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Oct 21 2016

FF: Closer Conundrum

Category: Door Closers,Fixed-it FridayLori @ 12:32 am Comments (34)

Alec Walsh of Allegion sent me this Fixed-it Friday photo and we’re both scratching our heads wondering what would cause someone to install a closer in this manner.  Any ideas?


34 Responses to “FF: Closer Conundrum”

  1. lach says:

    Maybe they had the wrong screw pack and it pulled out from the door so they had to through bolt it with what they had on hand. Except what they had on hand was to long to they improvised. But that’s just my best guess.

  2. John Payson says:

    My first guess would be that the housing wasn’t designed for the particular closer that was used but even that hacked up mess was considered better than leaving the closer exposed (perhaps the closer had parts that were subject to tampering, e.g. an adjustment valve that pranksters kept opening to let the door slam).

    My second guess (I’m not familiar with all the ways closers are mounted, so you’d have to tell me if this is plausible) would be that the closer might have been designed with a recess for a nut or bolt head which would have required that the shaft of the fastener rotate, but this door had carriage bolts or other fasteners–perhaps previously used with some other closer–that couldn’t be rotated nor removed. The fasteners thus projected further out from the door than the design of the housing would accommodate.

  3. MartinB (aka lauxmyth) says:

    Willing to put money down the other side of the door has carriage bolt heads. Given that, I am assuming the history of this wood door is that the original installer botched the wood screw mounts and they were able to move slightly and pull out. Since you can not move that PA over a 1/2 inch, you have to use those holes and thru bolts work with the nylon nuts shown. Of course, these sit high instead of tucking into the countersinks so the cover was ‘modified’.

  4. Scott Foley says:

    “Closer says” yea I look pretty bad , but you should see the other guy 🙂

  5. Mike Elia says:

    Stripped the original screw holes, and thru bolted it? But why thru the cover? Darned good question… LOL

  6. Ryan Johnson says:

    I would bet that the screws pulled out of the PC door, so they went to Home Depot and got some through-bolts. The heads were much bigger so they drilled out the closer cover. Wouldn’t it look better if without the cover at this point?

  7. Ryan Johnson says:

    I would bet that the screws pulled out of the PC door, so they went to Home Depot and got some through-bolts. The heads were much bigger so they drilled out the closer cover. Don’t you think it would look better without the cover at this point?

  8. Misha Burnett says:

    Demonic possession is my guess.

  9. Al97233 says:

    My guess is the original mounting was done without using the thru-bolts and the closer was pulled off the door. Some maintenance person just used some carriage bolts they had instead of sex bolts and the cover would not install over the nuts he used so this was the next best thing. I have seen much worse.

  10. Toby says:

    Nothing beats a good thru bolt project!

  11. Raymond Holman, AHC says:

    Looks like they lost the original fasteners (or maybe they were wood screws and pulled out) so they went down to Home Depot to replace them. The bolts have been cut to length so not to extend so far beyond the nuts (you can see rust from non-plated material and they look uneven). I’d love to see a picture of the other side. Did they use carriage bolts, hex head, …?

  12. Keith says:


  13. Jason says:

    Must have kept tearing off the door, so they “fixed” that once and for all.

  14. Wally Berry says:

    I would think there might be a couple reasons.
    1) Improperly specified core, they tried to surface mount, core cracked and closer fell off. Then they tried reinstalling, however the mounting hole locations were weak, so they made new ones.
    2) They did not mount the closer in the proper location, and after moving too many times, used all the available structural portion of the door, thus having to create new holes.
    3) They are cheap! The hardware had been on there forever, finally something happened (Pulled off, fell off)… And instead of buying a new door, they creatively reinstalled the existing closer in the original door.
    4) Installer had no shorter bolts, and improvised….
    5) This could be their interpretation of “Thru-Bolt”….

  15. Jerry Richmond, AHC/CDC says:

    It’s a “no brainer”… the installer has no brains!

  16. Derrick Riding says:

    It looks like it is though bolted from the opposite side with something like a stove bolt.
    If only they included nice fasteners with the hardware. Oh we threw those out.

  17. David Webb says:

    Didn’t have sex bolts??

  18. Eric says:

    The factory screws broke so they through-bolted them with allthread?

  19. Robert says:

    Oh That’s easy
    those are though bolts of course just makes sense the bolts goes right though cover and all 🙂

  20. COMPLETE DOOR & LOCK says:

    Both myself and the guy who installed this! Guess they’ve never seen a thru-bolt.

  21. David Scott Kenyon says:

    One has to wonder what happened to the screws that were provide with the closer unit? Perhaps this was a retrofit application – non-the-less why use nails to attach the closer to the door? Perhaps because the door is wood door. I think someone had a screw loose on this one.

  22. Tom chin says:

    That would be the weekend locksmiths that use what ever they had in their bag of tricks to get paid.
    Note that is a secure thru-bolted option for a wood door.
    Hope that wasn’t in a healthcare facility, as I have see this type of work before in areas like that.

  23. David Coughlin says:

    Nothing kind comes to mind.

  24. Rich says:

    First thing that comes to mind is a deficiency in talent. I would guess the closer screws were torn out of the door and they didn’t have the proper sex bolts. It would seem the door and closer were over-drilled for large carriage bolts with nuts on the closer side and then the cover wouldn’t fit. I can almost envision a plate on the other side of the door with through studs welded in place to sandwich the door together. Workable solution, but ugly and showing the lack of talent.

  25. Joel Niemi says:

    Couldn’t get the cover off?

  26. ANGELO PIOLI Jr. says:

    Probably ripped out of door and don’t know what sex bolts are.

  27. Pete Schifferli says:

    Wood screws likely came loose from the door and instead of attaching the closer body properly with thru bolts and grommet nuts (not sex bolts for a wood door), some “handyman” went to the big box store and bought machine screws and nuts. For some reason or not, they placed the nuts on the closer body rather than the opposite side of the door and then found they wouldn’t allow the dress cover to fit, so they cut clearance holes!

  28. DAVID FEDERICO says:

    Looks like some one thru bolted the LCN 4014 LH and forgot to remove the cover as they were drilling from the opposite side as indicated by the rough hole opening in the plastic cover . Had it been drilled from the cover side the holes would be a lot smoother .. LOL Either that or the cover kept falling off ..LOL They do look like the nylon lock nuts commonly used to prevent the nut from backing off from vibration

  29. Bryan McKeehan says:

    Screws tore out of the door and mr. maintenance grabbed four 1/4-20 carriage bolts and nuts and remounted the closer, set the cover in place, tapped the face of cover to mark the projecting bolt locations and then drilled the cover to clear the bolts. Mount cover, problem solved. Aesthetics be damned!!

  30. Paul Goldense says:

    Someone probably used “Carriage Bolts” which have their head on the pull side so the nuts have to be on the push side. Carriage bolts will not pull thru the door which was probably because its is a gyp core fire door without blocking.

  31. Jess The Door Closer Doctor says:

    this is result of thru bolting the closer with carriage bolts and nuts, the holes in cover are to accomodate the thickness of the nuts between closer body and plastic cover,

    I have seen about 5 of the closers mounted this way at the technical school I went to for 3 years, accept they left the threaded rod of the bolt sticking out.

    I would not be shocked if there is a hole at the end of the cover and 3 more holes to adjust the closer,

    he cover is not protecting much if there is holes for bolts (and maybe valves) other then to hide the “block and tube” industrial look of the 4111.

  32. David Barbaree says:

    Let’s see….I’m a maintenance tech and I found this closer falling off the door because the original installer used wood screws, or worse, the self tapping screws for metal doors instead of the factory provided sex bolts and machine screws.

    How can I fix this?

    I don’t have any factory provided sex-bolts….
    I don’t have any factory provided flathead 1/4-20 screws…

    Hey, but I DO have these 3″ long carriage bolts and nylon-lock nuts!

    Whaaaa? Now the cover won’t fit back on!

    Hey, I DO have this handy wood spade bit!

    I’m feeling very proud of my resourcefulness right now……

  33. David Barbaree says:


    Those would be 5″ carriage bolts…

  34. Ken Davis says:

    Never seen bolts through the cover like that, excuse me i still laughing. looks like a sergeant 350 series or LCN 4010 series. Just when you think you have seen it all,LOL.

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