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Mini-Heki DIY repair

Nov 19, 2010
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Am I just heavy-handed, or is the mechanism of the internal frame of these things particularly fragile?
After five trouble-free years, I've had the same issue twice now. The internal frame of a Mini-Heki includes the corrugated blind & flyscreen, each of which you just pull across manually. There's a system of four strings inside the frame which keeps everything smooth and even.
I heard a crack while operating it, and found one of these strings hanging loose, diagonally across the opening. The internal frame is just clipped in place, so I popped it off to have a look. Turns out each string is kept in place by two plastic tabs, which are moulded as part of the leading bars of the blind and flyscreen. It was one of these tabs which had broken off.
In spite of the frame having numerous removable moving parts, turns out you can only buy the whole frame, so I couldn't buy a replacement for the actual broken bit. So I started looking for a way to "fix" it. Sure enough, I found a place where I could run a piece of wire round the plastic bar, to anchor the string exactly where the plastic tab used to hold it. Clipped the frame back in place, and Bob's your uncle.
A little while later the same thing happened again. at first, i assumed my repair hadn't been so wonderful after all, but when I removed the frame again I found my bit of wire still in place and doing its job. It was another plastic tab, off another corner, which had broken!
So today I've doen the same fix on that second corner, and all seems fine again.
Call me a cheapskate, but I resent being asked to pay out for a whole expensive bit of kit just because the manufacturers choose not to sell parts separately. If anyone has the same problem, and wants a more detailed description I'll quite happily e-mail it - just ask on here. You don't need to publish your e-m address, as a Mod I can access that (but of course I don't, unless you ask me to!).
 

gjh

Jul 28, 2011
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Well done Tony. I hate not being able to buy simple spares as well. Do we see a manufacturing and marketing opportunity arising to boost the Essex economy?
 
Nov 19, 2010
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Hmmm . hadn't thought of that Graham.
But I DO get annoyed when manufactures not only use non-repairable plastic for "structural" components, but also refuse to let you buy the broken bit on its own, even though it's removable!
Pauline (PJay, over on the "dark side") suggested I e-mail the manufacturers, which I've done (even though they're now in Sweden). Won't hold my breath though!
 
May 25, 2015
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Hi Tony

Sorry,I am on the dark side, a caravan, but have the same issue.

As you say, one of the tabs on the 'blind' side has broken, but on taking the unit down, both strings pinged out. Can you let me have any details you have please, maybe if you have a pic of the repair,and of how the strings thread?

Forever in your debt!!!
 
Nov 19, 2010
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Hi Mike, welcome.
And don't put yourself down, caravanning isn't the "dark side," just a different choice! I was referring to another forum altogether.
It's a while since I did this repair, so as soon as I have time (later in the week) I'll have another look to refresh my memory, and try to photograph the setup. As a Mod, I can access the e-m address you registered with, is it ok if I use it for this?
 
Jan 23, 2011
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Rather than you being heavy handed Tony, I suspect they have gone brittle in the sun especially as you are regulars to the hotter climes a la France.
 
Nov 19, 2010
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Could be, John - but still raises questions about manufacturers' choice of materials & spare parts policy, not to mention "fitness for purpose" since a rooflight is supposed to be in the sunshine!
It seems mine isn't an isolated case though, so maybe I should look into whether there's somewhere on the PMH website where I can put details of my DIY repair. LIZZIE? KATE?
 
May 25, 2015
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Sorry Tony, mistakenly answered the email advice. Silly me! Yes, quite happy for you to respond direct to my email....be good to get it fixed.
 

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"Lowry scores 35, DeRozan has 28, Raptors beat Heat 116-89
TORONTO (AP) — Kyle Lowry scored 35 points, DeMar DeRozan had 28 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Miami Heat 116-89 on Sunday in Game 7 to reach the conference finals for the first time in franchise history.

Bismack Biyombo added 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Raptors. They'll open the Eastern Conference Finals in Cleveland against LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Toronto fans chanted 'We Want Cleveland!' in the seconds.

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DeMarre Carroll scored 14 points, and Patrick Patterson had 11 to help the Raptors become the 15th team in NBA history to win two Game 7s in one postseason. Toronto beat Indiana in the first round.

Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic each scored 16 points for the Heat. They were denied the opportunity to renew acquaintances with former teammate James in the conference finals
But after Toronto dominated the Heat in the second half and rode the superior play of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to a 116-89 romp, the Raptors won the series 4-3 and advanced to its first East Finals. For once, they did not underachieve. They played like a team that had won 56 games in the regular-season. They’ve been in existence since 1995-96 and had been out of the first round just once before this spring. Before Sunday’s rout of the Heat, they had been mostly known through the years for losing big playoff games, often at home.

So Canada loves it, but basketball fans won’t be able to see the Heat try to exact some revenge against James for leaving Miami two years ago as a free agent. Even James admitted during the second-round series against Atlanta that he wanted to play Wade, his old teammate, for the right to get to the Finals."
grhtrh
 
Apr 11, 2018
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I realise this a old post but I have the same problem as the OP and would love to know how to repair it, don't really want to spend £80 just because the manufacturer won't supply spare parts!

Please feel free to access my email addy.
 
Apr 11, 2018
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All sorted. Drilled a tiny hole under the broken plastic peg and used a paper clip to repair it, works a treat and far better than spending £80+ on a new blind ;)
 
Jul 2, 2018
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I have the same problem with the string coming away on my mini heki rooflight blind and would appreciate a few tips on how to sort this out without buying a whole new unit. Also, any ideas on where I can get a length of the rubber seal that goes around the rooflight. Cheers, Terry
 
Nov 19, 2010
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Hi Stumpy, welcome.
As you'll see from the dates, it was a few years ago I did this, and I don't have that van anymore.
But from memory, if you "pop off" the whole inner frame, without dislodging the strings which are still in place, you'll find that the strings are routed round plastic protrusions on each end of both the blind and the flyscreen (ie four in all). One of those will have broken, leaving the string loose.
The trick is to inspect the "good" ones to see where to route the string correctly, and use a bit of wire to hold it in place, where the broken bit of plastic used to be.
That's about the best I can offer now, sorry!
 
Jul 2, 2018
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Hi Tony, thanks for the advice about fixing the strings where the plastic tab has broken. I've been avoiding the problem since I found the price of a replacement .Cheers Stumpy
 
Jul 19, 2018
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Hi. I have had the same problem. Could you e mail me how you managed to get the strings to stay in place, as I’ve tried all sorts but to no avail.
Pictures would be good if at all possible.

Many Thanks
 
Nov 19, 2010
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As I said, I don't have that van anymore, or any photos. Basically, it was a matter of examining the unbroken corners to see where the string was supposed to be routed, around the plastic lugs, then, where the lug was broken, I wound a bit of wire round the frame to hold the string in the same place.
Sorry I can't be more precise! Hope you get it sorted.
 

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