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Sliding Door Maintenance
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:46 pm    Post subject: Sliding Door Maintenance Reply with quote

Doing some maintenance on my sliding door mechanisms and have a couple questions:

1) The big lower roller on mine is pretty crunchy and gunked up. I'd like to get it smooth. There looks to be some sort of plastic cap on it (maybe covering a nut to remove?)... I tried a gentle pry on the cap, but was afraid it might break. How does this roller come off?

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



2) The retaining latch (little spring loaded hook) that holds the slider in the open position rubs on the rear of the door just before it closes. It's as if the latch extends too far out, or the rear of the door extends too far in.

Here's where it rubs:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I forgot to take pics when the door was still on, so I'm showing a pic of my other van for reference. Instead of having a few mm's clearance like this, the latch hits the door/swingout mechanism:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The door seemed fairly well aligned, but I'm going to check per Bentley upon re-installing.

3) Last, I'm using fluid film on the the tracks, oil on the bearings. Anthing else I should do to make the door smooth and buttery?

Thanks.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pop off that plastic cap and there is a c-clip hidden underneath that is holding the bearing on.

Obviously that door has been repainted and it looks like there is a adjustment issue. The little catch should just clear the door like your other van.
Does anybody just own one vanagon? Wink
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

syncrodoka wrote:
Pop off that plastic cap and there is a c-clip hidden underneath that is holding the bearing on.

Thanks for the quick response. After loosening the 25 years of muck around it, the cap indeed popped right off. Circlip off too. Now, should the roller just slide right off? Because it doesn't. I've tried prying from the back, but am nervous about tweaking the the thing... Confused

syncrodoka wrote:
Obviously that door has been repainted and it looks like there is a adjustment issue. The little catch should just clear the door like your other van.

Yeah, it's a mediocre windows-in repaint. I'm slowly repairing all the fraying paint edges around windows and trim. Sad I hate that painted slider swing-out arm. I'm gonna shoot it black if I get time before I need to put this back together.

syncrodoka wrote:
Does anybody just own one vanagon? Wink

I think there was a guy once in 1998...
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goffoz
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another easy upgrade ..go to Home depot and get a roll of the 10mil butly tape used for "in the ground " gas plumbing...2" wide
While I had the door out, I sanded cleaned and painted the lower channel.
...then when it all dried I applied one layer of tape on the path of the bearing.
That door is sooo! quiet now, I can take a leak at 4:00am without bothering anyone Very Happy
So far the tape has last a year of frequent use, and will be easy to replace when it wears thru
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chimivee wrote:
syncrodoka wrote:
Pop off that plastic cap and there is a c-clip hidden underneath that is holding the bearing on.

Thanks for the quick response. After loosening the 25 years of muck around it, the cap indeed popped right off. Circlip off too. Now, should the roller just slide right off? Because it doesn't. I've tried prying from the back, but am nervous about tweaking the the thing... Confused

Yes it is supposed to slide off of the shaft. Might need some heat and quenching with penetrating fluid to break the rust bond to free it up.
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

syncrodoka wrote:
Yes it is supposed to slide off of the shaft. Might need some heat and quenching with penetrating fluid to break the rust bond to free it up.

I soaked it with pb blaster, pulled and pried and pounded, but it wouldn't budge. I considering taking a torch to it, but got impatient and just ended up flushing the poop out of the bearings with degreaser, blowing it out w/ air, then re-greasing. It's working nicely. Thanks.
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

goffoz wrote:
...then when it all dried I applied one layer of tape on the path of the bearing.

Thanks for the tip!
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Mickyfin
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your thread and reference photos my friend. These will come in handy not just for me, but for anyone else planning on carrying out the same Very Happy
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mickyfin wrote:
Thanks for your thread and reference photos my friend. These will come in handy not just for me, but for anyone else planning on carrying out the same Very Happy

Well, I hope it's helpful.

I forgot to add that I was able to remedy the rubbing latch. I moved the latch mechanism itself rearward (there is a few millimeters of adjustment available). I also aligned the rear of the door per Bentley which involved moving the hinge assembly rearward as well. These two adjustments fixed the problem.

Bentley calls for a special plastic spacer to be inserted into the lock mechanism when adjusting, which presumably creates some clearance so the striker pin doesn't rub (hard to explain). I didn't have the spacer, so I cut a rubber grommet in half and inserted it. Don't know if that worked, or if it's even necessary, but the door works well now. Very Happy

The hardest part of the whole process was getting the sliding door track cover off. I had to pound and pound and pound on the thing with a block/mallet - to the point I thought I was surely going to bend stuff. Good thing I was repainting that cover anyway. After that, door removal itself is pretty easy with a helper.
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windnsea
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The actual roller bearing slider is exactly the same size as the standard skateboard roller bearings. Pop by a skateboard place and pick 'em up for about a buck apiece!!
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SL1
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey James

when you set up your striking pin, did you push the door in to compress the seal? I like your idea for the 'spacer' to set the clearance distance on the pin.

I was fooling with mine last fall because it had the typical 'pops open' issue. got it to slide freely with just one finger, so was happy with that part. but if I use any force when shutting the door - like you would with any sliding door - its bouncing off the striker pin. If I slide it slowly, it latches perfectly and stays closed even on the roughest roads, so I am pretty sure I need another slight adjustment on the pin.

I am hoping I don't have to remove the door as it is rolling perfectly on the bearings, its that last little adjustment I'm trying to accomplish.
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VwMomofthree
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:48 am    Post subject: ON This Note Reply with quote

I have an issue with the sliding door coming unlatched, not really swinging open but just unlatched while in transit. This can be pretty scarry for my kids in the back- Surprised Shocked Anyone know how to fix this issue?
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molybdanum
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Often latching issues are due to dried out lubricant. Try lubricating the rear latch mechanism.

-Dan
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Perales
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: ON This Note Reply with quote

VwMomofthree wrote:
I have an issue with the sliding door coming unlatched, not really swinging open but just unlatched while in transit. This can be pretty scarry for my kids in the back- Surprised Shocked Anyone know how to fix this issue?
Check your Bentley, they have a section on adjusting the sliding door.
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VwMomofthree
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks I will take a look!
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SL1
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that after the required cleaning / lubing the striker pin is my problem, in fact I know it is. I just need a little info on the fine adjustment for the striker pin - could be the use of the spacer that 'chimivee' made, or the amount of compression on the door seal, or both. I did not see that discussed in any detail in my Bentley.

Like I said, mine slides perfectly, latches smoothly, but seems to be bouncing off the striker pin when shut with any force. When I shut it slowly, works like a charm and will not release on rough terrain/roads. I'm just wondering about getting that last little adjustment fine-tuned, I can't help it, I'm a perfectionist and get obsessed when little details like that drive me crazy - wife says its a 'virgo' thing Laughing I have it sooo close but not close enough.......
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew A. Libby - in the archives... wrote:
The usual fault is a fairly common problem with the later door design and both a PITA and fairly easily fixed. It starts to show up when the door will bounce back if you shut it too hard. Eventually it gets to the point where the door won't latch at all. The problem is caused by a very small spring in the rear latch mechanism that gradually loses it's tension. When working properly, that spring causes the rear latch to "catch". Without it being strong enough, the door just bounces back off the pin without catching (even tho it seems to work manually when you push the latch like you did). Pull the interior handle and door panel off being careful to pull from the plastic tabs with a putty knife or better yet a door panel removal tool. Once the panel is removed, remove the little circlip from the cable that runs from the front mechanism to the rear mechanism and pull the cable off the front mechanism. Then go to the back and use a 90 screwdriver (or a bit in a 1/4" wrench) to remove the two screws holding on the rear mechanism. Pull it out far enough to undo the circlip that holds the other end of the cable in place. You can then see the little spring that I'm talking about that pushes against the lever part that holds the latch in place. Remove it and use two pairs of pliers to really bend it out so that it is exerting a whole lot more force. Reassemble everything and give it a go.


This will fix the 'bounces back when shut hard' problem...
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SL1
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Andrew - I will give it a try. I now remember reading your post last year, I should have book marked it. D'OH Very Happy
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chimivee
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SL1 wrote:
Hey James

when you set up your striking pin, did you push the door in to compress the seal? I like your idea for the 'spacer' to set the clearance distance on the pin.

I was fooling with mine last fall because it had the typical 'pops open' issue. got it to slide freely with just one finger, so was happy with that part. but if I use any force when shutting the door - like you would with any sliding door - its bouncing off the striker pin. If I slide it slowly, it latches perfectly and stays closed even on the roughest roads, so I am pretty sure I need another slight adjustment on the pin.

I am hoping I don't have to remove the door as it is rolling perfectly on the bearings, its that last little adjustment I'm trying to accomplish.

I'm not exactly sure I know what you mean by compressing the seal. I did not push on the door when I set the striker pin. It was my understanding that the striker pin position determines how the rear of the door "sits" in the closed position. So what I did is close the door, and without any pressure on it, checked its alignment relative to the panel behind it. Then, opened the door and tweaked the striker pin accordingly until the door was aligned horizontally and inward/outward. This has to be done with the hinge mechanism loosened so the roller isn't supporting the rear of the door, then re-set/tightened once the striker pin is set.

These adjustments are done with the door on. But, as Andrew points out, your problem may be elsewhere. If that doesn't work, you might also try playing with the fore-aft position of the hinge assembly. Interestingly, my door now operates sorta opposite of yours: It doesn't latch if I close it gently; rather, I need shut it somewhat firmly (not necessarily slam it). This is the first time I've actually tried to follow the Bentley procedure for alignment, and I'm by no mean an expert. Embarassed
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SL1
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, that certainly helps me, I think I need to do both to get the door exactly how I want it. a little tweaking on the spring, hinge, and the pin.

When i first started at it I had it so #%@*d- up that I had to walk away for a bit, after the second attempt I had a pretty good result with just pin adjustment. But not where I wanted it to be. If the wife can't close it without thinking, than I got troubles Rolling Eyes Laughing

thanks to both you guys, I think the problem is resolved.

Cheers
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