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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 15th April 2012 Thread Starter
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Door check-strap repair, Espace 3

Thought I'd briefly describe a task I had a go at today.

The check strap on the driver's door was inoperative. Pulling the boot off and carefully sticking in a little finger, I could feel that one of the sleeves that acts against the strap, and locks it at indented points, was missing.

The length/size/etc of the check strap on the driver's door looked much the same as that on the back, so I figured I might take the back strap off and swap for the front (and it turns out they are the same part, on my car at least).

I took the back off first (the logic being that if I needed to drive it somewhere after making a ****-up then better it is the back than the front) and that was really easy. (see 'Note 1'), and took off the door strap (note 3)

Then I took the front door trim off (note 2) and removed that door strap too. In my case, the strap just came out when the bolt was undone as the sleeve had dropped out. After I had removed both 'parts' of the mechanism, I fished around inside the bottom of the door and found the sleeve that had dropped off.

I'm in a quandry just now, because it is easy to repair this - all I have to do is stick a bolt through the holes. Before, there was a pin with a clip washer on one end. This had worked loose and the thing had simply deconstructed itself.

I'm wondering whether a repaired mechanism (with a bolt and loc-nut) is stronger/better than the weedy looking 'pin and clip washer' arrangement. Clearly, this has failed in service. I think maybe I should just fix the front mechanism and put it back where it was, rather than swap the (relatively unused) rear door check strap with the front door one.

Not yet reassembled it all, but I'm glad this job has gone smoothly. I fear Renault trim jobs, for the infernal intricacies of design they seem to employ, but the Espace seems to be designed and built in a more straightforward manner for easier assembly/disassembly [providing all the bolts and fasteners work and don't jam up/drop out/break!!]

1] Espace 3 rear door trim removal: There are just two screws on the bottom and one inside the pull handle under a screw cover. Pull the switch gear out (no appreciable resistance) and unplug. Similarly the surround around the opening handle just pulls off, as does a piece of triangular trim in the corner of the window (pull off in a ~45 deg direction 'in' and 'forward'). Then the panel just lifts off. Unplug the speaker before detaching completely. Easy as...

2] Front door trim removal: Two screws along the bottom edge, one near the top hinge, and one near the door latch. Unplug the screw cover in the bottom of the handle-pull, and unscrew that one too. Switch gear panel pulls off. Unplug colour coded plugs. There's no trim around the opening handle to pull off, instead there is a bracket you can see once the switch panel is out, and a black screw holding it to the door. Remove that screw. Remove the triangular trim around the window (pull off in a ~45 deg direction 'in' and 'backwards'). The panel can now be part-lifted out but there is still a rod connected between the opening handle and the door release mechanism. Working under the half-lifted trim, there is a black sleeve that needs to be pushed back to release the rod - use an open-ended spanner to allow you to push against both sides of it, pushing it back, then wiggle the rod loose. The panel now lifts out - unplug the speaker. Done.

3] Check strap removal: Pull the boot off the door around the strap reveals two 10mm hex nuts. The 13mm hex bolt at the end of the strap is screwed into a captive nut inside the door pillar. Scary loose - wasn't sure if I was going to lose that sucker! But it stayed put! When the bolt is free enough to be turned by finger power, the door needs to be part closed (else the strap in the 'extended position' prevents extraction from the door) then finish undoing the [13mm hex] bolt. Open the door, remove the boot, and undo the two 10mm hex nuts, with one hand reaching through the upper aperture in the door to support it as it comes loose.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 27th April 2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Door check-strap repair, Espace 3

I 'refurbished' the check straps - both of them, infact, because the basic design looks a little weak to me.

Figured it might be useful to the forum to show what these things look like, and the repair that I did on them.

On the driver's side, the upper hole the pin went through had opened up, and the pin dropped out.

Interestingly, the lower hole on the driver's side was smaller than both the pin holes on the passenger check-strap, which to me suggests the passenger one was already getting loose too.

So I did the fix, as shown in the photos, to both check straps. Both are now fitted and work perfectly.

Time will tell whether the bolts I used are hard enough to resist wearing down quickly, but it's not like the roller gets that much use - on average a few times a day is all. Dismantling the door trims is really very simple, so I have no concerns doing that again - so long as those pesky 'captive' nuts in the door pillars don't give any further problems if I need to take them out again!!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 29th April 2012
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Re: Door check-strap repair, Espace 3

Hi donald
I had the same problem a few month ago with the pin dropping out of the N/S front door.After replacing the starclip it fell out again 2x in a matter of weeks.To solve my problem i then swapped the pin to down instead of up and hey presto it solved my problem.That was 6 month ago and all is well.Having 4 kids my door do get some wear and tear.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 29th April 2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Door check-strap repair, Espace 3

Hi Olaf.

On the driver's side, on the job I just did, the pins were [originally] already 'pointing down'.

If what you found is common, my guess would be that they don't even bother swapping the orientation of the pin and just invert the same part, for either side of the car.

The design just isn't reliable for long life, as the hole will open up through regular use as the rollers rock back and forth through opening, and it is the knurling that holds the pin in place, not the washer. So if the pin was dropping out, that's just showing that the holes have already opened up.

The design is good enough for the warranty period!.... anything more is 'over-engineering'!

I'm a simple engineer - give me a nut and bolt, over an interference fit and a star washer.....

PS - the check strap on the rear ns door is making clicking noises on mine too, so I'll guess I'll have to do all 4 doors at some stage!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 29th April 2012
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Re: Door check-strap repair, Espace 3

A good bodge but it doesn't overcome the wear in the hinge itself. Looks like the pin is made from tougher material than the door hinge. If the pin was softer than the hinge then it would probably wear first and could be easily and cheaply replaced but then again that would probably be too difficult for the designers to figure out.

As a suggestion would it not be neater to fit a clevis pin held in place with a small diameter split pin.

If the roller was soft enough to drill then it may be possible to drill it and the hinge and fit a slightly larger diameter pin.
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checkstrap , door , espace , repair

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