OK!  What happened?

The deck lid latch catch broke while we were taking part in the 2007 Itlian Car Day Rally held on Sunday, Oct. 14th. Luckily this happened at the end of the rally just as we were headed home ( 5 hours away ).

The quick fix was to use zip ties to hold the deck lid down and secure the lid with duct tape to avoid any side to side movement that would cause the lid to move around in the chasis and cause paint chips.

The appearance was somewhat comical, one passerby at the Gas station/truck stop/mini mart exclaimed "a car like that don't look too good with tape all over it!" I couldn't have expressed it any plainer myself!



My Boy Scout habits (Be Prepared) manages to kick in every now and then and I have always kept a few zip ties in the glove box for whatever reason.

Emergency, Abduction, Mechanical failure, etc.



You can see here where the old latch broke cleanly away from where it was mounted, the broken part remained firmly in the latch.



This is the area where the latch catch mounts, looks like some painting will be needed.


This was the old mounting location, it also happens to be 90 degrees different than the new mounting location.



These were the fasteners used to hold the original latch catch in place.



Here is the original latch catch.




This is how it worked.


Considered repair by brazing the pieces back together, deemed not strong enough and new style stamped latch catch has been ordered, stay tuned!

The original installation.

This is the "NEW" replacement part that Hall Pantera sent me. This attaches on the other plane of the deck lid. According to Mike Drew, this was designed by FoMoCo to correct a bad design in the early years.

The only advantage I can see from this part is that it would seem to reduce side to side movement of the deck lid within the chasis and avoid paint chipping.
The MAJOR disadvantage is that this is not a bolt on replacement, it will require drilling holes, installing nutserts and removing the original studs in the proper location. Knowing where to drill the holes apprears to be the next obstacle.



This is the style that the new piece replaces, not like mine at all.


Just as an aside, this is the custom deck latch and catch system on Dave McManus's car in Indianapolis, IN.






It's has an electronic key chain "push botton" release.






The coolest part of this installation...

no lock or pushbutton on the exterior of the car... smooth!




Getting help from others who have been there before is always a step in the right direction, here are some photos sent by Lee Farrell by way of Chris Difani who with Mike Drew installed this latch catch.  Apparently they had each other for help and stuffed MD into the engine bay where he could mark the location by hand, I'm without anyone to stuff inside and will have to measure.


Here are some questions that I had relating to the actual measurement to drill the holes, the consensus in that the holes should be 2.125" down from the black line and that the latch catch should be centered in the "hole".

Off to the store, my tool box lacks a "Nutsert" kit or what they call down here

( Gulfstream Aerospace people) a Riv Nut!



This photo just in from Chuck Melton, can you believe it, yet another incarnation of a deck lid latch catch!

When will it ever end?????????




This is the latch which engages the latch catch and keeps the deck lid closed


I placed the new style latch catch into the latch in its normal orientation and used duct tape keep it parrallel to the latch and level.




These are disposable foam ear plugs.

Yes, these are also in the glovebox for wimpy passengers.




I placed the foam ear plugs into the holes on the new style latch catch.



This is what it

looks like now

from another angle, as you can see, I let them extend up as far as possible.


This is a silverleaf marker ( that I used to recreate the chrome trim on the A/C vents).




I painted the top of each of the foam ear plugs with the silver leaf marker and quickly lowered the deck lid to the closed position.

Raising the deck lid back up revealed two paint impressions that were left on the deck lid that lined up with the foam ear plugs, a visual inspection also ensured that they had not moved.

I tapped a dent in the center of the painted areas with a hammer/awl, then drilled out the holes with a 3/8" bit (be esp. careful, not very much space; it would be easy for the drill to grab and extend through the deck lid up through the exterior surface.


Somebody want to tell me why this thing cost me $110.00 in a little kit with around 50 nutserts?  It looks just like my Harbor Freight Pop Rivet kit that was 19.95!




I installed two Riv Nuts (steel/6mm)

into the holes.





This is what an installed Riv-Nut looks like.


Then I used a 6mm bolt with a phillips/slot driver with a lock washer and a regular flat washer to install the latch catch ( I will probably replace these with S/S bolts/washers as soon as I can get to the good hardware store.


I closed the deck lid and engaged the new latch catch.

What a difference - much more secure than the original design with no side to side or up and down free play whatsoever.



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