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Old 11-17-2002, 07:25 PM   #1
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door hinge nightmare

We just purchased a 78 Sovereign 31' for the 89 year old mother in law to live in.
So being the good son in law that I am I was trying to get the door hinges tight. But was only able to get 2 tight. This just did not seem like it was going to hold is so I figured I would take the bolts out and the door off to look closer at the situation. I was sure they would of put a plate back there. Never even guessed they would put in unretained nuts.
So now how do I get back there to put new nuts on and tighten the old one? All I can see to do is cut a whole. How big a whole and what is the best place for it?
And what the heck was this engineer smoking?
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Old 11-17-2002, 08:28 PM   #2
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To do it right, you have to take off the interior window trim and the door trim, drill the rivets for the interior skin just enough to lift the skin.
If you are lucky and furniture is not in the way, you can reach down for the lower hinge nuts. The nuts are really close to the door frame, thats why drilling hole may not even allow you to get a socket in there.
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Old 11-17-2002, 10:50 PM   #3
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DON'T DESPAIR adn DON'T DRILL

I had the same problem with my door screws.

After several attempts to get the screws to go into the unsecured nuts that were floating around in the ether behind the door frame I tried this...

Take off the door.
Test the screws in the nuts that are suspended in the insualtion to make sure that they go in easily. Clean up the threads if needed.

While holding the nut on the tip of the screw, clean up the nut and the back side of the contact area where the nut contacts the door frame with solvent like goof off or energene.
Put some rubber cement or 3M weatherstrip adhesive on the face of the nut and snug it up with the screw to the back side of the frame.

After it has dried you can take out the screw, hold the door in place and CAREFULLY insert the screw and get it started in the threads. After it starts, pull the screw toward you while you start tightening it up. After you are sure you have a few threads started on each one you can tighten them all up.

It worked for me and it works for the lug nuts on NASCAR wheels.

Ciao, Brian
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Old 11-18-2002, 01:33 AM   #4
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Re: DON'T DESPAIR adn DON'T DRILL

Quote:
Originally posted by 74Tradewind

While holding the nut on the tip of the screw, clean up the nut and the back side of the contact area where the nut contacts the door frame with solvent like goof off or energene.
Put some rubber cement or 3M weatherstrip adhesive on the face of the nut and snug it up with the screw to the back side of the frame.

After it has dried you can take out the screw, hold the door in place and CAREFULLY insert the screw and get it started in the threads. After it starts, pull the screw toward you while you start tightening it up. After you are sure you have a few threads started on each one you can tighten them all up.

It worked for me and it works for the lug nuts on NASCAR wheels.

Ciao, Brian
Thanks Bian and Peter..

Just can not see dedicating a day to tighten and replace four nuts...

Unfortionately I can't get the top bolt out the nut just spins and I can't see any of the other nuts. They seem to have sunk into the abyss...
It has been sugested by a prfessional bike builder and high tech welder in the family to just use pop-rivets... I have been thinking that something like large molly bolts might also be the way to go.
Of course I have to dill out or saw/cut the one bolt. Or just drill new holes and use the pop-rivets.
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Old 11-18-2002, 04:57 AM   #5
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Just can not see dedicating a day to tighten and replace four nuts...

Some things are easy to fix, this is not one of them. Pop rivets will never last. They will either pull through or shear off, and I have never seen one big enough to fit the hole in the hinge. Molly anchors are going to leave a nasty mark on the skin and you will need a hole that cuts too far into the door frame. As long as you know a welder make a plate and have him tack some 1/4" nuts on it. The holes will have to be right on the edge, but you will have the retained nut the rest of us don't. If you look around you might be able to find nuts with retained toothed lock washers, but the washers might make them too big to fit against the frame and still get through the holes.

John
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Old 11-18-2002, 11:49 AM   #6
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So I see why the door frame trim would have to come off. But the closest window is on the other side.
I will try pulling the door trim and the skin rivets close to it as soon as I get the time in the next day or so.

Is there a trick to pulling the hinge pin? It would sure be easier to tackle with the door off. It looks like it just goes in from one side.

George
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Old 11-18-2002, 01:15 PM   #7
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It won't take a whole day...

Just part of a day.

If you can drill off the top of the bad screw and remove the door you can get some new nuts with the attached star washer and feed them through with a piece of wire ( coathanger) and glue them up to the back of the frame. Don't get glue in the threads.

It really is not that hard to do. I don't know about taking out the hinge pin but if you do you probably should re-hang the door before you tighten the hinge screws so the pins will be in alignment.

Good luck!!!

Ciao, Brian
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Old 11-18-2002, 01:33 PM   #8
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Brian...
Certainly is worth a try with a coat hanger with a nut with a star washer and a little super glue. It should hold it enough to move it around. This might mean I would not have to pull the skin back as far and could tackle the job from one opening. The other crazy thought was drilling an access hole for the nuts just behind the hinge. But I don't think it is quite wide enough to hide the hole. Could not get a wrench in there but maybe could get a star nut with a coat hanger.

I am not afraid of big jobs. I used to own a four wheel drive shop in the late 70's.
So I will try the drill out the rivets in the next day or so and let everyone know how it goes...
thanks for the advice
George
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Old 11-18-2002, 01:46 PM   #9
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Glue trick

To keep glue out of where you don't want it, fill the hole with a carrot, potato, or similar. Glue can't get in and the residue just dries up.

I learned this trick when I was starting to turn wood pens and pencils as a hobby. When I prepare brass tubes for the pens and pencils, I just slice a potato and use the tube like a cookie cutter to stamp cores out of the slice. Then, I can be as sloppy with the glue as I like and still have a nice clean tube inside.
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Old 11-18-2002, 01:59 PM   #10
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Don't forget modeling clay. This is used when glass bedding rifle stocks to prevent the epoxy from entering the receiver where the stock screws thread into the receiver. Release agents are also good for some surfaces to prevent glues from adhering to surrounding surfaces but the modeling clay is best for threaded areas. I'm sure a potato or carrot would work also.
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Old 11-18-2002, 07:55 PM   #11
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Not Super Glue

The adhesive if choice for this application is 3M weatherstrip adhesive. Black or yellow. This will allow some repositioning of the nut if needed rather than just popping off as with super glue.

NASCAR pit crews use this to hold the lug nuts on the wheels for tire changes.

Ciao, Brian
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Old 11-18-2002, 08:19 PM   #12
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Re: Not Super Glue

Quote:
Originally posted by 74Tradewind
The adhesive if choice for this application is 3M weatherstrip adhesive.
Good idea...
Altough it has been many years for me... The yellow was also the choice as a sealer when putting the two sides of the old VW engines together.
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Old 11-23-2002, 08:55 PM   #13
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Well, after a bit more research and talking to the bike builder and some fastener places. I decided to use rivet nuts. Goes in much like a rivet but it has a nut on it. Wifes brother in law shipped us up the tool and the rivet nuts. So far this has worked like a champ.
Had to drill the one bolt out and even that went smooth.
Now the mother in law can move in the Airstream... after Thanksgiving...
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Old 01-04-2003, 11:35 AM   #14
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I had this problem when my keys disappeared. Three of the machine screws came out, but I had to cut off the top one with a hacksaw blade between the hinge and the skin. I used a 1 inch diameter metal hole saw and drilled 4 holes inside the trailer to access the four nuts. The holes are partly in the door frame, and partly in the inner skin. I used a long pencil in the centre of the machine screw head, perpendicular to the skin, and another moving perpendicular on the inner skin until there was no relative movement of the tips when I moved my head around. This gave me the centre of the holes. I needed a 7/16ths socket (long type) to replace and tighten the nuts. I covered up the holes by using the plastic receptacle covers that prevent children from poking things into 120v. A little carving on the back to remove the prongs and to mold round the door frame ensured a snug fit. I glued them on with contact adhesive. It looks fine, and I can now service the door and hinges very simply. Even so , this was a bad way to start a vacation! Nick.
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