The 10th International Portafold & Ansfold Gathering (i.e. 2018)

Following the huge success of the 9th International Gathering we'll be at Retrofestival again. It's a massive show now and is popular with everyone.

It's held at the Newbury Showground, Priors Court, Hermitage, Thatcham, West Berkshire, RG18 9QZ; on the weekend of the 10th, 11th & 12th of August 2018.

Don't book with the organisers, contact me to get your pitch saved.

Hinges - body sides.

Any questions about maintenance or the restoration of your Portafold or Ansfold.
Ian
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Hinges - body sides.

Post by Ian » Thu, 21 May 2009, 4:44 pm

Another newbie........

I've just bought a Portafold, locally (must be the only one), which had been sat outside the vendor's house for some time. He had taken to towing it around in its erected state (when he last used it, that is) and now I know why - 8 of the 17 body hinges are broken!! :(

The hinges look to be a simple brass butt hinge, but 2"(50mm) wide by 3"(76mm) long does not seem to be a popular size, according to the Internet. Has anyone found a source of these hinges?

I've looked at various stainless steel alternatives, but the nearest I've found are 37mm wide by 68mm long and the hole configuration is, not surprisingly, different. At £6 a time, they are not cheap, but they will not rust.

I gather from threads, etc that the originals were mounted using machine screws threaded into tapped plates let into the body - I'm under no illusions as to my chances of getting any of those out! I'm considering bolting the replacements right through with washers and nyloks on the outside (in stainless steel) - not as neat, but good and strong. Has anyone, who has tackled this problem, any wisdom to share?

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Admin
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Post by Admin » Thu, 21 May 2009, 5:47 pm

Ian,

I was given the name of a company that supplied the correct type hinges for an early tubular style Portafold. Whether they're still available or whether they continued using the same size and design of hinge throughout the years of manufacture I don't know.
Matthew
portafold.co.uk
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wanted: Any original Portafold, Ansfold or Mini-Motel brochures, adverts or magazine articles.
Also, any chassis numbers for the above caravans!

txfsealord
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat, 05 May 2007, 9:24 pm
Location: Pulborough, West Sussex

Hinge replacement

Post by txfsealord » Wed, 27 May 2009, 6:56 am

Hi Ian,
I had to replace all 17 (!) hinges on my Ansfold when I'd finished stripping its interior. I used top-quality 4" extruded brass butt-hinges, cut in half to make them 2" x 2", this fitted the recesses in the fibreglass hull & gave me one spare hinge! The cut hinges had 2 screw-holes on each side, in different places from all the previous repair attempts, so I was able to drill & tap new threads in the 16swg steel plates which are embedded in the fibreglass.

On mine, the hull had sagged very badly over the axle, this put the side-panel hinges out of line which had snapped all the end ones. I sorted this by extending the chassis to the rear & adding various bracing struts, see earlier posts.

I don't recommend trying to bolt through the folding sides, there's quite a large void between the side's inner panel (the extension of the top surface of the lockers) & the outer face which you see when folded. It isn't hard to slit the bonded joint between inner & outer panels to slip another nut-plate in between, if there really is nothing left of the original. There's no problem in bolting through the top of the hull, other than the stiffening-ribs which are formed round some of the hinge-mount plates. On mine, I cut slots in these to slide nut-plates into the ribs. Fine, as long as you like working in fibreglass dust while standing on your head........

Hope this is helpful, sorry I didn't see it earlier to reply then.

Steve Lord

Ian
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Post by Ian » Thu, 28 May 2009, 12:37 pm

Sagging hull :shock: - I don't think I've got that problem, but then I haven't checked how straight the top of my hull is, yet...........

Moving quickly on cos I don't want to think about that possibility - I can see some advantages in Steve Lord's approach in that he had to drill and tap new holes in the nut plates (or their replacements), whereas the users of the replacements ('Fibreglasshero' and me) may well be trying to re-use/re-tap(for metric machine screws) the existing holes in the nut plates in the folding sides - probably have to go up a size to get a decent thread for the metric option :?: Regards Ian

Ian
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Post by Ian » Wed, 03 Jun 2009, 12:39 pm

The replacements appear to be identical to the 40 year old originals - a bit of luck :D - but (there is always a 'but'!), I'm puzzled about how the originals were fitted.

The upper halves (on the folding body sides) are pop-riveted in place with countersunk monel rivets, which are as good as the day they went in; but the lower halves are screwed down with mild-steel woodscrews (many of which are rusty and loose or seized) - more amateur butchery? :?

The countersunk monel rivets seem an admirable solution (no holes to be tapped!) and still good and firm.

Ian
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Post by Ian » Thu, 04 Jun 2009, 4:41 pm

I'm assuming those pop rivets are monel because they are in such good condition - has anyone tried using aluminium ones, which are a lot cheaper and come in a wider variety of sizes? Ian

txfsealord
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat, 05 May 2007, 9:24 pm
Location: Pulborough, West Sussex

Aluminium rivets

Post by txfsealord » Thu, 04 Jun 2009, 6:20 pm

Aluminium rivets should be fine, as long as you put them in with a little anti-rusting fluid such as Supertrol or similar. This is to prevent galvanic corrosion between the rivets & the steel plate within the fibreglass.

Steve

Ian
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Post by Ian » Tue, 16 Jun 2009, 10:01 am

'Supertrol'? Hmmm, don't think there is much chance of finding that on our fair isle... - I do have a tube of extortionately expensive zinc chromate paste in a fetching green colour - would that do the job?

Needless to say, the countersunk rivets are unobtainable locally - back to the internet....

Ian

Ian
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2009, 3:47 pm
Location: Onchan, Isle of Mann

Post by Ian » Thu, 18 Jun 2009, 12:06 pm

Once upon a time there was this eejit trying to put new hinges on a Portafold up int 'ills on his little island. With the help of his friends on the Portafold forum he found and bought the new hinges from a far away land and ordered matching pop rivets from the same far away land. All were fitted and they all lived happily ever after........right? No chance!!

The wise among you (i.e. just about everybody but the eejit) will spot his deliberate mistake! I should have taken an old hinge off and measured everything! Those gits at Portafold obviously ran out of the right sized rivets so they probably bought the nearest size at the local factors and drilled out the hinges and panels to suit! My carefully ordered pop rivets just about fell through the resulting holes :x - back to the internet!

I've now got a life-time supply of pretty little countersunk rivets!

Ian

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Post by Admin » Mon, 29 Jun 2009, 2:34 pm

Ian (eejit),

How have you got on with your hinges? Are those ones the right ones? and did the countersunk rivets work OK?

Can you tell I've got to do mine before 'Wroughton' in a few weeks time? :wink:

Cheers
Matthew
portafold.co.uk
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wanted: Any original Portafold, Ansfold or Mini-Motel brochures, adverts or magazine articles.
Also, any chassis numbers for the above caravans!

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