Latch Repair

In the 3 pictures below you can see what a latch looks like with out the slider installed. 

This is a drivers side latch . 

The right image is a close up of the shouldered rivet that wears.

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The slant window latch is pretty easy to tighten up if it is not too wore out.
 
Notice the gaps around the latch tongue.

I am lucky to have 3 sets to work from and they all had at least 1/16" wear at both the rivet and the latch/ latch opening.  I originally thought I would have to machine a bunch of parts to replace the worn ones.  Once I started taking them apart I found a quick and easy way to tighten them up.  The slider with the latch operates at an angle when it is worn.  The wear parts are the rivet and where the latch sticks out.  The rivet is an easy fix since it is able to rotate all you have to do is rotate it 90 degrees and you are back to factory size.  The latch opening needs to be built back to size.  The latch hopefully is not too wore out or pitted.  I just filed the 2 good ones I had to make a smooth surface on all 4 sides.  I did hve 2 latches that would have needed to be built up.  Since the latch is now filed undersize I just needed to build up the worn opening. 

I used the MIG to add to the 3 edges and a Dremel with a small grinder to bring it out to a the rough opening and a file to do the finish work,  keep in mind you need to keep the latch centered in the opening.  The lower edge of the latch opening (in the top 3 pictures) I used a hammer to bend it up some on the one that had significant wear  there too.  Please note, the latch opening will be slightly visible and you may have to lay a heavy weld line and take some time to dress it if you are going for show.

On the slider the oval hole the that the rivet rides in is worn also (see the middle pictures).  Again, I used the MIG to build up the edges and a grinder and a file to bring the edges to be just larger than the rivet shoulder.


I guess I should have mentioned this sooner.  To take the sliders off you need to take the edge off the head of therivet.  I used the Dremel with a cutoff wheel.  When the rivet and oval is worn you only need to take one side of the rivet off to take the slider off.  You also have to make sure you take the edge off where the rivet has the wear since you need the edges over the good portion of the rivet when you reassemble the latch.  Don't stop grinding yet.  You need to take the edge off the opposite side of the rivet.  When the latch oval is rebuilt you will need both sides off to put it back together.  For testing you just rotate the rivet 90 degrees to hold it together and when you have everything ready the last thing you do is spot the back of the rivet with a weld so it can't rotate.

While the latch slider is off you will need to grind the back side of the rivet that holds the bar going to the inside handle.  It comes apart easy and you need to replace the spring washer that keeps it from rattling.  Use a file to dress the portion that goes through the bar with a file so it will be able to reseat nicely when you reassemble.  I used a hammer to start putting it back together and then used the vice with a washer as a spacer on the bar side to seat the bar to the rivet.  Then I used a vice to squish the rivet (I have a big vice so I can do it this way you may have to use a hammer to squish it.)

You may still need to replace the spring at the inside door latch and expect to have to bend or break off two of the tabs opposite where the spring is to take it apart and replace the spring.  Then expect to have to weld the tabs back in place.  While it is apart I plan on peening the opening  to make it tighter, but I have not gotten this far yet so I can not give any hints.