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Old 04-06-2018, 08:42 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 47
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500
Rated Cap: 27
Front Door Latch

I've got a shortie with a front door that splits in the middle. I wanted to remove the door arm mechanism (that allows the driver to open/close the door) and install a deadbolt on the door. Reasons are: create more usable space up front (the mechanism is in the way of a lot of stuff), and give the ability to lock/unlock the passenger door from the outside (unrelated, the driver door locks but has no key, so I'd like to enter from the passenger door instead of from the rear door).

I installed the common apartment deadbolt that's been passed around here without any issue (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1), but when I began to remove the door arm, I discovered that the door has too much range of motion with only the deadbolt. Basically, I'm worried about how much it will wobble when driving down the highway.

So now I need to find a way to anchor the door to something on the interior that's easy to latch/unlatch and more compact than the original arm mechanism.

Ideas?
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:57 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 23
Year: 2009
Coachwork: Collins 6-window
Chassis: Chevy 3500
Engine: 6.0L
Hiya! I have a similar bus and have been toying with the idea of ripping out the front door latch system as well (that little window up front would be perfect for a house plant and the adjacent floor space for a shoe rack). What did you end up doing for keyed entry to the double doors?

Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:11 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA
Posts: 132
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Fabricate a cam lock with rods like used on a camper shell. Install it on the door that the pull rod is attached to. That is what I did on mine, and used the dead bolt as mentioned in post #1.
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Old 12-29-2020, 12:37 AM   #4
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Spanaway, WA
Posts: 144
Year: 1999
Coachwork: MidBus
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500
Engine: 6.5L Turbo Diesel
Rated Cap: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikon View Post
Fabricate a cam lock with rods like used on a camper shell. Install it on the door that the pull rod is attached to. That is what I did on mine, and used the dead bolt as mentioned in post #1.
Do you happen to have pictures for those of us having trouble visualizing that?
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Old 12-29-2020, 12:43 AM   #5
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA
Posts: 132
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
I don't at the moment but I will upload some in the morning. I will even post a long winded explanation too. I wanted that space that the door handle used for my ham radio gear. In the bluebird the mount that the handle bolted to is very stout.
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Old 12-29-2020, 02:07 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Spanaway, WA
Posts: 144
Year: 1999
Coachwork: MidBus
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500
Engine: 6.5L Turbo Diesel
Rated Cap: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikon View Post
I don't at the moment but I will upload some in the morning. I will even post a long winded explanation too. I wanted that space that the door handle used for my ham radio gear. In the bluebird the mount that the handle bolted to is very stout.
Thanks, much appreciated. The door mechanism really drives me batty, and as it stands now, I have to enter the beast via the driver door or the rear exit door (which soon will be locked!) I think a deadbolt and a replacement mechanism might hold me over until I get around to learning to weld (or getting someone to help me do it) and making it into a "normal" door.

And I should be able to "lock" the rear exit door short term with zip ties holding the bar from being raised. It too needs a deadbolt.
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Old 12-29-2020, 10:31 AM   #7
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA
Posts: 132
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
I just uploaded 4 door pictures to my album. See if you can see them and ask all the questions you want. I'll try to answer them asap. Right after I finished that mod I went on a 750 mile trip and was very happy with it. If you need more pictures I will ad them.
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