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Curtain track screw fix for Vanagon Westfalia
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Sodo
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Joined: July 06, 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:16 pm    Post subject: Curtain track screw fix for Vanagon Westfalia Reply with quote

Some of my curtain screws fell out. Then the track pulled out and all the remaining screws came out too. The previous owner had the same problem and replaced some screws with slightly smaller size woodscrews. I suspect these (screw 2 in the picture) were all he could find at the store.

You can see by the condition of the 'slots' that he fought with them. It's fairly difficult to deal with these screws and NOT damage the slider track with the screwdriver. They were glued in, and since they had nothing to grip, they pulled out.

It's not easy to find 'slightly larger' screws with smaller head. So I bought these #4X 1/2" sheetmetal screws, and put them in the drill chuck, and 'machined' the head smaller on a belt sander. The sheetmetal threads seem just about the right size (bigger) to get a new grip.

They seemed to tighten up, but it's hard to tell with such a small screw into plywood. Another significant benefit is these are Phillips head, which are self-centering, and much easier to install screws vertically. A flat screwdriver slides sideways in the slot then the screwdriver shank takes divits out the curtain track, and your curtain sliders stutter as they pass these divits. Phillips are a big plus.

I hope this image helps some Samba folks!

----Tom

P.S. Recomended: Might consider choosing stainless steel screws because it's in contact with Aluminum.



Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


For other info, see other thread HERE
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2318971#2318971
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Last edited by Sodo on Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:36 pm; edited 3 times in total
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:27 pm    Post subject: Thank You! Reply with quote

Thank you for taking the time to share, describe, and photograph your mod. That's very thoughtful of you, you're a great addition to our ranks.

Best!
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many ways, but never, never, never in silence."
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks like a great fix. Another idea to get the smaller screws to work in the oversize hole is an old carpenters trick; fill the old screw hole with wood and re-use the same hole. You just take some wood shavings or small sticks, dip them in some wood glue, and break them off in the hole. This adds wood back to the hole to close it up again and make the screws fit tight. Wooden matchsticks or toothpicks work really great. The smaller screws can be reinserted and fit tight again. Works great on door hinges too or anywhere a wood screw hole has been stripped. I've fixed countless screw holes that way.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad to help. Samba helps me a lot, and some folks answer so quick it's great.

PDX, I have done the toothpick method many times. But these screws are so small that only one toothpick would fit, and it would bias the hole one way or the other. If you put a second toothpick in how would you get the screw not to shove BOTH to one side (glue and pre-drill would do it). Anyway that method may work, but it didn't jump out at me this time because I had only 3 original screws. These screws look big in the photo but they are really really small and remember you have to work in the bottom of a track, upside-down.....

And I wanted to use Phillips because it is self centering. Actually going to Phillips is about the best part of it, the screw will sit there vertically on the driver so you can poke them upward into the holes. Slotted screws are very hard to use upside-down.

Plus I think the larger threads are what it needs. The Westy-screws don't have much thread.

Tom
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EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban


Last edited by Sodo on Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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techbot
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a great idea! I was thinking about how I need to replace some screws last night as I was shoving my track back into place after popping out yet again. This looks like the ticket.. Thanks Sodo!
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OxygenDestroyer
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
That looks like a great fix. Another idea to get the smaller screws to work in the oversize hole is an old carpenters trick; fill the old screw hole with wood and re-use the same hole. You just take some wood shavings or small sticks, dip them in some wood glue, and break them off in the hole. This adds wood back to the hole to close it up again and make the screws fit tight. Wooden matchsticks or toothpicks work really great. The smaller screws can be reinserted and fit tight again. Works great on door hinges too or anywhere a wood screw hole has been stripped. I've fixed countless screw holes that way.


I spent some time as a cabinetmaker. I've done what you described 100 times! I've had the problem with my track a couple times and I halfway considered just using gorilla glue on the darn thing.
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ak_runner
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the toothpick and glue method on mine. I filled the holes using two toothpicks and glue then redrilled before inserting the screws. They are holding well and we take our Westy Syncro on some pretty rough back country trips. It is not uncommon for our camping trips to include 100-200 miles of off-pavement driving.
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onemat
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just about ready to install my curtain tracks in my '82. I gather the 1/2" screw is not too deep. Does anyone have any picks or meaurements showing where the tracks actually install?
Thanks....
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