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Thread: Door latch

  1. #1
    Aspen and Volare Senior Member doublechaz's Avatar
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    Door latch

    This just started. When I shut the driver's door it often doesn't latch and bounces back open. Lube didn't help. The catch seems to work fine when I push it with my finger. Is this one of those problems that all the classic car guys know about? My only thought so far after lube is that the door is swinging a little low from the old hinges. Is the hinge rebuild and install my fix or will I be taking the door apart?

    Thanks.

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    Aspen and Volare Super Member 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    You are most likely on the correct path as long as the latch seems to be functioning ok. I`m pretty sure the hinges are probably worn allowing the door to drop some. If you hold up on the door when closing does it close then? You can move the striker some but then the door might not line up well after that. The hinge would have to be removed to fix it. Some people drill out the for bushings and others weld up the worn holes. No bushings from the factory that I recall. There was a guy that worked at a body shop that showed me a quick trick to fix a droopy door on my Camaro back when i was a youngster. I don`t recommend it but he would take a piece of wood and place it at the bottom of the door (with the door open)and then put a floor jack under it. Then he would pump up the jack some to tweak the hinges some. It was a temporary fix at best.

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    Aspen and Volare Super Member 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    BTW, if you end up needing a hinge the NOS hinges are impossible to find. Jim may have some good used ones or as said you could repair them.

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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    On my Aspen, I got a hinge pin and bushing kit. Not sure if it was specifically for Chrysler or not, I went with dimensions. You need to CAREFULLY drill the pin holes larger to accept the bronze bushings. They need to be just big enough so the bushings are a light press fit. Anyways, the door went from dropping an inch to solid as can be. Did the passenger side also while the car was apart, just because.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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    Aspen and Volare Senior Member doublechaz's Avatar
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    I have a set of hinges already, but I figured on checking and fixing the pins, stipping and painting them before they go in. It just turns out I have to push that to the front of the list. I'll have to wait until I get my engine crane back. That's better news to me than pulling all the guts out of the door and messing with something. For some reason I just hate getting inside doors.

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    Aspen and Volare Senior Member doublechaz's Avatar
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    I've been too ill (gotta love people coming to work when they know they are sick so everyone else can share) to work on it, but I did check and there is about 3/8 inch of vertical movement at the back of the door from the hinge pins being shot. I was going to try to bandaid it for now by moving the catch, but mine doesn't have torx screws, it has badly painted over #3 philips. I don't have that #3 driver, nor the will to dig the paint out just now.

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    Aspen and Volare Super Member 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    You move the striker not the latch.

  8. #8
    Aspen and Volare Senior Member doublechaz's Avatar
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    So reasons.... This isn't done yet.

    But question: Lately the door sometimes pops completely open when driving over bumps. Does anyone know for sure if this is still within the idea of the hinges being shot? (Probably more shot than anyone has let theirs get) Or is there something else wrong?

    I haven't looked for a few weeks, but last I knew there was no sign of rust in the frame rails up front. Also, last I was under there I didn't have any cracked welds. I suppose I should go check again, but I don't expect that either of these has changed. I do know the door is hitting about 1/4 inch lower than it should. Also, the passenger front door is as good as it was coming off the line in 76.

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    Aspen and Volare Super Member 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    sounds like the latch in the door is broke.

  10. #10
    Aspen and Volare Senior Member doublechaz's Avatar
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    I was thinking the latch had a problem. Do you think the latch could be broken in such a way that it works correctly 25% of the time. Nearly correctly (on the safety catch) 74% of the time, and fails completely 1% of the time?

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