Awning winder failure

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:15
ThreadID: 120430 Views:2004 Replies:4 FollowUps:0
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Managed to snap the spring on the Aussie Traveller awning winder a few weeks ago. Fortunately I had some all-problem-solving gaffer tape to get me out of trouble - you realise how dependent you are on the winder when it fails. For those of you not familiar with the Aussie Traveller awning, the canvas is wound back into the box by using a long handled winder which has a spring on the end so that it can be wound up from the ground (or in the case of a BT from a small ladder). As my BT is only four months old and the failure happened where the spring had been partly drilled for the holding pin (which stops the spring from spinning around) I thought the failure would be fixed as part of a warranty. How naive I am! With Aussie Traveller in Brisbane and me in Canberra it was not going to be easy to show the fault. To cut a long story short I was sent a new spring and appropriate pins and parted with $20. The winder is now fixed after some mucking around and couple of blunt drills. I was given some advice on the use of the winder to prevent the same thing happening again. Apparently the winder is not supposed to be used at more than 45 degrees out of straight. Now this vital bit of information is supposed to be imparted on delivery. Unfortunately it didn't come through to me - not to say we weren't told but that there is so much information to absorb on the day that it would be easy to miss. So fellow boggers, if you missed it as well, be warned, don't go over 45 degrees.......and keep some gaffer tape handy! Mick
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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:17

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:17
Thanks for the warning Mick ! I had a spring pin shear on mine some time ago and replaced it with a 4mm stainless bolt and nyloc. Whenever you drill a hole in something it causes what is termed a "stress riser" and it becomes the weak point. Similar to how glass is cut ... an etch is placed on glass causing a stress riser and a small amount of force is applied and the glass cracks along the stress line. If the spring manufacturer looked at that hole drilled in his spring he'd laugh. It is really a bit a bad design ... it should be a universal type drive like in a car tailshaft with a lighter spring over it to facilitate keeping the uni straight. The spring is suppling drive and flex when springs are only meant for compression and small ranges of flex and then they place a stress riser in it ...... When mine went I had no way to repair not even wire on that trip. Ended up using a large shifting spanner (Jay = Adjustable Wrench) over the pin on the wind up shaft sticking out of box. Took a few minutes but got us packed up to travel home. It does take a firm grip to angle it down and wind ...for this reason I thought of replacing spring with a 1/2 inch universal socket drive which is usually used to turn sockets at a 45 degree ....and then a rubber boot over it to keep it straight to place over drive shaft and pin on box ... Another thing on the list ..... Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 561372

Reply By: Bogged Mick - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:18

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:18
Hi Anthony, I did ask why they didn't use a universal joint instead of a spring. The answer was that they had tried it but the universal joints were not reliable and they had a number of returns. The springs seemed a simpler way. My guess is that the ones they were using weren't heavy enough for the job. When you perfect the universal joint idea maybe a picture on the BOG site would be useful. I for one would be very interested as I don't have much faith in my repaired winder. Regards, Mick
AnswerID: 561373

Reply By: Wadefarers - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:19

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:19
Mick/Anthony Had the same thing happen not long after BT was born. Know what you mean about winding it up after that, perched on ladder, spanner in hand, bad words being uttered. Was lucky to some extent. Rang Aussie Traveller, said what gives here and was given a replacement and advice about angles. Still have original as a "spare", although still in two bits. I was told by one of the engineers at work that you could use an epoxy glue for metals to stick it back together but have not done so yet (embarrassed) May also be a better way but I await greater knowledge. Good advice to all and I should have mentioned it earlier but it was a long time ago now. Regards Jeff
AnswerID: 561374

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:20

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:20
A pic for those that might not be familiar with the offending item. You can see in the pic the amount of meat removed from spring weakening it significantly. Also in the pic is a socket flex drive I intend to adapt to the two pieces at end of handle. The one in the pic is a 3/8inch drive ..I'm using a 1/2 inch drive flex socket in same style. These sockets will stand in excess of 220Nm force. To give an idea thats almost double the amount of force needed to tighten a Commodore wheel nut. I intend machining 1/2 " square on each handle piece and using a female to female 1/2 inch drive socket push the ends in like a socket attaches to a socket wrench. A tack of weld to hold in place and then cover with a piece of heater hose ....any simpler ideas I'm all ears ..please .... Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 561375

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