HOW TO FIX YOUR A&E DOMETIC ELECTRIC ENTRY DOOR AWNING FOR 30-Cents! (MODEL #974 aka Fiamma 45i)
I must have spent 2 hours calling every RV parts house in the USA. And I almost was going to call Australia to look for my part, when I came up with an idea to “PIN” the little sucker right where she sits! …But how?
PROBLEM: My entry door awning sprung open and now I can’t close it or drive away.
SOLUTION: A) Since the awning is already open you can just remove the 2 screws that hold the awning backplate to the coach. Then undo the LH Cap, and cut the wires. Then slide the entire awning assembly off the channel for repair later. Or...
B) You can go get a 30 cent 3/4”L x 5/32”Round expansion pin from your local hardware store and fix the stripped, female, end-Cap-Tube right where the awning sits.
Here are the essential steps laid out in detail, because this is the only option I can think of that will fix your awning when the “D-Shaped” or “Square-Shaped” motor drive sheared off the inside of the female-end-cap piece and you awning motor spins, but you awning will not retract.
Note: Dometic mislabeled my part as Part# 3108710.108, when the good part # is 3310300.000. …But it doesn’t matter what the part number is since you can’t find these parts anywhere in the USA, and Fiamma is not making parts for their Oasis 45i Model they OEM'd to Dometic when the RV was built.
It took me 3 hours to figure everything out, but with these tips you can probably get the job done in 1.5 hours!
1) Take a piece of black tape and place somewhere on awning base plate and run over the edge to the side wall of the coach. Then cut the tape in the middle. This tip will help you re-align the awning and find the 2 mounting holes for re-assembly.
2) Slide the entire awning just far enough to reach one of the back mounting screws for the motor...to the end cap roller. Then unscrew the front mounting screw. Cut the wires. Drill out a small rivet holding the bottom portion. (Later you can use a small screw and some glue when you re-install.)
3) Take a long strip of duck-tape and use it to pull the scissor arms of the awning together to relieve the tension off the left side you are working on.
4) Pry the motor and PVC Plate away from the awning end. …And peak inside the female-end-cap of the awning. If it's round inside then this is why your awning will not retract, even when the motor is working properly.
What happens is that the hard motor shaft eventually shears-off inside "D-Shape" or "Square" shape inside the female-end-cap.
However, female end is still in good condition, then maybe your motor is not working, and you can open it up and clean it out and re-lubricate it? If not, and your motor is fried, you maybe S.O.L. Or maybe you can go to an auto parts shop and find a window motor that will fit?
If you go this route, please let us all now what type of motor can be used in place of this Fiamma motor that I hear can cost $500+... and that's if you can find one!!! But I bet 80% of the time you have a stripped out or sheared female-end-cap like I had.
5) So now we want to “Pin” the motor shaft to the female-end-cap aka “Cap Roller Tube” -- the way it should have been designed in the first place, if you ask me!
6) You now need to modify (cut away) a small portion of the the PVC Plate. This is molded piece that is attached to the motor with 3- screws. And the portion of PVC material you want to cut away will create a “keyhole” so you can insert a compression pin when you re-assemble this part to the motor.
To do this, you should mark off a 3/8” area in the front (facing forward) area, just below the mounting screw hole… and all the way to the center. (See picture.) Use as gig saw and file. The soft PVC is easy to cut.
This where your compression pin is going fit through the PVC Plate... into a 5/32” hole… that you are going to drill through the female-cap-end and the motor shaft.
Note: I also flared the PVC end, but this is not necessary if you trim the pin down from 3/4” to 9/16”. You also need to do this so the pin does not rub on the inside of the PVC “bearing” plate when it spins.
7) Reassemble the Plate to the Motor, but first insert the hard to get to rear hold-down screw in the back part first. When the motor is realigned, tighten the front screw.
With the motor shaft and female-cap-shaft now visible through the “keyhole” you just made in the PVC Plate; use a 1/8” drill bit to drill a hole through both the female-end-cap pot metal and the hard motor shaft. (Be careful not to go all the way though the other side of the PVC.)
Now use a 5/32” drill bit to make a “clean hole”. (Note: You need a good quality “steel” drill bit to avoid wobble. And you need a “clean” hole so the compression pin will not wiggle loose later.)
8) Cut ~1/8” off the end of the 3/4" long -- 5/32” compression pin. This is because you only need 9/16” to 5/8” compression pin to join the motor shaft to the female-cap-end.
Now, with your hand, use a small drill bit to hold the hollow pin and steady your hand to align the pin... so you can get it started in the hole. (If you have trouble getting the pin started, compress one end with some pliers.)
Once the compression pin is in place, use a nail set or Philips screw driver to tap it into place with a hammer. BUT, BE CAREFUL NOT TO PUNCH THE PIN ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO WHERE IS HITS THE PVC ON THE OTHER END.
... And now you are almost done! Just text for awning retraction and then fully re-assemble. Note: Don’t play with the awning. Moving it in-and-out fast is NOT good and may overheat the motor or worse brake something you will regret. So contain your excitement and be happy with just a couple exercising passes… so you use silicon spray to lube up the swing arms and joints.
Congratulations! You just dodged another RV bullet!
PICTURES APPEAR BLOW
Schematic & Part numbers Model 973 or 974
#7 Stripped Female-End-Cap-Roller (Mine should be D-Shaped inside.)
#14 PVC Plate Bearing
#15 Winch Motor (after you drill a 5/32" hole)
Assembled Unit (MODIFIED FOR Compression Pin)
Quick look at Modified Female-Cap-End-Roller