Silver Streak Hinge Information


Posted by Eddie Huffstetter on Wed Aug 06, 2008 on Silver Streak Forum -

Hinge installation Kit
I have been working on a "surprise" hinge installation kit. PICTURES ARE BELOW!, the kit has a drill bit, rivets, and tape. For folks in Houston, there is a local RV repair facility near Hobby Airport who will install the hinges for you. They are reputable and honest. In other cities there might be RV shops who will do the work. Regardless, you need a kit.

I have received the drill bits out of Kansas, the rivets and tape out of Dallas and Illinois. Each hinge piece will have 20 rivets of 18 needed, 24" of tape, and 1 drill bit (picture is not actual bit) is included. The drill bit is one-piece cut and faced into 2 pieces. The extra piece is an alignment tool and hole check tool. This is very expensive stuff and not cheap junk. See hinge price on this forum under New Hinge Pictures. See the history and need for this hinge on this forum under New Hinge Manufacture.

Overview Steps - Drill out old rivets, remove old hinge, prep surface, check all holes for alignment to new hinge, affix tape to hinge, using rivets and tool provided as a guide: place hinge, rivet in place. So look at the pictures below, then read my suggested installation and hopefully all goes smoothly. I have tried to be brief, but give something more than "remove old hinge and put on the new hinge". Note!!! Ken Wilson and others report that some rivets must be clocked!! That means where the rivets will be adjacent to hidden side pillars/corners, just make sure you put a little mark on the flat head part of the rivet such that you know where the fingers of the spreading part of the rivet will spread out, but least spread into that hidden but adjacent substructure. If you do not do this, the rivet may cock or tip to one side and not lay flat when you are finished. Just rotate the rivet so that the fingers can spread above and below, not into the hidden adjacent substructure.


I start with this because if you goof up, you are literally stuck and have ruined a very expensive special-ordered tape. This tape is sort of like contact cement. When you affix the hinge it must be exactly in position. It will not scoot into place and the hinge will not easily come off! READ BELOW, AND DO NOT MISS! This tape is special order and horribly expensive. I can send you more if you mess it up.

Metal on metal is slippery! The tape is not there to affix the hinge, but to stop slipping, wiggling, and shear-like motion. This unloads the constant stress movement on your trailer aluminum skin! The hinge will never fail, the rivet specs far exceed the trailer skin so the rivet will not fail, but the skin is relatively soft. The holes can waller out and get loose and sloppy. This tape will stop all of that! You need this tape so use it! I specially ordered this thin 30 mil tape on purpose so it would not be thick and noticeable. The tape will help temporarily hold the hinge while riveting. The color is gray not black.

PREPARE NEW HINGE Take the tape I provided, cut into lengths without removing any backing 5 pieces as follows.

The 8 hole body hinge: Cut one single long piece exactly 7 inches long. Cut that piece off the 24" length now. Lay the hinge on that piece and draw around it with a Sharpe marker. Cut the radius corners with a scissor. Lay aside.

The 6 hole leaf: Cut 2 pieces 4-1/2" long. Lay perfectly flat side by side aligned and stick edges together to make 1 large piece of that length, 4" wide. Do not misalign! You must make a single large piece that is 4-1/2"L X 4"W. Lay the hinge on that piece, draw around it, and cut the radius and shape with a scissor. Lay aside.

The 4 hole leaf: Cut 2 pieces exactly 3" long. Lay perfectly flat side by side aligned and stick edges together to make 1 large piece of that length, 4" wide. Do not misalign! You must make a single large piece that is 3"L X 4"W. Lay leaf on that, draw, cut the radius and shape. Lay aside.

Now you have 3 cut and trimmed-to-fit pieces backing still on both sides, ready to attach to each leaf of the new hinge.

Clean the new hinge. Wash the whole thing in soapy water and dry it. Then wipe the to-be-taped surface with common rubbing alcohol to get any oils or water off.

Now doing only one hinge leaf at a time, starting at one end only, peeling the clear protective cover from one side of the tape only, put the prepared-fit pieces on each leaf paying attention to keep aligned and straight. Leave other side backing on.

Now using a razor blade or equivalent, cross-hatch-cut for each rivet hole, the clear film for later rivet insertion thru the tape with the clear film still in place. This does not need to be perfect or pretty, just enables the rivet to go thru with the film on. This can be messy so do not get stuck! Do not peel any of the protective clear backing off the tape until ready to install. Please do not put the tape on the wrong side. The tape goes between the coach and the hinge.

When ready to install, put the rivets thru each hole, or use drill bit reversed and the guide tool, for only the leaf being installed BEFORE removal of the clear backing. Then pull the backing off. Using rivets or drill bit and the alignment tool, but NOT LESS THAN 2 ALIGNMENT GUIDES inserted into the trailer attachment holes as the hinge contacts the mounting surface aligned and placed. It will be stuck!

Now leaving guides in place, install all rivets starting from the center out on the long 8 hole leaf while pushing very firm to mash the tape in the process. Remove guides only when you have a rivet substituted elsewhere to keep alignment. Do the same for the other two leafs, 4 hole and 6 hole, in the INSTALLATION SEQUENCE of 8 hole body, 4 hole insert door, and finally 6 hole main door.

Read Old Hinge removal below, and then when removal below is complete the installation sequence is:
Body - 8 rivets
Insert door - 4 rivets
Main door - 6 rivets

Between the sequences above, do not remove the tape backing from the leafs awaiting rivet installation until the moment of alignment! The idea is mount to body, mount to insert door, swing out of way now supported, mount to main door.
Please clean the machining oils off the new hinge. Clean with anything, but use a final wipe of rubbing alcohol and give it a moment to dry. Tape will not stick to oil!

When ready to install the hinge, you must use rivets or equivalent like awl, drill bits, and guide tool I provided to ALIGN AS IT APPROACHES AND CONTACTS the trailer! Do not miss! Once against the trailer rivet in place and you are done!

These are very special rivets, designed to flare out behind what you cannot see or access (see picture), need no backing washer which you cannot access to add anyway, and allow for wallered out holes, mis-drilled holes, and sloppy holes. These are two-times the tensile and shear strength of cheapy rivets. These are a "pop" rivet with aluminum body and aluminum mandrel. These are very strong! These are sold only in thousands to my knowledge.

We cannot use stainless steel or mild steel rivets as by the time the mandrel "pops", the rivet probably will have already pulled thru the trailer skin and thus affix nothing. This is the rivet we must use.

The Olympic, or shaved head rivet is not used as they are too expensive, require a $300 shaver, and not necessary for installation considered "pretty". I have talked to Ken and Ralph about this and this is what we have decided is best for us. If you decide not to use these rivets, know that these would be very expensive trash.

If you are concerned about the little hole in the center of the finished rivet leaking, then go to any home improvement store or Ace Hardware and buy a tube of LEXOL which is a seam sealer like used on new cars. It is a liquid plastic, gets hard, is paintable (for auto finishes), and easy to apply like silicone. Here is what you do. Get the LEXOL, cut the tip of the tube very small and across, not on angle, put up to hole and squeeze-in to fill hole. Clean up excess before dries with acetone, which is its solvent. Let dry. It dries fast. It is clear. You will not see it. It will not UV break down like silicone.

Lets leave the door on, do one hinge at a time, and start at the bottom! Door is heavy. There is no need to take it off the trailer. There is no need to fight a heavy door or have it fall and damage itself or you.

Unlatch insert door now and its latching handles, duct tape the latching handles or they might fall and latch this door. Now latch the main door and dead-bolt if you have a dead bolt. Duct tape outside of the main door as needed on the hinge side while working to hold the door in place.
Now duct tape the insert door on the hinge side so the duct tape acts like a helper temporary hinge. The idea is that you are about to release the entire hinge and when you do so, both doors need helper support. So duct tape the area you are working.

Lets start at the bottom hinge, main door 6 rivets. Get those drilled out. See REMOVAL OF RIVETS below.
Then go for the insert door rivets. Get those 4 drilled out.
By now the doors are released from the respective hinge leaf.
Now drill out the 8 body-hinge rivets and remove the old hinge.
De Burr as needed, the 18 exposed rivet holes so new rivets will easily insert.
Clean the now exposed hinge mounting 3 surface areas.
Now you are ready for the new hinge. See installation and sequence above under WHY TAPE!
Do not leave helper duct tape too long in the hot sun. It really glues itself.

Removal of rivets is by drilling out. YOU MUST GET YOUR DRILL BIT CENTERED! Some rivets have a centering dimple, so it will be simple to center. If not, then that is hard to do on the slick dome of the old rivet, so get a Dremel with the grinding rock, or use a file, or something and take off the rounded dome of each rivet by grinding or filing flat enough so your drill bit will not wander. DO NOT CENTER PUNCH by banging on your trailer with a hammer! It bends it!

I highly suggest you first center-drill each rivet too-small with a 1/8" small drill bit as it is easier to do and make it centered.

REMOVAL SEQUENCE IS: Do all the main door 6 rivets first, outer door 4 rivets next, and hinge to body 8 rivets last. This way you have the old hinge to hold the insert door in place as long as possible.

Drill all rivets first with a 1/8" drill bit not provided to you. Then go back with the 3/16" step drill I did provide you, doing only the REMOVAL SEQUENCE Order above. Pay attention! Aluminum is soft. Do not push so hard you drill thru the inside and mess up something you forgot was there! Let the old hinge guide your drill bit! Go easy! Do not over-drive your drill bit. Let it work for you.

With all the rivets drilled, you should be able to remove and set aside the old hinge. Check each hole to make sure the new rivet will easily insert, De Burr the now exposed holes as needed with a knife tip, clean the surface, final wipe with alcohol for grease, etc. and affix the new hinge as in step one TAPE at the top. If the trailer is gooey or greasy, or has sticky stuff where the hinge was, get that off and cleaned with any soaps or solvent. Surface needs to be clean and oil-free.

Install new bottom hinge per instruction INSTALLATION SEQUENCE above. Now that the bottom hinge is done, repeat and do the top.

Repeat above and do the top hinge. Do not forget to duct tape the doors to hold them in place while working. Drink lots of beer and talk about job, crappy instructions, and nightmare of gooey tape.

Instructions invariably leave something out or something is stated wrong or unclear. Be kind and let me know what is not good in my instruction suggestions. Due to the Olympics, I will work on a Chinese version instructions. IE: Ah So!, Hokay, hinge to be take off....spoke done when and Sake is time.

--------------------------------------------------------KIT CONTENTS------------------------------------------------------------------

M42 Cobalt HSS alloy step drill bit 3/16"
This is a Boeing High Speed Aircraft Cobalt Alloy step-bit. Turn it fast or slow in aluminum.
This is the bit currently in use at Boeing. It is the most common size / rivet use.
Save it and use fast on hardened steels. The step is End-Mill Reamer quality fluting.
Be careful. This is sharp and will eat what it contacts.

Load Spreading Rivet
Product Parameters:
Alloy / Material all aluminum
Diameter of Body .205 (3/16")
Grip Range: Total thickness to be Fastened .187-.375
Head Diameter .385
Head Height .075
Length of Body .875 excluding bulb
Shear 350
Tensile 450

Double-Sided Non-Hardening Tape
EternaBond MicroSealant, sandwiched between 2 removable clear protection layers, DoubleStick is sticky on both sides. Perfect for use as a gasket when installing windows, vents, etc. on RVs, mobile homes, steel buildings, etc. DoubleStick is also the perfect lap adhesive. Once DoubleStick is applied, you can virtually forget about leaks! In addition, DoubleStick can be folded or rolled into a bead, and it can be used as a moldable sealant or gasket. This DoubleStick is 30 mils thick, 2" wide.
Thickness: 30 mils which is about 1/32"

Aircraft Cobalt Step Bit

Load Spreading High Tensile Rivet

Double Stick RV Tape

-Eddie- Houston TX
713-694-8084 (texts ok)
66 Streamline 26 ft. Countess
Old RV

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