Fixing the Door Latch

When I first got the 260Z, one of the things I had to deal with was the previous owner’s installation of remote door locks. This was his fix for the door wanting to lock any time he closed it. The remote door locks had to go because it provided a constant drain on the battery. Since the car wasn’t driven enough, the battery had to stay on a charger so it wouldn’t run down.

After I removed the remote locking devices, I had to figure out why the door lock would always engage when the door closed. I removed the latch from the door and examined it carefully. I noticed a lack of tension to hold the lock in place, so I improvised a spring to provide tension. It wasn’t a complete fix, though, so I called Z Barn and got a replacement. (Roger, you are missed.) I noticed the spring in the replacement that was missing from the one that came from my car. I installed the replacement and fashioned a better spring for my old latch. Now I have a backup.

Another thing I did was replace the door strikers. They were badly worn. I spent a lot of time adjusting the doors, but they wouldn’t close easily. I tried a kludge that I read online on the old striker plates, but there wasn’t much improvement. The new striker plates worked well…for about three years.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the driver’s side door wasn’t closing well. I had my friends take a look at it when I was at Caffeine & Octane, but we really didn’t come up with a solution. Then recently I noticed a conversation on Classic Z Cars where someone mentioned that most door latches were missing a small rubber piece. That made me remember a thread from a few years ago where someone described fabricating a replacement.

I tried adjusting the striker plate again today and got nowhere. I decided to try what I read in the thread. I got some black tubing that I purchased a couple of years ago for that very purpose. I cut off about a quarter inch or so of it and removed about three eighths of an inch from the circumference. I applied some adhesive to it and put it on the latch. I waited a couple of hours and tried closing the door. The improvement was dramatic.

Here’s a link to the thread where Enrique described what he did. And here’s most of the thread in a PDF file in case you don’t want to go to the link.

Addendum (Feb 12, 2013): I am sad to say that the person who gave me the tip on fixing the door latch, Enrique Scanlon, passed away on Feb 11. He will certainly be missed in the Z car community. Enrique, somehow I’m going to figure out what you were researching about the Z car clocks.

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This entry was posted in 240Z, 260Z, 280Z, Tech Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fixing the Door Latch

  1. Pingback: Door slamming issue fixed-finally!!!! - Page 2

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