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Old 07-10-2018, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default Cabinet sliding door repair

Like others, my cabinet sliding door was out of whack, with the strapping tape falling off the back in the Phoenix heat last summer. I finally pulled the cabinet out to extract the door; not too bad, following the instructions out of the Airstream repair manual. The hardest part was getting the door handle off, and the latch parts off. The door handle screws had some sort of thread locker on them, making removal of the Phillips screws challenging. I didn't unplug the fridge, as you're just moving the front edge of the cabinet out about 8-10 inches or so.

Tip: the fixed portion of the latch is held on with with a pair of T10 Torx screws. Initially I was kinda ticked at this (I had to stick my cell phone camera in the cabinet to figure out what kind of fastener was giving me fits), but the Torx screws sure are easier to remove and install when working by feel, since the bit stays stuck in the screw pretty well. Thanks Westfalia!

Anyway, I used a kind of heat tape used to wrap things under one's hood, with the thought that the adhesive would hold up under the high cabin temps in the summer sun. The tape turned out to have plenty of stickiness, and seems rigid enough to keep the slats in line. I applied 4 strips, after locking the door into a right angle jig to hold everything in alignment.


One of the slats had developed a cut in the top which was the cause of all the problems, as it would allow the slat to get off the upper track. I glued, clamped, and trimmed it back into alignment, and shifted its position in the group to the second to the last slat, since the end of the door doesn't get to a curve, reducing the likelihood that the slat could jam up again.

Reinstallation was a piece of cake, capped with a new door latch, to replace the one that had cracked and failed. I think I had gotten some latches from overseas a few years ago, but couldn't find them. Turns out GoWesty carries the correct latch. I did manage to put a nice scratch in the door face on reinstall that was totally avoidable, as I did not fully remove the mounting bolts from the front edge of the cabinet. Grrrrr.

Thought about running some 12v to the cabinet area for future use, but since the cabinet removal wasn't too hard, I elected to save that for later.

Door operates like new for the first time in about 4 years!
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Last edited by Riptide; 07-11-2018 at 02:47 AM.
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