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E350 rear latch adjustment

 
  #1  
Old 01-18-2019, 03:12 PM
philbr41
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E350 rear latch adjustment

I have a 2012 E350 van that the rear door latch post is loose. The doors close and latch but the u shaped post is loose and so the doors move around while I'm driving. I'm looking for some kind of guidance as to how to align and retighten the post. This van has a rear wheelchair ramp that keeps anyone from seeing or manipulating the doors from the inside. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I took it to the dealership but since it is a conversion they won't adjust it. Not sure why they won't since it's the original doors that came on the van.
 
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:14 AM
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Show us an image of what you're trying to adjust/tighten please.
 
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:16 PM
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Photos



The top picture shows the loose post that needs adjusting and tightening. The bottom photo shows the ramp that blocks access from the interior. If you look at the dark area just above the post plate you can see how it moves around with the door closed.
 
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:41 PM
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Whats holding it on the backside and can you not just use a torx bit and tighten it up?
 
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:21 PM
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I'm assuming it's just some kind of nut made into the door. Tightening it isn't the problem though. It's aligning it with the latch. it has quite a bit of movement vertically and horizontally. I'm afraid of tightening it in the wrong place and the latch catching just enough that there's not anyway to open it once it's latched. It doesn't just sit in one position. Am I making sense?
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:30 AM
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Find the correct Torx bit and using a 3/8" ratchet center the strike plate pretty much in the center of that dark area and tighten the fasteners just enough that the strike no longer moves easily by hand. Gently close the opposite door being careful to notice if there's a drag or hard interference when the latch engages the strike. Check the door alignment where they mate, make sure they're "flat" across the back.

Holding the opposite door closed against the body gently lift the door handle and then allow the door to open slowly---we don't want it to pop open that very short distance as a normally adjusted door will do. At this point the strike is aligned well enough the Torx fasteners can be tightened fully but being careful to alternate turns of the wrench so rotation of the fasteners don't pull the strike out of alignment. Open and close the opposite door a few times to make sure it doesn't bind when the latch is first released. Also make sure the right side door seals against the body as would be normal.

You could also take this van to most any body shop and they'd probably do it on the spot for little or no money.

However that chair lift is NOT in the way of anything door latch and/or strike related so whoever didn't want to do this for you is simply lazy or stupid. The strike is held to the door shell via an internal nut plate and as seen the fasteners are completely accessible from the outside of the door.

Anyway hope this helps.
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:53 AM
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What JWA said. Just go easy.
 
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:06 AM
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If the van has a raised roof with the upside down fiberglass rowboat on top like many chair lift vans, then it is likely that the doors have been extended upward to fit the top. Ford does not build them this way. Even though it still utilizes the original door latch mechanism, a Ford dealer is well within their right to not work on modified equipment. I am not surprised to hear that they didn't want to service it due to the same concerns stated by the owner.
But that said, I agree that it is a quick and easy fix that any qualified body shop could do in 5 minutes. And some dealerships will work on any kind of car. There can be a vast difference in service departments from one dealership to another.
 
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:18 AM
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That's an interesting observation Sam I Am---could very well be why the dealership won't do this simple job, sad as that is. As you mention the affected latch is stock Ford parts and installation but why let that fact get in the way huh?

I own two E-Series with the raised roof and extended height doors---one is a 2000 and the other a 2005. It was in 2003 and later (I believe) FMVSS's required the taller doors to be secured similarly to stock normal height doors, one at the top and one at the bottom too. Below the portion added by the converter the doors are pretty much as built.

Looking a bit further at this particular van I'm curious if the portion of the chair lift we can see is interfering with the door operation? If that's the case whoever installed the lift would be responsible for making sure the door operates as designed.

I will say its rare for the latch strikes like the OP's rarely come loose like this.
 
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:18 PM
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JWA - Thank you for the info. took me a few attempts to get it where the doors were flush but it finally worked. I figured out that I could look as I was closing the door to see where the bracket was in relation to the catch. That allowed me to center the bracket. I thank you for helping me out.
 
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:33 PM
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Sam I Am - You are correct about the extended length of the door on top. The top of the folded ramp has about 2.5" of clearance between it and the door. There are latches on the ramp that lock it in place when folded up. Although it shakes a little on rough roads it doesn't come close to the door.
When I took it to the dealerships to have it looked at, neither of them would even look to see what the problem was. One dealership took a look at the door at the intake point and said they wouldn't touch it because of the conversion. The other one took it to the back -I could see the van the whole time from the waiting area- before they came back literally 5 minutes later and said the problem was the extended section. As I said I could see the van the whole time, they didn't even open the door. The body shop mechanic pulled it in, walked to the back, looked up, and then got back in and drove it back to the front.
That's when I took a good look and noticed the black area around that post. When I grabbed it, it moved. I believe the people at both dealerships just didn't want to mess with something that wouldn't bring them substantial revenue.
We bought the van back in 2014 from a used truck dealership. We have no way of finding out who converted it. It was initially a commercial van. you can fold all or part of all the rear seats to accommodate more than one wheelchair. My son and I are both in wheelchairs.
Thank you for your reply.
 

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