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Bear Claw Latches

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mogara, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. mogara
    Joined: Mar 10, 2006
    Posts: 143

    mogara
    Member

    I am building a Graham Truck and I want to put more modern door latches in it. I would like to keep the stock exterior door handles, though. Can this be done?
     
  2. All the after market bear claws are not designed for outside handles.It can be done but it is rather hard. You need to support the back side of the shaft off of your door handle so it will pivot without flexing.Then you have to attach an arm to the shaft that is connected to the bear claw by means of a rod or cable.The next problem is try to figure out how to lock your car.THIS IS NOT AN EASY THING TO DO. That's why most guys run no outside handles. There is a type of bear claw that is designed for out side handle but when it is installed in your door it won't line up with the original handle position and also no way to lock. We use to sell this type that was for the outside handles and it was a running joke in our shop about how many times the same set of bear claws was returned because the customer couldn't make them work.I think there was the same set we sold and took back about 10 times. WE NO LONGER SELL THAT TYPE.
    BOB
     
  3. The bear claws have a real industrial latch feel to them and really take quite a push to get them to latch. Lots of people use them though.

    I'd consider new car latches. Require much less effort close, equally as safe. I am using some Dodge Omni latches in a project now. I am sure there are better new latches out there.

    Juliano is correct though. You most likely will need to modify your handle shaft to provide a bearing support inside the door, as well as create some sort of linkage arm attaching to the arm that can be used to actuate the latch.
     
  4. mogara
    Joined: Mar 10, 2006
    Posts: 143

    mogara
    Member

    Thanks. That's what I figured from looking at the pictures of them. What do most people do if they want to retain their stock door handles? I assume companies sell rebuild kits or reproductions of early Ford latches, but I won't find anything for a '27 Graham. I am not too concerned about any locking function, so that solves one of the problems.
     

  5. Couple ideas....just brainstorming.
    If your handles are good or restorable hollow out the old latches to use them mearly as support for handle, and then fab something to actuate a new latch.

    Modify your handle shaft (I am assuming it is probably square) to accept bearings or bushings. Then modify the area behind the handle with a plate and bearing or bushing supports. Then use modern latches and a rod, or cable/pulley arrangement to actuate a new latch.

    Do the above but have your handle trigger a microswitch to actuate a solenoid.

    Convert to handles that are readily reproduced? Ford, Chevrolet or whatever. May take away from what you are trying to retain.




     

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