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Thread: Series IIa Door Fitting Help

  1. #1

    Default Series IIa Door Fitting Help

    Hi All,
    Im new to the community and Land Rovers, recently acquired a 1969 Series lla with substantial body character. Ive picked up new replacement doors however the latch mounting holes do not line up the original latches, is this a common problem with replacement parts and will need to be modified to fit correctly? Thanks for any input.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Hello and Welcome @BlueMtRover!
    I am also a fairly new Rover owner, and the first project I tackled was new door latches. Check out my thread a few posts down for the the full saga(with pics).

    I would say, I was shocked by the variability of parts manufacture for Land Rovers. What you find in some common aftermarket LR parts is really bad manufacturing errors. It makes you question your judgment. But it's not you, it's the cheap part.

    So, yes, either the door or the latch is out of spec. Of course, if it was Genuine Land Rover parts, they would fit. But the succubus of temptation gets all of us(myself included) and probably the previous owner or you bought some aftermarket parts...and who could blame us? The Genuine latch and doors would set you back almost $1000 total for just one door set and latch. In my post, I had to grind down. a "Proline" latch striker to finally make it fit. It was more Sculpture than Auto mechanical replacement. So, I feel your pain.

    I would triage the situation by first trying to figure out which pattern is bad: the latch or the door? No point in fabricating/adjusting the item that is good to fit the bad item. That just creates a problem you pass on to your future self. I would try to match up the other latches. What are the chances that all 3(or 5) latches are equally bad? So, if the "questionable" latch matches the bolt pattern of the other latches, you know the door is the problem. Also, the right and rear door latches are identical, if that helps. The others are mirror images, if that makes sense. Maybe that's easier? Because you can line them up, back to back?

    Once you establish the culprit, you can decide what to do. Some thoughts to help:
    * The door latch area and frame is steel, and the skin of the door is aluminum alloy. So, you can mig weld the door latch mounting area, if you need to fix it. Its thin metal, though...but it's fixable. Welding aluminum is much harder, so that's good.
    * You can use 22 gauge steel and tin snips to make a patch panel. All available at big box stores,, like Home Depot. I would trace it out on paper, first. Trace your latch, including holes. Then cut a patch panel with the tin snips.
    * You can tack weld in the patch panel. Or rivet it in. Or even just sandwich it in there between the latch and door. It will be hidden behind the latch, so does not have to be pretty.

    If it's the latch, I can vouch for the Proline latches from our hosts. I would just buy a new one. They are affordable and decent quality. But, you could just drill them out. Again, I would make a template from the bolt pattern you know to be correct(use logic above).

    Good luck, this sounds like a project.
    Oh, also, some doorlatches over the years people bolt them on with loose, individual bolts. This is fine. But I liked the stainless steel plate with bolts integrated into it. There will be one for the top 2 holes and one for the bottom 2 holes. These make installing the door latches easier, as you don't have to do hand gymnastics to hold everything together and line up the holes. I think maybe they will help you establish if the hole pattern is right, too...to some degree. They make two kinds, one with blind threaded rods...so there is nothing to see on the outside. And one with bolts and nuts welded to the plate, which show on the outside. The threaded rod kind are a bit easier to install, and look nicer. But both work interchangeably. Our host sells them.
    ...┌───────┬──,,
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    ...d ..__ ......... |... | ..__....p
    └/ | \────┴──┴/ | \─┘≡
    ..../..@........................@

    1973 Series 3, 109

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    82

    Default

    I just looked at your picture again.

    I bet you could cut off that flap on the 2/2a latch that overhangs the outside of the door frame. The flap with the rivet on it. That would move the whole assembly "forward" and let you find the fit. Looks like the holes may align if you do that. Worst case, you use some shims to push the striker forward more to make up that space and keep the geometry of the lock right.. They sell shims for that.

    If you're worried about cutting that flap, don't worry it's not integral. The "anti burst" door latches don't even have that flap, and affix with the same bolt pattern(meaning the flap was never needed in the first place).
    ...┌───────┬──,,
    ...|______OD__|__\\_____
    ...d ..__ ......... |... | ..__....p
    └/ | \────┴──┴/ | \─┘≡
    ..../..@........................@

    1973 Series 3, 109

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    148

    Default

    I've started twice now to take my series 3 door locks apart and stopped at the prospective difficulty/reassembly. I guess next time I'll take it apart though the inside repair looks dubious but probably easier than what you're facing here?

  5. #5

    Default

    vlad_d, thank you for your thoughts on this project it was rather involved but with quite a bit of fiddling I have new doors which is a major improvement from where I started. Yeah, I was surprised too at the variability of parts, I honestly expected a straight forward installation. I was close to returning the doors however I did like the fact that they have galvanized frames and decided to tackle altering the latches. Even though it was involved I have the satisfaction of tweaking things in to fit/work. With the doors being the culprits, your thoughts on latch flap were correct. I ended up just re-bending the flap vs. removing it on both doors. Once they were reshaped the holes lined up perfectly. The bigger issue was that the exterior door handles were binding on the outer skin. It took some creative clamping and muscle to bend the door handles about 1/4" in order to create the needed clearance. In the end I am happy with the outcome and Penny has new doors that close easily. Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Heyhey! Well done!
    ...┌───────┬──,,
    ...|______OD__|__\\_____
    ...d ..__ ......... |... | ..__....p
    └/ | \────┴──┴/ | \─┘≡
    ..../..@........................@

    1973 Series 3, 109

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