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Old 11-01-2003, 01:43 PM   #1
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Door Hinge Adjustment

My main entrance door is too tight against the frame on the hinge side at the bottom. The screen door aluminium hinge plate actually binds against the door frame when the door is closed. This causes the door frame to twist, ever so slightly just before the door latches. The bottom screw in the hinge appears to have been stripped (--although it still snugs up somewhat) by somewhat attempting an adjustment previously. My question is: Is there an adjustment available in the hinge by loosening the two phillips head screws - similar to the adjustment on an auto door hinge. I've tried - but the hinge doesn't want to move. An auto door hinge normally has a sliding plate behind the door post. If I can solve the adjustment problem, I'll tackle the possible stripped bolt next. I'm hoping it's the bolt and not what it's screwed in to!

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Old 11-01-2003, 04:38 PM   #2
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There is an individual nut on each screw, they are not welded to plates. Easiest way is to cut a small hole in the inner skin for access then rivet a patch over it after you get the door adjusted. It is tight work, good luck.

John
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Old 11-01-2003, 06:38 PM   #3
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i went thru this on my motorhome. the hinges are die cast no adjustment . if installed properly no adjustment is needed. the 1/4 inch screws must be tight if not the hinge floats and you have problems. to fix follow johns advice cut a hole and re0place whatever is stripped. note use stainless nuts and bolts. lol
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Old 11-02-2003, 06:15 AM   #4
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If the nuts are individual, what holds them in place when you tighten the bolts? Could it be that the nut is "slipping" rather than the bolt being stripped? The "feel" was a bit strange - somewhat different from a stripped bolt or nut (---I've done my share of stripping bolts since my Model "A" Ford days!) Next question - how did you execute an adjustment; is the hole in the body large enough to allow movement or did you open it up slightly?

I certainly appreciate your comments. I was about to go out to the trailer this morning and remove the "stripped" bolt to take a close look at it. From what you're saying, I may have lost the nut! I really am curious about what holds the nut in place. If you - or anyone else who knows - can get back to me, I'd like to know what I'm getting into in detail before I cut an access hole.
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Old 11-02-2003, 06:32 AM   #5
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To hold them you need either a socket or wrench, that is why I say it is tight work. Mine was too tight against the door frame for a socket. I would bet the one you think was stripped was loosened by a previous owner who attempted to adjust it and couldn't get it tightened back up. There is vulkem along the edge of the door frame and the nuts are probably buried in it.

There is a litle adjustment because of the hole size. Also check your hinges to see if they are worn at the pins. No adjustment there, just replace.

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Old 11-02-2003, 06:42 AM   #6
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If you loosen the inside main door trim ring and use a 3/4" hole saw( stay close to door jamb and line up with outside bolthead) ,you should be able to get a socket on the star nut without having to patch the inside skin. Yes you will find lots of sealant. The screen doors can come out of adjustment easily and part of the binding may be caused by the screen door.
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Old 11-02-2003, 07:00 AM   #7
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It looks like I'm not the only one up and on the computer this morning!

With respect to the binding I mentioned in my first post, the final closing of the door (---the last 1/2 inch) visually causes the frame at the hinge to flex. It's obvious that the screen door hinge plate is being compressed against the door frame. I can't figure out how it was ever assembled this way initially - but, what the heck, it may have been 3:30 on a Friday afternoon! Note that my Excella is only three years old. The previous Owner never had it on the road - but simply used it while they built their vacation home. They took meticulous care of it - but I've come across several minor repairs that were somewhat butchered.
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Old 11-02-2003, 07:08 AM   #8
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I used a lock nut and a large washer to increase the 'holding area'. The washer had to be planed on one side to fit next to the frame. After 2 years and a lot of use, it hasn't moved.
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Old 11-02-2003, 07:22 AM   #9
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With respect to the binding I mentioned in my first post, the final closing of the door (---the last 1/2 inch) visually causes the frame at the hinge to flex.
Check your storm hinge for proper form. Mine was over broke, probably 15 degrees at the brake closest to the outside. This made the space it took between the door and frame more than was there (pushed the door towards the lockset) The brake at the storm was 90, but because the other brake was wrong it didn't sit flat. The storm frame was cracked from years of being forced into position.

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Old 11-02-2003, 07:31 AM   #10
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Door Hinge Adjustment

Cracker:

You're getting some good advice here. If you want more, do a search on "door hinge".

Once you realize what's involved, it's likely you'll want to replace the hinges (available from Airstream for $77.58 each). There is an "upper" and "lower" hinge with a "U" and "L" stamped on the back of the casting.

Note, if your hinges are on the right side of the door (like the motorhome), the "U" is the Lower one and the "L" is the Upper one. Please don't ask how I know that

But, I think Lynn said it best: "If you think you are going through hell, keep going"

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 11-02-2003, 08:10 AM   #11
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I had a similar problem with the door alignment, particularly with the screen door scraping the bottom before it closed. I found the screen and main door hinges worn, allowing them to drop almost 1/8 inch. Since there isn't an easy way to get the hinge pins out to add washers to shim up the hinges I "split" some washers of appropriate thickness and squeezed them in under the bearing surfaces to raise both doors so they now align properly. I suspect one could drill a hole directly under the hinge pins (which are pressed in) and drive them out far enough to put full washers in but I haven't tried that yet--the present fix works well.
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Old 11-02-2003, 08:24 AM   #12
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jthew:

Thanks for the search suggestion. Note again that my Excella is almost "new" - with respect to your suggesting new hinges. Everything is "tight" with the only problem being the alignment and the loose bolt. I've picked up a lot of good suggestions from this current discussion - as well as the info on the search. I'm somewhat convinced, at this point, that the nut is slipping rather than stripped. The first thing that I think I'll try (--after checking the "bend" in the screen door plate) is to loosen both bolts until I can actually move the hinge, then physically align the door and retighten the bolts. I've got my doubts that it will move enough - but my hope is that the Vulkem is restricting the bolts from moving closer to the trailer frame and I may be able to coerce it a bit if the hole in the frame will so permit.
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