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Old 01-25-2021, 12:09 PM
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Default Door Latching Problem- Solved by Conversion to Electric!

I have replaced the door latches on my 68 with later (74?) latches that I cleaned and lubed with lithium grease. Before replacing the latches, the doors closed pretty poorly. They would "bounce" open (from fully closed) about a 1/2 inch before the latch would catch.

Without changing anything else, I replaced the latches. Now you have to lean into the door and body slam it to get it to latch. If you try to close the door normally, most of the time it just bounces open. On the bench, these latches work really well. I have not found any information about rebuilding these latches.

The hinges are tight (new bushings), the doors are aligned with the latch.
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Old 01-26-2021, 02:52 AM
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With no latch (or striker) can you easily close the door? Meaning the door and quarter panel are flush?
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:58 PM
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Chris, I do have the seal in the door. When I was aligning the door last summer I didn't have the striker in it and I sort of recall that you really couldn't push the door completely closed (flush) with the seal in there. I've been leaving the doors open when working on it for the past year and it's been pretty cold in the garage recently. Maybe leaving the doors open allowed the seal to relax and the cold stiffens it?

Had some time to mess with it today and I heated the door/seal area with a space heater and closed it. I will leave it like that and see how it goes tomorrow.

You have a 68 right? Are you going to get rid of the 68 latching?
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Old 01-26-2021, 10:48 PM
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Mine is a 69. I think the seals may be your problem. I remember my doors were very hard to close after new seals were installed. I actually had to trim mine back in some places to get it to work. I have heard that there are better weatherstrip kits than others, Iím sure Geoff knows which ones are the better/ softer ones.

Another thing to check is to make sure that your latches are catching on the second click. The doors will never close correctly if the latch only clicks one time to pull the door flush to the quarter.
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Old 01-27-2021, 01:44 PM
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Well I tried it this morning and both doors work better. By better, I mean its marginally acceptable. Took a look at the position of the striker bolt nested in the lock and it looks positioned pretty well. However I have been unable to find the original type of striker bolts with a roller.



I have bought a couple of these and when they show up, the are just a solid bolt. I understand that these are an improvement.

Another looming problem is replacing the 68 latch. The 68 door latch has a lock cylinder button that you push with your thumb while simultaneously pulling with your fingers on the top handle. It's a bitch.

I thought you could put a 69-up latch handle where the 68 was. No way. So now I'm thinking of using the 68 latch, put a switch in the handle somewhere which triggers a solenoid (to unlatch).

Problem solved right? No, I was not planning on electric in the doors and there are no holes in the door to run a conduit between the door and the hinge pillar.

I've been looking at some contacts that you can sandwich between door and the pillar but they have a pretty poor reputation and I think are discontinued.



Any ideas out there?
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Old 01-27-2021, 02:19 PM
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If you softly close the doors (i know this is not really possible given your current problem), can you feel/hear the latch click twice?

Ive had some 68's in here with doors you could close with a finger. The weatherstrip was probably 30+ years old, but the latch mechanism worked fine, and was only troublesome to someone who didnt understand how to open those doors. Id stay away from adding complexity with a solenoid.
The way I look at it is if you cant get your door to close with no latch or striker, its the weatherstrip.

If you want to put electric in the doors, I want to say my car only had a plastic plug in the birdcage where the boot goes in. I dont remember what was on the door side. Otherwise, I think it was dakota digital that made some nicer contact style pins to avoid running a boot.
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:49 PM
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yeah, no plugs in mine. It's a very early production car (Nov. 67). Probably no electric door option at that time. I think I have a pretty good/reliable plan for the solenoid and I can change the lock cylinder to an electric switch which will allow me to "lock" the door from the outside. An I can still keep the mechanical latch on the inside.

The biggest challenge might be electrifying the door. I checked out the Dakota Digital pin connectors. That is how the cargo doors on my old Tahoe are done and they are surprisingly reliable. I think I have cleaned them twice in the last 20 years.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBShark View Post
Well I tried it this morning and both doors work better. By better, I mean its marginally acceptable. Took a look at the position of the striker bolt nested in the lock and it looks positioned pretty well. However I have been unable to find the original type of striker bolts with a roller.



I have bought a couple of these and when they show up, the are just a solid bolt. I understand that these are an improvement.

Another looming problem is replacing the 68 latch. The 68 door latch has a lock cylinder button that you push with your thumb while simultaneously pulling with your fingers on the top handle. It's a bitch.

I thought you could put a 69-up latch handle where the 68 was. No way. So now I'm thinking of using the 68 latch, put a switch in the handle somewhere which triggers a solenoid (to unlatch).

Problem solved right? No, I was not planning on electric in the doors and there are no holes in the door to run a conduit between the door and the hinge pillar.

I've been looking at some contacts that you can sandwich between door and the pillar but they have a pretty poor reputation and I think are discontinued.
I finally received the proper latch pins (above). I can't really say they have improved the latching but it is acceptable now.

I also got the Dakota Digital contacts. They recommend that you mate these two together and I don't think that is a great idea. I am going to make a contact plate (like the cargo doors on my Tahoe) so that I can get wiping action from the contacts to insure they are making good contact.

Also worked out the solenoid latching with a Spal solenoid. The lever that opens the latch takes about 15-20lbs of force to unlatch! Thats probably why every C3 control rod I've seen is bent and the handle is broken. I'm going to experiment with a spring/preload on this control rod. I think that may also make it easier to latch.

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Old 02-28-2021, 07:21 PM
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Sounds like a cool plan! Are you going to put the switch on the handle or the button?
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:36 PM
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the original idea was to use 69-up latches and handles. I rebuilt the later latches but found there is no way to retrofit the 69-up handles in the 68 doors. So I am going to add a switch to the handles that trigger a solenoid to a Spal door popper. The push button will be replaced with a keyed switch in series with the handle switch. So the doors will be locked electrically.



The inside latch handle will also operate the Spal solenoid but the mechanical function will still be there. So, should I lose power I can still get the door open.

The complication is, I see custom door panels in my future!

I hesitated to do this but modern cars have all kinds of electric in the doors. Even electric latches. I wouldn't know, my daily driver is 24 years old.
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