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Anybody ever break a top latch?

664 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  herb101
..or am I a special case?

The passenger side front top latch now free-spins instead of latching when activated manually. May have something to do with the previous owners molestation of the assembly, but either way - it's broken. Now I need to pull to top off (again) and strip down the windsheild header (again) to see how painfull this is going to be.

The PO's fix for what I assume is a stripped allen key was to weld an 11mm hex nut atop the allen port and enlarge the header hole by drilling/bending the header steel. My guess is that the heating from the welding may have jacked-up the heat treat and allowed me to twist off something I should not have been able to. Either that or I must cut out the Wheaties stacking...

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hope you'll have a chance to post some pictures of the broken latch. Maybe it's fixable, or at least we may be able to figure out how it died and know exactly what to blame a brutal previous owner for... :)

Klaus, I'll try to get a photo of it that shows the damage in an understandable way - the damage is in an area few have likely actually seen. Basically, the internal hex lug on the top latch, where you manually lock/unlock the top, seems to have stripped out on the previous owner. He has welded a hex nut (11mm flats) on top of the hex opening, so the mechanism is now worked with an 11mm socket. This, I think, was the death knoll for this rotating pin. I think the heat treatment was 'fried' by the heat from welding. The current damage is at the end of the rotating pin. The round shaft changes to a square drive and the square end has sheered off flush. The square drive engages to work one of the locking pawls within the latch - only mine does not now. I can't see that a rebuild of the latch is possible or likely, so it looks like I need to source a replacement passenger side latch. Real shame too as it looks like it was manufactured yesterday, aside from the PO's dinking.

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I have a used latch if you need one
I'd be very interested in that - thank you. I don't see these on eBay, although as Klaus mentioned in my other post, the rears on currently listed. If you could PM the details to me, I would be in your debt.

Klaus, I definitely appreciate the thoughts on marrying two core with different issues together. Technology (embodied in the form of a Benz top latch) cannot win - after all, we created the original one, right? If it's breakable, it's fixable - cost and time are the obstacles that determine if it's worth doing. If I can secure a replacement, I'll send you this one as a research project/core if you'd like.

Thanks for the help and the the voice of reason from afar...

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