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Featured Technical Model A install bear claw latches design #7

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lostone, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    As the title states I'm starting the install of bear claws latches on my 31 tudor, although in truth I'm only on design 5.

    I decided to do a build thread because not a whole lot of info out there. I need it to fit and work while being able to fully use the windows while only running a 2"-3" chop so glass will be in the way.

    After several designs I wanted the following points, 1- windows, 2 ability to easily remove & replace latches, 3 small foot print as possible and 4 try to make design blend in.

    So on to the work in progress posts!!
     
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  2. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Part 1:

    So the first step was to remove enough of the inner door to get inside.

    I decided to build an inner plate that will actually weld to the door and I'll fill in the hole I created up to this plate.

    The latch will actually be sandwiched between 2 pieces, the inner plate and an outer.

    So I got the plate built and fit. I drilled out the threads in the latches as the bolts will now run thru the latch and screw into the 1/8" welded inner plate.
     

    Attached Files:

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  3. Let’s see what you come up with
     
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  4. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    The plate is made so that the latch will slide in and out of this plate and this was one of those design "fights". I couldn't get happy with a way to remove and replace the latch, should I need too, without total disassembly or cutting door open.

    So I cut the end of the door down even with the window track. The latch will actually sit on the window channel.

    This gave me a location for the latch both inside and out.
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,010

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    I got Model T style doors on a Model A pickup so I am taking an interest in your project to see if there is anything that will assist me as I'd like to put bear claw latches in those doors.

    One issue that comes to light is how to lock a door from the inside in a Model A and similarly how to lock a Model T door period, since the lock mechanism is not in the door handle like a Model A.
    If you see any solution during this process please mention them...
     
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  6. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Part 2:

    Ok game plan for inner plate seems to be working so on to part 2.

    Next I had to figure out how to create this sandwich design I wanted. Sandwich why? For strength. I wanted enough strength built into it for safety, protection, and to keep it from stress cracking.

    I decided to use the factory area were a plate is used. Difference is I'll make the plate bigger to mount thru the latch too.

    So I built an outside plate to sandwich it and this worked well except its angled in that mounting location and it tilted my latch and I can't have that!! So I cut a slab out of the side plate.

    Next step is to bolt the latch to the inner plate and outer slab I cut off, then I'll bolt the outer plate on the door, set latch in place and tack weld in position on the outer slab to outer plate and the inner plate to the door.
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Now I'm to this point in the last post.

    Understand that there will be a piece of metal over the top of the latch were the door peter engages. The latch will be totally hidden other than the slot for the door peter.

    So once done, to remove the latch assembly you will unscrew the 3 bolts thru the side plate and latch assembly then the other 3 bolts thru the rest of the side plate and remove that side plate.

    Pull door panel, unhook door handle and lock and the latch will slide out straight back out of the door.

    Fiftyv8 I do have an idea on the door lock but I need to get the latch mounted first to see if I can pull it off.

    Wait until you see my ideas on setting up the outside latches !! Lol
     
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  8. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,010

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Thanks and keep up the good work.
     
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  9. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,719

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Very interested. Probably not useful at this point, I've had two rods now with bear claws and the single most aggravating point with them is that I'm always snagging my shirts or pants on the latch pin - as the seat itself is a little behind the B pillar so my fat old bod tends to snag something. Ever consider putting the pin in the door somehow? (Yes, I suppose electric latches would be needed, now that I think more about it.)
     
  10. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,010

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Yes, I agree, that peg on the B pillar can be a darn nuisance catching on clothing.
    I so far have not thought of an simple way of improving that issue.
    Newer cars have the overlap in the door design which kind of prevents that.
    In a hot rod if the latch and peg were to be reversed it would probably not look pretty...
     
  11. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Yeah I considered swapping the latch and Peter and using either a electric solenoid to trigger it or, and I really considered this, using a bike style cable from door latch thru the rocker and into the rear pillar to release latch. Much like the old cars that used cables from the glove box to the trunk release.
     
  12. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    I got a little further tonight, some more bo diddley, some buddy Holly and some cussing and I'm really happy with the way its going.

    2 things to note, 1- the latch extends 1/2" off of the door so its not too terrible in size. 2- initially I was going to stick the latch a little further back on the door. The idea was if I let the latch hang outside the door a little more that I could shorten the door peter and like stated above help alleviate getting caught on this.

    My problem with #2 and allowing it to stick out was the fact that I flush fit the doors so this adds an extra step for me. Door seals!! I need room for door seals and way to mount them. Soooo I moved the latch as flush with the door to allow plenty of room for door seals and mounts (think I have that figured out too).
     
  13. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    I got the holes drilled and the nuts welded onto the back side of the inner plate. At which point I bolted it all together and set it into place. It fit good so a couple tacks and disassembly to make sure the design is feasible and glad to say it is.

    I got the outer plate welded together, inner plate welded to door, bolts lining up and then after welding it didn't want to fit..... Crap ! Now what?! After some taking apart, putting together 2 or 3 times it dawned on me the weld on the back side of the plate was hitting the door. After grinding the weld lo and behold it fit again.

    Anyway below are the pics of how its coming together and coming apart.
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,010

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Great progress.
    Can you tell us about the latch you are using.
    What brand, how much did you consider others etc.
    Oh does it lock???
     
  15. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,010

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    I guess with suicide doors, the bear claw latch peg wont catch clothing easily being on the A pillar...
     
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  16. I don't know if this is actually Apples to Apples but I've been through what your doing and decided there had to be a better way. fiftyv8 is right about the latch pin and that's only part of what I don't like about Bear Jaw's in early cars. I went a totally different way. Latch pin in the Door, Bear Jaw latch in the new Steel B post. This is a 34 Chevy so the B post was rotten wood, I fixed that. Now we have electric door opener, manual cable unit incase the electric fails and the inside door handle is connected directly to the Bear Jaw latch. No more Glass to latch problem or latch so far down the top of the Door rattles and you don't have to worry about tearing the back belt loop off your new jeans. I just have trouble following what everyone else does. Specially when it's piss poor design.
    20190221_151538.jpg 20160712_090747.jpg
     
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  17. There is always problem for bear claw latch installations on Model A and the clearance between the door edge and the window channel. Most common is to mount the latch a little lower in the door, especially if you have chopped top and the windows are shorter. Or mount the latch with slight bumpout on the door edge.
    As to mounting the latch in the B-pillar and the striker bolt on the door, it can work. But it makes it a lot harder to hook up the mechanism to open the door form inside the car if you want to use the stock inner handle. I generally recommend that it is better to leave the latch in the door and the striker bolt in the B-pillar if you can.
     
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  18. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,010

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA


    Great innovation, could you kindly post another couple of pic's of the B pillar from the out side with and without the door closed.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  19. You bet. I'll take some in the morning for ya. It's still a work in progress but the doors are done. I'm currently taking the Uggley off the front fenders.
     
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  20. F.Y.I. I sent fiftyv8 several photos via P.N. so as not to over run lostone's post. Just seemed the right thing to do.
     
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  21. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Fiftyv8 I'm using autoloc mini bear claws. It does have a locking lever so that it can be set up to use.

    Got some more done tonight. Started the top panel to cover the latch and add strength to the door.

    I've gotten the main part done, it works, it fits and it's solid! So now comes the clean up work, lots of grinding and once I get the actual pocket pretty'd up I'll start filling the door in around the pocket and setting up phase 3, making a design to hook up inner and outer door handles.
     
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  22. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Here some pics so you can understand my pocket idea.

    Any questions just ask!

    So stay tuned as I close up the hole and figure out door handles!
     

    Attached Files:

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  23. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,010

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA


    Thanks Wizard, you do awesome work and great pic's.
    Russ.
     
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  24. I have a question lostone. Once your past figuring out your Door Handle issues what are your plans for inner door panels and upholstery? Also, how are you going to deal with what I believe is going to be the latch pin on the B post being inboard of the pillar? Is there going to just be a bump out, or is that inboard in the upholstery?
     
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  25. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    At this point it seems the pillar may have to be extended 1/4" at most. If so I can easily hide that 1/4" in the length of 4 feet of that pillar.

    On the door, it extends exactly 1/2" off the door. So my thoughts are simple. I will make the door panel fit the contour of the latch. Once that's done when I run padding I just won't pad there. Should easily be able to drop at least 1/4" off the height just by the thickness of the padding alone.

    Also thought of running tuck and roll interior, if I do I'll run 1" wide pleats, that latch area is 1" wide so I'll just hide it in the tuck and roll pattern totally that way.
     
  26. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,211

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    I got some cleaning up done and a little more fitting.

    Now I'm happy enough with fit and finish to move on to designing the mechanism for handles.

    I've cut the hole out in the door in a more sculptured manner so I can start building a way to close it off.

    I need to pick up a couple things to start next.

    Here's a pic of some of the clean up.
     

    Attached Files:

  27. On my project I used these, part because I could buy a New pair and part because the travel length worked well with the Bear Jaw latches. They are for 49-54 Chevy Trucks. I liked them also because they are very thin and mount easy.
    [​IMG]
     
  28. Forgot to say I bought them at Chevs of the 40's
     
  29. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,010

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Can I ask a dumb question, like what are those gadgets used for Wizzard and what are they actually called, if I wanted to buy some???
    Just call me stupid...
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  30. Redrodguy
    Joined: Nov 18, 2016
    Posts: 87

    Redrodguy
    Member

    Subscribed to this thread. Any progress on the handle mechanism? Looking forward to more pics!
     

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