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Old 01-21-2010, 09:55 AM   #1
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Reattaching screen-to-main door latch

During my last trip, I made a mess of my door latching ...

The manual latch that I use to secure my screen door to the door frame was latched - so that my dogs could not push the screen door open when the main door was secured open. Then, my mom closed the main door while we were outside... yikes... you know what comes next??? We were, essentially, locked out. The only way in at that moment (mind you, much Christmas cheer had been consumed, it was cold out, and we needed inside and didn't use the best judgement ) was to pull hard on the main door. After several pulls, it popped open. Unfortunately, it also detached the black spring latch (that usually holds the screen door to the main) from the main door.

I finally got around to looking at it this week and I can't figure out how it was initially attached to the door. Looks like it was riveted in place before the main door skin was riveted on. One rivet (?) is still holding one end in place. I tried using 5-minute epoxy to reattach the latch but, with the pressure exerted, it popped off.

Anyone with an idea how to reattach the latch without significant work? Maybe Gorilla glue, Liquid Nail, ?????

Laura
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:03 AM   #2
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These old latches can be a pain to work with at first, but once you get hang of them they're not that bad. I've got several in my Sovereign. First, you need to detach the top sliding piece from the base. When you do this be careful you don't lose the spring inside. Once this is done you'll see where the latch rivets to the door. You'll probably need to first drill out the broken rivet.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mello mike View Post
These old latches can be a pain to work with at first, but once you get hang of them they're not that bad. I've got several in my Sovereign. First, you need to detach the top sliding piece from the base. When you do this be careful you don't lose the spring inside. Once this is done you'll see where the latch rivets to the door. You'll probably need to first drill out the broken rivet.
Likelihood of breaking it in the process of disassembly? Hopefully less than 50%!

Laura
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:36 AM   #4
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Likelihood of breaking it in the process of disassembly? Hopefully less than 50%!

Laura
Lower than that. These things are pretty strong. Use a flat-bladed screw driver to separate the two pieces and watch the spring. It could go flying.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:59 PM   #5
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If it needs a rivet, I can bring my pop riveter to Kars. I have a good variety of rivets, should be able to match one up.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:11 PM   #6
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If it needs a rivet, I can bring my pop riveter to Kars. I have a good variety of rivets, should be able to match one up.
Thanks, maybe I'll wait until then to tear into it then.

Oh-oh-oh-oh.... do you have any Olympic rivets?

I need to replace (3) that popped out when I had that ugly dent removed. Right now the seam is plastered with some duct tape.

Laura
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:45 AM   #7
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Thanks, maybe I'll wait until then to tear into it then.

Oh-oh-oh-oh.... do you have any Olympic rivets?

I need to replace (3) that popped out when I had that ugly dent removed. Right now the seam is plastered with some duct tape.

Laura
Not being a vintage owner I had to do a google search for Olympic rivet, found it is very specific to AS, has a neoprene washer and would give a waterproof fix. None of my reg pop rivet would work for a skin repair, those used inside they would be fine. If it was my skin I would want to know that the original seal wasn't broken or inject mastic between the skin layers before riveting.
Olympic Bulb-tite rivets are the ideal rivet to use with all exterior skin repair on aluminum trailers. They provide a clean look that closely resembles the original rivets used by the factory. The 5/32" rivets are the best size for Airstreams because they are similar in size to the rivets used originally
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:57 AM   #8
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Not being a vintage owner I had to do a google search for Olympic rivet, found it is very specific to AS, has a neoprene washer and would give a waterproof fix. None of my reg pop rivet would work for a skin repair, those used inside they would be fine. If it was my skin I would want to know that the original seal wasn't broken or inject mastic between the skin layers before riveting.
Olympic Bulb-tite rivets are the ideal rivet to use with all exterior skin repair on aluminum trailers. They provide a clean look that closely resembles the original rivets used by the factory. The 5/32" rivets are the best size for Airstreams because they are similar in size to the rivets used originally

Thanks for the info. I didn't realize it was a vintage thing!
Laura
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:23 PM   #9
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Olympic Rivets and Rubber Washers

I would encourage you to do some research here within the Forums...

There are pro's and con's on using the rubbergasket on the Olympics....

I have swung over to the side of AcrylR and would rely on an applied layer of supersnot to do a better job of long term sealing over the rubber gasket supplied with the Olympics.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:25 PM   #10
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According to auto salvage yard my last mh would be difficult to get a simple thing like a windshield wiper arm and motor due to there policy of crushing things over 10 yrs old. Luckily I found with slight modification I could use a later model van part. Vintagetrailersupply.com was the one that used the term vintage, AS puts MH in the vintage group when they have Al bodies, mine is only aluminum from floor level down.

If you do find someone with the right rivet make sure that the original hole is still the same size, pop rivets without backing plate are very dependent on hole size for their grip.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:42 PM   #11
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Late update:

DaveFL helped me finish this project during the Shuttle Viewing Rally-ish gathering in Feb 2010. Dave helped me remove the catch (kinda just pulled it off the remaining rivet). Then, I found several posts with photographs on how to disassemble the latch/catch (so it could be re-riveted in place). Using a knife and screwdriver, I successfully pryed the catch apart, and Dave riveted it in place. Then the catch was reassembled. Oh, and he had to use a modified *implement" tool to set the rivet. Because the hole was situated so far inside the catch, the rivet gun wouldn't seat fully. He used something that I would call a Spacer to position between the rivet and gun tip.

10 months later - still holding in place! Shoot, I probably shouldn't say that out-loud.....

Laura
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:01 PM   #12
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It came unriveted again... took me about 20 min to find this post.

Looks like it lasted five years.

At least now I can recall how it was done! Tho it may be a project for next weekend.

Laura
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