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Thread: Problem with LEFT front door latch

  1. #1
    Junior Member Dhennick99's Avatar
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    Problem with LEFT front door latch

    I've had an issue with my driver's side front door latch popping at high speed. It's jarring and at one point almost ran me off the road. I installed a new (NOS) front latch and adjusted the striker pins. The door now closes beautifully, but the problem still persists. I'm at a loss and don't know what's causing the front latch to pop or how to remedy the problem. Luckily the rear latch keeps the door shut. My fear is that the pressure on the rear latch my cause it to eventually fail as well and fling the door open at 70mph. I have attached some photos of the sill when the latch pops. You can literally see the road under you.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Adjust the front striker pin 'out' so that it goes into the latch more when the door is closed. You're probably not getting all the way into the second latch position.


    Sept. 81, auto, black interior

  3. #3
    Delorean Guru
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    If the latches are properly adjusted they should not pop open. You should also be driving with the doors (latches) locked. When locked the linkage that opens the latches is disengaged and cannot open the latches. Again, this assumes everything is properly adjusted and working. Start from the beginning. Make sure the door seals are in good shape and the door is aligned well. Adjust the striker pins (anchor pins) so that the head doesn't hit the door and the shank slides into the latch without rubbing the sides of the latch. You must also make sure both latches hit 1st and 2nd locking position as close to simultaneous as you can. Now you can do the whole procedure ST-10-8/81. If you do it right you should be able to open and close the door with your fingertips and not have to slam or force it. If the adjustments are way off it can take several adjustments to get it right as some adjustments affect others. The doors should also open all the way but not bounce. If they do your torsion bar is too tight. The strut should be able to hold the door fully open when you let go. if the guides are not installed you should get them and install them. if the door got tweaked and is floppy you must either stiffen it up if you can, or replace it. When all of the internal adjustments are done right you should not be able to lock the doors if both latches are not in 2nd locking position.
    Last edited by David T; 05-03-2019 at 09:47 PM.
    David Teitelbaum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhennick99 View Post
    I've had an issue with my driver's side front door latch popping at high speed. It's jarring and at one point almost ran me off the road. I installed a new (NOS) front latch and adjusted the striker pins. The door now closes beautifully, but the problem still persists. I'm at a loss and don't know what's causing the front latch to pop or how to remedy the problem. Luckily the rear latch keeps the door shut. My fear is that the pressure on the rear latch my cause it to eventually fail as well and fling the door open at 70mph. I have attached some photos of the sill when the latch pops. You can literally see the road under you.
    Hook the door pull strap onto the e-brake handle until you can fix this. It will keep the door from opening while driving.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Dhennick99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    If the latches are properly adjusted they should not pop open. You should also be driving with the doors (latches) locked. When locked the linkage that opens the latches is disengaged and cannot open the latches.
    I had thought that as well. There's always that nagging "Lock Doors" lit up on the a/c panel. However it'll still pop regardless if the doors are locked or not.

  6. #6
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Sounds like it could be the rear is not getting to the 2nd position as Johnathan described and the front isn't really latching at all.

    Anyway, you might try moving the latch(es) to the fully closed position while the door is open, then gently lower the door and see if it is held open a much as you would expect to be. That will give you an idea as to what is going on (and it's the easiest way to make them hit at the same time I have found).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Josh's Avatar
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    I had an issue with the DS rear door latch popping open. I adjusted the door perfectly, but it still would pop open during hard cornering or large bumps. Over the years it would get worse, it would take nothing for it to pop open.
    I even adjusted the linkages, i thought they were pulling on the latch causing the latch to "pop"

    After all this adjusting, I pulled out the latch and replaced with a spare one I had sitting around. It works perfect now. The latches can wear out.

    The door will not open while driving. There are two latches, and they have two points of engagement. If the problem is similar to mine, it is one lach popping into the first engagement click. so essentially it is only 25% open.
    Last edited by Josh; 05-13-2019 at 02:45 PM.

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