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Old 05-28-2018, 01:05 PM   #1
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Main door hinge repair

Our door has been hard to close so I set out to make some adjustments this weekend. I discovered that one of the main door hinge bolts was not tightened, and could not be tightened. The bolt just turned without seating. It would not unthread either so I used an extractor and removed it. The problem is that there is nothing inside the frame to screw a new bolt to. That may have been the problem all along.

Does Airstream do like car builders and weld a nut inside the frame for the bolt to screw, or is there another system? I need to determine how to fasten the hinge to the frame with more than the remaining bolt.

Suggestions please!,,
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:06 PM   #2
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I guess not many have experienced this issue. Well I did hear back from AS service with a neat bulletin that was well documented with photos. If you need to adjust or remove your main door hinges on a pre 2013 model here is what you do if the 1/4 inch bolts will not thread out.

Remove the trim mold next the door frame after marking the edge with tape.
Mark the location of the bolt head so you will know where it is from inside the trailer. I ran a strip of tape.
Use a one inch hole saw to cut an access hole to the inside of the wall.
Remove the sealant covering the nut with needle nose pliers
Use a 7/16 deep socket to reach the nut. In my case the nut was not present
So I bought new stainless bolt, washer, and nut.
Job done
My door closes smooth as goose grease and I wonít worry about the hinge coming off.Click image for larger version

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Old 06-24-2018, 03:52 AM   #3
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Main door hinge repair

Am I glad to see this posting. I have exactly the same problem with the lower hinge on my 2011 International. I contacted AS Customer service as well and sent pictures and a video, but received a different response: ďIt looks like the current screws have stripped out and slightly bigger screws would be needed put in to fix thisĒ.

Can you believe that answer? I was not happy and let them know. I suspected the issue was a loose nut on the inside, and was just coming to grips with the idea of cutting some kind of access hole on the interior when I came across your thread. Well well. Customer Service tells me to put bigger bolts in (by magic I guess) and in your case send you pictures and a bulletin on how to fix what is apparently a known design defect which has since been changed.

Iím none too happy about this experience. Up to this point I had considered CS advice to be reliable, and knowledgeable. Not so in this case.

Thanks for your post. When I start my repair I will contribute photos and document it here as well.
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:23 AM   #4
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I'm curious did you happen to use any kind of thread lock to prevent future loosening?
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:42 AM   #5
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I havenít started my repair yet. I plan to use SS nyloc nuts and threadlocker on the bolt threads.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:46 AM   #6
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I see now...Good to know thanks.

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Old 07-08-2018, 11:39 AM   #7
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Completed my door hinge repair today in a similar manner as Trumpetguy.

Installed tape along the edge of the trim mold before removing it. Also removed the fire extinguisher and brackets as it was in the way. Noted the bracket screws were very short and did not penetrate the particle board much, so I replaced them with longer.

I drilled two 1Ē holes to access the nuts behind the hinge bolts. In my case an 11mm socket fit. To avoid having the door come loose I replaced one screw at a time.

Here are a few pics of the job:
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:42 AM   #8
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Click image for larger version

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ID:	316282 This is the old nut in place before removal.

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The removed bolts. Note the star washers are completely flat. No bite left in them.

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The two 1Ē holes.

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Job done and the trim reinstalled.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:48 AM   #9
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In completing this repair I discovered why the hinge bolts had come loose. The lower right edge of the door was tight to the frame - so much so that there are wear marks on the frame, and the hinge. Basically the door was far out of ďadjustmentĒ. I say that in quotes, as anyone who has had the pleasure knows the way to adjust this hand build and hand fitted door is to bend it with a block of wood.

Here is the interference
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And note the deformation of the hinge. Basically every time the door shut it would pull the hinge.
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And here is the repair in progress...
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:50 AM   #10
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When installing the fire extinguisher bracket I used longer screws. The original one is shown for comparison. Why would the factory use such a short screw when there was plenty of thickness in the cabinet?
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:52 AM   #11
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And finally, my trusty helper...
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and the special tool needed before drilling holes in your Airstream.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpetguy View Post
I guess not many have experienced this issue. Well I did hear back from AS service with a neat bulletin that was well documented with photos. If you need to adjust or remove your main door hinges on a pre 2013 model here is what you do if the 1/4 inch bolts will not thread out.

Remove the trim mold next the door frame after marking the edge with tape.
Mark the location of the bolt head so you will know where it is from inside the trailer. I ran a strip of tape.
Use a one inch hole saw to cut an access hole to the inside of the wall.
Remove the sealant covering the nut with needle nose pliers
Use a 7/16 deep socket to reach the nut. In my case the nut was not present
So I bought new stainless bolt, washer, and nut.
Job done
My door closes smooth as goose grease and I wonít worry about the hinge coming off.Attachment 312442Attachment 312443Attachment 312444Attachment 312445
........THANK YOU...for the info..am doing mine on the road...factory bit is broken off in mine and stripped off.....
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Old 03-16-2019, 05:32 AM   #13
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Good luck. Take a deep breath before drilling the large holes!
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:29 AM   #14
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This was helpful. Our new 2019 (we picked up in November of last year) has both lower hinge bolts freely turning. Its going in for service tomorrow morning. There was some mention of a possible design change, now I know when that happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpetguy View Post
I guess not many have experienced this issue. Well I did hear back from AS service with a neat bulletin that was well documented with photos. If you need to adjust or remove your main door hinges on a pre 2013 model here is what you do if the 1/4 inch bolts will not thread out.

Remove the trim mold next the door frame after marking the edge with tape.
Mark the location of the bolt head so you will know where it is from inside the trailer. I ran a strip of tape.
Use a one inch hole saw to cut an access hole to the inside of the wall.
Remove the sealant covering the nut with needle nose pliers
Use a 7/16 deep socket to reach the nut. In my case the nut was not present
So I bought new stainless bolt, washer, and nut.
Job done
My door closes smooth as goose grease and I wonít worry about the hinge coming off.Attachment 312442Attachment 312443Attachment 312444Attachment 312445
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Old 08-20-2019, 03:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DMT View Post
And finally, my trusty helper...
Attachment 316293

and the special tool needed before drilling holes in your Airstream.
Attachment 316294


Your helper is doing an awesome job! Give her (Maggie if Iím reading the tag correctly?) extra belly rubs for her labor!

As for the iceberg tool - I guess itís important to know how much assists in screwing up oneís courage for drilling in to the skins and how much just makes one screw up....everyoneís mileage will vary there
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:51 AM   #16
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Yes for sure. We are currently at Lomond in Gros Morne sipping coffee and admiring the view of Killdevil Mountain and Bonne Bay. Maggie - well she is asleep on the floor as usual.

Have not had the need to drill any further holes in my Airstream, but Iím keeping some Iceberg close at hand just in case
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:52 PM   #17
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Well I tackled my loose door hinges tonight.
I got my hole saw kit ready and removed door mounding and low and behold someone already took a dremel and cut two rectangle openings. Unfortunately it wasnít wide enough or tall enough to throw a socket on nut and besides it looked like they placed a ton of dense rubber caulking through out where you couldnt see the nut.
So I proceeded to cut, dig and pull it out to reach what were the existing star nuts. Well at least 3 of them because one bolt didnít have one?!?! So I had to use a rasping tool attached to my drill and widen and lengthen the rectangles. Pretty messy.
I wasnít able to fit a socket around the nut because it was too close to door frame. I used a needle nose vise grip on nut and went out side with screw driver and was able to remove all 3 and replace with stainless steal locking nuts one at a time using the vise grips.
It was a pia and donít know why if someone goes through all that trouble they didnít fix it correctly. Were they hoping the dense rubber would hold nuts?!?! Oh well the door is tight and it seems to close a little better but still feel I have to really close it hard to latch it completely. Maybe I need to adjust it but thatís another day.
This thread was very informative and want to thank everybody.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:58 PM   #18
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What bulletin number do you reference when requesting the bolts to make this repair? Does Airstream actually simply send you the parts to correct their defect?
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:03 AM   #19
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No idea. Trumpetguy posted a picture in this thread of the bulletin page sent to him from Customer Service. Not aware of this thread I had no luck with Customer Service - they advised me to replace the bolts with larger ones. Silly answer and not worthy of my time or theirs.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:38 PM   #20
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Hi. This is such a good thread that I felt it was better to add to it rather than start a new one. I'm fussing about replacing my hinges, moderately corroded. I can see a plan for the trailer side in this thread. How do we disconnect-reconnect the hinge from the door side?
Happy Travles!
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