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Old 08-24-2003, 01:26 PM   #1
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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Exterior Door Hinges

The screws to the door frame on the hinges on my 91 35 ft Excello turn freely. Does anyone know what is behind the door frame that these hinges are attached to, are they capitive nuts or taped holes, and what is necessary to get to them? looks like a major interior skin removal.

2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 08-24-2003, 04:26 PM   #2
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As we just discovered, thanks to a post to our "warped door" question, the hinges are held on with not !! unscrew them because they will drop between the walls and you will have to take your kitchen apart (if it is there on your model) to get at them. Sorry, we are just newbies, so I don't know how to direct you to that thread.....general repair..warped door. LOL

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Old 08-24-2003, 11:24 PM   #3
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HowieE, the nuts are just held in place with some caulk. When you try to tighten the bolts, the nuts rotate in the caulk. It would have been so simple to engineer a better solution, but we are stuck with this cheap system, unworthy of Airstream. will describe the "fun" some of us have had with this little challenge. You will see two suggested approaches. Mine is to make access holes on the inside so that they may be tightened as routine maintenance. The other is to peel back the inner skin to slide in a wrench. Good luck with your choice! Nick.
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
"The price of freedom is eternal maintenance."
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Old 08-25-2003, 01:49 PM   #4
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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Well I used both methods. I pulled back the lower panel to egt access to the lower hinge screws. Once I saw what i was up against and had cleared the GUNK from the screws I replaced the old metal nuts with SS nyloc nuts and large flat washers. I drilled 1 in. access holes for the upper hinge and replaced the hardware as noted. I did go back and drill 1 in. holes for future access to the lower hinge and covered both areas with blank electrical covers.

The reason they fail is Airstream used metal nuts and lock washers on SS screws and in time the metal lockwashers rust and loose any gripping they may have had.

Thanks for the help
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 11-09-2012, 11:20 AM   #5
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1994 28' Excella
Clearwater , Florida
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snagged this from another post

Look in the bottom Left hand corner of this picture to see what they are talking about. Seems like a pretty good short cut. Good visual. hopefully I inserted the picture correctly..

Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
To tighten the hinges all you need to do it drill some 3/4" holes over the bolts. Here is a pic showing some plugs over the holes. No reason you can't paint them to match the wall if you want.

I have thought that one way to eliminate hinge and pin wear would be to hollow out the pin and put a zerk grease fitting on the end of the pin. A few holes in the pin would allow the grease to get to the hinge.

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Old 11-09-2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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The only drawback to the holes is you have to drill them at an angle to the bolt and one of my screws stuck out past the nut and made it hard to get a socket on there. You can always drill out the bolts and replace them with ones of the proper length. make sure you seal around the hinges so they don't leak.

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Old 11-09-2012, 12:11 PM   #7
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2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
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Just an FYI on newer units (and I have no Idea when or what models). It appears there is an aluminum strip running from top to bottom, on the hinge side interior of the door, which covers access to the hinge bolts. I can think of no other reason the strip is there. I've never taken it off though...given all the heartache this particular area can cause, I am scared that the strip retains a "can of snakes" that will spew forth, never to retire to their just place again!

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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2004 28' Classic
Midland , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Hinges on Excella

I helped a friend scrap out a 90 excella just last week. When we took the door off 3 of the screws backed out without problem (the nuts were held in place by the caulking). The fourth rotated inside the wall so we had to rip the wall out to get a socket on the nut to back it up. It was scrap so no problem. As suggested in another reply I think you might be able to drill a neat round hole directly behind the hinge nut so that you can get a socket on it, then plug the hole after you install a new nut & washer. The caulking/sealant is extremely tough and hard to remove. We did salvage a couple of good hinges if you need them.

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