Ed's D

My 1983 De Lorean DMC-12, VIN 16908

Latch Maintenance, Modification

I previously had adjusted my latches, performed the “wedgectomy,” and lubricated them generously with white lithium grease:

http://www.16908.info/?p=2422

Once again, the latches jammed. Removing the top door panel, and removing the latch rods with your bare hands while trapped in the car isn’t fun. I then found this post on DMCTalk:

http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?12682-door-latch-adjustment-problem&p=182992&viewfull=1#post182992

…which basically means my lithium grease and any other previously used lubricants could have gummed up the latches. So once again, I decided to remove all the latches. I cleaned and degreased them with brake cleaner, my air compressor with a blow gun, and dozens of paper towels. Before re-installing them, I chose to change the “lock linkages” in each door to “lock linkage.” I eliminated¬†the lock linkage on the front of each door. Having two latches means they must be in sync for both opening and unlocking. One lock obviously means there is nothing to sync, which is much easier to setup and maintain. Some people have successfully disconnected their front locks, so the door only locks on the rear latches. The only danger is you might drive over a bump, and the lock might engage. Once engaged, and with no way to unlock the front latch, this will really make getting out of the car a challenge. So I came up with this modification:

LockUnlock

This is the latch, and the arm, that moves back and forth between lock and unlock. Simply drill a small hole in the latch, and wrap some wire around the arm and the latch to secure it. The wire won’t interfere with the latch.
DSC_0029
The reverse side of the latch. You can see the wire doesn’t interfere
DSC_0033

Presto! The latch should never lock, but can easily be converted back to a locking latch.

You can now remove the lock rod that goes to the forward latch. I had to cut and retained half of my lock rod since it is needed for my aftermarket door lock actuators:
DSC_0028 (2)  DSC_0028 (4)

This time around, I lubricated the latches with WD-40. Once reinstalled, I then performed the Door Lock and Latch Adjustment process. After that, comes testing everything! Test the exterior door handles, interior door handles, exterior locks, interior locks, and in my case, remote locks and remote door launchers. Be sure to test it with the door’s plastic membrane in place to see if it interferes with anything.

In my case, everything is working correctly. Time to reinstall the door panels again. Hopefully they’ll stay installed for many years to come.