Driver’s Door latch

My replacement parts (driver’s door latch and window regulator) arrived. I had to wait for a warm day before I could get to work. I was finally rewarded with a day where the forecast predicted temperatures in the 50’s. I had to run some errands in the morning, which left me a few hours in the afternoon to attempt getting some work done on the driver’s door.

Removing the door panel went smoothly enough. I pulled out the window regulator to get it out of the way while i worked on the door latch. This wasn’t necessary, but I planned to replace the regulator so I removed it as a (hopefully) convenience. The next task was to remove the clips on the door latch rods. Some popped off with just a bit of effort. The last one was for the inside door handle. I just couldn’t get it to pop off. I ended up removing the door latch with the rod still attached and then taking the rod off. A quick inspection of the latch mechanism showed that it was dry of any lubricant and the springs were stretched out to the point that they didn’t hold much tension anymore. It was probably repairable, but I’m glad I chose to just replace it.

I had purchased new latch rod clips so I used the old latch as a model to make sure I installed the new clips facing the correct direction. They were a tight fit but I managed to install them without breaking any of them. The new latch mechanism fit the old opening perfectly and I screwed it into place. Next I attempted to hook up the rods for the door handles and locks. I was able to get them all to line up with their respective holes in the latch. However the door key lock mechanism was binding and the door lock pull was at an angle. I ended up spending quite a bit of time bending (actually straightening) the rods to get them to where everything worked without binding and the door lock pull was straight. That took me quite a while to fine tune to where I was satisfied with the result.

Now that everything was working the way it was intended I had to clip the latch clips onto the rods. They fit so tight that I couldn’t clip all of them on. So I had to remove the latch and spread the clips open just a bit so I could get them to latch onto the rods. Then I had to reinstall the latch into the door and attach the rods again. A wise man (Val) once told me that any job worth doing was worth doing twice. Apparently he was correct.

At this point I had a working door latch mechanism again. The door opens, latches, locks, and unlocks like it is supposed to do. By now it was getting to be too dark outside to work on the window regulator. So unfortunately I had to leave that job for the next warm day. I hate leaving things partially completed like that but I had no choice. I hope we get a nice day soon as I’m anxious to finish and button up the driver’s side door. I also ordered a few miscellaneous screws to replace a few I found that were missing from the scuff plates and rear quarter weather strip. Not sure where they went but that’s an easy fix once the new screws arrive.