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Rebco West door - Threshold Bolt issue


Greg Rogers's Avatar
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08-03-17, 03:13 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Rebco West door - Threshold Bolt issue

I have a panic bar glass door with a threshold bolt that will not drop about half the times. before I take it apart can anyone tell what I should look for? Is it usually a lubrication issue or part replacement? I don't have any photos yet.
thanks in advance

 
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08-03-17, 03:38 PM   #2 (permalink)  
Does it not drop, or does it not hit the hole?

Open the door just a crack and look to see if that gap is 1/8" all the way up and down. If you find that it's 1/2" on top and 1/8" on bottom, that means the door has racked out of plumb. Maybe the frame can be moved to plumb the door up in order for it to hit the hole. Or maybe you just need to adjust the hole in the keeper.

But if, as you say, the bolt just isn't dropping, yes it could just be that it's sticky and needs lubrication. Anything with oil or grease will attract dirt and eventually get sticky. Or it could be that the return spring is shot.

 
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08-03-17, 05:45 PM   #3 (permalink)  
Xsleeper,
seems it just does not drop unless you shake the door. The hole in threshold seems to be lined up good.
How do you normally get to the parts needing lubrication? Do I take off the vertical cover on edge of door (latch side)? is this where the "keeper" is?
Or do I take off the panic bar cover?

I don't suspect a plumb problem.
thanks,

 
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08-03-17, 06:11 PM   #4 (permalink)  
It really depends on the type of panic bar you have.

Here is an example of one brand/model.

It could be that the adjustment screw has backed itself out. My best advice would be to Google your panic bar hardware, and find the schematic before you start tearing it down.

 
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08-06-17, 10:48 AM   #5 (permalink)  
If the OP is still interested:
Looking at the Rebco website I will say it is an aluminum storefront door. I looked at their catalog but it's 2 years old and your device could be older. There are several popular brands of exit devices that can be installed in these doors and the quickest way to identify which one is through pictures.

With the door open, please furnish pictures of:
  1. The top strike (mounted in or on the header of the frame)
  2. The top latch (best photographed from slightly above the top of the door)

 
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08-07-17, 04:05 PM   #6 (permalink)  
ThisOldMan,
Yes I am still interested. I will take photos of top strike and top latch, will post soon.
This small building was built about 1987 and this is the original door I was told. It is an aluminum storefront door I believe, church building by the way.

 
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08-09-17, 06:32 PM   #7 (permalink)  
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OK, here are the photos I took this morning.
Here is another description of the symptom:
If you open the door about 45-90 degrees, then let it swing shut, it drops the threshold rod. However starting with door open less than 45 degrees, it closes with less force and usually does not drop the threshold rod.
TIA, Greg

 
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08-09-17, 09:40 PM   #8 (permalink)  
Good photos. That's an Adams Rite 8600, been around for many years, sold under other names occasionally. Not one of my favorite panic exit devices.

From your complaint, it could be any one or combination of the following:

1) door closer not adjusted for proper speed and/or spring tension and/or arm position, or inadequate closer to begin with.
2) hole in threshold not aligned with lower rod bolt.
3) misalignment of upper strike stud.
4) Lack of lubrication on upper latch assy.
5) Lack of threshold stop.
6) Center-case gear train wearing out from use/age.
7) Push bar rubbing on base bar, from use/age.

Troubleshooting exit devices starts with propping the door open so you can test the device itself without strike interference. That way you can narrow down your problem to the device itself or strike alignment issues. Proper door closer adjustments are first consideration tho.

 
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08-09-17, 09:58 PM   #9 (permalink)  
You mention lubrication, which might help if it's really old. Re-lubing will extend it's life. Grease should be applied in the yoke of the swing-latch at the top. Also a dab of grease where the small square rod impinges against the swing-bolt...it's what locks the swing-bolt in the open position when the door is open. Then grease need to be applied to as much of the gear train as you can without having to take the rods out of the door. Remove end caps using Phillips screwdriver inserted into the holes for that purpose. (Careful not to cross-thread when re-assembling---they're self-tapping, and will strip easily).

The pushbar will slide off by sliding one way to disengage one linkage, then the other way to disengage the other. Push the linkages to observe operation. Four screws hold the base bar to the door. Remove bar so you can mash some grease into the gear assy. which is mostly inside the door.

Lack of lubrication is rarely the sole cause of these type exit devices malfunctioning tho.

 
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08-10-17, 10:49 AM   #10 (permalink)  
First, excellent pictures! Made ID'ing the device a snap.

In addition to things listed by rstripe, steel parts mounted inside an aluminum tube can be a recipe for corrosion. I saw a lot of problems solved by lubricating the top strike.
  1. With the door open, from your ladder, push the actuator (top latch) "fork" around to the locked position. If it is very difficult to do by hand, the actuator needs lubrication. You can use a little non-hardening spray grease. Don't forget the inside of the "fork"; you can see the wear on it.
  2. Holding the actuator fork in the fully locked position, use your foot to depress the push bar and watch the square piece running through the actuator move up and down. It should move freely and go to its lowest position every time.
  3. If you need to adjust the strike (the stud mounted on the frame), before anything else, take a Extra-Fine point Sharpie and trace the outline of the base; that gives you a point of reference when moving the strike. If the door won't latch after adjusting the strike, move the strike away from the pivots (hinges) a little. That keeps the strike from bottoming-out in the "fork".
  4. Sometimes a groove can be worn in the strike and you'll need to rotate the strike to present a smooth working surface.
  5. As rstripe said, there really should be a stop on the threshold. It keeps the bottom of the door in position from the bottom bolt to engage. Many battles fought there!
Installation Manual
Parts Manual (look at Page 26)

The parts shown in the documents above are relatively current (Installation Manual is 5 years old) and your device is at least 30 years old, so there may be some differences.

Don't leave us hanging; share your success!

Good luck.

 
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08-10-17, 03:01 PM   #11 (permalink)  
Rstripe and ThisOldMan,
thank you for the great amount of information you have given me.

There is no threshold stop, just a hole in the threshold. One complaint was sometimes the door bottom swings past the threshold into the room a few inches!
Again the primary system is that you sometimes need to jiggle the door to get the bolt to drop. There does not seem to be any alignment problems.
I printed out the documents.

I tried the top latch fork and it seems to move smoothly, I don't suspect corrosion. There may be a groove in the strike so I will rotate that.
Greg

 
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08-10-17, 08:16 PM   #12 (permalink)  
A correction to my post #9: The square rod locks the latch in place when the door is closed and, by impinging on the lower surface of the latch, it maintains the lower rod elevated to clear the floor/threshold until the door is closed.

Considering the age of this device, does this leaf get more use than the other doors with this type device? Wonder what the average number of daily operations might be, (averaged over the week). So it may just be wearing out. The weak points I've dealt with on this bar are 3:

1) the rod gears behind the center case are riveted to a pot-metal base and will wear out prematurely unless greased every 5 years or so depending on use/environment.

2) The push bar starts to drag on the base bar.

3) On the older models, the end caps were plastic and would break off if hit with a cart, etc. It's common to see old units with external screws holding them on.

Again tho, if the device works good with door propped open, it's strike alignment issue. The top spool strike is installed in an over sized hole, so that when the Allen screw is loosened, (Don't remove! Just loosen) the latch can be re-positioned to a certain degree, then re-tightened.

 
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08-11-17, 10:12 AM   #13 (permalink)  
rstripe,
this leaf does indeed get used the most (right handside looking inward). Probably not much use daily. Are the rod gears used in the closing/locking operation?
thanks,

 
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08-11-17, 10:55 AM   #14 (permalink)  
It could be wind loading if it's just occasional. The loading will change with the direction and wind speed, so there's not a great deal you can do. Or the latch speed of the door closer may be to fast. It doesn't sound like the door is wracked.

With the door closed, if there is any movement from gently pushing on the door, there is no pre-load from the door closer holding the door shut. The door should contact the stop on the header as shown below. Finger-tip pressure should not move the door.
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But looking closely at the 2nd picture in Post #7, am I seeing wear marks in the bottom of the "fork"? (The eyes aren't what they once were!) There really shouldn't be any wear there; if there is, the strike is bottoming-out.

 
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08-11-17, 02:23 PM   #15 (permalink)  
All,
I'm wondering what those 3 small holes are, shown in the last photo of post #7 (bottom third of door)?

thisOldMan,
I will check to see if the strike is bottoming out. I'm wondering which part of the strike is supposed to hit the actuator yoke... is it the cylinder part or the wide cap at the end?

thanks,

 
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08-12-17, 09:52 AM   #16 (permalink)  
Greg,

As for the three holes, hanged if I know.

The Go and No-Go areas are shown in the picture.
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08-15-17, 09:51 AM   #17 (permalink)  
thanks for showing the go / nogo area.
I will be at the site working on this tomorrow.
How do you guys recommend I lube the top yoke? Spray grease, regular grease, any particular brand at Lowes?
thanks

 
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08-15-17, 12:08 PM   #18 (permalink)  
As long as the bar is dogged open for free entrance, the only moving part is the swing-latch; when the bar is un-dogged so the door can lock, the rods and gears will operate as well. the gears are what cause the top rod to go down when the bottom rod comes up.

The 3 small holes are not related to the device.

No type grease in particular. Thicker grease will last longer, that's all. Even a spray lube would be fine, other than WD40.

 
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08-15-17, 12:22 PM   #19 (permalink)  
A note about the geometry of the swing-latch: The orientation I believe is the same on both door leaves (of a double door). As the doors age and begin to sag, the strike spool/stud will come closer to bottoming out in the yoke of the latch (your photo shows this) on one leaf, and will get further from the yoke on the other leaf. In the case of it becoming closer, it may bottom out and hinder the door from fully closing, the effect is that of going "over center" as the door closes. In extreme cases there won't be enough door closing power (without slamming) to overcome the misalignment, and the door will be held slightly open. It's easy to check, you should feel no hesitation as you guide the door slowly closed by hand.

 
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08-15-17, 04:14 PM   #20 (permalink)  
My apologies for the picture on the right; never know how pictures from my current phone will turn out.

Two top pivots are shown below. The pivot on the left is in good shape (that leaf gets little use). The pivot on the right has some wear; the edges on the header and door portions don't line up. Another wear indicator is the wider gap between the door and jamb. The Wider gap between the door and the header is an indication of wear on the bottom pivot.
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There is a good primer on replacing pivots here. Personally, I never had one go that well.

 
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08-15-17, 07:41 PM   #21 (permalink)  
rstripe and ThisOldMan,
thanks for all the recent info !!

I don't recall seeing pivots on the external of the door, but will check tomorrow.
I recall that the other door I worked on at the facility had a couple allen screws to loosen/remove to disconnect the door from the closer. Then could adjust the bottom pivot for door height.

 
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08-17-17, 05:57 PM   #22 (permalink)  
door won't un-dog

All,
Yesterday, we tested the door more than 10 times and could not re-produce the original problem!
The threshold bolt drops every time with good alignment. The strike hits the leaf actuator in a good location.
The closer has sufficient force at any reasonable release point.

Talked to facility again and they said it still has a different problem associated with the dog latching.
Sometimes, when "un-dogging" the panic bar from inside, the movable bar will not pop-out to the locked position.
I found it usually works fine un-dogging it with hex wrench, however when it did stick , I need to shut the door a couple of times to work it loose. OK, let's make this the new issue.

I asked facility how much use that door gets; on average, very little....about 3-5 openings daily , 6 days a week.

Also, remember the 3 little holes on bottom of door, well turns out that used to be the bottom holder of a horizontal blind attached to inside of leaf.
I spray lubricated the yoke and left.
Thanks again and I keep this thread open about the un-dogging issue.

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08-19-17, 03:15 PM   #23 (permalink)  
The newer devices have the dogging mechanism in the middle rather than in the end cap, like your older design has, probably for the very reason that the end cap dogging method was prone to fouling up. I think you can still order a replacement end cap, if you can determine (by removing the end cap) that the messed up part is part of that end cap assembly. I think the detent mechanism was what usually fouled up...

 
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08-20-17, 03:38 PM   #24 (permalink)  
rstripe,
thanks for the feedback on the end cap mechanism/assembly. I will take the bar off next time over there.

 
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08-20-17, 08:50 PM   #25 (permalink)  
No need to remove the whole bar, just the end cap, so you can examine the dogging do-dad. (that's Southern for Gizmo)

 
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08-21-17, 01:38 PM   #26 (permalink)  
Just thank your lucky stars you don't have one of the originals with the pentagonal plastic dogging stud and wrench.
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Of course if it were one of those, we wouldn't be talking about it now since they bit the dust rather quickly.

 
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08-21-17, 08:39 PM   #27 (permalink)  
Yeah, the old plastic dogging cam in plastic end cap messed up all the time, so they went to a metal dogging cam, still in a plastic end cap, and that wasn't much improvement, so they said, the hell with it, moved the cam to the middle of the bar and changed to metal end caps. Finally got something that'll last a while.

 
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