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FFCobra Fanatic
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2,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I guess the best way to come to terms with long standing boneheadded moves is to vent them on a public forum. Well for the last 10 yrs I never really gave much thought to my door latches that is until I started Autoxing and having the doors pop open on a regular basis. I tried readjusting the doors and still the doors would pop open every now and then. Not a big deal because the harnesses hold you in pretty good but it was getting frustrating. So I finally did a search of the forum to see if I was missing something and I sure was. It turns out that I've always had the doors latching on the first notch and not in the little hole in the striker. So 10yrs after I got my car on the road the doors close much better now and actually stay closed on hard cornering. I only wonder what other things I can find that I did wrong and have been just accepting as an FFRism.
 

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Junior Charter Member
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513 Posts
Hmm. Must check mine as I just put some of the door issues down to shite latches. I find that if I set them to close nice when its cool, they are terrible to open when its hot and vice versa.

Nigel
 

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Here are a couple of tricks that I have used to make the latches work very nicely on a few cars. (1) SLIGHTLY enlarge the hole in the body side of the latch so the latch pin fits easily into it. (2) remove 1 of the springs in the latch mechanism so the lever will pull easier. Also, the latch lever does not tend to break with one spring removed.
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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2,510 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Mark I went with the alternative to duct tape at my last event (zip ties) did a great job at keeping the door closed.
Enlarging the hole did help things work smoother. The old original latches only have one spring thanks for the tips I'm leaving nothing on the table at this point considering my history.
 

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2,217 Posts
My door latches have been popping open for 7-8 years now ! It used to be under tight cornering or hard traction starts. Now the driver's side pops on bumpy roads as well as on sharp turns ! I contacted FFR and was weighing the option of $150 for new latches. Uugh.
Thanks cobramd...I will take a closer look at my latches today.
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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3,355 Posts
Here is another tip that may help a builder.

  1. Adjust the door to opening with weather seal.
  2. Install "striker" on the car loosely.
  3. Put latch on striker. (Be sure to use tips above)
  4. Close door.
  5. Adjust striker so the latch is where you want it on the door.
  6. Shim as needed
  7. Screw latch to door.
Hope this helps. I did this and my doors sound good closing and hold well.
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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23,048 Posts
I have spent a lot of time bending the angle plate that the striker mounts to. If you put the striker onto the plate loosely w/ just a nut and then figure a way to get it to latch into the door, you will notice that it is at an angle to the mount plate. IE, if you bolted it tight w/ washer shims it would not be at the angle it needs to be to fit the latch properly. So now you start bending the mount plate so it holds the striker in the position that it needs to be so it latches easily. It took me 2-3 hrs per door.
 

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2,213 Posts
My passenger door hadn't closed for the last four years without a lot of adjusting. I always had to let my passengers in and out. Spent countless hours trying to figure out why it wouldn't just slam shut and effortlessly open like the driver side door. Even ordered a new set of latches only to end up putting the old one back on since the result was the same with the new one. Two weeks ago out of the blue I decided to spay a little penetrating oil on it... FOUR YEARS LATER! Now the damn thing opens and shuts perfectly like the driver's door...as if Mercedes built it. Amazing what a little oil will do!
 

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Husband/Father/Son
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12,461 Posts
Just as an FYI, for those looking for one part instead of the whole kit FFR sells, the door latch mechanism itself is also sourced and used on the MG TD/TC/TF model line along with some Austin Healy models.




Bill S.
 

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I did the same thing when I first built mine. Don't feel bad. I'd venture to say many have done the same thing!

Greg
 

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Too Cheap to paint!
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6,248 Posts
Mine are gone, replaced with a hood pin, plate with a hole, and a pin to keep the closed.
 

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I have spent a lot of time bending the angle plate that the striker mounts to. If you put the striker onto the plate loosely w/ just a nut and then figure a way to get it to latch into the door, you will notice that it is at an angle to the mount plate. IE, if you bolted it tight w/ washer shims it would not be at the angle it needs to be to fit the latch properly. So now you start bending the mount plate so it holds the striker in the position that it needs to be so it latches easily. It took me 2-3 hrs per door.
The reason you are having to bend the plate is that the latch isnt mounted at the correct angle on the door. After trimming the doors to fit the body correctly, it took about 30 minutes each side to adjust so that the doors close with a gentle push.
 

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Big Kahuna
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5,671 Posts
Yep. P_Matt and I both had them wrong until Fasttoys showed us why they would always pop open in the bus stop... They stay closed now.
 
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