Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-01-2016, 07:51 PM   #1
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
70's step release mechanism

I took my steps out today..(as .part of a full monty).

They've always sagged. more on the left end than on the right, but left to their own, they won't stay up and locked...first bump you drive over, and they'll pop down.
PO solved this by adding a couple of external hasp-latches to hold them up and locked. Works great...looked like crap, because he didn't use Stainless. I fixed that as one of the first little projects I did when I bought the trailer 15 years ago...there are pics here somewhere...anyway, my replacements look like I put them in yesterday. (yay, stainless!!).

Now that I have everything apart and can see everything, I can't figure out how this ever could have worked. The latch arm is not long enough to reach the back, and hold the shoulder bolt all the way up in place. On the left, the square arm isn't even close to the shoulder bolt. (explains why it sags more on that side). I can't see that there is any "fix" to this, and it doesn't look like the parts are available, as they changed the design in 78.
It looks like the steps are actually the same, but the latching system is different. The part that IS available is for '78-present. My question is: can this be used (retrofit) on pre-1978 steps?

It looks to me like this may actually support the steps along the front edge, which makes a lot more sense. I can't really tell from any of the pics I can find on line if it would work, or what would have to be done to make it work.
__________________

__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2016, 08:54 AM   #2
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
Here's some pics:



The camera flattens the image, so you really can't see it--but the end of this latch/release plain isn't actually touching the shoulder-bolt; it isn't long enough to reach it. (this is with me holding the steps all the way up).



Above is the left side; you can see the end of the bar doesn't reach.

For those that are unfamiliar, this bar is about 1/4" square tube; it bends 90 degrees and goes through the outrigger over to the other side, where it meets with the latch/release arm seen in the other pic. When you actuate the latch, square tube rotates up, as well, and allows the steps to slide down the notch.
__________________

__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2016, 09:00 AM   #3
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
Its hard to see in these pics, but you can see how low they hang without the external latches...also much harder to see in the picture than in real life is how much lower it hangs on the left than on the right.



And with the hasps connected:


Again, the question is: can the new step latch casting work with these steps?
__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2016, 11:13 AM   #4
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
Here's the new hold-up casting, should fit the older steps:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	67
Size:	355.1 KB
ID:	269139  
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2016, 11:15 AM   #5
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
The other side:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	324.8 KB
ID:	269140  
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2016, 11:51 AM   #6
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
Thanks for those pics!

So I assume that this catch thingy is what holds the "lip" in the second pic?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	newlatch.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	288.4 KB
ID:	269155   Click image for larger version

Name:	mysteps.jpg
Views:	63
Size:	93.1 KB
ID:	269156  

__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2016, 11:56 AM   #7
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
Also, in that second pic, I marked the angle-iron (aluminum) piece...I can't tell if this exists in your pic, as the entry door is closed, and that might be hiding it.

This piece is shown in the exploded diagram of the steps in the 73 service manual. Its just a 1 1/2" x 1" angle; the top part sits on the outriggers; the plywood floor is on top of that.
(The "catch" for my hasp-latches are actually attached to it).
Does this exist on the newer trailers? would mine need to be removed if I used that new latch casting?
__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2016, 05:59 PM   #8
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
Yes, that frame is on the trailer. Yours wouldn't need to be removed, just take the hasps off.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2016, 06:50 PM   #9
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
well, the angle-piece just kinda falls onto the ground when you pull the floor out. So the question is more like "do I put it back IN or not". LOL!
__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2016, 08:45 AM   #10
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
I was looking at the parts diagram online...found a better resolution pic in a parts manual on airstream.com; for these newer steps with the new casting, the angle is not shown:
I'm also attaching a scan from the 73 service manual. You can see everything else in the diagram is exactly the same, except for these latch parts, and the angle-aluminum (part #20 in the first pic):
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20160821_0001.jpg
Views:	66
Size:	149.8 KB
ID:	269672   Click image for larger version

Name:	2001-steps.jpg
Views:	69
Size:	149.7 KB
ID:	269673  

__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 06:27 PM   #11
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
Anyone happen to have a step-outrigger that they can measure for me?

I bought the latch casting, and spent a fair amount of time today fussing around trying to figure out exactly how to position it. It would be most helpful if I just had a measurement of the hole that is pre-drilled in late model airstreams. I'm assuming that the proper operation with this latch is that you are supposed to push up on the steps, then lift the latch and let the steps fall down...which means that it can't be installed with the stairs lifted up as high as they'll go. So they have to have some play...but just how much?

One thing for sure: that angle-aluminum that was installed in the pre-'78 models is in the way; had to take it out.

I also ordered a spring, as there is one (1) in the parts diagram, and oodm had it in their catalog. But after getting the casting in my hand, it looks like maybe there should be one of these springs on each side. The parts diagram doesn't indicate that, but I dunno.

anyway, here's a pic of an outrigger that I stole borrowed from another site: need the measurement back from the nose, and down from the top.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	outriggers_002-850x800.JPG
Views:	50
Size:	27.5 KB
ID:	270707  
__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2016, 07:43 PM   #12
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
Got the latch installed today. I emailed out of doors mart, where I bought the latch, and asked if they could measure the holes off a new outrigger, and they obliged.
In case anyone else ever does this with a pre-78: the hole is 1 3/4" back from the front edge, and 3/4" down from the top.
It seems pretty sturdy.
I'm still not sure about the spring--it doesn't put a lot of downward force on the latch; certainly not enough to hold things in place. Gravity and friction are whats holding the step up.
I'm wondering if there are supposed to be one of these on each side. The diagram only shows 1.
The other thing is that there is a little hole drilled through the post thingy that sticks out to the side. Its the right size for that spring leg to fit through, but it doesn't align with the spring, as attached. It would have to be bent to go through there. Is it supposed to? Also, the left side has the same post, with the same hole in it...again, kind of implies that there is supposed to be a spring on both sides.






__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2016, 08:35 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,627
Images: 3
The spring can go through the hole but it's not necessary. To do it you have to put it through the hole then put the loop in the spring over the bolt then put the nut on. I had springs on both sides.
At some point I may try to find heavier springs, but then I'd have to remove belly wraps, so we'll see.
The catches on the new casting that grip the steps are probably longer than your original. Mine were originally pretty worn down. They held when moving but didn't take Mitch to let loose. I replaced the catch bar for extra assurance.
__________________
HiJoeSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2016, 09:22 PM   #14
Patriotic
 
Chuck's Avatar

 
1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,533
Images: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiJoeSilver View Post
...
The catches on the new casting that grip the steps are probably longer than your original... .
There was "nothing" on the original; it was held up by an entirely different mechanism. (which is why I have all the questions )

I can imagine how this might wear, being aluminum and all; I've found that you "can" just pull up on the latch bar, and it will release, but with a long of scraping of those edges. I think it will be best to use the 2-handed method, and lift up on the steps with one hand, then lift the latch with the other to let the steps down.

2 springs...great; I'll try and find something at the hardware store...if not, I know I can get another at OODM. You just can't tell from the diagram...it only shows 1, and other parts that have multiples are shown twice; but not this one.
__________________

__________________
Air:291
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Broken step mechanism JBBeaubeaux General Repair Forum 2 06-09-2016 10:18 PM
Step by Step 1959 Over59 1954 - 1959 Overlander 237 11-18-2015 04:41 PM
How About a Collection of Step by Step Repair Procedures? josephhh Airstream Motorhome Forums 32 07-06-2015 10:47 PM
Step release handle broke due to metal fatigue! How to repair? BentMetal All Argosy Trailers 3 05-24-2015 10:26 PM
Need step by step instructions Grady White Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 3 06-25-2002 03:35 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.