Antique Door Closer - Sargent 44D - How to adjust the Closer Speed


Old 06-22-17, 01:24 PM
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Antique Door Closer - Sargent 44D - How to adjust the Closer Speed

I am looking for the "Doordoctor Jess" if she is on this site/forum.

I have just installed a Sargent 44D (that had been sitting in my basement for a decade) on a large door (42"x88" - 2" thick) which is extremely heavy. I am unable to adjust the door closing speed, which is rather fast, plus it does not stop in the last 10 degrees of the swing arch. Can you please help. I will try to post a picture, if I am able... apparently I can't paste it and I can't upload it either. It keeps telling me the file exceeds the limit, when in fact it doesn't.

I would love a response from the Doordoctor or anyone who can tell me how to slow down this door from smashing into the door jam.

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Old 06-22-17, 02:46 PM
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Untill Doordoctor Jess comes along:

I think I remember the Sargent 40 series closer, at least if it's along the lines of the generic picture at New England Door Closer, Inc.

Basically a single adjusting screw that covers both sweep and latch speeds. Sweep speed is considered "coarse", one or more 360 turns in or out. Latch speed is considered "fine" and at some point in 360 a slight turn in or out adjusts the speed. There was often a notch in the head of the adjusting screw that indicated you were in the latch area.
As best I remember the notch was UP when you were "in the right area".

Closers were usually sized according the the last digit of the model number so yours may be a Size 4 which sounds a little small for your door. I'd start by trying to adjust the closer "unloaded" (forearm disconncted) and then load it up.

Hope I was some help.
Old 06-22-17, 03:38 PM
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O' I so wish I could post a picture...! No, there are no screws on this model...! There are nuts on a screw shaft, more than one, and turing them either way is not making a difference.
Old 06-22-17, 04:47 PM
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You will need to host your picture at a site that allows true remote linking of a JPEG. Some sites only provides links that include a lot of SPAM.
Old 06-22-17, 08:01 PM
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I can't add much to ThisOldMan's advice, not being familiar with this model. Proper installation & adjustment of pot closers is almost an art form, but no matter whether it's an old pot closer or a modern slimline, if turning the adjustment screws all the way clockwise does not slow the arm to a virtual halt, you may be out of fluid. If this is really old and grungy, much of the fluid could have leaked out around hardened seals. If it's really old, it may have been back before rubber "O" rings were used, when packing material (Jute, I think it was called) was used, and they required regular overhauls.
Old 04-06-18, 02:17 AM
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Hello all,

wow, I sure need to login more often here, sorry for the dissappearing act, I drive alot as well as REBUILD door closers and moved my tools and hardware collection from NJ to the south, NC

Alexak, the adjustment being referred to is on side of the body, if adjusting or even closing the valve completely does not stop the slam then indeed your closer lost it's oil and needs to be rebuilt.

when sitting around, many people will let it lay on its back, some have been known to leak oil up into spring chamber and out from under the gear under the arm (spring tension adjustment on a potbelly)

if you have not already sent it to NEDC ( I type with Neil from there once in a while) refilling can be done by removing closer from door and positioning in a vise with valve upwards (closer laying on it's side in vise jaws) remove valve and slowly pour in oil (such as mineral oil/motor oil/transmission fluid/jack fluid) while slowly working the arm until full with bottom of valve hole, place valve back in and reinstall closer to door and adjust to your desired speeds.

Rstripe, another common material used before rubber/nitrile/viton o-rings, leather, which is exactly what I came across during a rebuild on a Corbin 148 from 1950.

hope this helps!


Last edited by the_tow_guy; 04-13-20 at 06:44 AM.
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