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Door Latch Repair

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I had been reading on the forums about how some of the door latches on cars that are used a lot have been coming apart.  Within a few days, the driver's side latch broke on FFR #2084K.  It broke in exactly the same way as the others I had read about.  The latch handle is attached to the pivot by being sort of pressed on and then peened.  It is only a matter of time before it comes apart.

 
When mine broke, I remembered reading on FFCobra.com that some people have been repairing their latches by putting a short carriage bolt through the pivot from the back, and capturing the latch handle under a lock nut and washer.  After checking the price of replacement latches ($120 per pair), I decided to try it.
 
The first thing I did was go out to the local hardware store and buy a 5/16" X 3/4" carriage bolt, washer, and lock nut.

 
Next, I ground the top 1/16" or so off the top of the pivot so that the washer would be able to have good contact with the latch handle.
 

 

 
The carriage bolt fits nicely through the square hole in the pivot.

 
Reassemble the latch mechanism using the washer and lock nut to hold everything together.

   

 
I had to use the grinder to flatten the crown of the carriage bolt to allow the latch to fit back on the door.

 

 
The latch fits to the door just fine, and the cover makes the fix invisible.  The latch now feels very solid and tight.

 

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