Hello

There is a very large class of people that own 65/66 Mustangs that, as far as I can tell, anyway, have been, for the most part, ignored entirely. They don't really want that 100 pt. show car that is so nice and was soooo expensive that they're afraid to drive it, they also don't want to make their car capable of achieving warp factor three. They just want this car that they dearly love to be able to cruise around smoothly and reliably, without having it dump them out on the side of the road or have it start making weird noises or belching out big clouds of funky-smelling smoke. And I think, truth be told, that this is by far the largest class of Mustang owners. They take their car to some technician when what they actually need is a mechanic, and this, frequently, does not work out very well at all for the owner. They don't want to re-engineer the entire car, they just want someone to fix what broke. These are the people that I am trying help out with this blog. Some problems require a little bit of back and forth, as in, "Try this." "I tried that and it didn't change anything."
" Oh. well, you probably need to try that." " I tried that and it helped, but it still isn't quite right." "Now you need to try this...." If you go to http://www.allfordmustangs.com/ and then go to the classics forums, you will be able to do that with a pretty hefty gathering of some very knowledgeable people that also happen to be very friendly. None of that ridiculous one-upmanship, no flaming or abuse, none of that stuff. Just good, solid advice from people that know what they are talking about.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mustang door lock, latch and handles 1965 1966


Here is how the door latch, release handles and locks work on your car. In the second picture, the outside door handle rod is indicated by the green arrow, the rod that the door lock knob screws onto is indicated by the blue arrow, the outside door lock cylinder rod is indicated by the red arrow, and the inside door release handle rod is indicated by the brown arrow. The third picture ( further down )shows how the outside door handle rod is connected to the latch mechanism in the red circle. It is basically just pushed into a slotted plastic bushing. You don't want to detach that if you don't have to because they never really hold as well after they've been popped loose and then reinstalled. The outside door lock cylinder rod is held to the latch by a springy little clip, as shown in the green circle. If you look at the fourth picture, you will have a much better look at another one of those clips which is holding the outside door handle rod to the outside door handle. The clip has been popped loose, which allows the rod to be removed from the handle.
If you are replacing the outside door handle, you just pop that clip loose, remove the nut that's holding the front of the door handle to the car, and then the phillips head screw that's holding the rear part of the door handle to the car. If you open the door and look at the face where the latch sticks out , where the door tag is on the driver's side door, etc.. you will see two rubber bumpers, or possibly just the rectangular holes where the bumpers are supposed to be. About four inches above the top bumper is a screw head. That's the one holding the door handle.
The next picture shows the outside door lock cylinder attached to the rod, again, with one of those clips. And, again, the clip is popped loose. To remove the lock cylinder, you simply pop that clip loose, and then pull the big, flat U-shaped clip that's holding the lock cylinder onto the car, as shown in the top picture, along with the part number for a new lock cylinder set, and then carefully pull the old lock cylinder out of the door from the outside. It is very, very easy to damage your paint when removing the door handle and the lock cylinder. Just take your time, be careful and you shouldn't have any problems.
The last two pictures show the attaching points for the inside door release handle rod. The last picture shows the rod attached to the door release lever mechanism. This triangular shaped piece is what has the shaft that the inside door release handle is attached to. That shaft is over on the other side of piece. The next to the last picture shows the inside door handle release rod attached to the door latch mechanism, again, with one of those clips.
Just a word about those clips. They have a death-grip on those rods. It would be very impressive indeed to see someone just reach in there and pop them loose with their fingers without gashing those fingers to shreds in the process. I take a very small flat blade screwdriver and push up under that little tail on the clips and pop them loose like that. Also, I never had any trouble reaching any of this stuff inside the door, but, if you are a man, your arms will be several inches longer and significantly larger in diameter than mine. At least, I would certainly hope that they are. (I wish I had smilies here) Also, you have the window regulator mechanism and the rear guide track for the window to work around. With all of this stuff still inside the door, you can't actually see most of this junk while you're working on it. You have to do it by feel, using the three-dimensional hologram diagram in your mind as a guide. Also, you can't possibly get both hands on the same component at the same time. You locate the rod, feel along to the end until you locate the clip, feel for the little tail on the clip and which way it's pointing, put the little screwdriver under it and pop it loose.
Once you get to this point, if you want to actually remove the latch mechanism, all you have to do is remove those three phillips head screws holding it onto the car that are located on the outside of the door latch, forming a little triangle around the latch, and then snatch it out of there. The window's rear guide track is going to try to prevent you from removing the latch mechanism, but don't take no for an answer. It's your car, not the guide track's.








51 comments:

Gary said...

Hi Veronica, My cylinder lock is very stiff to turn,stiff enough that I'm worried about snapping the key. Is it possible to lube this?

Gazza.

Veronica said...

Yup, the mechanism is easily lubricated. Although, it is probably not the key cylinder that is doing all that binding up on you. The locking mechanism on the door latch assembly has been sitting there accumulating crud for forty plus years. You can try dipping the key into some clean oil and stick it into the lock and twist a little, run the key in and out a bunch of times, that sort of thing. If that fixes it, that's good. If not, then you can remove the door panel and lubricate the latch assembly. Yes, you have to do that from the inside. The part that's causing the lock to bind can't be accessed from outside. If you have to do that, it's still basically the same procedure. Squirt a little oil around on the mechanism, lock and unlock the door by means of the lock knob instead of the key, open and close the door a bunch of times. Might as well give the latch a workout while you're there, since you just aquirted oil all over it, also. Good luck.

Shawn said...

Hello. My driver side door stopped opening from the outside and i was wondering how i could take off the inner door panel to fix it. On a side note, the inner door handle is no longer feels like its spring driven and it takes a couple of tries to open it. Thanks in advance and keep up the good work Veronica

Veronica said...

To remove the door panel you have to remove the window crank, door release handle, and arm rest. If you have the door handles and window cranks held on with screws, that isn't a big deal at all. If you have the clips holding them on you have to pull the clip out to remove them. The arm rest is held on with two big screws. Removing the door panel itself without tearing it up is a little trickier if you don't have tool. The tool is not expensive and is available from Matco and Snap-on. I'm sure that others also make it, I just don't know of anyone else. I'll do a write-up on that with some pictures. The inside door handle feeling like it is no longer spring-loaded is probably the result of the door release handle shaft assembly spring breaking or having turned loose. That will need to be replaced. Again, not a big deal. It's just held on with three screws and the rod that goes from the shaft assembly to the door latch assembly is held on with one of those little clips like the other rods.There is a left and right handed assembly, so you'll want to make sure that you get the correct side. The first thing, though, would be to get the door panel off and have a look in there and see what's really going on with all of that stuff.

civilbrown said...

Hi Veronica, Two things... The first) My drivers side lock is loose. You could grab it with your finger nails and pull it out. Any way to hold the cylinder in? Am I missing a retaining clip?

Second) I took the door panel off of my '65 gt and I can see the locking mechanism. Is there a better way to the latch to put on a new rod and rod retaining clip? The door stopped opening from the outside because my rod retaining clip broke.

Thank you!
Dave

Veronica said...

There is a clip that holds the lock cylinder into the door. In the first picture it shows one of the lock cylinders with the clip on it. All you do is push the lock cylinder all the way in and, while holding the lock cylinder in with one hand, push the from the front of the door towards the back around the part of the cylinder that's sticking through the door. If you look around inside the door along the bottom, the old clip would almost have to be down there somewhere.

If the retaining clip that failed is the one on the top,the easiest way is to go ahead and reach up in there and install the new clip, then attach the rod to the door handle. Space is pretty limited, and, there's no way to actually see what you're doing when you're doing it. You have to go by memory and feel. The alternative would be to remove the door handle, install the clip, re-attach the door handle and then attach the rod, again, by memory and feel. If it's the lower part that turned loose, you'll have to remove the latch and replace the retaining assembly.

jpreedy said...

i am trying to replace my door locks but i cannot find out how to see up where the locks are. there is a bunch of metal in the way. how do you remove this to swap out the locks and how do you swap out the locks. a lot of pictures would be awesome and i have a 67 if that matters.
thank you!

Veronica said...

The door lock cylinders come out the same way on a 67 as a 65/66. There is a U-clip holding it in from inside the door. You just unhook the latch rod clip, move the rod out of the way, pull the U-clip off and remove the lock cylinder from the door. You don't really want to start removing the stuff that's obstructing your view because then you'll have to go through all the trouble of re-installing that stuff and, even more fun, re-align the window tracks so that the window goes up and down without binding. If you look at the pictures of the lock cylinder stuff at the top, get an idea of what's supposed to be in there, and just stick your hand up there and confirm by feel what's on your car, that would make things a lot easier for you. There are a lot of basic repairs on an old Mustang in which you can't actually see what you are doing, but have to trust the image of the assembly in your mind's eye.

bruce said...

Hi Veronica, the door on my Mustang will only latch if I have the inside lock pushed down. Is there something I need to adjust?

Veronica said...

Hi Bruce. Is this something that just started happening, or, has the car done this since you've had it?

bruce said...

when I bought the car, it was totally in boxes, so I had to put back together. I have been working on the door latch on and off for several months but I dont remember it ever working right

Veronica said...

I think that the first thing that I would do would be to pull the door panel off and see what's really going on in there. To have what you describe happen, it could be the outside door handle release rod is bent up a little or something, and the two rods are binding on each other, so that, when you pull the lock rod up, it's also dragging the release rod with it. That would be one possibility, but, I would definitely have a look in there.

Komain S. said...

Veronica,

I'm not sure if these cars came like this (i'm a new owner), but when I get out and push the lock down, then shut the door, the locks push back up. I also tried pushing the lock down, and simultaneously holding the outer button as i shut the door, releasing once it is closed. But the lock just keeps coming back up.

The original owner did not give me the door keys and said he never really locked the doors.

Veronica said...

Yup, it's supposed to do that. It wasn't much later, a couple of years, when they started making the door latches that allowed you to lock the doors in the way that you've been trying to lock yours, but, these cars don't do that. To lock the door, you have to either lock it from the inside, or lock it with the key. They're supposed to lock with the ignition key, but, if someone replaced either the ignition switch or the door locks, it would be a different key. If you want to be able to lock the doors, and, the ignition key that you have won't do that, you could get a new lock set, which would include both door locks and the ignition key cylinder. That would have the car back to where it could be locked.

Justin said...

Veronica,

I just replaced my latch on the driver side door. Now I am having a hard time shutting the door. Is there an easy way to adjust the latch to make the door close without slamming it?

Justin said...

Veronica,

I just replaced my latch on my driver side. I am having a hard time closing the door now. Is there an easy way to adjust the door latch so I don't have to slam it?

Veronica said...

I would start by thoroughly lubricating the latch, I think. There isn't really any way to adjust the tension on anything.

Allison said...

I was wondering if you know what material (like type of plastic) the plastic pawl rod clip on the locking mechanism is made of?
Also, do you know why they use the plastic pawl rod clips in newer cars when the metal ones don't break as easily?

Veronica said...

I have no idea precisely what type of material they used for that. On the newer cars, my guess would be that the plastic pieces are easier to manufacture and the material doesn't cost as much, making the clips much cheaper to produce.

Srta. Del Valle said...

My driver side door won't open unless from the inside. I already have the door panel off as I was replacing it. I checked inside and found that the outside door handle rod is hanging free. Thanks to your picture I can see it should be attached to the plastic bushing, but problem is there isn't any, so I'm thinking it broke. Where can I get a new one and what should I ask for when I start looking?

Veronica said...

As far as I know, nobody sells just that clip, but, it has been quite a while since I actually went looking for one. I would suggest trying all of the 'usual suspects', such as National Parts Depot, AMK, CJ Pony Parts, Mustang Mania, John's Mustang, etc...

Sally said...

Hi Veronica, ok so my cousin was backing up my car (i parked on the water hose and he needed to move it a little bit to get the hose), he didnt have the keys so he just put the car in nuetrul and pushed back (so the door was open). At first the car didnt move so he pushed hard (foot on the ground) he was caught off guard when it started ging to fast. He didn't have time to brake and the door hit the trailer. Now the door won't close. We think there is something wrong the bottom lock.

We think this part might be the problem

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=1966+mustang+door&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&rlz=1T4TSHB_en__239__239&tbm=isch&tbnid=EA_0rd-CT_t12M:&imgrefurl=http://www.mustangmonthly.com/featuredvehicles/mump_0705_1966_mustang_gt_convertible/photo_15.html&docid=ehYxpwN90DOZ_M&w=640&h=480&ei=skNtToLZL-zbiALK9JXPDg&zoom=1&biw=1024&bih=568&iact=rc&dur=297&page=4&tbnh=122&tbnw=143&start=42&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:12,s:42&tx=79&ty=55 it won't budge

What do you think the problem is and how can we fix it?

btw the door never opened from the outside using the handle

Veronica said...

Hi Sally. The door latch in the picture is in the closed position. I would first make sure that door wasn't also locked and then try pulling on the release handle on the interior side of the door, as if trying to get out of the car. If that does not work, try that while someone tried to pop the jaws open with a screwdriver.

64_n_half_eve said...

Hi Veronica,
I am having trouble with my 64 1/2 Pony RH Door Lock, It just wont stay Locked when the Plunger is Pushed. If I press in the Outside Door Handle Push Button it just pops back up.
Most of the Time when the Locking plunger is Pressed it pops straight back up without any pressure.
The Lock has never worked since I brought the Car in the States and is different to the Other door and Ignition.
So I planed on replacing the Both Door Locks and the Ignition Barrel ( Also Very Touchy and the Original Key is worn down badly) replaced the Lock Tumbler and U bracket but still have this NOT locking issue.
Wondered if you have come across this issue before.

Cheers Steve
Boy from OZ

Veronica said...

Yup, that is not really a rare occurrence. That is normally a problem with the door latch mechanism. On the lower end of the latch mechanism there is an 'L' shaped arm that has a big rivet holding it on. When that arm gets bent or starts binding on a build-up of crud, the door lock will do what you describe. Sometimes removing the latch and giving it a really good cleaning will help, but, not always. It is well worth trying though, because it's hard to find a new one that Ford made, and the reproductions are not all that they could be. The number for the passenger side door latch is C4SZ-6321812-C, which should help with the search.

Bill Lu said...

Hi Veronica,
I have the same problem and that is I can not open my passenger door from the outside. I removed the insde door panel and pushed the door handle button a few times and everything seemed to be moving but can not release the door latch. What do you suggest I should do? Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Bill

Veronica said...

Hi, Bill. The first thing that I would do is see if the inside release handle will open the door. If yes, the problem is probably at the point where the rod from the outside door release handle attaches to the latch mechanism. It is also possible that the latch mechanism has found a way to lock itself. I would also check and see if it is locked. If you could describe the circumstances leading up to the door handle not working, that would help a bunch.

Rob Merrifield said...

Great site Veronica. Wish I'd found it yesterday before I spent all afternoon with my arm buried inside the door. But I did eventually get my new latch installed and working. I did find that the outside release rod seemed a hair too long and wouldn't quite open the door. I had to put a little bend in the rod and that seemed to work. Still have to get a new lock cylinder apparently as its not turning at all. Thanks again.

Gary Bentley said...

Hi Veronica - really appreciate all of this information. I am replacing my standard interior door regulator with the longer pony type. I removed the standard one and am not sure what was holding the long releasing rod to it - because it is no longer there. The rod won't just stay connected to the new door regulator. Is there a nut or bushing or something that is supposed to hold the releasing rod to the regulator?

Veronica said...

Hi, Gary. The rod is held on with one of those clips like the ones shown in the pictures. If that clip is missing, I would first look around in the bottom of the door since, if it fell off for some reason, it really couldn't go anywhere other than the bottom of the door. If you have no luck there, the clips are available from most vendors of vintage Mustang parts, like NPD, for example. I'm pretty sure that AMK also makes them. The last picturein this post should show you exactly what you are looking for. Hope that helps.

Gary Bentley said...

Veronica: Thanks for the quick response! I found the old clip sort of in a couple pieces inside the door. I ordered two new ones -Scott Drake type - and just spent an hour trying to make it work. Is it supposed to be as simple as the end of the lock rod sliding into the plastic part of the retaining clip - and then into the hole on the regulator? I tried that - then pushed the clip down on the lock rod - but the rod comes out of the regulator hole after I open and close the door a couple times. Amazing how something this small and simple can be so frustrating. I will add that both the regulator and clip are Scott Drake parts.

Veronica said...

I think that you have just described the problem perfectly when you said that both of the clips are Scott Drake. This guy http://www.allclassicmotors.com/1965MustangParts.html has new original Ford door latch rod retainer clips. They cost 9 bucks each for the brand new ones, but, he also has a set of 4 good used ones for 22. You can also get them from NPD for like 8 bucks each which are metal with the plastic bushing in them, like the originals.

How you install them is, first, push the plastic bushing into the release mechanism, then put the rod into the hole in the bushing, then attach the clip part to the rod. Hope that helps, and let me know how it goes.

Gary Bentley said...

Veronica: Great news - I ordered the metal with plastic type from NPD and they installed with no problem at all. Thanks so much for all the assistance you provide classic Mustang owners!

StoneJAW Joe said...

Hello, my problem is I replaced both sides.. and the door is shut then locked either by pushing the button down or using my key.. then if press the button to open the door the lock will pop open then i can open the door.. any ideas? because im not familiar..

Veronica said...

Hi, Joe.
Based on what you have said, I am curious about how it is exactly that you have determined that the door is actually locked. It could easily be the case that the locking mechanism is not fully engaging, and pushing the door handle button is causing it to pop back to the fully unlocked position, since it hasn't really 'caught' when you locked it. Another common 'issue' is for two of the rods to be binding on each other, and one drags the other one with it when it moves.There is also a long list of problems with the reproduction door latch mechanisms, if that is what you replaced. Are we talking about you have replaced both door latch mechanisms, or both lock cylinders?

Kely said...

Hi Veronica,
Is it possible to disassemble the interior door handle shaft mechanism for a 66 Mustang with pony interior? My spring broke and I have a spare standard version (the shaft isn't long enough for the Pony interior panels). I'd like to swap the spring from the standard version with my broken Pony version. There's a flat-head screw opposite the shaft but it's not budging. Thanks.
Kelly

Veronica said...

To be perfectly honest about it, I have no idea if that would work or not. It never occurred to me try that. I always just replaced it with a brand new one so that I wouldn't be having to snatch that door panel back off in a few weeks if the assembly failed on me somehow. I have a few of those sitting around, so, let me have a look at one in the morning and see if that thing will come apart without breaking anything.

Veronica said...

I messed with one for a while today, and, it appears that there is no practical way to repair one, since a brand new one only costs about 15 bucks. It would be more cost-effective to get a minimum wage job and work at that long enough to buy a new one.

Ray McPherson said...

Veronica, thanks for all your help before I even address my issue. I have a 67 coupe that the door lock will not stay up on the driver door. Since this is a race car this is quite dangerous if things go wrong. It looks like the spring on the latch is not involved so my only thought is that there must be a spring in the key lock mechanism that is worn out. Am I missing something? Thanks, Ray

Veronica said...

There aren't any springs in the key cylinder or attached to the locking mechanism. The only springs in the locking assembly are part of the door latch mechanism. The 67 door latch assembly is different from the 65/66, so, the pictures that I posted here probably make no sense at all to you. If you look at your door latch, you will notice that there is a 'U' shaped bracket that has a couple of the rods attached to it, which the 65/66 cars don't have.There is also a spring that is like a 1/4 inch in diameter at the coils with a straight part at either end and a little hook on each end. It is very common for that spring to break, and, when it does, the door latch will do exactly what you have described.

Window Maintenance Services said...

Very nice information, I like this.
Windowmaintenance

Bob M said...

Hi Veronica,

First, I want to say that I'm a devout follower of yours and have found all of your posted knowledge incredibly helpful to my son and me in our Mustang endeavors.

Now, my question/problem... Like several previous posters, I've had a problem with the driver's door not opening from the outside. I pulled the door panel off, and what I found was what you've already described several times - a broken plastic retaining clip on the door rod that connects to the door handle. So, I ordered what I thought was the "correct" clip from CJ - a "concourse" Scott Drake clip (C3AZ-6221952-BR). It's actually 2 pieces -- a metal "eyelet" that attaches to the rod, and a soft plastic (almost rubbery) plug that fits into the metal eyelet. The rod slides into the plug, which then fits into the door handle. Pretty simple.

Worked fine for a couple days, and then failure again. Yep, the rod came disconnected from the handle... again. The problem appears to be that the plastic plug isn't quite large enough to fit snugly into the door handle, even with the rod inserted (which should "expand" the plastic part enough to keep it from pulling out). What now...??

Bob M said...

Hi Veronica,

First, I want to say that I'm a devout follower of yours and have found all of your posted knowledge incredibly helpful to my son and me in our Mustang endeavors.

Now, my question/problem... Like several previous posters, I've had a problem with the driver's door not opening from the outside. I pulled the door panel off, and what I found was what you've already described several times - a broken plastic retaining clip on the door rod that connects to the door handle. So, I ordered what I thought was the "correct" clip from CJ - a "concourse" Scott Drake clip (C3AZ-6221952-BR). It's actually 2 pieces -- a metal "eyelet" that attaches to the rod, and a soft plastic (almost rubbery) plug that fits into the metal eyelet. The rod slides into the plug, which then fits into the door handle. Pretty simple.

Worked fine for a couple days, and then failure again. Yep, the rod came disconnected from the handle... again. The problem appears to be that the plastic plug isn't quite large enough to fit snugly into the door handle, even with the rod inserted (which should "expand" the plastic part enough to keep it from pulling out). What now...??

Many thanks,
-Bob-

Veronica said...

It is sad that, apparently, nobody can manufacture something as simple as this clip and have it do what it's supposed to do. Fortunately, the original clips that were made by Ford are still available. I'm pretty sure that this guy http://www.allclassicmustang.com/ has them for a very reasonable price. I have to say that actually finding what you need on his site is a tedious process because what he has is an extremely long list of stuff in small type, but, it is at least alphabetical. Just scroll down that looooong list of stuff until you find items that start with 'door latch', and the clips will be there. And, he is certainly in no hurry when it comes to shipping, but, the item that eventually ends up on your front porch is exactly what he claims it will be. It's not like he takes a couple of weeks or anything, but, don't expect it in a couple of days, either.

Jim said...

Hi Veronica,

The drivers side door on my 66 mustang won't open. The push button on the outside door handle is stuck all the way in. The push button on the inside is all the way down.

I have the door panel off.

How do I open the door?

Thanks,

Veronica said...

Hi, Jim.
I would try popping the clip loose that hols the rod onto the outside door handle and give that rod a tug upward and see if that did it. Does the inside door handle also not work?

Jim said...

Veronica,

The inside door handle also does not work.

So, I should reach in with a screw driver or something and try and remove the clip that hold the rod to the mechanism? Is it possible to see the clip? And the rod will still work the mechanism after the clip has been removed?

Veronica said...

I suppose that it is possible to find an angle that allows you to see the clip, but, even if you could, your view would be blocked by your hand when you try to remove it. The way that I do that is to just grab the right rod and follow it upwards with my hand to locate the little tab on the clip. And yes, it is so much easier to pop that clip loose with a little bitty flat bladed screwdriver. The rod will still operate the latch mechanism if it is disconnected from the door handle but still connected to the door latch.

Jim said...

Success. I was able to get a light inside the door and actually see the mechanism. I sprayed it with WD40. I then pulled on one of the rods leading up the door handle/ door lock. I am not sure which one. Heard something click and then moved the inside door handle and the door opened. Thanks for all your help.

Now what? Spray with WD40, lubricate the whole thing? Obviously I would like to avoid this problem again.

Jim said...

Veronica

I have removed the passenger side window scissors extension on my 66 mustang but can't get the regulator out. I thought it would just drop down and I could slide to the rear and pull it out using the opening that I used for the scissors. The window is almost all the way up but not completely.

Is there a trick or do I just have to keep fiddling with it until it gets down and to the rear?

Garrett said...

Hello,

I am working on a 1965 fast back.

My issue is: when I roll up my window the window shifts forward (toward front of the car) 1/8 of an inch approximately, the stainless trim attached to the top of the window then touches the frame of the vent window and scrapes it as i roll the window up. When I roll the window down the window shifts back ward towards the rear of the car and the trim piece on top of the window does not scrape. I have replaced the window regulator with a. New one and I have tried shifting the vent window frame forward and rear but nothing seems to fix the problem. I am thinking of replacing the scissor assembly next which is attached to the regulator. Any suggestions? Thanks

Garryt