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Keeping doors closed

Brakin80

Senior Member
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It's a bit hair raising to pull through a turn and have the door fly open. We've noted that the door latch pin only gets as far as the safety catch on the striker with the doors closed. The door to body alignment is good. We pulled the striker off to ensure that it would mate up with the latch pin properly only to find that the latch opening in the body work of the door was too narrow to receive the striker. Which leads me to believe that the latch is set too far out to allow the striker to engage. If we could bring the latching mechanism closer to the inner panel it would probably work. Was wondering if anyone had any suggestions before we take the door guts apart. That being said, any suggestions on order of disassembly of the door panels and mechanisms would help. It's a 1960 BN7. Thanks.
 

Keoke

Great Pumpkin
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HI Bkn80, if you can move the other mechanism out a bit this is the same as moving the latching mechanism in,Also be sure the draugth excluders are not keeping the door from moving farther in??--Fwiw---Keoke
 

Dave Russell

Yoda - R.I.P
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I guess I'm a little dense, don't quite understand your description.

If, when the door is fully closed & it lines up with it's surrounding edges, & the pin is not inboard far enough to engage the striker hole, move the striker outboard until it's hole lines up with the pin. The holes in the door post for the striker screws are slotted to permit adjustment if the screws are loosened. The screws go into a separate threaded back plate which you can see from the fender well. If the holes are not slotted far enough, use a rat tail file to move the slots. Since the striker itself is also tapered in the fore & aft plane, it could be shimmed further from it's mounting plate. Or the striker plate itself could be shimmed out from the inside door trim plate.

If this is not the problem, the latching mechanism in the door could be shimmed a bit as needed.

I don't understand the part about the latch opening being "too narrow" unless it's related to the striker fore/aft taper. It is tapered in two planes.

Not sure if I have helped or not,
D
 
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Brakin80

Senior Member
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Moving the striker out only causes it to 'wedge' into the tapered hole in the door. The latch pin is not inboard far enough in the door. Is there a way to get the mechanism inboard more?
 

Dave Russell

Yoda - R.I.P
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[ QUOTE ]
Moving the striker out only causes it to 'wedge' into the tapered hole in the door. The latch pin is not inboard far enough in the door. Is there a way to get the mechanism inboard more?

[/ QUOTE ]
Ok, I understand. Yes, there "may" be a way. It appears that something is non-standard in the striker dimensions, the latch dimensions, or the door dimensions.

Not only is the the hole in the door tapered but the latch assembly opening itself is tapered, actually a dovetail shape to match the striker dovetail, which limits engagement depth of the striker/pin & the latch assembly. This means that moving latch assembly inboard will not help as the striker wedge will still bottom out in the latch dovetailed opening.

The latch mechanism itself is mounted to a U shaped bracket. This bracket is mounted to the inner door panel with two screws on top & two on the bottom. Top two are hard to get at the nuts above the U bracket, especially the rear one.

The only ways I can see to get more engagement depth is to either narrow the striker taper, which screws up the chrome, or enlarge the latch dovetail width, probably best.

Another possibility would be to simply egg shape the striker pin hole until it will engage the pin. Not a good idea.

If you are sure that the door will line up with the surrounding metal if the latch is fully engaged, this is the only way I can see to solve the problem. Sometimes, the pin hole in the latch is worn enough to give lost motion of the pin. Worth checking. Maybe if you get the latch & the striker out where you can see exactly what is happening, you can get a better idea of what is needed.
D
 

Keoke

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Hi Dave/BRN80 I think I know what the problem is.That slotted piece that the pin slides into and rotates to the lock position is very worn so that it can move on its own shaft. Consequently, it never reaches the lock position. A fix is to press all the way down on that slotted piece and then tack weld it to its shaft.---Fwiw---Keoke
 

Dave Russell

Yoda - R.I.P
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Hi Keoke & 80,
I considered this, there are several places in the latch mechanism that can give lost motion. Some of them can be tightened up if the casting is not broken. I discarded this solution because 80 specifically said that the striker was not engaging into the dovetail far enough for the pin to line up with it's intended inboard hole. I'm only going by what 80 said. The pin is spring returned to it's fully extended position so lost motion would normally show up as a failure to unlatch. This should be easy enough to check, as I think, the pin should extend out of the latch housing by .230" to .250" when the door is open. If it does not extend this far, the inside "pull bar" may be kinked so that it is limiting return motion, or the end of the pin might be worn. The pin should retract to near flush with the housing when the handles are operated.
D

80,
BTW, once the screws holding the latch to the door are removed, the latch can be swung down to disengage the remote handle pull bar, the hole is slotted to permit disengagement.
D
 

Keoke

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Yeah Dave, I had to mull over the failure description too for a bit.But that shaft is quite soft and over the years the square corners get rounded off creating the lost motion.By the way who has the correct Bypass 160 Deg Thermostat??I have the original 180 units but its too warm out here for them.---Keoke
 

Dave Russell

Yoda - R.I.P
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Hi Keoke,
British Car Specialists claims to have the bypass type of thermostat. They don't say which temperature though.
Moss shows a 160 with sleeve, # 434-155.
Fortunately my BN2 does not have a bypass, so no need for one. The heater, when, it's valves are turned on serves as a bypass. With valves off - no bypass except for a small hole that I drilled in the thermostat flange.
D
 

Keoke

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OK Dave, Moss has a hard time getting things right so I will check David out next week. Thanks ---Keoke
 
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Brakin80

Senior Member
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The striker and latch mechanism appear as though they would engage each other. It's not the dovetail of the mechanism that is causing the problem. It's the tapered hole/slot in the door. It's because the latch mechanism is too far outboard at the narrow end of the hole in the door. So is there a way to get the latch mechanism to move inboard inside the door. I know, it's an odd one.
 

Keoke

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BRKN80
They do engage each other but I Think there is so much lost motion it will not move to the lock position. pretty common problem with these old worn mechanisms.---Keoke
OH here is a way to check it.With the latch mechanism firmly bolted down,grab the slotted piece and see if it wiggles in and out. If it does thats your problem it can not move at all given the limited travel of the closing door.
One more test while its bolted down.Apply pressure to the slotted piece moving it towards the inside of the car .You should hear two distinct clicks. First safety latch position second lock position.
 

Dave Russell

Yoda - R.I.P
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[ QUOTE ]
It's because the latch mechanism is too far outboard at the narrow end of the hole in the door. So is there a way to get the latch mechanism to move inboard inside the door. I know, it's an odd one.

[/ QUOTE ]

There may be a way. Remove the latch mechanism with it's mounting bracket & see if something can be moved, shimmed, to get it further inboard. You are going to have to take it out anyway. Also consider enlarging the tapered slot in the door face until the dovetail will go far enough to engage the pin. Normally, the tapered door slot is noticeably wider than the latch dovetail slot & should not cause a problem. If you get it to latch, final door alignment can be done by moving the dovetail post in it's slotted mounting holes.Yes, it certainly IS an odd one.
D
 

Dave Russell

Yoda - R.I.P
Gold
Offline
[ QUOTE ]
BRKN80
They do engage each other but I Think there is so much lost motion it will not move to the lock position. pretty common problem with these old worn mechanisms.---Keoke
OH here is a way to check it.With the latch mechanism firmly bolted down,grab the slotted piece and see if it wiggles in and out. If it does thats your problem it can not move at all given the limited travel of the closing door.
One more test while its bolted down.Apply pressure to the slotted piece moving it towards the inside of the car .You should hear two distinct clicks. First safety latch position second lock position.

[/ QUOTE ]
Keoke,
We may be talking about different latch designs. The way I understand it, it is not the BJ7, BJ8 design & not the BN2 design, but a variation that is much more like the BN2. The latch bolt is a simple round sliding pin with a chamfered end that engages a corresponding round hole in the striker. There are certainly enough differences of terminology in this discussion to confuse anyone. I can't recognize anything in your description that matches the type of latch that I think 80 has. What slotted piece are you referring to? Who's on first? I'm lost!
D
 

Keoke

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Yeah, If its not like BJ8 I do not know what is wrong with it . But it certainly would not have left the factory that way.---Keoke
 

Richard_Trocchia

Freshman Member
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I installed a new shut face. The pasanger door is fine but the driver side is a problem. The latch does not engage the striker fully and the door then is only on safty latch. I have tried everything to reposition. I broke the roll up window tring to give the door a little extra shove. The shut face (Moss) I think is the sourse of the problem. IShould I rip it out and try something else? R.Trocchia
 

Dave Russell

Yoda - R.I.P
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Hi Richard,
On the older style Healey latches & even on modern cars, the striker is adjustable for position on the shut face. (slotted holes for the mounting screws on the shut face) Even my Toyota has this adjustment. Not so with your latches? Maybe you need to lengthen the shut face slots a bit. Or if there are no slots, make some.

For some reason, on my BN2, I had to lengthen the slots a bit to move the striker to where the door would correctly latch & still be flush with the body.
D
 

Keoke

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Hi Richard, I take it that your car is a BJ. I would not go to all the trouble to remove the shut face panel at this time.If you have not glued the Draught excluder in try removing it and getting the lock to go to the lock position. Also as I mentioned earlier the slotted part that the pin engages and rotates to the safety and lock position can be worn to the point it may require welding to position it on its shaft correctly.---Let me know how you fare---Keoke
 
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