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Old 04-25-2011, 11:28 AM
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Bear Claw Latch Installation using Stock Door Handles

Hello Folks,

On my 47 Plymouth 2-door coupe, the previous owner installed aftermarket bear claw latches. The installation was done very nicely, utilizing the factory outer door handles; the doors open and close smoothly and securely- no complaints there. The inside door release handles operate correctly, EXCEPT with the door lock/unlock function.

As you may or may not know, on a 47 Plymouth (on the front doors only) you push DOWN on the inside handle to release (open) the door, and you push UP to lock the door. Currently on my car you cannot lock or unlock the door from the inside (or the outside, for that matter, since the lock cylinders were shaved from the outside of the doors). Adding to this is the addition of a remote entry setup, which allows me to lock or unlock the doors using the remote, but I have currently disabled this system as I do not relish the thought of being trapped inside the car because of a battery or key fob failure.

I will be removing the door panels in a couple of days to take a look inside. I feel that there must be a way to overcome this issue with a little bit of mechanical creativity. I want to retain the remote entry feature since I still want to be able to lock/unlock the car from the outside, but I need to improvise some sort of manual lock/unlock feature (not just an emergency release cable).

I'm pretty confident that I can figure out a way to retain the factory door handle and make it fully functional again, but I'd like to know ahead of time what my options are, or if anyone else has tackled this situation before.

Thanks in advance for advice and recommendations.

Cheers,

Ken in SSF

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Old 04-25-2011, 12:15 PM
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ken
if you can't figure out linkage to make your stock handles work, take a look at what your local bicycle shop has to offer. i used a lot of bike parts in my door handles. i even used a tandem (long) bike cable to run thru my door loom under the hood for an emergency door release in case of total electrical failure. seeing as my battery is behind the back seat, i have used it more than once. also good for when you lock the fob inside

the brake cables come with an end and plenty of length. sheathing can be bought by the foot. and they have a variety of ends. drill a hole and nut the end on

if you shaved the outside handles, why would you need to lock the doors?
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre
if you shaved the outside handles, why would you need to lock the doors?
The door handles are still there - it's the door LOCKS (key cylinders) that have been removed.



Cheers, Ken in SSF
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:12 PM
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sweet car
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ogre
sweet car
Thank you!!

Cheers, Ken in SSF
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:23 AM
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I removed the door panels this weekend. I'm not impressed. All of the linkages were fabricated very poorly (even used a block of wood as a pivot mount). I would like to update the installation with some modern hardware. I can use the existing bear claw latches, but I need to replace everything between them and the door handle, plus I need to install a manually-controlled inside door-lock actuator.

Can anyone recommend any sources for hardware to facilitate this sort of installation? I know about Rocky Hinge, any others out there?

Thanks in advance for advice and recommendations.

Cheers,

Ken in SSF
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:23 PM
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I did this on my '35, and I could not find anything "made" that would work, so, I used 1/4" rod and threaded it, then used Heim Joints on the ends-for the inside, I simply cut the existing mechanism, made some more rods and welded it all together-

What is the problem exactly? Can you give us some pictures?
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35WINDOW
What is the problem exactly? Can you give us some pictures?
Hello 35,

The problem that initially prompted me to investigate was the inability to manually unlock the doors from the inside. That is unacceptable. I want to drive this car on the street and not have to worry about getting locked in if an electrical problem occurs.

After I removed the door panels I noticed some questionable fabrication work, especially in how the outside door handle is connected to the bear claw latch. It could be better, much better. Maybe I'm overreacting, but I'd rather bring it up to my own level of craftsmanship before I close everything back up again.









Cheers, Ken
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35WINDOW
I did this on my '35, and I could not find anything "made" that would work, so, I used 1/4" rod and threaded it, then used Heim Joints on the ends-for the inside, I simply cut the existing mechanism, made some more rods and welded it all together
Hello 35,

I replaced all of the door-handle-to-latch linkage over the weekend with some hardware from Rocky Hinge. Works great now (no more wood!), but I still need to fabricate linkage and actuators for the lock mechanism. The Heim joints and rod sounds like a great idea.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:52 AM
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Hope it works for you-post some pictures of the finished product!
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