Front Access Door Supports

Courtesy of Patrick Flowers

The early GMC motorhomes did not come with supports to hold the front access covers open. This adds aggravation to the usually simple tasks of checking the oil, coolant and battery electrolyte levels. Jim Bound's Cooperative Motor Works has developed a replacement support based around a stainless steel spring.
The supports come completely assembled with easy to follow directions. My only quibble with the quality was the rough cuts on the ends of the aluminum angle. Also the kit came with "pimm" nuts on the top of the support and "pop" rivets for the bottom attachment. I made a quick trip to the local hardware store and picked up enough stainless hardware to install the supports and replace all the cover fasteners.
A couple passes with the radial arm saw trues up the edges...
...and the deburring tool takes off the sharp edge.
The twentyfive year old fasteners on my coach were hopeless. After an hour of penetrating oil(along with generous four-letter lubrication), I decided a No. 21 cobalt drill bit was the solution. The phillips head makes drilling these a snap.
Here's a look at the fasteners provided versus the stainless steel hardware I picked up at the local hardware store. I used No. 8 stainless screws instead of the "pop" rivets for the bottom bracket. All the other screws are No. 10 oval head stainless steel machine screws. All nuts were nylon locknuts.
This item was pointed out in the instructions, but I didn't catch it until it became obvious that my cover would not stay open. The screws on the top bracket must be short enough not to interfere with the spring. Since my screws were stainless steel, I just shortened them with a "Dremel" tool.
Here's the finished product. I placed the top hole on the bottom bracket 4½ inches below the top of the opening, which is a little higher than called for in the instructions. This position was arrived at by trial and error. I first bolted the support to the cover and moved the aluminum angle up the fiberglass lip until the cover position looked right. I then clamped the angle in place temporarily to check the support's operation. Only then did I mark and drill the holes.

One neat feature of this design is that the spring acts like a shock absorber when you close the cover, preventing the cover from slamming shut. Just pull on the spring and the cover closes.

For more information contact:
 Jim Bounds
Cooperative Motor Works
5971 Anno Avenue
Orlando, FL 32809

 Return to Technical Information

 Return to
The author is a
member of
moonlight productions  
The HTML Writers Guild
Analysis by
© 1998 by Patrick Flowers. All Rights Reserved
Revised 6/24/98