Visited a friend today and after turning of the motor I found myself locked into my car. Fortunately it's a touring so just climb over the door.
When I got back to the shop I figured this will be easy, just remove the door panel and see what's wrong. Well no amount of looking at the door latch accomplished anything so I unscrewed the 4 latch screws expecting the door would now open. Wrong.
I forgot there are 2 more screws holding the latch on that go into the edge of the door, and you can't get at them because the doors closed. Well - this can't defeat me, I'll just pull the hinge pins and the whole door will come right off! Wrong.
Even with the door detached from the front hinge pins, the door STILL couldn't be removed! The latch and striker plate could not be separated.
At this point I'm thinking that I'm sure glad this wasn't an enclosed car I needed to get out of quickly!
Finally decided to just pull on the door and strip out the 2 remaining wood screws holding the latch to the door and then I can finally get the latch off and repair it. Wrong.
With the door off the latch still clung stubbornly to the striker plate. %&#%$&*R^%~!!&^R&
Shouldn't be too difficult to separate right? Wrong.
I could not get them apart until I wedged a screw in the door handle to hold it back and worked the latch back with a sharp knife.
Gosh I hope this doesn't happen to folks often !!!
So let me finish with a question. Is the latch repairable or scrap? It appears the latch part has separated from the lever. The lever will close the latch but will not open it. BTW it's a 15 touring.
Thanks for any suggestions.
This earlier post on repair of the latch may help.
Thanks for the reference Dan.
My latch doesn't look like either example in that post. Here's some pictures.
My latch looks difficult to disassemble.There are 3 tabs on the bolt cover that enter into slots on the latch frame and are peened over.
The spring however is in perfect condition. There appears to be a disconnect between the lever and the bolt (the part that enters the striker plate), such that the lever and spring will push the bolt into lock position but will not retract it.
PS The latch is marked "Delphie Specialty Company", "Detroit Mich.", "Pat. May 14-16"
Those latches are fairly east to get apart. Use a small chisel and carefully use a hammer to straighten up the peened over tabs. Then you can carefully pry apart the two halves and separate the parts.
The 17-25 T open car latches come apart like the one you have pictured.
I repaired the 3 on my 21 Touring using the method above. Its not as hard as you think. Its all a matter of straightening up the peened over tabs. Just don't chisel off the peened over metal!
OK John, we'll try to straighten those tabs tomorrow. If I can get it apart, I'll post pics of the broken part.