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Old 02-06-2019, 08:30 PM   #1
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Front Engine Access Loose

The engine access cover on the front of my Vista 30T has come loose. When I opened it up and checked inside the bracket that the key lock hooks onto has come loose from the body. It looks like they glued it to the fiberglass. Has anyone else had this problem? I talked with one other person in Quartzite that has a 2017 Vista and their backet had come loose and it had fallen off..
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:42 PM   #2
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Yes, mine came loose also, but not all the way off. Took it in to the dealer for repair. Now it rattles to high heaven going down the road, especially when trucks are in front of me and the wind resistance is lessened. Going back to the dealer this Friday.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:08 PM   #3
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Yes it is a common problem, the epoxy bond of the metal bracket to the fiberglass front cap failing. I have only had 1 of the 4 fail so far. Suggest you tie some straps between the brackets and the front chassis structure so if they come un-stuck you don't totally lose them.

I used JB Weld Epoxy to reattach the one of mine that fell off , and also used two stainless steel #10 x 3/4" long machine bolts and nylock nuts to also hold them on - mainly to make the bracket to cap joint un-movable while the epoxy set up and cured. I painted the two bolt heads to match the front cap color.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:04 PM   #4
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Pretty common on Winnies and mainly the front and rear of the RV. Many try to reattach with epoxy, which is known to shrink and fail over time, all I did was drill holes and use SS screws and nylock nuts for a permanent fix without having to bother with sticky goo making a big mess in the process. I used 6-32 SS flathead screws so they wouldn't be very noticeable but going to 8-32 is always possible down the road if they don't work as I expect.



Here's how I did mine - rear section: Body Work...Rear | Chaos Leaves Town


And the Front section: Body Work...Front | Chaos Leaves Town
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:40 PM   #5
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It is a common problem, where the factory did not do a good job of surface prep when attaching the pieces. About three years into our ownership, two of the four front mounts for the generator access panel came loose, hung on with threads it seems. A flunky at the dealership tried to fix them, but did not do surface prep, actually used the epoxy on the 'outside edges'. Needless to say, four months later, I had to fix them properly. Full surface prep, JB Weld (not the Kwik version), and did a third one that was suspect. No more problems up front.

Next year the brackets holding the diesel engine access panel railing came loose. Much bigger area to reattach. So I sanded down to fiberglass, used a full caulking tube of the best construction adhesive I could buy at Home Depot. But it would take a few days to fully cure, so I sprinkled in some spots of JB Kwik Weld that would cure in minutes to lock the whole thing together. I removed the clamps after a few hours, and lowered the engine access door down and locked. After several days I checked it, and it was extremely solid. 4 years later, still holding strong.

Not extremely difficult, just one of those quality control things that should have been done correctly at the factory, the first time.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:11 PM   #6
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Agree with all the above! The only thing I would add is to add a tether, I used a boot lace to not lose the bracket.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:33 AM   #7
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Thanks Jim! I have a 2003 Journey 39DL with the exact same problem (on the front). Your pix and repair ideas have finally given me a way to fix this without having to spend megabucks to have someone else do it.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My-Journey View Post
Thanks Jim! I have a 2003 Journey 39DL with the exact same problem (on the front). Your pix and repair ideas have finally given me a way to fix this without having to spend megabucks to have someone else do it.
You are welcome! It was pretty easy to do too. And in the two years since I did the rear panels with the screws and nylocks there's no damage to the fiberglass around the screw heads...that was my only worry, but so far not an issue. (I tried not to over tighten the nylocks). The work I did on the front last year is still holding strong too. Just checked it yesterday.

I found that I could get my 3/8" Li-Io drill back behind most of those brackets and drill through the fiberglass easily enough so I didn't have to try to measure. There are some that are hard to get to from behind directly so you'd need to use a right angled drill. Like the left side bracket for the hood.

You probably know that most of the other mounting brackets on the front are held on with the goop too, things like the headlight brackets, and it might be wise to crawl under there and check them for stability, maybe get ahead of the curve and add a couple screws before the epoxy breaks. That's my spring project this year.
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