my doors on 55 f100 close ok. but there is still play in my star latch.i found altman latch kit on mid fiftys site and was wondering if anyone used them.. I just don't like the fact that there is play in my door and afraid it may open.
Well I have a 51 f1 and when i first got it driving in parking lot the door came open. so I looked into latch kits and bought the altman latch kit. ( a bit pricey) I do like how they close easy and I did put in power door locks too.
The kit I used I had to cut the door to fit but was able to use my outside door handles and inside with kit.
You could get just some bear claw latches alot cheaper but will have to
make them fit.
I put them on my 55 and they work great. Took a couple of hours to install. The instruction were very good and easy to follow. I went with plain steel ones and wish I got the stainless plate. I think it helped tighten the cab a little and they close solid and tight.
The Altman latches are the best. I opted to do a bit more modification on my truck since the cab/doors are yet to be painted. Welded in the notch in the door jamb so that the door latch pin/bolt is mounted directly to the jamb instead of the aluminum adapter that comes in the kit. I also welded in the door plate (they can be screwed in place if the door is already painted) which makes it look very clean. Doors open and close with a "click", no slamming and no risk of opening unexpectedly.
Here are a couple of pics of the installation in my truck. The first shows the part of the door I cut out along with the supplied latch and plate. This plate CAN be bolted in place but IMO welding it in place makes a cleaner install. Even if the door is already painted...refinishing that area is rather simple.
The second pic shows the door hung and the latch pin installed...once again, the door jamb was modified so that the latch pin could be installed without the need for the adapter.
I agree the Altman kit is a bit pricy, but once installed you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner. Some things in this hobby are ripe for upgrade..dual brake master cylinders, seat belts, safety glass, steel belted radial tires...why not take advantage of a modern, reliable safety factor?
I also agree that welding the mount bracket in is the way to go..it leaves no extra hardware that is otherwise exposed, and doesn't end up looking like an add-on.
It ends up looking like a factory install, like the above Pic.
As usual,.. nice job Charlie!
I agree somethings need to be updated. i was just thinking of going old school and see what the draw backs where. the only thing seems to be wrong with my door is the star latch. still thinking and asking questions.
I just installed the Altman kit over the weekend in my sons 51 F1. I also welded my kit into his truck on the doors and will be welding in the strikes as well but for now bolted it in. They work great with a few small tweaks. Since I welded in the plates the latches are a "bear" to get in and out because if they are assembled they will not fit into place because of the window rear rail. So I had to remove the latch arm that your inside handle hooks to then install the latch and reinstall the arm once the latch was bolted in. Not fun or easy but works great now. So all in all I like the kit and would do it again.
Now for the bad of the kit that is not a big deal but for the price should be worked out. To start off the instructions were missing the fig. 1 that told you how much to cut off the exterior handles so I called and got the answer right away and went on to filling down the square shaft to fit the latch just right.
Next part was the (2)screws used to attach the inner rod to the latch. The directions say to use a nylock and do not over tighten because this is a pivot point. The problem is the screws were to short to contact the nylock part of the nut. Easy fix but had to go the hardware store for this.
Then once I had the latches installed and admittedly a pain in the arss because of MY CHOISE to weld in the plate I went to install the exterior handles and they did not fit. The info I received on the phone was incorrect and they needed to be cut down some more. This also meant they had to be filled to size again to fit the latch. Not huge but frustrating because I did not want to get the latches back out of the doors.
Last part that is a bigger deal is the exterior handles don't fit right because the receiving square hole in the latch is located in the center of the handle opening. Our handles do not have the square shaft centered but forward of center so this causes a bind in the handle. This would have been worse if I did not weld in my plates because the latch would be farther to the rear causing more off set in the wrongs direction. To fix this right I would need to cut and move the latch back some but one of these days we are going to modify the cab and doors so we will just deal with it until then.
Like I said all in all it is a great kit but me being **** about fabricating I tend to be a bit more picky then most but I would still buy again.
Ok here is a update. Now I found out the star latch wont let my passanger door close.The altman unit is starting to look like a winner. The questions I have is,
1 Is the altman kit a bolt on? or does it take a lot of fabricating?
2 is the star latch worth buying just to check it out?
I looked at replacing my latches with the star latches and found that the price difference was not worth going back to the stars. I think most places wanted about $200 for a set. I bolted mine in but as you can see some have welder in theirs. I went the bolting route because I will be doing the body work at a later time, just wanted the security of tight latching doors. Hope this helps.
Well after taking a deep breath I think the altman kit is the way to go. Old tech is cool but I think somethings you need to change. So i just have to save my pennies and buy the kit Anyone have any installation of this kit will be appreciated.