View Full Version : Door lock help needed!

06-05-2006, 05:58 PM
Driver's side door lock on my new 63 Lark doesn't... lock, that is. Key turns freely both ways in the lock, but the interior lock rod seems jammed - won't move up or down.

Also, getting the door open is a two-step process. You pull the handle (or push the button) once and the door unlatches just a little - push again and the lock releases the rest of the way.

Any suggestions? It's parked in the driveway and I really don't want folks to be able to get into it :(

Clark in San Diego:

Proud new owner of a '63 Lark!

06-05-2006, 09:16 PM
Sounds like the door latch is messed up. You can get new ones or we can find you a used one.:D

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

06-05-2006, 09:22 PM
First,lube the lock[latch assembly]inside the door.PB blaster is my favorite.Soak it down,work the handle up and down 20-30 times.[inside handle,then the outside handle]Use a screw driver to 'latch'the door while it is open,and use the screwdriver to pull the latch open when you pull the door handles.
Close the door slowly,and watch how the door part of latch aligns with the striker on the door post-it has to be adjusted very close for proper operation. Lucky it's a 2 dr!
After the oil is soaked in,work the lock knob inside up and down 20=-30 times,work the key lock a few times-just lube is usually all they need-and repeated usage to work the lube in!!


Dwain G.
06-05-2006, 11:58 PM
The lock assembly has a small diameter pin at its inner end. It's part of the soft metal casting. The pin trips the lock linkage. When the linkage gets hard to operate the stress is often too much for that little pin and it snaps off. That's what I think happened since your lock rotates freely left and right.
The 'double catch' on the latch assembly may just be a Studebaker idiosyncrasy you'll have to get used to. If you push and release the latch button quickly it will most likely catch on the safety latch and you have to press the button a second time. Stude people don't even notice it after a while because they learn to hold the button in a fraction of a second longer. But when an unfamiliar passenger tries to open a door.........
As said already, lube the heck out of everything while you're in there.

Dwain G.

06-06-2006, 02:14 AM
I figured out about the "two-stage" door release... the door is sagging and the latch hangs up on the striker. Guess I have to adjust the hinges :)

Thanks for the other lock tips. I'll pull the door panel tomorrow and see what I find.

Clark in San Diego:

Proud new owner of a '63 Lark!

06-06-2006, 08:37 AM
Most of those latches have or will break. The left door latch is becoming very hard to find and pricey if you do. Take good care of the one you've got.

07-04-2006, 07:12 PM
Finally got around to pulling the door panel off and checking out the lock assembly. Wierdness: as soon as the door panel came off, the lock started working! Lock rod freed up and the keylock worked too! I thought maybe the door panel had somehow interfered with the lock rod and lubed the snot out of everything a few time, then put the panel back on.

Something made me stop to make sure things were working before I went too far and sure enough, the lock mech had frozen up again!

Here's what the problem was: Some PO had reupholstered the car, during which the wire clips that hold the door panel to the door went missing. So he just screwed on the panel with 1" collar screws... one of which got drilled right into the lock assembly. The screw essentially "locked" the lock, keeping it from operating! Solution: don't put a screw there. [:0]

I really can't believe the things you find on old cars. Remind me to tell you about the Wagoneer I owned that was held together with JB Weld someday :D

Clark in San Diego:

Proud new owner of a '63 Lark!

Dwain G.
07-04-2006, 07:22 PM
Thanks for the followup! Glad you got it, no new parts either. It's fun to guess at what might be wrong with someones car, but even better to hear what the fix was.

Dwain G.

07-04-2006, 07:23 PM
I know a guy who took all the points at the drags at Beaver Springs, Pa. with an engine block that was JB Welded together.

07-05-2006, 10:16 AM
Too right, one can find some very original modifications in old cars.
I once bought of a car with a "fancy" tape player. The car was 12 Volts and the player only 6 Volts. The enterprising previous owner solved the problem in an unusual way, negative went to earth and the positive player feed was drilled and tapped into the connection lug between the battery cells. It all worked, but I couldn't see it would do the battery much good.

07-05-2006, 07:15 PM
We have an old C-cab in our junk yard with some downright 'redneck' innovated door latches. It has a nail that goes through the rain gutter and holds the door shut. It has Jeep style hood latches too. Not to mention the bolt that goes through the door panel to hold the window up.

Matthew Burnette, the 16 year old Stude nut.
South Georgia Chapter Newsletter Editor
63 Daytona HT (project)
51 2R16 dump truck (yes, I won the raffle)
52 Commander Starliner (basket case)(will trade for another Stude <g>)
MANY more Studes in the family and a few parts cars.
Click my name and check out "Links".

07-05-2006, 11:01 PM
I once owned a 72 Datsun pickup. The PO realllllly wanted a radio, and the dash was too shallow to accept an aftermarket unit. So he taped off the defroster box, hacked into it with a pair of tin snips, and located the radio there.

Clark in San Diego:

Proud new owner of a '63 Lark!

07-05-2006, 11:14 PM
Years ago, my brother had a '73 CJ5. He had been running a '48 CJ2A and got real excited about the V-8 power. Anyway, we ended up building up the AMC 304 with new pistons, new racing cam, high rise intake w/ a Holley 650, dual point ignition, headers, Zoom clutch, etc. It was still coupled to the factory 3 speed and he wanted a 4 speed. He ended up pulling one from an old Mustang and installed it.

The first time he went to drive it the drivers seat prevented the shifter from going into 2nd gear. He ended up carving off a section of the seat cushion to make it work. Given the Jeep's light weight and low rear end ratio, the thing would fly off the line.

Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful"

1946 M-16 fire truck
1948 M-16 grain truck
1949 2R16A grain truck
1949 2R17A fire truck
1955 E-38 grain truck
1957 3E-40 flatbed
1961 6E-28 grain truck
1962 7E-13D 4x4 rack truck
1962 Champ pickup
1962 GT Hawk 4 speed
1964 Avanti R2 4 speed
1964 Cruiser
And various other "treasures"

07-06-2006, 02:56 PM
Here's one from the Wagoneer (I've got a bunch of stories about this truck). The day I got it home I started doing a detailed underhood inspection and thought I smelled gas. Started tracing around the fuel tank return lines and noticed a white spot on top of the vapor return canister. Went to inspect the incoming line from the carb and it fell off in my hand! With the nipple to the canister input valve still inside it!

The PO had somehow destroyed the input valve to the evap can and had simply glued it all back together with gobs of JB Weld. The nipple, the valve cover, even the valve spring. Needless to say, the thing was toast. Of course, the hose from the carb to the canister had been laying across the RH valve cover long enough to have melted a 1.5" hole in it anyway.

Just the day before, the guy had handed me a new smog certificate, too!

Clark in San Diego:

Proud new owner of a '63 Lark!