Hab door not locking

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Jaws, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    18,321
    Likes Received:
    21,588
    Location:
    Narrfoook
    I must say that I have NO idea how long the fault has been there, but whilst on holiday this year I discovered the hab door was not locking with the central locking system..
    For all I know it could have failed ages ago and I simply never noticed it...
    Not a major issue as I could lock it with the key, and when ever we left it for any length of time the security bar would always be in place..

    I had checked the links etc on the Sargent E50 unit and that all seemed to be fine ( the hab door lock is controlled via the E50 unit, and some may well remember the amazing amount of fun I had with the bloody thing ! )

    So yesterday, with man flu receding, I decided to take a shufty at it..
    Anyone who has taken the inner skin off an Autotrail door will know why I had put the job off LOL !!

    Door skin off ( how to described below ) I was really hoping for an easy fix.
    Checked metal linkage, fine
    Checked the relay, fine

    BUGGER

    Was just about to start tracing the wires under the van when I thought about the most logical place for a break..
    Inside the flexible black plastic tube that is used to feed the wires from the body to the door.

    Removed the covering and felt along the wires.. Yup.. a break in one of them.. Cut it, stripped both ends back and soldered together.. A nice easy fix for a change (y)

    It is my opinion Autotrail should have used multi stranded silicone coated wire ( as you find on many of better multi-meters ) as that stuff remains far more flexible for far longer.
    I may well ( one day ! ) tear it down and replace the feed wires with the better option.


    Removing the hab door skin on the Autotrail circa 2007 ( but proly the same on an awful lot of others )

    Push the door lock button down
    Using a finger nail or some small lever, lift up the black plastic bezel that is around the door lock button ( the button that is similar to that which was fitted to all the older cars )

    Gently push back the plastic trim around the edge of the door a bit at a time and undo the multitude of little self tapping screws right round the edge

    Look at the door opening handle
    . There is a cross head screw holding it in place.
    Mine is about 2" long .. I thought it would never stop unscrewing !!
    Once the screw is out, you can maneuver the handle quite easily so it will pass through the hole it is mounted in.

    Pull gently on the whole panel in one corner. Using a flat screwdriver or finger, flip the plastic trim round the edge of the door ( it is quite soft ) up and behind the panel. Hard to explain but easy to do.
    Once all the trim is out the way, pull the panel away from the door on the hinge side. Carefully get the panel up a little so it cleared the lock button, then wangle it about to get it clear of the locking bars that stick out on the opening side of the door

    Once they are in the clear, the whole panel should lit off easily.
    Be careful ! The wires that operate the lock will need to be disconnected before you remove the panel completely.. Mine are just on spade connectors, but I have seen them using bullet connectors and on a later one a proper connector block
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    5,044
    Likes Received:
    7,083
    Location:
    Nr Watton in Norfolk
    I guess you have checked any contacts between the door and the frame for alignment and corrosion?
     
  3. Stewart J

    Stewart J Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,441
    Likes Received:
    1,242
    Location:
    SW Northumberland
    Newer models fitted with Dometic doors inner skin held in place by a few self tapping screws and Velcro strips. Found this out when I had to remove it for access to adjust lower locking pins whilst out here in France. I thought removal would be a major issue but was surprisingly easy.
     
  4. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Messages:
    5,324
    Likes Received:
    7,579
    Location:
    Cannock, Staffs or Benidorm, spain
    This is the most common fault on a "Hartel"? door..
    There are steel contacts and they rust.. Clean them and cures the problem.. :)
    When I went back to the factory in April 2013 with my van I commented on this to the "customer services" and asked why dont they use a non rusting contact. I got a "shrug" and you still read about people with 2015 vans having the same issue.
    Your door may be different but this is cerainly one to watch for other Autotrail (and maybe others) owners.. SAM_2105.JPG SAM_2108.JPG
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    6,347
    Likes Received:
    9,608
    Location:
    Norfolk and Toftir.
    "Inside the flexible black plastic tube that is used to feed the wires from the body to the door.

    Removed the covering and felt along the wires.. Yup.. a break in one of them.. Cut it, stripped both ends back and soldered together.. A nice easy fix for a change."


    Happened more than once on my 15 year old Espace, one door not locking on the remote. Googled it a few years back and same thing, a break in the wire in the rubber boot from the pillar to the door.
     
  6. Feltwell

    Feltwell Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    362
    Location:
    Shropshire
    I've had that happen on 2 cars now where the wires go into the boot or hatchback, the copper inside the wires breaking but the outer insulation still intact. Once on a BMW and more recently on a Ford. A right pain, as in one case I couldn't open the boot as a result.

    It's made more of a pain as it's not a good idea to joint the wire where it broke, as that is clearly the point at which it was flexing and any joint will be more rigid than the original wire. On a MH there may be enough slack to pull the cable through a bit and change the point at which it flexes, so your joint sits elsewhere, but on both cars that wasn't possible. So I had to strip out boot lid and internal linings to put a new section of cable in with 2 new joints in locations where they wouldn't flex. Plus of course, although only 1 wire had gone others weren't far behind, so I replaced the lot. The sort of fiddly job I hate!
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,418
    Likes Received:
    25,075
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    You almost certainly will, because all the rest have had the same flexing.

    Robitics cable is a good type for this. Pretty much what you describe but multicore.
     
  8. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    2,482
    Location:
    Surrey
    I have been looking at the wiring going into our hab door for some time. It is starting to look like it will fail pretty soon. I am going to be thinking hard about a redesign, because it is always going to fail in its' current layout. with the door opening and closing, and essentially it is just wires in a sleeve, rubbish design.
    I've been looking at getting hold of some of that flex hose that is used on car doors to protect the wiring, thoughts?
     
  9. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    18,321
    Likes Received:
    21,588
    Location:
    Narrfoook
    There are none :) It is just a couple of wires.. thats it..

    Yup.. that is actually the stuff I am talking about.. (y)

    As above really.. the wires should have some sort of sheath over them,, replace said wires with silicone coated multistraid.. It will proly out live the rest of the van !!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes Received:
    1,022
    Location:
    Cark, Cumbria
    Ours is the metal pin type(3 pins), & have had the rusty pin problem too.
    I am in the habit of always "trying" the hab door now when I lock the van.
     
  11. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    18,321
    Likes Received:
    21,588
    Location:
    Narrfoook
    For all those with ferrous contact pins, might I suggest buying a can of ACF-50 and spraying a tiny amount of it on the contacts and pins ( after cleaning them )
    Made by Lear ( of Lear Jet fame ) for use on their planes, the stuff works extremely well, protecting stuff from the elements ..
    It should be renewed maybe once a year and needs only the smallest amount to work ( The manufacturer recommends a TWO MICRON thick coating, but that is just crazy.. ( a human hair is ABOUT 60 microns )
    It does demonstrate how well the stuff works though !!

    The other option is to take the contacts apart and replace the ferrous parts with ones made of brass and also the striker plates..
    Might be worth seeing if parts from a hatchback car could be adapted ?
     
  12. ivorantony

    ivorantony Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    478
    Location:
    London SE
    the one problem with soldering a wire is effectively you have turned it into a single core wire that will break quite easily if there is much movement,
    if you had used a quality butt joint with heat shrink ends followed by a heat shrink sleeve to cover the whole of the butt joint then the repair should outlast the van,
    It all depends on the amount of vibration and movement the wire is subjected too,(y)
     
  13. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    18,321
    Likes Received:
    21,588
    Location:
    Narrfoook
    It also sort of depends on knowing more or less what you are doing.. how long the wire is, how it is supported, where the break is and a few other things. :D

    I am quite happy the solder joint will outlive the other wire ! (y)
     
Loading...

Share This Page