Stock Latches-Can I use them or should I convert to bear claws? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:56 PM
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Stock Latches-Can I use them or should I convert to bear claws?

I have a 40 Ford coupe that presently has stock latches---while they latch, one is hard to close and the other one has a rattle when you drive. I have added weatherstripping and it has not seemed to make a difference. The doors were previously adjusted for alignment and new hinge pins were installed. Is there is way to salvage the stock latches, or should I have installed bear claw latches? The car is already painted, and if I were to go to bear claws, would I need to repaint the doors and B pillar section? Are there any bear claws that do not require welding? Don't know which way to go--keep what I have and improve it--but how?----or invest more money to go with bear claws. Any help and advice would be appreciated.

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Old 04-16-2006, 11:13 PM
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Have you tried CW moss or bob drake for replica latches? The bearclaw is the safest way but you will have metalwork and painting afterwards.
When it was my only option, I have taken old latches apart, cleaned them, welded up worn areas on the pawl ,closed up the clearance between the case and pawl,(this makes a big difference. that is where your rattle is coming from), replaced the springs and striker. Lube the latch with white grease.
hope this helps, mikey

This mornings edit,addendum whatever:
Well I looked around a little (to satisfy my own curiosity)and couldn't find anything except for the springs, strikers and dovetails. Good luck, m
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Last edited by powerrodsmike; 04-17-2006 at 07:09 AM. Reason: add info
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Old 04-17-2006, 05:30 AM
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Those stock latches can be rebuilt or you can purchase new ones from various sources as mentioned above. Bear claw latches are nice, but require some remodeling to install.

Vince
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Old 04-17-2006, 07:26 AM
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Tex Smith did a tech article in Rod & Custom magazine in the late 60s (back before rod magazines became SEMA new part installation instruction reprint manuals) on completely rebuilding old plunger type door latches. In good repair, they are fine. If they get a little hard to close, put a light coat of Vaseline in the face of the striker and plunger where they slide together. Does wonders for ease of closing. If the striker and/or plunger show much wear they should be replaced/rebuilt. Replace the striker and rebuild the plunger by welding up the worn tapered face and grinding it to shape. Pretty easy. As mentioned above replacement parts are available for most old Ford stuff. As far as the rattler, have you adjusted the striker plate? They are built with a lot of adjustability to eliminate just the problem you describe. If you have adjusted out all the play and they are still loose, they are likely worn out and need replacing.
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Old 04-17-2006, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willys36@aol.com
Tex Smith did a tech article in Rod & Custom magazine in the late 60s (back before rod magazines became SEMA new part installation instruction reprint manuals)
Ain't that the truth.

Brian
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:28 PM
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Stock latches or convert to bear claw?

Thanks guys for all the good advice on my question. I found some new latches at Bob Drakes and will try this route as it is definitely cheaper than bear claws. I hope this solves my problem---if not, let me know if anyone needs some slightly used, but new stock latches.
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