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Old 06-05-2011, 11:54 PM   #1
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'04 Horizon, entry door "Pop" when opening, don't think it's normal

Gents,
On our newly purchased '04 Horizon 36GD, the entry door "Pops" severely when it's opened to just about the full open position. It has to do with the limit arm in the center of the door, in the hinge area. I certainly don't think it's supposed to do that or be that loud. I think I'll have to remove the plastic cover on the inside of the door and see what kind of mechanism is in there and deal with it. Anyone had/has this kind of problem with their entry door?

On most Fleetwood products (and maybe others) there's a limit strut that connects the top of the door frame to the top of the door and utilizes a scissors type action when closing and opening. It limits the door from opening too far (about 90 degrees) but, on the Horizons, and maybe other Winne/Itasca products, there's this little limit arm/hinge in the middle of the door that's suppose do stop this monster/heavy door from being opened too far, even in windy conditions. Sure seems kind of "cheesy' to me.
Scott
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:19 AM   #2
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The design of this door overtravel stop maybe looks good on paper. But it is cheesy and has failed on my coach too.

Once I took the inner door panel off, I could see where the metal had cracked and become really loose. The popping noise I heard was the arm reaching its limit and then moving past the broken part which was supposed to stop it.

On our coach, it looks like the whole thing was welded to the door. Not a user replaceable part....except for the arm.

I installed a stainless steel door brace at the base of the door, closest to the hinge. It looks ok, but definitely not OEM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:31 AM   #3
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You're right - it didn't "pop" when it was new. It's not an uncommon problem, but the only solution is parts replacement. Here's a link to an earlier thread (http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/entr...lem-62057.html) that may provide some help. I've ordered and received the parts for our door, just haven't slowed down long enough to install it yet!! Seems to me the parts cost was in the neighborhood of $100 (I ordered from Lichtsinn along with some other parts - excellent folks to work with, BTW) and don't anticipate any major problems with the install. Call them with your Winnie serial # (not VIN), and they can guide you in the parts you need. Or, go to the Winnie site: Manuals & Diagrams and look up the parts yourself in the parts catalog. This is also a great link for any wiring and plumbing diagrams you may need in the future. Don't forget to register as a "second owner" on the Winnie site while you're there.

MD
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:03 AM   #4
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Thanks a ton guys,
I certainly appreciate it. I was pretty sure it's not supposed to be and act like that. I guess they (Winne/Itasca) thought it was a better idea then what Fleetwood and others use on that scissors type strut on the top of the door. Although I don't know how much those fail or, become defective too. I know you didn't say anything about welding and I'm certainly capable and have the equipment for it but, I'd hate to screw up the outside paint due to it, if needed.

I want to thank you for the links for the repair parts etc. I'll dig into the door later and see what's up in there and then jump onto the link for what's needed.
Scott
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:00 PM   #5
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Our door "popped" for awhile and then the mechanism finally broke. The local Winnie dealer ordered the parts and I installed them. He said there was a "revised design" available so that's what he ordered.

The install was easy, but now our door doesn't open a full 90 degrees, probably closer to 80 degrees, makes it difficult for larger people with their hands full to get in the door. I couldn't see any way to make an adjustment. Someday I'll check with the dealer again to see if there is another design or part available.

Good luck.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
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When the door is over-extended by wind or whatever, the metal plate on the small rubber "cushion" gets bent, and the metal "strap" itself also bends. The "pop" is normally the bent strap contacting the door. I have replaced mine once, and removed it again a couple of months ago to straighten the strap after a park. Host let the door go in 50mph winds. As far as I could see the "new design" did nothing to really help/improve the weakness of the setup. If your door opens to anywhere near 90 degrees, the strap is visibly bent.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:16 AM   #7
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Thanks again to you nice folks for lending me some insite to the problem. I'm on the door problem today. I'll let everyone know just what's going on when I dig into it.
Scott
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:24 AM   #8
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Can you swing by and fix mine when you're done?
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:34 AM   #9
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I was at a small Winny rally recently and it was funny how many of the pushers had that "pop" when the front door was extended open. I even noticed one that had the pop and even had the "door stop gizmo" from 3Gs.

A service advisor at the dealer where I purchased my coach told me it's not worth fixing as it will just happen again eventually. He told me to learn to live with the pop but I'd sure be interested in a permanent fix.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:39 AM   #10
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Forgot to mention, while I had my door opened up I added sheet styrofoam to the empty cavity where there was no insulation at all, and spray foam to the inaccessible "box" cavity at the bottom.
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Old 06-07-2011, 05:20 PM   #11
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OK Gang,
Here's the deal. I opened up the door by removing the inner plastic door cover, exposing the mechanism. In the pics, you'll see the door frame, the mini hinge passing through it, it turns into a horizontal "Y" at that point. Inside the horizontal "Y" is the end of the slider bar that comes from the other side of the long, vertical, rectangle component that, I assume has some sort of spring mechanism(s) inside it that rides on either the horizontal y or, the bar or, both. Now I assume that when the door reaches a point where it's close to "full open", that spring mechanism(s)ride into a detente or, divot in either the bar or the horizontal "Y".

Now, here's where it gets interesting. You'll see in some of the pics, on the bar side of the vertical rectangular object, as the bar emerges from that rectangle, there's a flat piece of rubber, a flat (sort of tweaked a bit) square washer and a vertical roll pin. As you open the door, that flat piece of rubber is moving towards the rectangle and at a certain point, that roll pin, flat steel washer and rubber slam against the vertical rectangle. I did it several times to watch its action. The popping I hear is, what ever is happening inside the vertical rectangle. At that precise instant, the rubber bumper slams against the rectangle.

So, as an experiment, I cut another piece of rubber, about the same exact thickness and, slid it in between the flat square steel washer and the original piece of rubber. Then, I operated the door again, the pop is almost completely GONE! Yes, it's there but, it's only about 1/100th as intense as it was without the addition of my piece of rubber. And, I operated the door several times to see if there were any adverse effects of installing that piece of rubber. NONE!

The mechanism still operates normally only it doesn't SLAM against the vertical rectangle 'cause it's got a shock absorber in there now. Why wasn't it in there from the factory, heck, I don't know. I suppose I could dismantle that rectangle and analyze the spring mechanism(s) inside it but, I'm not sure just what that would prove, maybe something, maybe nothing. The rubber I inserted was a hard (but still pliable) piece, not foam insulation. And, it appears it just so happens, it was the right thickness for the correct operation of the door limit mechanism. The door now opens to about the 80-85 degree position and is held there by the mechanism. Where as before, without the addition of the little rubber piece, it would open easily to the 90 degree position and with the slightest amount of additional force, it would keep going.

Is this a permanent cure, well, it is for now. I'm very skeptical of "easy" fixes like this. Nothing ever goes that easy for me. I usually have to remove the engine, trans, and tires and wheels to fix something in the fridge. So, take a look at the pics and, oh yeah, there's a couple of videos that you may or may not be able to open and view to see the action and maybe hear it before and after the installation of the rubber piece. See what you think.
Scott
P.S. Pic one is the mechanism
Pic two shows my piece of rubber
Pic three show the right side with the original rubber, washer and roll pin
Pics four and five are videos showing the mechanism operation before and after the installation of the additional rubber bumper. You must "CLICK" on them to operate the video. In the second one, it's so silent now, you have to listen close for the muffled "Pop", not like the first one.







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Old 06-07-2011, 07:40 PM   #12
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I looked carefully at your pictures and videos, and believe your extra piece of rubber kind of cures the problem by limiting the travel of the door, but masks the fact that the strap is bent sideways.

In the first video, the first time you move the door and cause the pop sound I can see the end of the strap that protrudes from the door to the door frame. I contend that point is where the pop sound is actually happening as the hinge point on the strap catches on the outside edge of the hole it passes through. (my door actually has grooves worn in it at that point where the first badly bent strap was rubbing before I replaced it). If you unpin the strap inside the door, then open the door enough to pull the strap through the spring, then you can unpin the strap from the door frame and pull it out. I believe you will find it bent/warped. I laid the strap on a railroad tie and then used a shop hammer to pount/bend my strap back straight. I think it also would be a good idea to use a thicker/stronger "square washer" as you call it, so that piece would be less likely to bend ...probably would not keep the strap from bending though... To put the strap back on just go in reverse ...first insert it into the door and pin it to the door frame, then guide it to the spring as you slowly pull the door toward the closed position. Once the strap pops through the spring, you can put the rubber and square washer back on and pin it on the door end.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:43 PM   #13
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Paul,
Thanks for helping me analyze this situation. I'm not disagreeing with you on your idea of where the "Pop" is coming from but, in my opinion, it's coming from inside the vertical "box" where, what ever type of mechanism is riding on that bar. Since you've had yours apart, do you remember the two 1/4-20 screws, one entering from the top and one from the bottom of that vertical box? They're both not tight, and have threads showing. I'm almost assuming they're some sort of adjustment for the spring tension that rides on that bar as it passes through and provides a detente for holding the door in the open position.

I'm just guessing here. I could be completely wrong about that assumption. It's working fine right now. But, based on your ideas and instructions, I'm going to zap that plastic cover off the door soon and re-analyze the whole thing and replace that chincy square washer with something a bit more stout. But, when you say "un-pin" things, those are double ended rivets that are used for all the pivot points on that strap/bar that enters the door aren't they? I'd have to grind them off if they are and then come up with some sort of new hinge pin when it comes time to replace them. Again, I'm only assuming here.

I'm always up for correction on my ideas or thoughts here so, don't be afraid of telling me what the actuals are. Thanks again for your help here.
Scott
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:34 PM   #14
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If you take a look at this posting over on rvforum.net Horizon Door Hinge you can see a picture of what your 'vertical box' looks like.
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