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Old 09-28-2014, 05:23 PM   #1
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Is this is a sprung door fix?

Last year upon one of my first times transporting my 1973 Safari, I made the rookie move of leaving the door unlocked, thus a sprung door. Nifty way to start Airstream life.

Obviously not a huge issue that has stopped overall enjoyment of the trailer. Now - however - with the cold season coming and sizable gaps at the top of bottom of the door killing any notion of weatherproofing, I am hoping to fix it.

I've read some of the fixes on Airforums and I would prefer not to take the whole door off and apart. So, I am trying something and was looking for feedback from some experts as to whether this method might work.

The garage where I store my trailer all year is an old industrial space and I park the problem door right next to a VERY heavy duty steel beam that runs ceiling to floor.

Here's what I'm trying:

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I've been careful to place the wood on the edge frame so as not to debt the door. Would love to know if this scenario might actually correct the problem or if it could screw up the door even more. Any comments/insight appreciated.



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Old 09-28-2014, 05:48 PM   #2
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I don't believe it will "take" that shape by just sitting there under compression. I have adjusted my door by the method of sticking wood in the opening and hyper compressing the opposite end...but that is for a minor tweak. A sprung door probably needs the disassembly approach you have read about.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:04 PM   #3
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You need to figure out if the door frame is cast or not. If it Is, attempting to bend it with the 2 by 4 method will likely break it.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:05 PM   #4
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I had a trailer with a sprung door and repaired it by using the techniques in the door forums. It takes approximately 2 hours if you have the proper tools such as a drill, cargo hold down strap with ratchet, correct pop rivets, drill bits and pop rivet gun.

I do not think exterior pressure alone on the door will work, it will just spring back. There is no structure to retain the shape after the external bracing is removed.

Removing the interior skin panels, use the cargo strap(s) to reshaping the door to correct curve. Re-attaching the interior skin panels allows the door to retain the new correct shape.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:35 PM   #5
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I would remove the door and find some way to apply a load to each end while it is supported in the middle. You will have to do this in stages so you don't put too much bend in it. It will spring back some so it will be trial and error.

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Old 09-28-2014, 08:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnyK View Post
Last year upon one of my first times transporting my 1973 Safari, I made the rookie move of leaving the door unlocked, thus a sprung door. Nifty way to start Airstream life.

Obviously not a huge issue that has stopped overall enjoyment of the trailer. Now - however - with the cold season coming and sizable gaps at the top of bottom of the door killing any notion of weatherproofing, I am hoping to fix it.

I've read some of the fixes on Airforums and I would prefer not to take the whole door off and apart. So, I am trying something and was looking for feedback from some experts as to whether this method might work.

The garage where I store my trailer all year is an old industrial space and I park the problem door right next to a VERY heavy duty steel beam that runs ceiling to floor.

Here's what I'm trying:

Attachment 223137

Attachment 223138

I've been careful to place the wood on the edge frame so as not to debt the door. Would love to know if this scenario might actually correct the problem or if it could screw up the door even more. Any comments/insight appreciated.



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Assuming you have a 73, the door frame is an extrusion.

There are 2 ways to fix the issue.

1. Replace the door buy turning a cliam into your insyrance company. Yes, they pay claims that are caused by, and try to be nice, dumb things people do. It's called a MISTAKE.

Or, you can have the door repaired at the expense of the insurance company.

If you look carefully, you most likely will see a crack in the door frame, very close to the lock.

What your trying to do, will accomplish NOTHING.
Also, in either case, make sure you choose a dealer that has much Airstream metal and door work experience.

One last thing, check for wear on the striker bolt of the lock, and the wear on the brass shim that's located within the striker pocket.

If those show signs of wear, then, that in it's self can cause the door to fly open when you hit a bump.

Excessive wear of those 2 parts is caused by improper or lack of running gear balance, excessive rated hitch bars, or an excessive rated tow vehicle, or a combination of those.

The door area is a weak area, and is prone to become damaged by the above faults.

Andy
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:23 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies that came through so quickly.

Obviously, I've been reading a lot here for the last year plus and I know that everyone has tried it all to fix something like this problem.

Particularly, I know Andy at Inland has a lifetime of knowledge and understanding with Airstreams, so his points are to be taken as a level of the greatest experience.

I didn't have the Airstream insured, when I got it, so there's no chance to get it fixed that way.

I knew I was shooting in the dark and hoping to fix it with an easy method was unlikely...


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Old 09-29-2014, 06:10 AM   #8
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If it is an extrusion it can be welded to repair the crack. A good aircraft mechanic could fix it. Everything can be fixed. Inspect that area around the lock for cracks. It is a good idea to have a secondary means of keeping the door shut. Mine has a dead bolt in addition to the lock on the door. Also locking the door helps it from popping open. Making sure that plunger has plenty of engagement is a good idea as well.

You can fab a wedge thing that goes in between the handle and the door as a safety measure.

Perry
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:46 AM   #9
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There aren't any cracks on the door. The thing is: the door stays perfectly shut and locks up nice and tight. No chance of it flying open. It's just the top and bottom are a half to three quarters of an inch from "sealing."
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:45 AM   #10
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ooo, with that much gap, you will need to remove it and remove the inner panels. Reshape and re-install inner panels. Sorry, but that's where you are, IMO.
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Old 09-29-2014, 12:04 PM   #11
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There aren't any cracks on the door. The thing is: the door stays perfectly shut and locks up nice and tight. No chance of it flying open. It's just the top and bottom are a half to three quarters of an inch from "sealing."
Here is a test for you to do.

Open the door.

Put one hand around the door, above the lock say one foot or so.

Put the other hand below the lock about 1 foot or so.

Then pull with one hand and push with the other.

The post a note as to what you found.

Then more help will follow.

Andy
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Old 10-04-2014, 01:07 PM   #12
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Andy - I tried what you suggested - pushing and pulling above and below the lock - and what seems to happen is a buckling in the door just under the top hinge.

And as everyone pointed out after a week of having the wood putting the pressure on it had little to no effect on pushing it back to shape.


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Old 10-04-2014, 03:00 PM   #13
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I'm With KeithC. I did the same thing. You can remove the door panels, reshape (and hold) the door then reattach the panels - with the door on. It worked for me.
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Old 10-04-2014, 04:54 PM   #14
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You might try this...
Remove the locking/opening hardware from the door.
Remove the door.
Place the door on two saw horses, outside down. Cover the horses so as not to scratch the outer door skin.
Remove the inner skin. Now you can inspect the entire framework inside the door for cracks or breaks.
Apply pressure to the door lock/opening hardware to re-shape the curve of the door. Do this little by little, setting the door back in place to find if it fits properly. Once you have the door fitting properly, any damage found to the framework can be repaired by a good welder.
Re-attach the inner door skin and then hang the door back on it's hinges.

Getting the door back to it's proper curvature will be much easier with the inner skin removed, plus, you will be able to examine door frame for damage from the inside of the door.

I experienced this on our Caravel, which has a cast door frame. The frame was cracked is several places and broken near the hinge. I had the cracks and the brake welded, then had inside gussets added at the stress areas at each end of the long, single, hinge.

Since your frame is an extrusion, you may be able to skip the welding part if there are no cracks or breaks.

Worked for me.
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