Boler door bolts - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-23-2013, 10:27 PM   #1
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Boler door bolts

On the way home today my 77 Boler door bottom bolt cracked and the door jammed to the right side. Luckily, the door would not open and I made it home without the door flying open on I5! I'm guessing that one big bump may have broken the rusty bolt all the way.

The door lock is totally stuck and will not open. I tried to remove the bottom bolt, but it is not coming off. Any advice for getting this bolt off, the exact size and names of new bolts, nuts, washer, gumballs (?) and springs to buy from a hardware store? Do they come in a package?

And lastly, how best to remove the door without permanently breaking the door lock? Sure is fun to be locked out of your trailer. Less stuff to put away after a camping trip.

Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:52 PM   #2
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Are we talking about the vertical bolts which run through the hinges with a brass spherical bushing (ball) in the middle? They only keep the door from bouncing off - if it were not for bumps, the trailer could be used with them missing entirely.

If it is these bolts - the bolt is typically a common 1/4" diameter hex-head bolt (1/4-20 thread) but I don't recall the length, and the nut is the corresponding 1/4-20 hex nut, but in a self-locking (e.g. Nylock) style. I got replacement springs and bushings (along with bolts I didn't use) from Scamp (phone order, mail delivery, inexpensive and work fine). I used stainless steel bolts, but this is not necessary.

Again, if it is this vertical bolt, it should be a straightforward matter of a wrench on the bolt head and one on the nut. If the bolt has some oddball head, I might try hacksawing or grinding (with a small cutting disk) the bolt between turns of the spring.


A photo would be good, so we can be sure we're talking about the right bits.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:53 PM   #3
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Yes, those are the right bolts. I was able to get the bolts off, but because the door is jammed to the left, I cannot get the hinges apart. Are the hinges locked together somehow? Do I have to lift up the door?
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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Yes, those are the right bolts. I was able to get the bolts off, but because the door is jammed to the left, I cannot get the hinges apart. Are the hinges locked together somehow? Do I have to lift up the door?
not connected except by the bolt. Is the door locked and you're hanging up on the lockset?
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:03 PM   #5
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Yes, the door is jammed at the lock, can't open or close from the left side. The entire door is slanted a few inches to the left.

So the hinges should be able to slide apart given enough strength? If I could loosen the top or bottom, it should come off?

Where is a strong guy when I need one?
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:06 PM   #6
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...
So the hinges should be able to slide apart given enough strength? If I could loosen the top or bottom, it should come off? .
, it may take two people. Someone to grab the top right of the door and someone at the bottom right. Wiggle and pull out and to the right.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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The door lifts off of the hinges... if the latch is not jamming it. Don't try to force the hinges to slide apart horizontally: the brass balls sit in a cupped depression in the lower hinge half (the trailer side) while the upper hinge half (the door side) cups over the ball. The ball won't let the two parts move horizontally without lifting them - and so at least the right side of the door - apart.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:13 PM   #8
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Ok. It's pretty jammed so I guess I have to leave it for now.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:19 PM   #9
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You may have to remove one part of the hinge. You'd only need to do one of the four pieces. Brian is right, the hinge won't slide horizontally with the brass balls in place. I misread your info above about the bolts... I thought you'd remove the brass balls as well.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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You may have to remove one part of the hinge.
That would work, but on my Boler (1300 likely similar) that's tough to do from outside, as the hinges are held to at least the body by bolts through from the inside, threaded into the hinge body, so there is no nut or bolt head accessible.

Crawl in a window?
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:43 PM   #11
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The hinges are screwed on from the inside, only the end of the bolt is on the outside so it can't be removed without taking off the door, which is the whole idea here! There are no brass balls yet, looks like a soft piece of rubber between the hinges.

Anyone know the height of the brass balls in case I eventually get the hinges apart?
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:53 PM   #12
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There are no brass balls yet, looks like a soft piece of rubber between the hinges.

There should be no rubber component anywhere in a stock Boler (or Scamp) hinge. The brass balls (which get pretty black with crud and corrosion) are directly visible. I wonder if someone made some strange modification?
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:57 PM   #13
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No, you are right. The fitting is brass, just tarnished and crushed. These are original hinges as far as I can tell. No mods were made to the trailer before I got it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:13 PM   #14
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Humm, is there enough of the brass ball visible to take a hack saw and carefully saw through one of them? WITHOUT damaging the hinge...
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:57 PM   #15
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Humm, is there enough of the brass ball visible to take a hack saw and carefully saw through one of them?
I like your thinking... but it might be difficult to keep the ball from turning while it is being cut.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:04 AM   #16
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If one bolt is broken, undo the other one and push it through the hinge. You should be able to lift the door up enough to get off the balls.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:37 PM   #17
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A strong friend succeeded in lifting the door off the brass balls by leveraging a screwdriver between the hinges.

Somehow the door latch caught the bottom of the face plate in transit. I swear I don't remember hitting anything! Doesn't help that the door is 1/2 inch lower, and allows the latch to drop down. Taller brass balls are in order to lift the door to the correct height. Won't help the sag, but at least the latch will be in proper position.

Once we got the door open, he installed a 12 volt plug, a nice update to the ol' girl.

Thanks for all your suggestions and support!
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:16 PM   #18
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Jamie you can older this Door Hing repair kit from Scamp for $5 - you will need two. To bad it didnt happen on the way to the meet I could have given you the set sitting in my trailer waiting to be installed.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:06 PM   #19
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I would not suggest getting larger brass balls (I know, that just doesn't sound right) but instead, get the same size as original because of the pocket they sit in. I also used 1/4" SS bolts with Nylock nuts. This might be a good time to refit the door to it's proper position. Bolers were/are notorious for door sag.

I did this on my 13' Boler by removing the hinges from the door, filled the hinge bolt holes with epoxy and re-drilled new holes at the correct location so the door sits in the proper position. An added bonus after the mod was that the latch bolt now lines up with the strike plate. I also replaced the door weatherstrip with a newer style to complete the modification.
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