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Lark Door Latch and Handle

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  • Body / Glass: Lark Door Latch and Handle

    Two issues surfaced over the summer on my '63 Lark Regal that I could use assistance with. The doors are original to the car and have never been removed.

    1. The drivers door is not latching correctly. It does close and catches the latch striker but there is about two inches of play so the door rattles when closed. This happened suddenly but nothing looks it moved or can be adjusted. Any suggestions?

    2. The button used to open the rear drivers side door from the outside is protruding too far from the handle. I can see the pushrod and spring that the button attaches to. What limits the distance that the button protrudes from the handle? This also happened suddenly.

  • #2
    To address your first question, I'd inspect the striker (the piece on the door lock pillar) and make sure that the little spring-loaded "flipper" at the tip of the leading edge is in place and operating properly. These break after a long time, and they're essential to holding the door in place.

    Also, grab the lock wheel (the big gearlike thing) located in the latch assembly in the edge of the door and see if it rotates freely. It shouldn't if the handle button is not depressed. If it does, you might need a new latch assembly.

    Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      What limits the distance that the button protrudes from the handle?

      Remove the handle from the door (remove the one screw with the big head and large star wheel, and with the heel of your hand, bump the entire handle forward, holding it from falling with your left hand)

      With the handle off the car, depress the 'knob' all the way in. When it was new, there were two "pinch" spots on the shaft, keeping it in the handle. I fabricated a pair of U shaped punches, clamped on in a vise, positioned the shaft on top of it and using the other one, (and a hammer) struck the top punch re-pinching the shaft.

      You've got to either put the pinch where the old one was, or calculate where it should be, you don't want the plunger all the way in.

      Hope this helps.

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      • #4
        Check that lock wheel for badly worn teeth. Depress the opener button and rotate the wheel to inspect the 4 teeth. Select a tooth that shows the least amount of wear and check the latching effect. I had a badly rattling door latch on our new Daytona. It was very annoying on our trip to the Springfield meet. When I finally inspected the latch wheel, one tooth was badly worn and three had never been used. By rotating the wheel one position the latching action was much more positive and we have two more positions in reserve.

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        • #5
          Thank you all for the information. It's been a while since I have been able to check the forum for responses. I will take a look this weekend.

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