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Old 10-14-2009, 08:06 AM   #1
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Troublesome Door Hinge

Hi -If anyone can come up with a simpler fix than this it would be much appreciated.

Problem - the pin on our bottom door hinge keeps working out. I have hammered it back in place a dozen or more times and swaged the alloy casting over the top, but it still keeps working out.

This "stubborn" hinge pin has no intention of ever staying where it's put. So I plan on trying to get the top pin out, take the door off, drill out the two blind holes in bottom of the hinge castings, replace the door using 1/4" SS bolts to both hinges complete with lock washers, nyloc nuts and possibly loctite for good measure!!

Anyone else had a similar problem?

Thanks, John in the UK
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:15 AM   #2
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Consider removing the pin drill and tap a #4 tread into the hinge casting, reinstall the pin, and installing an Allen head set screw. If you do this have the hinge open and drill from the trailer side so the set screw does not show when the door is closed.

I used this trick in a younger life when I had a landlord that used to come into my apartment while I was at work.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by WK57ABF View Post
Hi -If anyone can come up with a simpler fix than this it would be much appreciated.

Problem - the pin on our bottom door hinge keeps working out. I have hammered it back in place a dozen or more times and swaged the alloy casting over the top, but it still keeps working out.

This "stubborn" hinge pin has no intention of ever staying where it's put. So I plan on trying to get the top pin out, take the door off, drill out the two blind holes in bottom of the hinge castings, replace the door using 1/4" SS bolts to both hinges complete with lock washers, nyloc nuts and possibly loctite for good measure!!

Anyone else had a similar problem?

Thanks, John in the UK
The cause of the hinge pin working it's way out, is severe vibration. An excessive rated tow vehicle, excessive rated torsion bars, and/or lack of proper running gear balance, all can cause the problem.

You can easily stop the pin from moving, if you install a small "drift pin", through the hinge pin.

Andy
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:38 AM   #4
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HowieE

Thanks for your response, just had a look outside and would have to take hinges off to drill from trailer side, but I don't mind a set screw showing.

Andy

Thanks - yes our tow vehicle is probably excessive and we use heavy weight distribution bars. We have a lot of hitch weight. Our 25' Classic has a hitch weight of 870 lbs and that is heavier than the 31' @ 760 lbs and the 34' @ 790 lbs. With full lpg tanks and other stuff, we are over 1000 lbs on the hitch. Add to that, our back roads, which we spend a lot of time on, yes a lot of pounding.

John in the UK
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:35 AM   #5
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I have the identical problem on our '07 Bambi 19". Bottom door hinge pin drifts up constantly. Has from day one. I've re-set it and peened it many times. Dealer did it twice. So much peening the top looks like a battlefield. Getting ready to install a screw as described above. Don't think our '05 Toyota 4Runner V8 is excessive tow vehicle... or the Reese square torsion bars.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:39 AM   #6
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I have the identical problem on our '07 Bambi 19". Bottom door hinge pin drifts up constantly. Has from day one. I've re-set it and peened it many times. Dealer did it twice. So much peening the top looks like a battlefield. Getting ready to install a screw as described above. Don't think our '05 Toyota 4Runner V8 is excessive tow vehicle... or the Reese square torsion bars.
Running gear out of balance????

Andy
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:39 AM   #7
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I think the easiest fix would be as Andy suggested. Drill a small hole through the housing and pin and install a small "split" pin. You should be able to get whatever size and length you need from any automotive store. No threading required. You should do this on the fixed section of the hinge, either top or bottom.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:35 PM   #8
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What shops can balance the running gear... en total? I assume this means spinning the wheels, tires, drums, etc. when they are on the trailer. 'Not just balancing the tires'. Does a tire shop do this?... RV dealers?
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:38 AM   #9
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What shops can balance the running gear... en total? I assume this means spinning the wheels, tires, drums, etc. when they are on the trailer. 'Not just balancing the tires'. Does a tire shop do this?... RV dealers?
Spinning tires on an Airstream is very dangereous. Because of the large amount of unbalance that can be present, the counter-balancing dish, can sling off.

Many years ago, a number of Airstream dealers had the Snap On balancer, as seen in the following.

Wheel Balancing Photos - Inland RV

Unfortunately, most of those dealers are gone, and that balancer is no longer available from Snap On Tools.

That system uses 2 weights, placed 120 degrees apart on the wheel. Each weight, including the heavy spot affects 150 degrees of the circumference of the wheel or assembly, which overlaps. That system, when done properly, results in a balance that lasts at least 10,000 miles, sliding tires excluded, which is the mileage that the bearings should be repacked, as well. A single weight counter-balance as per Snap On, is only good for about 3000 miles, at best, and then must be moved to a different location on the wheel, when the balancing falters, even though many times, the required amount of weight, remained the same.

The older Airstream trailers had 3 piece hub and drums. They are notoriously out of balance, normally 8 to 10 ounces on up to 3 pounds. You can look at the castings, and see that the machining was not anywhere near the center, as one side of the drum brake surface was as much as 1/4 inch thicker, than the other side. Not good.

The next style hub and drum, was 2 piece. That was an improvement, but the basic out of balance issue. still existed, but not as bad.

The newest style hub and drum, is "unicast". It's a one piece casting, that is machined for the bearings, and brakes, along with the armature plate, which is the surface that the brake magnet faces.

The "unicast" hub and drum, is a huge step in the right direction, but is still not balanced as they are in the automotive industry.

Technology, came up to bat, and developed the dish type "automatic balancers" that simply, slide over the lug studs and is covered up and held in place when the wheel is mounted. The manufacturers say that from 25 to 30 miles per hour, the running gear becomes automatically balanced.

The end result of all of this, is that the trailer owner, can now keep the running gear properly balanced, by first having the tire and wheel balanced, and then adding the after market balancers, that are readily available, from many sources.

As time goes on, that system should keep the "balancing issue" completely out of the picture as a necessary periodic thing that must be done. When it's time for new tires, have them simply balanced on the wheel, mount the wheels, and it's done, giving you the peace of mind that the vibrations caused by lack of proper running gear balance, is forever gone.

WOW!!!!!

No more chasing down a place that can balance the complete running gear.

The only draw back???

You still should repack the bearings and check the brakes, once a year or 10,000 miles, which ever comes first, regardless of what type brakes the trailer has. This holds true for electric brakes, self adjusting electric brakes, and disc brakes.

Finally, a solution to a problem that's been going on for half a century.

Andy
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:11 AM   #10
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I forgot to mention, that the hinge pin problem, once the balancing is done, should be a bye-bye issue.

Andy
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:56 AM   #11
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Thanks Andy... for the great detail and history of the issue. My trailer is a '07 Bambi Safari 19'. Elec. brakes. (Remember me as the guy who pushed it off the jack stands while doing a bearing packing?). Is this newer unit likely to be that far 'out of balance'? Would the 'automatic balancers' still be a good idea for me? I would assume they are not cheap. I see no other indications of 'extreme vibration'.
Pete
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:44 AM   #12
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Thumbs up

I have used this in the past to secure various press-fit pins.

http://www.permatex.com/products/mot...locker_RED.htm

If you clean the spline's well it may be an inexpensive fix...IMHO worth a try.
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:14 PM   #13
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ROBERT CROSS

Yes - it is worth a try. Not drilled ours out yet, being fulltimers the use of power tools on our UK campgrounds is frowned on. Just waiting for an opportunity. Will have to do it soon as the pin is tight in the centre part of hinge and is turning with that, reaming out the hole in upper part of hinge.

Hope that makes sense.

John in the UK
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:50 PM   #14
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hinges

We have a '99 Safari and just had both our door hinges replaced as they were worn out. My husband hammered them back in on every move. Hope these new ones are much improved - it is a big job to replace them.
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