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Old 02-25-2006, 07:06 PM   #1
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Now that the dishwasher installation has been solved, here's my next question: has anyone found a good way to keep the door open?

We've been in Weslaco, TX for the past month and it's been very way here and very windy.

I'd like to leave the outer door open to collect the breeze through the screen dorr, but the wind slams it shut.

A bungee cord damages the rubber door seal and I can't see any other way to hold the door open.

All ideas are welcome.
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Old 02-25-2006, 07:06 PM   #2
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Now that the dishwasher installation has been solved, here's my next question: has anyone found a good way to keep the door open?

We've been in Weslaco, TX for the past month and it's been very way here and very windy.

I'd like to leave the outer door open to collect the breeze through the screen dorr, but the wind slams it shut.

A bungee cord damages the rubber door seal and I can't see any other way to hold the door open.

All ideas are welcome.
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Old 02-26-2006, 05:58 AM   #3
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Linda,
It is time to do some exploratory surgery on your door. You will need a Phillips head screwdriver, WD40, lubricant of your choice (WD40 is a penetrant, not a lubricant.), 7/16" and " wrenches, hex wrench set, pliers, rags, a "retired" toothbrush and a ladder.

Start by taking off the two screws that hold the dead bolt through. When removed, they will allow the key side to be removed. Take all of it out and set aside. Try to remember its orientation as it came out so you can duplicate that when you later reassemble.

Take out the two black screws that hold the door release handle cover. Open the door release just a little to work the cover over the handle. Set aside.

Take out the 4 screws that hold the panel on to the door. Set aside.

Now you're looking into the guts of the door locking mechanism.

Your problem is probably in the part of the mechanism that involves the cable you see. The cable is pulled by the mechanism when you actuate either the inside or outside door handles. Try both to see how it works. You will probably see what appears to be way too much slack at the end of the cable when you work the door handles. The cable goes up to the top of the door where you see the arm that pivots to limit the door's opening swing.

On your ladder, look at that top mechanism. You will see a pin that sticks up from the frame, and a pawl that should capture the pin when the door opens to its limit. As you open the door the last few degrees of its limit, you should see where the pawl should capture the pin, but doesn't. This pawl is spring loaded and should rotate to capture the pin, but it is probably frozen in the open position, hence your door won't stay open. The pawl is pulled away from the pin by the cable at the main mechanism I mentioned earlier, and returned to a "ready" position by the spring, also previously mentioned. With the pawl not rotating, this is probably also the reason for the slack you observed at the other end of the cable in the door release mechanism.

Time for a little WD40 at the shaft of the pawl. Let it soak for a while, and in the meantime clean up the main mechanism and its surrounding area. You can also consider using the compressed air you have on board, and or the central vacuum system using the crevice tool. Get into the tight areas using the retired toothbrush. Now back up to the pawl/pin area at the top.

Now that the WD40 has had a chance to penetrate, you may be able to rotate the pawl shaft with your fingers, if not use the pliers. Just rotate it back and forth until it works freely. When free, lubricate the base of the shaft where it enters the top of the door. In some cases you will have to take out the screws that hold the top assembly, unhook the cable at that end and more aggressively work on the shaft, but eventually it will free up.

Assuming the pawl shaft is now freed up, lubricate it again and the pivoting limit arm at all three articulating points. Wipe up any excess lubrication. While you're still up there, have someone below open the door its last inch or so and watch for the pawl to rotate into the pin. Have them activate each door release and see whether the pawl releases from the pin.

Down at the main mechanism you should see limited or now slack in the end of the cable, if not, back off the two screws that hold the cable sheath, adjust to where there is just a little slack, tighten up the screws. Now find every point in the mechanism where things pivot and slide. Lubricate, wipe, test and don't forget to lube the "bolt" part of the dead bolt mechanism.

Put the panel back on, but don't do the final tightening of its four screws. Next the dead bolt and don't forget to test for easy function, then the cover for the inside door handle and its two screws. Finally, tighten the four screws of the panel, and you're done.

Hope this helps. I'll be in the Tucson area for two more weeks till we start our two week journey back to Tacoma for a month. Feel free to write me "off-line" if I can assist further.

Neal
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Old 02-26-2006, 06:21 AM   #4
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Neal:

....... welcome to the forum. I know you have been lurking out there wanting to participate. From the above post you surely have a great deal to offer.

I would guess you have done this procedure before. Excellent understanding on procedures to repair. I'll keep it in case we happen to have the same problem.

If you and Mary are heading north from Tucson, try to make the pre-rally in Temecula, would love to see you guys again.

Take Care,

Walt
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:18 AM   #5
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Neal,
I'm not sure I understand how this will keep the door open in the wind, does the "pawl" have something to do with it?
Should the limiting mechanism at the top lock the door open somehow?

On some brands of coach the door opens to 180 degrees and there is a latch on the coach body to hold it open, my door only opens to 90 degrees, so there's nothing to hold it. It is a mid-door

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Old 02-26-2006, 09:28 AM   #6
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Linda- IIUC, the problem is that your door does not latch in any position (if that's not it, fergit this post).
Your door was designed to lock open in the 90? position, until unlatched by actuating either door lever, but is failing to lock when open. Neal's post is a (wonderfully well detailed) description of repairing the non-latching status.
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:13 PM   #7
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Linda,
As was said by EngineerMike, the door is only designed to open about 90 degrees. If it opened further, it would do a lot of damage to the doors paint and possibly deform the hinges. The pawl and pin are there to stop the door from opening beyond the preset or design limit and to hold it there.

I may suggest you look at some other similar doors to yours. PTL Engineering of Rochester, MI makes our doors. They don't have a web site that I have found. I think that most of the Monaco and Country Coach products use PTL doors. Find someone friendly who has something that looks close to yours, look on the doorframe for a PTL label, climb up on a ladder and see how theirs operates. Have your new friend work the door handles to start closind the door and then return it to its full open position. From above,you shoud see the paul release the pin, then later reengage. That operation will be what you will want to duplicate on your door.

The arm that swings out as you open your door provides some stability, but more importantly prevents the door from opening beyond a safe limit should the pawl and pin unit fail.

There are other items to adjust and lubricate, but for now we need to get your door operational so it doesn't hurt you or itself. Let me know what you see and we will go from there.

Where are you located for now, and for how long? Some one near by may volunteer to stop by and lend a hand.

Neal

PS. Thanks to EngineerMike and Walt for the nice comments. Don't know if we will make Temecula or not, but will stay in touch and hope we can get together somewhere. Say hi to Julie for us Walt and tell her to be safe....it's a jungle out there!
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Old 02-26-2006, 02:33 PM   #8
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Thanks, I think I understand now.

The mechanism on the top does keep the door from opening beyong 90 degrees, but doesn't hold it there in the wind, that's the part I need to look into.

I'm in Weslaco, TX right now, the windy part of Texas!
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:19 PM   #9
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Neal, Where have you been? I have this door problem waiting for you My door has rattled of and on like a can of pennys since we bought the coach. I had isolated or solved most of the noises except the loudest one. My wife, in the copilots seat, had not been able to locate the sound so the only way for me to find it was to let her drive...O.K. so I'm a control freak.
Anyway, we both survived the experience and I found the rattle. It is the arm on the top of the door that rattles when the door is closed.
It looks like the hinge point has a bit of velcro or something on it to act as a pad. I wrapped electrical tape around the hinge with the door slightly open and the rattle disapeared. Is there a pad missing? There seems to be a lot of movement in that hinge when the door is not latched open. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance and Welcome to the Group.
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:04 PM   #10
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My '03 36FDDS has only one pad on the arm that is attached to the coach. It is the upper arm of the two. I think you're on the right track that it is there for padding, and yes it appears to be Velcro.

I think the electrical tape will give up and start unraveling and your noise will come back. I would suggest getting some sticky back Velcro from Lowes/Home Depot to replace the one that is missing. It would be best if you clean off all the electrical tape residue first, then fit in about a 1 inch by 1 inch piece, just cut to fit. If the noise continues, I would clean off and place a similar piece of Velcro on the underside of the lower arm, the one attached to the door, and if not solved them, place a piece where it will rest between the arms (when they are in a closed door position). If you have a choice, buy Industrial Velcro in black. It is a lot stronger and won't catch your eye as to color. Be sure to lubricate those articulating points while up there as well as the pawl/pin mechanism I mentioned in the earlier post.

Good instincts on your part to trade positions with your chief navigator. Mary spells me on long Interstate runs and then I am free to move around the coach listening, looking and smelling for anything that I would not other wise sense. It has helped me solve more than one mystery.

Let us know what works,
Neal
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