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Old 12-30-2009, 02:31 PM   #1
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Latch on hatch doors

My outside hatch doors have a paddle that releases the latches on either side. One of my doors just broke the plastic latch on the right side. I took the cover off the inside of the door and releases the mechanism and expected to be able to slide the connecting bar out so that I could replace it and the plastic end, but it will not come out either direction. What is the trick here to get the part out so that I can replace it?
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:23 PM   #2
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Drill the two rivets that hold the latch mechanism to the door. These rivets are in the side of the door. After drilling, push the rivets into the door. The latch can then be removed with the connecting bar that you disconnected. The problem is the rivet head will remain in the door and as you open/close the door you will hear the rivet bouncing around in the door. Annoying, but easier than total dissassembly of the door.

Replacement latches are available from the dealer and a couple of years ago they were about $8 each. I believe the new latches come with replacment "pop" rivet sfor installation. If not, the rivets are 3/16 in. diameter and about 3/8 inch long.

The key to preventing breakage of the plastic catch in the compartment door latches is to close the compartment doors slowly and DO NOT allow the door to slam.

Good luck.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:53 AM   #3
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It is really strange. I have NEVER slammed the hatch doors. My procedure has always been to gently drop them down and then push them closed at each side with my knee. This makes me wonder why the latch broke. Is there any lubrication that should be done?
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:49 PM   #4
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Hi Doug,

It may not have been you that ‘slammed’ the door, after 10 years, my wife still forgets and yes, I have replaced the latches. When they do break, it seems like it’s always in cold weather (brittle?). I guess when warmed up, the white plastic is more resilient. For lubrication, I use ‘graphite lock’ dust. It comes in a squeeze tube and is easy to dust the latch. Push the latch in and up, and squirt the dust under the plastic. Then in and down and squirt the dust above the plastic. All around inside the latch guide on both sides of the door. Wipe off any excess and whatever isn’t needed will blow off the next time you drive. You could also try spray silicon, the type used to lubricate seals. I haven’t tried this on the latches for fear it may pick up and hold dust and sand.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:03 PM   #5
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It has been cold here in the Portland, Oregon area. A week or so ago we had lows down to about 14 degrees and a few days ago it was 25 degrees. The latch was feeling stiff when I tried to open it recently so I had put on my list that I needed to lubricate it somehow. I was waiting for it to warm up and now the rain has started. (I wish we were in Arizona like we had planed to be.) I have some of the powdered graphite. I will give it a try when I get this latch repaired. Thanks for the input.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:25 PM   #6
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I use Kwikee spray lube on my latches twice a year ... I make sure that I wipe off all the visible lube on the outside.

I figure that if it is good enough to keep my steps lubricated it should work for the hatch locks too. The steps are certainly more exposed than the door latches and they only collect a little dirt.



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Old 01-01-2010, 03:20 AM   #7
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I use liquid wrench brand dry moly type spray lube from wally world on the basement storage door latches.
i have used this stuff to good effect on the hwh jack cylinders, winegard batwing antenna mechanism, the fantastic fan dome lifting mechanism, the main entrance door latch, and the electric step mechanism.
it sprays on wet but dries quickly. be careful not to get it in your eyes or breathe the vapor.
we got 2.5" of snow tuesday in the portland/vancouver area. it all melted thursday in the rain.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:34 PM   #8
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In six years I've had two latches break. It's strange they were both on the same compartment door. This is a door that is opened frequently and I know it did slip a couple of time while closing resulting in a "slam". I'm sure this led to the eventual failure of the white plastic. The second one broke with the latch closed and it was a real pain to get the door open. Since then I've been very careful when closing the hatches and I use the paddle to release the latches while closing. Once closed then I push on the hatch door to ensure the latches actually "latch". Also prior to traveling during my final walk-around I check every hatch door latch by pressing on the hatch near the latches. It's about a 50/50 chance the latch has not actually latched. It seems there would be a better design.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:27 PM   #9
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I received the replacement latch from Lichtsinn Motors. I ordered three so that I would have spares. They were $5.35 each plus shipping. It installed easily and only took 5 or 10 minutes to do. Interestingly, they came with a thin coating of white grease inside the metal housing where the plastic part moves in and out. I was surprised that they had grease rather than a silicone or dry graphite lubricant.
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