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Author Topic: Door closer repair
Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2180
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 07-05-2019 11:45 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Do any of you folks know anything about door closers?

My front door was suddenly hanging open as people were coming in before the show tonight -- when I had a chance to look at it I see that the elbow in the arm had come apart. I cleaned a bunch of crud out of the joint and put it back together but it just pulls apart again. There's a large pin that comes down from the top piece and enters the bottom piece to form the elbow and it appears that pin is worn down to a point that the snap ring in the bottom half doesn't engage it any more. I think that was the crud; shavings off of that pin.

But I don't see a way to get the pin out to replace it, unless there's a magic trick that I'm not aware of.

It says it's a Dorma Door Controls brand but there's no model number that I can see.

Are these arms a universal fit sort of thing or will I end up having to replace the whole door closer for want of a pin?

I have two front doors so I should probably replace the arm on the other one too while I'm at it, again if these arms are a universal fit and I can actually get them somewhere.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 3171
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 07-06-2019 02:11 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm by no means an expert regarding those things, but I'm sure those arms aren't universal. Even Dorma has like 20 different types of those door closers, all with different arms.

I've seen the joint in the arm come apart before, but in most cases this joint isn't screwed, but riveted. I guess that a screwed connection will work itself loose pretty quickly, since the joint is constantly rotating in both directions. Maybe you can restore the joint yourselves using a riveter for example.

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Mike Croaro
Master Film Handler

Posts: 385
From: Millbrae, CA
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted 07-06-2019 10:25 AM      Profile for Mike Croaro   Email Mike Croaro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Might be best to have a door company replace both door closers. Maybe you can trade passes to the movies.

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2459
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-06-2019 12:48 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My experience has been you just replace the whole closer. You have to be careful to get the correct replacement size. Then there is getting the attachment holes to match up. I have lots of holes in one of our doors from not doing it right. The last one I got from Lowe's had very explicit instructions.
Or just get a door repairman to do it.

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1635
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted 07-06-2019 01:53 PM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Be Careful- Some of those door closers have a lot of pneumatic, hydraulic, or
spring energy stored in them. A number of years ago, a theater employee I
worked with was trying to replace the 'elbow pivot' joint in one without taking
the whole thing down.
While trying to get the pin into the pivot point, the arm snapped back & hit him
in the face, putting a big gash requiring several stitches to close just above his
eye. Last time I saw him, he still had a slight scar.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16583
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-06-2019 04:42 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have hooked countless closer's into automation, but I never went beyond that with them. Just make sure the flat metal plate on the door is absolutely square with the poles of the electro- magnet, which is usually mounted on the wall. Beyond that it may be best to call a door company and have them replace it with the exact same kind, so it doesn't require changes in the automation.

Mark

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2180
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 07-06-2019 05:30 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'll talk to the folks at the glass shop on Monday.

In the meantime, I'm using the low-tech solution:

 -

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7390
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 07-06-2019 09:49 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mark - I think Frank is talking about a spring-loaded door closer on an exterior door, not a door mag on the entrance to an auditorium.

The way we usually make sure that the plates on the door are absolutely flush with the mag on the wall is to use plates that have a hinge in the mount, but quite a stiff one, so that they will only move a little bit. The seating of them when the door is opened with the mag energized when the credit crawl starts then takes care of itself.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 3171
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 07-07-2019 01:35 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
In the meantime, I'm using the low-tech solution:
You should count how many people now will be trying to get in through the back door or will be looking for a door more to the left. [Razz]

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Rick Raskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1099
From: Manassas Virginia
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 07-07-2019 10:23 AM      Profile for Rick Raskin   Email Rick Raskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have repaired these before. IIRC the pin comes down from he top and has a washer and cotter pin to lock it in place. You could probably take the closer off and drive the pin out using a bench vice. A trick would be to heat the connection while it is in the vice and drive the pin out when the joint expands. A replacement pin should be easy to find but you may have to drill a hole for the cotter pin. I've actually used a bolt which I cut and drilled.

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2180
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 07-09-2019 11:49 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You called that one right. There was a group of three people who wandered further down the sidewalk looking for the "other door" last night. [Big Grin]

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9518
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-09-2019 01:20 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There is most likely a machine shop in your town that could fix it for you

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2180
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 07-09-2019 01:39 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I actually have a guy lined up to repair it now. He looked at it it yesterday and now just has to get the parts and the time to do it. Hopefully within the next few days.

I bought those doors when I made the theatre and the door closers were attached to the doors when I got them. There's been no attention paid to them since, so I guess they have done a lot of swinging between now and then.

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2180
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 07-10-2019 01:58 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's all fixed now. [Smile]

The guy who fixed it had an arm from a different door closer. He modified it after he brought it here. Re-threaded the rod and filed the part that attaches to the closer body to fit on the axle. Now it fits and it's working great. The whole job took less than a half-hour from start to finish.

I'll see how much longer this door closer lasts. He said that when they start leaking oil they need to be replaced, but this one is still well sealed and is working just fine. Apparently if the door starts to slam shut instead of closing gently that's a sign that the oil is escaping from the body and it needs replacement.

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