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Old 09-12-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
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1970 25' Caravanner
Incline Village , Nevada
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Roof Vent Crank Mechanism Removal Help Needed

I have a rusted crank mechanism on my middle roof top vent... Does anyone know how I can remove this without doing much damage?
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:06 AM   #2
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Have you tried any rust breaking oils yet? If not I would soak the heck out of it for a few days. If that doesn't work maybe hack saw the bolt and remove it. Can't quite see how it is mounted on both ends in the aluminum but I would guess there is a locking pin, or circlip or something to remove to get it out and replace it.

Matt
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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If I remember correctly (at least on my '73) there is a roll pin above the washer/bushing on the crank end that needs to be driven out of the threaded shaft to allow it to be disassembled - and another roll pin through the shaft that limits the travel of the block on the shaft... And the cast-aluminum crank should have a machine-thread screw pinning it to the threaded shaft?

I an NOT recommending this, but I've seen this quickee repair done:

The forward vent on my '73 had been replaced at some point (leaked horribly, nasty workmanship) and Joe Somewhen had split cut the aluminum panel on the outside beside the drilled hole to allow the flange edges to be bent thus
__ / /ŻŻ
to allow the threaded shaft assembly to be slipped in on the diagonal without disassembly of the crank assembly - and then crush-bent the aluminum back into position. The cut edges will always be seen and tend tol warp back towards opening into maybe a finger-cutting-edge during cranking. So there is the emergency method.

If there is a nub of the roll pin available, either square the end off square and use a punch and tap-hammer to loosen & drive it out or/and get a grip on it with fine pliers and wedge a screwdriver in to pry it out... If you choose to try drilling out the roll-pin galley find a cobalt alloy bit as the threaded shaft is probably nearly as hard as the HSS drill bit alloy.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:54 AM   #4
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1970 25' Caravanner
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I am trying to remove the crank mechanism without doing much damage. I want to try to clean off the rust to reuse it as I am having a hard time finding replacements.

There is no locking pin or circlip that I can see. There is a washer with a raised edge that sits in the holes on either end of the vent case. The crank bolt tapers at both ends and slides into those washers.

I had a thought that I could tap the bolt from the top or bottom through the washer a bit and then remove it, but wanted to see if anyone had done this before.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:04 AM   #5
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If it is anything like the set-up in my '73, then there is definitely a pin that goes through the threaded shaft. It may be so rusty that you can't see it protruding from the shaft any longer. It should be immediately above the washers/bushing on the lower end of the shaft. You will need to tap/drill out the pin, and then the assembly will drop until the "block" hits the lower frame. You then just unscrew the shaft and it comes right out. If your assembly is so rusty that the shaft doesn't turn in the block, then I would start with a few days of penetrating oil to try and get it moving. If worse comes to worst, I would cut the threaded shaft below the block and buy a replacement--enough people are replacing their original vents with Fantastic vents that someone is probably selling old hardware.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
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Jeremy.
Weren't you looking for some vents with the mechanism? May be I'm confused.
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:19 AM   #7
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Did you ever figure out how to remove the mechanism? I have to remove mine on my 1970 because I broke a screw off in one of the holes.

Tim
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:07 AM   #8
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Tim

I discovered there are a couple of different ways the crank mechanisms are attached at the top to keep them from sliding down. Probably depends on your year and model. Some have a E clip at the top. It's very small and possibly rusted. Some have a bolt that is flaired to keep it from moving. Mine simply slid through a plastic washer. The way I removed it was just to bend the aluminum of the vent assembly just enough to slide the whole unit out. When I exchanged the crank assembly I just slid it back through and bent the aluminum back.

Hope that helps. What model do you have?
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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1973 31' Sovereign
Killingworth , Connecticut
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Vent mechanism source

BUMP

So i have 3 of these vents on my 1973 airstream, in various degrees of dis-repair. I'd love to be able to refurbish them back to their original glory rather than replace them with something bigger.

So questions:
1. What is the name of this type of vent? In mine they are not powered, all aluminum, and the interior shroud was the big rectangular one with the lights running on either side. There was a crank at one end and the switch at the other.
2. I am doing a "retro-mod" so i'd like to use a much more simple trim piece inside rather than the light fixture (all were cracked and gross). Does anyone have any recommendations?
3. Is there a source for replacement parts and/or fully working vents? I would love to take a new vent and swap out the guts so I can leave the frame in the roof unmolested. Everything I have is either bent or rusty or both.

Thanks!!
Simon
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:44 PM   #10
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Here's a pic

So here's a pic of the vent I have - any idea where i can get any of these parts??
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:21 PM   #11
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Alternately I could probably fabricate all of it, but it would be faster to just buy them. Is there a market?

The one pictured is in the best shape, so this one I can probably recover by sandblasting and powdercoating the steel stuff. I'd also replace that crank with a stainless lead screw and a commercially available crank knob...
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:38 PM   #12
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Good luck with your project. Your vents are slightly different than mine although I would not be able to tell you the name of either. Mine had cranks on both sides and did not have the interior light panel. Rather, they just had a screen on the interior. One of them had a fan as well. I was able to find parts for them, but it took awhile and some purchases of parts through the forum. I was not able to find a place that sold parts new, and I looked at all the popular Airstream hot spots including RV dealerships and websites.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:41 PM   #13
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Many people replace the fan/ light fixture with the popular fantastic fan or maxx fans but you'll lose your lights unless you install different lights.
If I was you I'd do some research in the fan, light section.
I'm sure you can find old fan vent parts, as a matter of fact I think I have 3 or 4 of the vents similar to yours. I'll send you some pictures of what I have if your interested.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:45 PM   #14
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I don't know where you can get parts.
I do know you can get the plastic covers and cranks (plastic) from Airstream Dealer.
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