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Discussion Starter #1
Calling this "exterior " is kind of 50/50, but here goes...

I am in need of a replacement driver's side door latch. Aftermarket seems to not exist any longer for these, and I have had no luck finding wone through an OEM source. Junkyard parts don't exist for these things here in Iowa (rust), and/or they won't part with anything short of an entire door. The body shop that has tried to adjust it has no luck finding one, either. They re-aligned the door due to sag from a long-ago quarter panel replacement, but now it won't stay latched if I hit any rough patches while driving. They tell me the striker post is fine, but the internal latch jaws are worn out.

Any ideas?
 

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Pick up on the door, and look for movement in the hinge pins.

This is the source for the sag.



Dorman 38438 - Dorman Door Hinge Repair Components

You will need two of these, one for top, one for bottom.

Dorman 38448 - Dorman Door Striker Bolts and Kits

You'll need one of these.

This is a common problem; the latch itself is probably not bad.

If the latch is bad, there's these guys:

https://www.tbscshop.com/1989-1997-thunderbird-cougar-door-latch-driver-side/

I'd fix the hinges first; if it's worn bad enough, you may need new hinges.

https://www.tbscshop.com/door-hinge-set-lh-driver-side-1989-1997-thunderbird-cougar/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the link to the used latch, but wow, that thing looks like it was submerged in saltwater and mud for a few years, and they are asking more than Ford's last known list price for a new OEM one. I think anything used is probably likely to be not worth the price of shipping, due to the age of these things. I'm really hoping to find a NOS one sitting on a dealer shelf, like the OEM hinges I just used.

I just had the door hinges replaced with brand new ones on the passenger side, due to busted bushings. I had them adjust the driver's side, since it was not aligned correctly after another shop replaced the quarter panel, but the latch jaws are so worn that it won't stay latched now. No body shop around here will touch the Dorman replacement pins and bushings, due to frequent comeback issues.

I appreciate the help, Grog6.
 

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If the door is not latching, check or replace the striker as the plastic will get eaten up quickly with a mis-aligned door. Usually, just lubricating the latch and working it in will help. The worst is when the latch is in the closed position when you go to close the door - rejected! Then you get real familiar with how the latch works, and keep a screwdriver in the trunk to open it, or in your pocket!

I did a DIY on replacing the hinge pins with Dormans, though I had to have some extra steel welded in the hole as it had become egg shaped. Overall a big job, but nothing as big as replacing the whole hinge as I believe the dash has to come out to access one bolt.

Al
 

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Holy **** they want $80 for a door latch?? I can get you one for cheaper than that if you need it.
 

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I may have to hit the local boneyards myself if they're getting that much for them ...

RwP
 
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