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Old 09-13-2009, 01:02 PM   #1
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1972 25' Tradewind
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Entrance Door Bent at Upper Corner

Having searched for a previous thread with little success I’ll throw this question out and hope a body expert can offer up some advice.
The entrance door is bent out about ĺ inch at the upper leading edge. The frame from about a foot up from the handle and lower appears OK. It only sticks out about 1/8 inch. The hinge side is fine.
Is there any way, short of removing the door, to align the upper corner?
I did find HowieE’s thread on clamping the door to 2x6.
Seems it may work but there must be a lot of pressure on the form. Being curved instead of straight adds an additional bit of complexity to the mix.
I've got everything from a Porta_Power to a BFH. Anyone with an idea? We can make this work.


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Old 09-13-2009, 02:41 PM   #2
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aluminum's memory (elasticity) isnt as good as steel, but, it should (especially an extrusion such as the door frame) have enough to get ya back to where it belongs. I suggest the following: block the door partially open with an appropriately sized chunk of 2x4; using either a clamping device of some sort or self tapping screws, attach a "pulling ring" of your own design to the door frame. Then, using your porta-power, suitably anchored inside the coach (you are going to have to be creative here) pull the door frame towards the door jamb. To make an achor inside the coach-perhaps a stout piece of 3/4 inch plywood screwed through the carpet (or?) with another anchor point for the porta-power (equal to, or stronger than the one on the door) you do not want to do more damage than what ya got-go slow and let the door stand with tension on it-remember the elasticity-you will have to go "past" the amount of bend to correct the problem. In other words if the door is sprung out 1/4 inch, then you will have to bring in back in MORE than 1/4 inch-go slow, hold, release the tension, check your fit-pull it again-and so on. go slow slow maybe 5 easy pulls til you understand how far the door frame will bend-I think blocking at the point(s) where the door closes correctly would be sufficient-make sure you CANNOT slip or overpull the door-you'll end up having to reverse the process if the door is not ruined.

Now, you asked, so there is my 2 cents, I hope you understand this process. If not, I'd suggest taking it to a very highly recommended body shop and ask them if they could make it fit.

AS'rs are do it your-selfers, but it is good to practice on something or know when not do diy it. be cool
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Old 09-13-2009, 03:14 PM   #3
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Ottawa , ON
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I think if you do your search again and use the term "suicide doors", you might find more talk about this problem. If they aren't fastened shut properly, the doors can pop open and hit the frame with a good deal of force when underway.

You are seeing the result of that.

The service manual points out that the door can also be straightened fairly easily by means of adjusting tension on the aluminum door skins when rivets are removed on one side or the other.

If it's to be, it's up to me.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:31 PM   #4
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I was leaning towards using a padded pulling clamp and chain on the corner of the frame after blocking the door away from the body. Attaching an anchor to the floor isnít a problem. The PO took out all the carpet. The floor is sound and waiting for a new covering this winter. I also need to push out a 6x9 depression at the lower right front. Iíll figure out the geometry and find a good spot for the anchor. Weíve put down some remnant carpet pieces in the interim.
The screen door bent back without any problem. I donít see any evidence of the door opening during travel and the hinge is in good condition.
Somewhere along the line someone pulled this poor coach under a low tree limb and did a fair amount of damage to the roof and vents. Then had it "fixed" at a RV dealer. Iíve repaired major damage but Iíll need the Porta-Power for a few bent ribs in back.
Thatís a thread for another time.

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Old 09-13-2009, 08:19 PM   #5
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Tom, the easiest way is to use a heavy duty ratchet strap. You need one that's designed to strap down cars or equipment etc. There is a piece of trim on the bottom of the door, 5 or 6 rivets holds it on. Drill those out and remove trim. Loop the strap over the door near the end, not so close as to allow it to slide off. Have the ratchet mechanism on the inside of the door and ratchet away. The shape of the door facilitates this method as the part of the strap with the ratchet will be straight. It will pull the door back in shape pronto. Be careful and don't over do. It's the easiest way without removing the door, also no stress on the hinges, you can go slow and easy. I let mine stand a few minutes with the strap tight to let it take a set. Might not be nessesary but I did it. Replacing the bottom door trim is easy. Hope that made sense.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:47 AM   #6
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Be very careful with that door frame. You have one of the few years that have the cast aluminum door frame, and it cracks very easily. I had to completely rebuild / reform mine and it was time consuming and required me to completely re skin my door. Mine was cracked in several places and had to be welded. I then had to use heat in order to reform it.


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