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Old 10-25-2009, 10:14 PM
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37 ford door latch

hello im new to this site,i got a question on bear claw latches,just got a 37 ford truck with bear claws already installed,ive never worked on these latches before i looked under the search archive seen a bunch of questions regarding using bear claws with exterior handles my question, is there any adjustment on this assembly i have read you will hear two latches as doors closing i am hearing nothing i have to slam the door extermly hard to get door to shut on drivers side and passenger side wont usually close until you slam shut several times have set inside and try to shut door slow to make sure everything lines up and everything looks straight on. My guess would be the pin is to far back but like i said i have never worked with these latches ever so any info would be greatly appericated.

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Old 10-27-2009, 08:03 AM
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needs adjustment.

sometimes the latches are set before weatherstrips and bumpers are installed. You might have to do some rework if there is not enough adjustment left.
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Old 10-27-2009, 03:39 PM
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If you have to slam the doors there is definitely something not right. First thing I would do is make adjustments to the striker bolt. Is the striker bolt mounted in a way that allows for adjustment? If so, move it out toward the door. Before you move the striker bolt you should index it using masking tape. Marking where it sits now will allow you to see how far you are moving it. Sometimes it takes very little movement to make a big difference. Are your door gaskets hollow core or solid? Is the door aligned properly? There are often several factors that you run into when dealing with doors like this. Try the easy things and if they do not work take the striker completely out and hold the door closed with your hand. You can often tell what is going on best when the striker is not there to "self-adjust" the door. With no striker you should still be able to line up body lines and achieve panel "flushness". If you have to push against the door gasket very hard to get the panels flush then you can try to source out different gaskets. Hollow gaskets are better as they have some give to them, but still seal off. If the problem is in your door you will know it when you close it with no striker in it. Get the door to fit the hole with gaskets in and no striker. Once you have it how you like it bring the striker back into the picture. Good luck and let us know how things turn out.
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:05 PM
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bear claws on a 37 ford

there is no gaskets inside yet, there not the adjustable striker bolts,body line is maybe a eightth inch off, if that after already adjusting that last weekend,when i close the door from sitting inside and watch with flashlight strker bolt looks directly in center of bear claw,will try the masking tape trick tonight,thats a great idea.thanks for all the help appreciate very much.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:12 PM
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Is this a steel body? If the stock dovetails are still in place they will fight the bearclaws unless they are in perfect alignment with each other. Try taking the dovetail off then aligning the latch and striker so the door shuts perfectly, then reinstall and adjust the dovetails so they are in alignment when the door is shut.

later, mikey
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:27 PM
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bear claws on a37 ford

yes sir it is a steel body, this might be a dumb question,are the dovetails the claws in the latch?thans for any info.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:44 AM
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"dovetails" are the original type door guides that may interfere with the bear claws. some people remove them when using bear claw latches.

I did a quick search but could not find a good pic of dovetails
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FASTFORD
"dovetails" are the original type door guides that may interfere with the bear claws. some people remove them when using bear claw latches.

I did a quick search but could not find a good pic of dovetails
Please forgive the cell phone quality, but here ya go:
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:04 AM
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BTW...that is the "male" dovetail, a "female" counterpart will be on the jamb/pillar...for those that may not know.

Last edited by FASTFORD; 10-28-2009 at 08:39 AM. Reason: to eliminate any confusion...
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:14 AM
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That picture is the door. The female portion is on the pillar of the car.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:37 AM
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thank you...in my haste I believed I was looking at the pillar
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:42 AM
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That dovetail is oriented correctly, the model a and t had the female dovetail in the door.

The dovetails served 2 functions, they put outward pressure on the door to prevent rattling, as there were no proper weatherstrips on those early cars, ( the piping on the interior served as a seal...sort of), and they aligned the door vertically. The standard slam latch has a block that could move up and down across the face of the striker, and depended on the dovetail to align the door vertically. When you put a bearclaw latch in the door, the bearclaw needs to be aligned both vertically and and laterally with the striker bolt when the panels line up., If the male dovetail's centerline is farther away from the latch centerline than the female dovetail,(or vice-versa), then the springs in the dovetail will want to force the door in a direction that the latch will not accomodate easily, and the door will not shut easily.

As Fastford stated, many folks remove the dovetails and put a easily compressable weatherstrip. Installing a weatherstrip and a bearclaw latch makes the dovetails unnecessary.

Later, mikey
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:29 AM
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You guys really know your stuff.
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:40 PM
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bear claws

did the tape thing worked good added a washer closes now still have to slam but closes on first swing.not sure if supposed to be this bad using bear claws.thanks scott
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:18 AM
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One of the points of using bear claw latches is to get a smoother closing door without slamming. The other benefit of bear claw latches is that they should not pop open unexpectedly. If you are still having to slam them something is still not quite right. Does the latch operate freely when you latch it and open it with your finger or a screwdriver? Do you feel the problem is in your doors gaskets? Too solid of a gasket will make closing your door difficult as it tries to hold the door away from the jam.
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