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Old 05-10-2013, 03:34 PM   #1
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1981 31' Excella II
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Door Sag: hinges or something else?

The door to my 81 Excella II is leaning to the right a little and it is puzzleing because the hinge brackets attached to the trailer are tight and even with the door frame. There also appears to be very little play in the hinge pins. I can't lift the door and make it straight. The hinges are also attached to the door somehow and I was wondering if these might have sagged over the years. I would assume they are attached with bolts on the inside similar the the side attached to the frame but the bolts would just screw right into the hinge. I have not had a chance to do a door R&R yet. I would have to remove the inner door skin to do this.

Perry
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
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It doesn't take much play to cause visible sag.

You can raise the door, by placing a jack under the bottom edge— well padded— and jacking it up slowly, one stroke of the jack handle at a time. Watch for movement around the hinges; you'll probably see some at the upper hinge.

The jack can also help support the door as you pull the hinge pin. The pin will be a lot easier to remove if the jack, and not the pin, is supporting the weight of the door. I think you'll find that the pin is worn, and no longer the same diameter as it used to be. Either that, or the holes in the hinge where the pin goes are larger than they used to be. Or both. If the two leaves of the hinge are both tight, on the door and the frame, then the problem can only be the pin.

Given that the trailer is over 20 years old, and aluminum is a relatively soft metal, I'd be surprised if the hinge pins aren't worn.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:03 PM   #3
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I agree the hinge pins are probably a little worn.

I seem to remember a thread in which someone used split lock washers as shims around the pin, in between the halves of the hinge to realign the door.

As mentioned above it doesn't take much play at the hinge to make considerable play at the lock.

Good Luck.

JD
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:07 PM   #4
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Well I can install a bushing or bigger pin if need be but I am still sceptical that the pin is the problem. The pins would have to be really loose to get this kind of sag. The door is not hitting the frame yet.

Perry
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:13 PM   #5
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Perry, I don't know if the hinges are the same on your model and my 02 Safari but here is what I did. My door was sagging such that the door was very difficult to latch closed. The door had some damage during it's previous life. The lower outer skin on the door is not original.

I first adjusted the striker latch bolt (the bolt the lock mechanism grasps to hold the door closed) as low as it would go. This did not give me enough change.

I then removed the hinge bolts to the frame and found that there was no adjustment. On my AS the bolts to the frame just unscrew from the threaded frame member from the outside.

I then removed the door skin on the inside and loosened the hinge nuts inside the door. The holes for the hinge studs were large enough to allow for shifting the door a little to help with alignment. I replaced the OEM nuts with lock nuts. I replaced the inside door skin and found that I still needed more adjustment.

I then cut a small slice out of two stainless steel washers and then wedged each of the washers around the lower section of the hinge pins to give the door some lift. Now the door works great.

It's good that the door works now because I am out of adjustment ideas for my particular door.

I had a tech at Jackson Center inspect my door while I was there last summer. I described the approach I used to adjust the door. He said that the technique I used is what he would have done with my particular door.

Good luck.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Well I can install a bushing or bigger pin if need be but I am still sceptical that the pin is the problem. The pins would have to be really loose to get this kind of sag. The door is not hitting the frame yet.

Perry
Won't know until you take it out and check. Without evidence, we're all just speculating.

And as a basic rule of troubleshooting, check the easy things first. The hinge pins are easier to check than disassembling the door to check the way the hinge is attached.
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