concerned parties,

Here is a pic of my latch. You can see what has been done to it in regards to the welded up area. The pocket on the latch jamb appears to be intact and unmolested but if you want I will post it as well. I figure I would let everybody know what's going on here to save them some future grief.

Chas
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Old 04-07-2003, 05:42 PM   #12
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Chas.
Stop!!!!
Whoa!!!!
Time out!!!!
Hold it!!!!

Now you have your reason the door won't close with the correct gasket.

Someone filled in the striker bolt, for who knows what reason.

Grind the bolt down as per the photo. They have added about 1/16 of an inch to your bolt.

The photo is a new KT stiker bolt.

Andy
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Old 04-07-2003, 06:07 PM   #13
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O.K.,

Now it looks like I may be making some headway. I may need to get a new gasket, I kinda goobered the old one up. How about an extra special price for a repeat customer?? Too bad I parbonded the lock in, it may be tough to get out to grind on the latch. Maybe I can do it still installed in the door with my hand grinder?

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Old 04-07-2003, 06:11 PM   #14
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Chas.

The easy fixes are the ones that take time.
The complicated ones, are really the easiest ones, once you know how.
Call me tomorrow.



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