Dynacorn Door Latch Trouble
The curse of reproduction parts strikes again thanks to my Dynacorn door latches. I spent a few hours yesterday putting in the door lock rods, the internal latch release rods, and the exterior handles on the Mustang, and when I was all done hooking them up to the Dynacorn door latch assemblies, things still weren’t quite right.
The Scott Drake door handles are beautiful. The chrome is perfect, they’re like jewelry, and they match the factory handle exactly. In fact, they probably have better chrome on them than the factory ever had…even on their best day. The buttons that come with the door handles don’t quite fit as well as the factory buttons did (they move around in the handle a little more than the ones in the factory handles), though that’s not a huge issue. Overall, I’ve been satisfied with pretty much everything I’ve bought from the Scott Drake brand.
I re-used my original door lock rods with new quick disconnect plastic / metal retainers from Scott Drake, which went together without any trouble.
And then I tried my newly installed handles only to find that I’m still having the same problem I’ve had since I got the car back…the doors are hard to open. Both of them. For the past few months, since I had no handles, I’ve been reaching down into the door and pulling on the release lever on the latch itself, and while they were kinda hard to open, I’d figured that once the handles went in that I’d have more leverage and all would be right with the world. Wrong!
First I checked the adjustment of the door latch strikers…all good. The strikers are hitting the latches right in the middle. Then I moved on to searching for the original Ford latch for comparison purposes…that took some time, but I did find one. With the Ford latch on the work bench, I tested the action. I latched it, then released it, and it did exactly like it’s supposed to: it sprang fully open to the released position. That’s how we all expect car doors to unlatch. You pull the handle or push the button and the latch springs to the open position, which pushes the door open just slightly. Then I latched the (currently installed) reproduction latches and found the problem: they don’t fully release without a lot of pulling. That may be on purpose, but I’m guessing it’s a design flaw since both latches do it. I even made a video to show the difference.
Again, the curse of reproduction parts! I could’ve cleaned up my original latches and saved $150, but in doing all the body work and getting everything set up, new latches after 100,000 miles of wear and tear seemed like a good idea. Not all reproduction parts are bad, in fact as is the case with most Scott Drake stuff, there are excellent reproductions out there. But the truth is that it’s a crap shoot most of the time, and it’s impossible to know what you’re getting until you install it. In the case of door latches, there are two brands available for 1965-1966 Mustangs: the off brand and Dynacorn. Dynacorn is marketed as the higher-quality reproduction…and they’re still not right. I can’t return them, of course…I bought them six months ago, but it sure seems like a waste of money at the moment…