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Projects Mini Bear Jaw Latches in a 34 Pickup

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by HardcoreZ28, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. HardcoreZ28
    Joined: Feb 24, 2010
    Posts: 100

    HardcoreZ28
    Member

    Hey guys I'm finishing up the bodywork on my 34 Ford pickup and one of the last orders of business is to install newer latches. I picked up a set of Carolina Custom mini bear latches with all the hardware and bell cranks. I currently don't have any window regulators or guides in the doors as they were missing when I bought it. From my research it looks like there is a guide on the inner rear door jamb for the glass correct? From what I've mocked up so far I feel like the new latch may protrude past this guide and hit the glass? Anyone have pics of their installation specifically into a 32-34 pickup or any advice? I have no problem ordering channels, regulators, etc now if I need them to modify and mock up the latches. Thanks in advance

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  2. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,378

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    '30-'31 door jam vertical channels that the felt fits in is very similar to the trucks... they repop the A …
    memory says they rivet / screw on at the bottom end and spot weld at the top...
    I couldn't see how the bear paw fit in the '30 coupe door so I got a pair of nice originals...
     
  3. You are correct with your total assessment of latch to glass issues. There has been several attempts at different ways to get around the lack of space in the doors. For me it's to go the other way. I put the latch pin in the door and the Bear Jaw in the B post. Next I use a marine cable to go down, under and up then through the A post and finally to the inside door handle. Ya it's a lot of monkey motion but it keeps the Door Glass working like it was designed to. Here's a photo to give you ideas. Just another way to skin the Cat. Moving the catch pin into the door also keeps you from getting your belt loop hung up on it getting in and out. 20190221_151531.jpg 20160712_090747.jpg
     
  4. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 6,817

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I have done this conversion twice in a 32 pu cab. On the first one I put the latch in the jam which worked fine but I had to trip the latch behind the door and from under the rocker on the outside. The second one we built a female pocket in the door jam and male pocket on the door containing the latch. We used the stock inside handle to trip the latch and tripped the latch on the outside with a rod thru the bottom of the door. Everything cleared the stock sized glass in both trucks. We shaved the outside handles on both trucks. I was happier with the second truck than the first. You can see the second truck in the October 05 issue of Rod And Custom. While all this sounds complicated it was really a very simple fab job.
     

  5. HardcoreZ28
    Joined: Feb 24, 2010
    Posts: 100

    HardcoreZ28
    Member

    Thanks for the info....definitely not the answers I was hoping for though hahah. Maybe I'll try the male and female pocket idea. I'd like to retain use of both the inner and outer stock handles

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  6. Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
    HardcoreZ28 likes this.
  7. LOST ANGEL and acme30 like this.
  8. HardcoreZ28
    Joined: Feb 24, 2010
    Posts: 100

    HardcoreZ28
    Member

    I actually have a sponsorship deal with them so I get a price break on the parts. I saw the window channels a few weeks ago and need to look into the other parts. I already cut my stock door latch are and tacked the bear jaw in but quickly realized it won't work properly so still easy to remove and modify.

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    DDDenny likes this.
  9. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 6,817

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    The pocket style latch install we did on my truck was actually very easy with some metal fabrication required. I could have used the stock outside handles with no problem but chose the slick look. The inside handles functioned as stock as did the glass using the stock front and rear channels and the stock window regulator and bottom glass channel. Wish I had some pictures but they are long gone.
     
  10. HardcoreZ28
    Joined: Feb 24, 2010
    Posts: 100

    HardcoreZ28
    Member

    I wish you did too.
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  11. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,652

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Is there something wrong with the stock door latches? They seem pretty simple and robust, mine work great. Seems like a lot of extra work for nothing especially if you're keeping the stock handles.
     
  12. HardcoreZ28
    Joined: Feb 24, 2010
    Posts: 100

    HardcoreZ28
    Member

    My mechanisms are shot and for the cost of new ones I figured an upgrade would be nice....granted more work now

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  13. I have a 34 I am doing.. Same thing mini latches. Wishing I had put the striker on the door instead of the cab. Big hunk of metal sticking out to get ya in the back getting in and out of the cab..
    But I am like you wanted to use original handles, Have not tried to put in window channels yet...
     
  14. Without question the bear jaw/claw latches are far superior to the old original ones.

    To install them is really easy too.
    Now redesign the exterior handle mount, redesign the interior handle mechanisms, redesign the window mechanism and glass channels - fuck it.
    All electric doors with windows and solenoids void of handles,,,, piss poor idea but gets around the obstacles easiest noted above.

    Sooooo what and why exactly is the bear type latches do better than the original latches?? Keep the doors closed, right? Yes.
    What’s wrong with dead bolts in the doors?
    1. You might forget to engage the dead bolt.
    2. If you’re in a wreck first responders might not be able to get you out.

    Not so difficult to add a reminder device that your dead bolts are open. Way easier than modifying everything else in the door.
    How do first responders get you out of all electric doors?

    Just my thoughts after having my project sidelined because of them damn latches. Cost me plenty but given freely.
     
  15. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,445

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

  16. First responders have no mercy on our Vehicles. It's just a Job to them thank God.
     
  17. acme30
    Joined: Jun 13, 2011
    Posts: 175

    acme30
    Member
    from Australia

    Window runners are not as simple as they sound on a 32 - 34 pickup because there is not much room if you use original mechanisms and the runners go through the mechanism.

    Whilst you can buy the runners I used some scrap 20mm square tube to fabricate these [​IMG] The cut out bits are required to accommodate part of the door latch

    [​IMG]

    Then put them here

    [​IMG]

    And now I can do this [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Might have to spring for some felt runner and new glass soon:0

    PS these are on my 32 pickup with the united pacific new door parts (obviously without the door skin).
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  18. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 499

    cfmvw
    Member

    Anyone ever look inside of a 1970's VW Bug door? Probably even less room inside of those...door latches and window winders are pretty compact, might be worth looking into.
     
  19. HardcoreZ28
    Joined: Feb 24, 2010
    Posts: 100

    HardcoreZ28
    Member

    Looks like I'll have my work cut out for me making these work but I'll get there

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