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Better to rebuild/refurbish door latches or find replacements

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  • Better to rebuild/refurbish door latches or find replacements

    All -

    I just added to my Studbaker flock a 1960 Lark VIII sedan and three of the doors do not latch properly. The driver side has to be 'slammed' shut to (hopefully) stay closed, one of the rear doors the push button doesn't move, the other rear door doesn't have a push button, and the passenger front door 'seems' to latch okay.

    So, what's the experience out there...do I spend my valuable time tinkering with it, do I strip them and send them somewhere to be rebuilt, or should I find replacements? I'm used to all my door latches working very well, so have never dove into this arena and am not sure if it is a finesse job or one that this shade tree sorta mechanic can complete.

    thanks,

    Robert
    1938 Commander (great-grandfathers)
    1948 Commander (great-grandmothers)

  • #2
    It ain't rocket science, and you can probably go a long way with basic dis-assembly, lubricating and adjusting. A common problem is for the striker/latch on the door posts to wear out or break. Another common problem is for the keys to be lost, or the lock cylinder to be worn out. As for the handles, except the one missing the button, they are worth removing, lubing and fooling with too. If worn out, the handles are fairly common in the Studebaker world and reasonably priced.

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    • #3
      To "piggy-back" on what was said above, the rear doors usually do not work properly, not because of over use, but from lack of use. A good cleaning and lube and they will probably go like new. Good luck.

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      • #4
        Check for loose door hinges, especially on the drivers door. This will make the door sag and not latch properly.
        Frank van Doorn
        Omaha, Ne.
        1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
        1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
        1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

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        • #5
          First check for sagging doors, due to rust out of the pillar/floor, then check for worn hinges causing sag and then check for striker alignment.
          The door should not have to be lifted up or slammed to latch. The latch should be in alignment with where the door closes.
          Look at the striker and check for wear/breakage. If you do not see significant wear/breakage, replacing/rebuilding the latches will not help. The problem is elsewhere.
          These doors should close and latch with a GENTLE push.
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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          • #6
            Thanks for all the help on this. I noticied on the driver side upon closer inspection that there is a portion missing on the striker plate so I think I will order in a new one for that. I'll work on cleaning/lube of the latches and check for sagging to see if that helps the other ones

            Robert
            1938 Commander (great-grandfathers)
            1948 Commander (great-grandmothers)

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            • #7
              I have a couple of decent door latches laying around that should fit your car, I don't remember what door positions they are for but you can have them if you can use them. I also have some outside door handles that you can have, they're not exactly show quality but they work. I'm getting ready to take a bunch of stuff to the Rickreall swap meet on June 1 and they're in one of the boxes somewhere. If you want to pay for the ride I'll find them and ship 'em to you. PM me if interested.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 63 R2 Hawk View Post
                I have a couple of decent door latches laying around that should fit your car, I don't remember what door positions they are for but you can have them if you can use them. I also have some outside door handles that you can have, they're not exactly show quality but they work. I'm getting ready to take a bunch of stuff to the Rickreall swap meet on June 1 and they're in one of the boxes somewhere. If you want to pay for the ride I'll find them and ship 'em to you. PM me if interested.
                PM sent.

                Robert
                1938 Commander (great-grandfathers)
                1948 Commander (great-grandmothers)

                Comment

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