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Old 04-20-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
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Sticking Door Latch

Who has tips on the door handle mechanism on the Diplomat? Ours seems to stick about half the time. When you pull the handle nothing happens, pull it a second time and there is a lag and the door latch releases. My wife tends to slam doors and when she closes it hard the latch always sticks. If you close it easier the door handle works better but still sticks occasionally.

I looked at the posts and they seem to have some up and down movement to them. is that normal? I haven't pulled the door access panels off yet, but will soon. Any tips??

Do I just need to lubricate?
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:28 PM   #2
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The latch posts should be tight and have no play in any direction. I lube mine with white lithium spray grease and the latch works well. You might also open up the latch mechanism and spray some silicone on the moving parts that could be sticking.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:21 PM   #3
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Latch posts are suppose to float up and down and the adjustment is on the in and out, that should be tight. The floating up and down helps with body twist. Seems funny I know, but it works.

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Old 04-20-2010, 10:25 PM   #4
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jeepsrule.....About once a year I spray the heck out of the door latch and two lock mechanisms on the side of the door with WD40. I spray into the latch from the inside and outside. I'll spray it until I have WD40 dripping down the inside of the door. The latch will loosen up and be easy to operate for another year.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:02 AM   #5
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Thanks to all of you for the replies. The posts do move up and down only and I was guessing the mechanism needed lubrication. Sounds like I need to get off my lazy duff and take that access panel off the inside and go to work with the silicone spray.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:03 AM   #6
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There are linkage rods inside the door that can get out of adjustment over time. One set is between the outside and inside handles the other rods go from the inside handle to the release mechanism on the upper and lower door latches. On mine I found that the nylon lock nut that Monaco used where the rod connects to the latch release had backed off. I took the inner panel off the door and tighten the nuts so that they were touching the release levers then added a locking nut so the nylon lock nut could not back off again.
You can check to see if your sticking problem is related to rod adjustment by activating the inside and outside handles while the door is open. If you find that the upper and lower latch do not release at the same time or that you have to pull the inside handle all the way to get them to release I would suspect a problem with the adjustment of the rods going the the latches. If things work fine from the inside handle but not from the outside handle then look for adjustment problems with the rods that connect the two handles. If the latch release just fine with the door open then I would look at the adjustment or lubrication of the pins mount to the door frame. BTW when testing the latches with the door open you will need to use a screw driver to make the latches lock. Let me know if you have more questions since I had to do this twice before I got it right.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:13 PM   #7
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I pulled the door panels off today and the linkages and connections look good and Diplomat Don's "spray the heck out of the latches and mechanisms" seems to have worked. I tested it open and closed with the panel off and then put it all back together. Now I'm trying to decide if I should warn my copilot, or just see if what happens when it opens easy on the first pull??
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:20 PM   #8
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So now my next question is on the flat folding mechanism on the top of the door. It has become loose and opens to far, by my take on how this looks like it should work. By loose I mean the center flat rivet has too much play in it so the bent flange that should stop it from opening too far does not. (you find such neat stuff when you play with the doors) It seems like this screws into the top frame and the door top, so can one replace this??
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:57 PM   #9
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jeepsrule......You can do a couple of things......take too large ballpeen hammers and hold one under that center rivet (hinge point) and whack the heck out of the top of the rivet, sandwiching the rivet between the two hammers. Heck and whack are technical terms.

The two arms of the mechanism are different in length. The one attached to the door protrudes about 4" past the rivet/pivot point. With a large Crescent wrench, slide it over the end of this longer arm, adjust the wrench so it's tight and then bend the end of the arm up slightly. This should make everything work well for awhile.

When we're camping and leaving the door open, I only open it until the upper mechanism starts to engage. I never push it all the way open so that the arm goes straight. This seems to keep the arm from having issues so frequently.

Now that you've done all this work to the door, there is one last thing that I do. I take Pledge and once again, spray the heck out of the entire door frame, hinges, edge of door. I wipe it all down and tighten all of the door frame screws. This cleans the door really well and helps reduce squeaks. I do this once a year.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:09 PM   #10
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I was thinking about taking the hinge off the door and laying it on a hard surface to whack the heck out of it. (and yes I'm familiar with the pressures needed for a good whack). I like the two hammer method, but in downsizing to get ready to become a full-timer, I sold the large ballpeen hammer (cutting weight). I'm also looking at a hinge about 8 1/2 feet off the ground, myself standing on a ladder or hanging out from the steps holding a large hammer and trying to hit the top of the hinge with another hammer.........There have been times like this that ended in screaming, swearing, and blood blisters. Good thing Mrs Jeepsrule is a Registered Nurse.

So has anyone had good luck removing the arm??

I do have a couple large crescent wrenches so that part should work well. I also have some squeaking so I'll try the pledge at the end of this endeavor. I think we need to get Don to write a do-it-yourself book. This could have been the chapter "Doors 101".
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:30 PM   #11
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I agree that Don should write a "how to do it " book for novices. Better yet open a shop that I could drop off my rig and pick up after all problems are fixed
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:00 PM   #12
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jeepsrule....The only issue you'll have.....yes, it screws into the top frame, but it's riveted to the door. I didn't want to tackle removing the rivets and resecuring it again.

I was already to remove mine until I saw the rivets.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:45 PM   #13
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You can drill the rivets out and replace them with steel pop rivets when you put the hinge back.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:19 PM   #14
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I was at my locksmith today, & said something about using WD-40 in the key hole on a lock & he chewed me out (he's a good friend). He said to never use WD-40 on a lock as when the liquid dries out, it will gum up the lock. He said to use silicone on it.

I've used WD-40 for years & never a problem, but this time I think I'll listen to the pro.
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