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March 6, 2017

Boot Latch

[Click the pics for a larger view]

The TR6 boot latch assembly is pretty typical of automotive door and trunk latches.  The latch is mounted to the body at the rear of the boot opening.  When the boot lid is closed, a striker arm on the boot lid engages a catch on the latch, which rotates and captures the striker.  The catch is held in this rotated position by a release plate in the latch.  When the release button is pushed, the release plate frees up the catch, which releases the striker.  There is a lock mechanism in the release button that keeps it from pushing the release plate when the boot is locked.

My latch was dirty and corroded.  It worked, but was a little sticky.  I couldn't find the key.

These devices are available on the aftermarket, and other than my general skepticism of reproduction parts, I don't have any reason to think they wouldn't be of reasonable quality.  At over $100 for the examples I looked at, a good measure of quality should be expected.  On the other hand, It didn't appear that there was anything wrong with my latch that a good cleaning wouldn't fix.

This mechanism was riveted together, and obviously wasn't designed with repair or rejuvenation in mind.  The only replaceable part I know of is the lock cylinder, and even that is not easy to get to.

Drilling out two flat head rivets on the lock side of the device frees up the plate that holds the locking push button.

The rest of the parts for the latch are held by two long rivets that extend from side to side.  Drilling out their smooshed ends allows all the internal parts to fall out.

The lock mechanism comes apart by removing a snap ring.

The rivets, of course, are toast after removing them.  I made some replacements, but instead of rivets, they have a threaded end for a nut.  This should make disassembly easier for the next restorer.  Screwdriver slots are necessary on the other ends to tighten the nuts.

I cleaned up and replated most of the steel parts...

...and put 'er back together.  There are several wrong ways to assemble the parts.  I tried them all.

When I first took the latch apart, the lock barrel was completely frozen with corrosion.  I was finally able to get all the pins freed up, but still couldn't insert a key.  The little door that closes off the key opening was siezed, and I never could get it free.  So I reluctantly ordered a new lock barrel.

The screws holding the button/lock assembly to the plate were pretty rusted.  They look like 6-32, don't they?  Nope--they are 4BA.  I don't really get the Brits and their fascination with odd-ball threads.  For some reason, I had a little stash of 4BA x 1/4 screws.  I'm sure I bought them for some other TR6 application.  Could have been the Triumph bike, too.

Final assembly.

Bagged, tagged, and on the shelf.

This was a fun little project.  Took a few hours in total, and cost was around $20 for the new lock barrel.

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