View original topic: Sliding door lock/latch removal - seeking help
Whaanga Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:35 am

I am doing some service and replacing a missing collar on my 73 bus. I am having trouble removing the exterior door handle. The handle stud on my bus seems to have a fitting that prevents it from sliding out of the mechanism as seen here:

I canít tell if this is a washer that is just fused on or if itís a solid piece.
I did find a tiny grub screw on the exterior door handle collar and removed it as seen in the photo below:

I have consulted the Bentley and it does no my show a washer or collar as part of the door handle stud.

I would be grateful for any help here as Iím now stuck.

Thank You,


busdaddy Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:43 am

Bad news, once long ago that square shaft slid through the round part (which is part of the latch). PB blaster and heat might loosen things up eventually, your other option is to beat the living sh*t out of it with a brass hammer and hope it moves before you mushroom the end of the shaft too much. Putting a screw into the end of the shaft tight helps with the mushrooming somewhat, don't expect it to look like a screw afterwards though.
Oh yeah, I forgot about the fun part...., all that bashing cocks the outer handle on the shaft and makes it loose sometimes, having a helper pull out on the outer end of the handle during the swear fest might help that a little.

Whaanga Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:51 am

Thanks for the quick reply Bus Daddy. And I found out what that tiny grub screw is for - it releases the tumbles for the key lock. I removed it so if I pound on it, I wonít damage the tiny springs and levers.

SGKent Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:01 pm

try to push it all the way back in and use a mill file on any burrs that are hanging it up. I recall that a couple passes on each flat helped mine come free.

Whaanga Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:03 am

Quote: Bad news, .......
I forgot about the fun part....,
......during the swear fest................

It's not good news when the first thing someone says in a post is Bad News. And it was bad news. I gently worked, then gentle turned into of a more determined attempt, which turned into a more and more of an all out banging. It did not budge. I used heat, small files, PB blaster, etc. And then I really got into trouble when the small pin that holds the rear facing level (that connects to the rod that connects to the rear latch) fell out of the assembly.

Knowing that the assembly box has a closed back, and knowing that I cannot access the back of the unit unless it's been removed, I abandoned ship as did not want to damage the door itself. I got on line and found a used part from BustedBus and it will soon be installed on my bus.

As I've learned over the years, what seems to be a simple task can often be thwarted by rust and corrosion. All I wanted to do was to install the missing exterior collar that I recently purchased. What I thought would take a couple of hours turned into what BusDaddy referred in his post as "A Swear Festival."

busdaddy Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:11 am

Bummer, sounds like it's in there for life. The nuclear option is to saw off the handle on the outside, then you can go at it on the bench with better backup methods while hammering, at least you still have a chance of saving the latch unit that way.

Whaanga Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:02 am

Yes, it's a bummer. But truth be told, the mechanism was always stiff and there was a funny hitch-in-the-get-along so I'm OK with replacing it with an OG part.

My plan is to drill out the rivet heads, remove the outer plate and hopefully get better access to the problem. IF I can get to the handle shaft through the front, then I can at least cut and remove the fused barrel fitting.

Whaanga Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:42 pm

Not that this thread is a big hit but removing the barrel from the door handle shaft is proving to be difficult. Most of the barrelís metal is fairly soft and is easy to cut. But there is also layer of harder metal that is not letting go of its grip.

I wonder what the devil happened to make this so difficult to remove the door handle shaft?

KentABQ Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:06 am

I feel your frustrations, Whaanga. :(

Probably all of us have faced a seemingly simple task only to have it turn into a swearfest.
There are a few problems with my van/bus that I've just learned to deal with rather than attempt to "fix" them and possibly make them worse.
(See WilliamM's post in my signature line. It's pretty dang accurate. It just takes a while to get past the ](*,) and on to the \:D/ )

Once Covid has passed, I'm looking forward to Robbie's next loop around the country so he can help me fix them correctly.

In the meantime, keep at it, Whaanga. Eventually you'll free the latch, and you'll breath a huge sigh of relief.

SGKent Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:22 am

this image is from classifieds which isn't the best place to get an image. It shows what an early handle looks like. Did you try smacking the handle on the end with a lead hammer? Get a lead hammer if you do not have one.*

below is a 74-79 handle

There was a great promotion at one time on these hammers. Don't know if they still honor it.

Whaanga Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:45 pm

Thanks for the encouragement KentPS. And Steve Kent, I do not have a led or brass hammer but looks like I'd better add them to my tool collection. Judging by the way things are going, I'm not very confident that using a hammer of any kind will dislodge the handle shaft from the grip of the barrel.

I'm resting today and will be ready to get back to it tomorrow; for me fatigue and frustration result in decisions that I regret later. At least I'm working out my forearms with the hack saw and files.

SGKent Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:15 pm

obviously don't use a steel hammer because it will flare the end and make it worse. Brass can do that too. That said to me it looks like the lock and the handle are toast. You don't want to damage the door any but maybe at this point I might consider something like this after filing the square sides to make sure they aren't flared. Then replace the lock and handle after having it re-keyed.

Whaanga Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:37 pm

Thanks Steve. I bought a used latch that is in excellent shape. Iím hoping to salvage the handle and install it on my newly acquired latch. I removed the key tumbler before starting this extraction process so if needed, can swap it to a different handle.

Whaanga Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:17 pm

Iím glad to report, the new/used door latch is in place.

As I dug down, I discovered that rust was the culprit that kept the latch handle trapped by the barrel. Now to get the cable and rod adjusted so the I can close the back half of the door.

SGKent Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:26 pm

get a lead hammer and a brass hammer like I posted. See if they will let you get that sale price and then you post an article somewhere if they still do that.

Next time you soak it in penetrating oil and smack it with the lead hammer. Then more penetrating oil. The smack may loosen it up enough that the penetrating oil can get in where it was rusty, and loosen it up. Glad it worked out.

Whaanga Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:47 pm

Ok - Iím doing more work on the sliding door. When I close the door and pull up on the handle to secure the back end, the door will be drawn in but there is still movement. Might this be because Iím missing the rubber stopper on the strike plate?

Also, what part am I missing to cover this small space at the bottom of the door?

SGKent Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:30 pm

you need the stop

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