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Old 06-27-2005, 08:02 AM   #1
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Rivet Suicide door rebuild options?

i have a '59 Traveler that i've just started the shell-off restoration on. actually, the shell's coming off this weekend. anyway, i'm trying to get my plan together for the body work needed. the unit has a suicide door, that like many others, flew open during transit.

the door needs a total rebuild, so it got me thinking. the doors are admitedly flimsy, and the skin on mine has seen better days, so my plan is to add additional bracing inside, install a port hole window in the smaller door, and possibly re-hang the door so it opens to the right.

i like the look of the suicide door, but it really catches the wind while towing. if i keep it like it is, i feel the need to add a latch at the top and botttom, to keep it snug with the body.

does anyone have any experience with rebuilding and stiffening these doors? i want to weigh all my options before i get started. thanks!
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:09 AM   #2
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The door may be flimsy because of cracked frames inside. I think you will find it quite solid if you reskin it with .040" 2024-t3 aluminum and repair any cracked frames.I think it is best to keep the door opening as it is so it would not interfere with an awning installation.Maybe add a better latch.
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Old 06-27-2005, 10:29 AM   #3
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I have a '59 Traveler too. I have also built a new door for our other trailer (with port hole type window in center door). From the outside the construction of the Traveler door looks like it has a Z shaped member (with 90 deg angles) running along the perimeter - similar to our other trailer. Check for cracks in this section. A replacement can be fabricated buy bending the Z shaped member and then using both a shrinker (inner curve) and a stretcher (outer curve) to finish the shaping. Google up "Lancaster shrinker". The door hinges look like they might work if you reverse the opening of the door. The remaining issues would be locating a lock that would work the other direction (if the current is not reversable) and having a bunch of rivets pluging the old door hinge location.

Here is a pic of the El Rey door if I managed to add the attachment correctly. If not, email me for detail pics and more information.

Hope this helps,
Craig
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Old 06-27-2005, 05:29 PM   #4
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nice door!

wow! that door looks really nice! i'm definitely going to add a window once i get to that stage. hopefully, the shell's coming off this weekend, and the frame work done the following. with any luck, i'll have the body back on within a month, and i can start focussing on the body, and the door.

thanks again for the pic. if you have additional ones, i'd love to see them.

jp
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Old 06-27-2005, 06:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Merry-Can
i like the look of the suicide door, but it really catches the wind while towing. if i keep it like it is, i feel the need to add a latch at the top and botttom, to keep it snug with the body.
I'm going to add a deadbolt lock to mine to keep the door in place while traveling. This also has other obvious advantages. Do a search on the forum for deadbolt installation. There's a couple of guys here who did it and documented their results. Looks great and doesn't seem too hard to do.

Jim
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Old 07-04-2005, 03:07 PM   #6
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1959 18' "Footer"
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rehanging door

well, after looking at it, i think when i get the shell back on, i'm going to rehang the door from the right side. as it turns out, the panel behind my door has significant damage, and i'll end up replacing it anyway (which would cover the holes for the original hinges), and more importantly, if i hang the door to open to the right, i can attach it directly to 2 of the internal ribs. the ribs to the front of the door opening are only a couple inches apart, since the nose cone part starte tapering about there.

i think it will be a safer option (even though i know it's a problem with the awning later, if i get one that stays attached to the body). i'll still go the deadbolt route, though, for safety.

my door panels are so beaten up, that i'm planning on replacing most, if not all of them anyway, so redrilling the hinges on the right won't be a problem at all. i still want to do the port hole window, though! that is TOO cool to miss on! plus, with all the fabrication i'm planning, it can't be all THAT much additional work.

that project is a ways off, though. first things first. i have a shell to pop off!

jordan
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