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cabinet door hinges, fixing things

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5 or 6 of the hinged lift up cabinet doors did not work correctly when we purchased our motorhome 4 months ago. Found the hinges at a couple of places at a cost of around $10 either each or for a pair depending on where you looked. I get great satisfaction from fixing stuff and not throwing things away/recycling. While recycling is better than ending up in a land fill, it still is pretty wasteful.

Failure of all of the hinges was due to two of the rivets in the mechanism wearing to a point of the "riveted" end wearing off and the rivet no longer staying in the hole. (PIC 51). The rivets are probably less than 2% of the total assembly but their not being there makes the assembly almost not usable. I was able to salvage one of the rivets and it sat on my dresser for a couple of months. Two weeks ago, I got out my calipers and started measuring. I found what I believed to be very close to the original rivet and ordered off Amazon, cost under $10. Box of 72 rivets came in last week.

I have now repaired 4 of the hinges. As I do not have the tools of the OEM, I have had to revise the install a little. Installed the rivet from the inside with the hollow base outward. Used a short tapered punch in the hollow base and channel lock pliers to start the flare. (May try a small ball bearing on the next set to start the flare.) Vise grips with several squeezes to get the rivet fairly tight on the two sheets of SS in the hinge. Finishing off with a ball peen hammer on a small anvil. Seems to be working pretty well on the ones completed and reinstalled. The SS of the hinge is pretty poor quality. In the picture without the rivets, u can see how it has worn/deformed as it rubbed on another part of the hinge. The deformation was cleaned up with a file. Will put a drop of lube on all the wear points of these and the other hinges too see if this will extend the life.

 It takes about 10 minutes to repair each of the hinges. Using the skills given to me by my higher power gives me satisfaction even if it does not really make economic sense to spend the time to repair each hinge. 


HRS Hinge rivet 51.JPG

HRS Hinge rivet 49.JPG

HRS Hinge rivet 50.JPG

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This is very annoying hinge. I’ve had to repair almost all of them. After attempting the same process that you did, I eventually settled for short hex drive flat head screws with nylon clocking nuts. Thus enabled me to use an Allan key and small spanner to secure and tighten them.  The screws are solid so they don’t keep wearing out the way a thin aluminum rivet does. 
I haven’t had any trouble since I did this. These hinges are actually garbage! 

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Amazon. 6 1/2" RV cabinet door struts, metal, plastic. Take the existing hinge and remove the spring assembly, in your first photo, the piece you are holding.

without removing the hinge by bending it till it breaks off and leave the hinge on the doors. I've replaced all my door hinges with that method. Hope my description is understandable. I Wish I knew how to add a photo for posting.

Gary 05 AMB DST

Edited by Gary 05 AMB DST
better explanation
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The rivets I purchased are Gr 5 steel and solid thru the area of the pivot. The original holes have worn oversize. I like the idea of the flat head screws probably 8-32 which is a bit larger that the 1/8" rivets I installed, taking up some of the slop. I am hoping that the peening with the hammer set the rivet in the outside hole and it will not turn therefore not wearing the "riveted" lip off.  Using gas struts is also a great idea. Just a bit more stuff that comes from China that I would rather not buy. 

Gary, it might be possible to drill out the ends of the long rivets on the spring sections and disconnect those parts.  I will keep that in mind if the rivets don't work out.

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I bought a small box of number 6 (1/2” long) stainless steel screws from Lowes and with a little bit of pressure in the soft stainless hinge, I was able to “self tap” the old rivet hole and fixed 12 hinges for less than $3.00. 

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