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Sliding door rear roller question
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MikeyM73
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:13 pm    Post subject: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

Hi all,

Merry new year. My sliding door and hinge assembly seem to work fine, close fine (I usually push it closed rather than pull/roll slam it) and is very smooth but only when I pop it open it sags just a touch in the rear. My rear roller is smooth but it seems to have a "groove within the groove" if that makes any sense; as if riding on the body over the years has worn an additional groove in it. Is that common and how these rollers normally wear? I've read through the posts I can find about adjustment, refresh, lube, etc. and have read that the front lower roller assy is the main load carrying roller assy. but have found nothing for vertical adjustment of the rear roller. It seems logical that the rear roller carries part of the load when opened, correct?

Since I can't find any info on vertical adjustment of the rear roller assy, I'm thinking that replacing the rear roller on my door will eliminate my "groove within the groove" (presumably the cause of the less than 1/4" sag) and bring the door, when popped open, back to where it should be. Is that sound thinking?

At the end of the day, if I could adjust the rear roller, itself, down a touch it would push the rear of the door up to be just right and would probably close a bit easier than it already does.

Thanks,
Mikey
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Zed999
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

The rollers eventually wear through, break in two and the door falls off. True! Smile
They are nice things with a roller bearing held by a circlip. Replacements I've had have been half full of ball bearings running in the aluminium. Total rubbish and not machined quite deep enough to fit a sealed bearing though so close it looked like cobbled together panic fullfilling of an order. Bearing won't fit, chuck in some balls. We haven't got enough - ration them out then and hope nobody notices. Ahhhhhhh!!!!!
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

The rear carrier is adjusted using these bolts, the holes are oversize, you'll have to support the door during adjustment.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


No doubt you've seen this: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=446358
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MikeyM73
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

Thanks guys.. BD - I have seen that. So are you saying I can adjust the hinge/roller assembly vertically, a bit? If so, that would be stellar but I think I probably also need a new roller... sounds like it from what you said, Zed.
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

Yes, do check the roller first, but if it's good then the carrier can be tilted slightly so the roller end is further down (door goes up).

Do the body lines and gaps look good when it's closed?, the rear striker may need to go down some as well if the door sits high when latched shut.
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MikeyM73
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

Thanks BD.. that did the trick. The roller definitely needs replacing but only because of the 'groove inside the groove' thing. It rolls very smoothly but just that additional groove worn into it, me thinks. And yea, the body panels all look good, etc. when closed. But NOW, after that slight adjustment, the door simply pops out when I move the handle down instead of out and slightly down, making that 'thud' sound as the roller contacts the body guide- that nonsense is no more Smile.

I think this will hold me over until I get a new roller on there. And it closes slightly easier, as well.

Thanks again!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

just to be sure here - if the roller is damaged, replace it. Every bus had one. If the sliding block is damaged or worn replace it. Both need to be good for the door to slide correctly. In addition the lower and upper rollers at the front of the door need to be good and free too.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

Thanks SG. From inspecting all rollers, etc. they all seem good and free - even the rear one except the rear one has that groove in it which means I will be replacing it soon. Actually, I'm surprised at how easy and effortlessly (relatively speaking) it does close. Like butta. A while back (after we rescued it from it's fate in a field) I lubed everything up on the doors that would normally need it but the slider had always dropped down, only at the rear, less than 1/4" with a 'thud' when opened but now, although the roller needs replacing, no more 'thud' and it doesn't take quite as much effort to make sure it closes.

To your point, there is a pretty deep groove inside the normal groove of the roller that rides on the body guide so I checked WCM and found the roller and nylon guide for 25 bucks. They're known for having quality parts so I just ordered up from them. Once installed, I'll readjust the roller height, if need be.
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

MikeyM73 wrote:
Thanks SG. From inspecting all rollers, etc. they all seem good and free - even the rear one except the rear one has that groove in it which means I will be replacing it soon. Actually, I'm surprised at how easy and effortlessly (relatively speaking) it does close. Like butta. A while back (after we rescued it from it's fate in a field) I lubed everything up on the doors that would normally need it but the slider had always dropped down, only at the rear, less than 1/4" with a 'thud' when opened but now, although the roller needs replacing, no more 'thud' and it doesn't take quite as much effort to make sure it closes.

To your point, there is a pretty deep groove inside the normal groove of the roller that rides on the body guide so I checked WCM and found the roller and nylon guide for 25 bucks. They're known for having quality parts so I just ordered up from them. Once installed, I'll readjust the roller height, if need be.


super - when you take that door off be sure a friend or two is there with you. The glass adds a lot of weight and the size is awkward. Also be sure to really clean the metal runner - maybe even paint it if the paint is gone. You can tape under it and just paint that metal runner if you are concerned about over spray.
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Godspeed to all who undertake a journey in a VW Bus.

*You can do it right the first time, or do it over, the choice is yours. It is a free country. As to brakes, steering, tires, axles etc. - you may only get one chance at doing those right.

* VW Buses and VW cars share many of the same systems but if you haven't owned a bus and maintained it for awhile, you really don't know how different it is.

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1977
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Zed999
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:21 am    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

For work on the rear hinge, instead of removing the door completely you can lift the rear off the track, swing it out a foot or so and sit the rear corner of the door on a chair with some padding to protect it. As long as you keep the door roughly square to the van it won't fall off.
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mikedjames
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

Zed999 wrote:
For work on the rear hinge, instead of removing the door completely you can lift the rear off the track, swing it out a foot or so and sit the rear corner of the door on a chair with some padding to protect it. As long as you keep the door roughly square to the van it won't fall off.


I use a scissors style floor jack with padding, adjust the jack to suit, as my bus is lowered.

And although the door is heavy, its nothing like as bad as the engine to lift. It can be lifted out single handed by a fit person, provided you make sure there is a padded place to place it on and lean it on.

Its much easier with another person though, as if you let the back end of the door drop suddenly with the front roller still in the track, the front roller digs a notch in the track and for ever after you will feel it as you close the door.
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Zed999
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:46 am    Post subject: Re: Sliding door rear roller question Reply with quote

mikedjames wrote:
Zed999 wrote:
For work on the rear hinge, instead of removing the door completely you can lift the rear off the track, swing it out a foot or so and sit the rear corner of the door on a chair with some padding to protect it. As long as you keep the door roughly square to the van it won't fall off.


I use a scissors style floor jack with padding, adjust the jack to suit, as my bus is lowered.

And although the door is heavy, its nothing like as bad as the engine to lift. It can be lifted out single handed by a fit person, provided you make sure there is a padded place to place it on and lean it on.

Its much easier with another person though, as if you let the back end of the door drop suddenly with the front roller still in the track, the front roller digs a notch in the track and for ever after you will feel it as you close the door.
Agreed Mike. Getting the door right off single handed is something I've done many times as you can imagine. Getting it back on again is more difficult without hitting the paint with the bottom roller as it's rather hard to see where you're aiming with the door held in your out stretched arms, particularly the first time you try it.
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