Sunday, July 20, 2014

Door Latches - Custom?

Discovered something about my DJ5 today that I didn't know. I was trying to figure out why I'm unable to slide open my doors and keep them open like I hear everyone else is able to do with their postal Jeep. I started digging around for pictures of the latch mechanism to see if mine's just broken or missing a part. Turns out...I have a completely different setup (ie...customized) for my door latches than normal DJ5's do.
Here's what a normal DJ5 latch is supposed to look like:

As you can see, it has two latches... a front one and a rear one. This is so you can latch it in a closed position, or also in an open position.  My doors don't look like this, nor do they stay latched open.

I'm guessing it was customized sometime in the 80's when I think some of the other custom mods were done on mine. My door latches are mounted completely inside the sliding door itself. Only thing sticking out is the handle on the outside, a thumb lever on the inside, a slide bolt lock to lock it from the inside, and the latch catch. I'm going to try to find a way to see if I can rig up a latch to hold the door open when it's slid open since this setup doesn't allow that. Interesting how it was done. A little crude, but definitely customized over the stock double-sided latch solution.  Here's what mine look like: