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Old 07-30-2020, 02:16 PM   #1
poolplayer1
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Default 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

I need a driver side door latch for my 55 wagon. The star wheel is barely hanging on. I found one that is for a 1955/56 ford fairlane and it is the driver side.The only thing is that the seller says that he is not sure if it will fit my wagon and that all his sales are final,no refunds.He does say that its in real good shape,including the star wheel. Does anyone here have a parts book on the 55/56 ford fairlane that can check the oem part # for the door latch? He send me a picture of it and it looks like the one I need but not 100 % sure.
The oem part # for the driver side door latch of my wagon is B5A-7021813-B.
If the fairlane uses the same part #,I will order it today if I get a verification that they are the same part # from one of you guys. Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-30-2020, 02:42 PM   #2
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

The wagon assembly is likely the same as the Fairlane. The doors are the same. Henry hated parts proliferation and used the same parts across model lines religiously. If it were me I'd snap it up.
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Old 07-30-2020, 03:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

Thank you Dobie.I think I'll take a chance and hope it works.
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Old 07-30-2020, 03:55 PM   #4
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

I'll bet the ranch it'll work.
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Old 07-30-2020, 04:17 PM   #5
Daves55Sedan
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

If the one he is offering is for a '56, I would not get it. The '55 door latches have a full-depth star-wheel, The '56 door latch mechanism is the same, but this was the year they converted to safety latches, so the star-wheel is machined down closer to the mechanism body. They did this so the wheel would clear the safety plate on the door striker.
Too bad I only have a '55 passenger side latch mechanism to sell !
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

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Can you install a '56 latch and striker on a '55 car/wagon?
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Old 08-02-2020, 02:47 PM   #7
Daves55Sedan
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40cpe View Post
Can you install a '56 latch and striker on a '55 car/wagon?
Yes if you want to swap the old style latches for safety latches you can remove the latch assembly from the door and the striker plate. They are a direct bolt-in without any modifications.
But you cannot use a '56 striker plate with a 55 latch. The safety plate on the '56 striker will interfere with the full star-wheel of the '55 latch.
You may be able to use the '56 latch with a '55 striker plate, but the '56 star-wheel will not get the full "bite" on the teeth of the '55 striker plate, resulting in a wear "ridge" and possible need for premature replacement of the striker plate.
Personally, I would not buy any of the repro striker plates the chi-coms are offering. They are weak and prone to failure very quickly. All my striker plates on the sedan and wagon are originals. Actually, all these components can last more than a persons lifetime if they are kept properly lubriplated and kept in proper adjustment.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

Well, looks like the guy that had the door latch for sale was wrong on his ad.He send me a picture of the latch he had and it does look like mine but the problem is that the one he is selling is for the right side /passenger side.I need the driver side. Back to the drawing board.Still looking for the latch.If any of you have one for sale or know of somebody that has one for sale,please let me know. Right now,I have to slam the door 3 or 4 times before the door latches on.I don't want to keep doing this cause I might brake the glass having to slam the door that many times. Thanks.
Oh,by the way,I did find one after market (Chineese) made but I don't trust it.
There is a guy on Ebay that has the NOS for both left and right sides but he wants $695.00 for them.He is going to have to hold on to those parts for a long time before he ever finds a buyer.
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

I don't know if the bird door plates are the same as the car/wagon, but I'd suspect so. Maybe 15 years ago I replaced all that on my 55 bird with parts from Larry's Thunderbird. They bolted right in and have held up all these years.

IMO, the problem with offshore parts isn't the manufacturing, it's the spec'ing and qc the bean counters and consumers don't want to pay for. Ok, I'm off my soapbox now.
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

A friend of mine told me that he thinks the latches from a 55 T-Bird will work fine on my wagon,which is what you are saying. I am going to check around and see if somebody has a picture of the driver side door latch of a 55 T-Bird.That way I can compare it to mine.
I know that the 55 ford trucks will not work cause the truck latches use only 3 bolts where mine uses 4 bolts. Thanks to all.
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:22 PM   #11
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

'55 Bird LH door latch:

https://www.larrystbird.com/product/...ore-fee-of-75/
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

So, looks like this latches can be rebuilt cause they have a core charge of $75.00 which will be refunded once they get mine back in to their shop. According to them,they will inspect the part to make sure it can be rebuild and if yes,they issue the core charge back.
fair enough. Looking at the picture of the latch for the 55 T-bird,it looks almost identical to the one in my wagon. Thanks Dobie for the Link.
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

You're welcome. Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while...
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

Many years ago, my driver side latch had the same problem with the star wheel barely hanging by a thread. I took the door apart and removed the latch. When you turn it over on the backside, you will notice that the backside of the starwheel has a short shaft that is pressed into the lock-wheel. That connection was loosened up so I laid the mechanism flat on the star-wheel, took a long flat punch and hammered that end back down again, but it was still a little loose, so I got out the mig welding outfit and spot welded the star-wheel shaft solidly onto the lock-wheel. Thats probably been at least 35 years ago and it is still working like new !
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

if i remember there is a spring on that unit i don't remember if it connects to the star wheel its about the size of a quarter coiled
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

Thats the problem with my latch. I am going to remove it in the morning and take a look at the back of the latch and see how bad it is. If I can fix it,I will,if not,I will order one from larrys T-birds. Thanks Dave and everyone else for your help.

Last edited by poolplayer1; 08-03-2020 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 08-04-2020, 03:12 PM   #17
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

I started to remove the door latch this morning.I removed the inside handles,The door metal trim,and the door panel.I also removed the screws holding the latch.
I tried to push the latch back to see if it would come out but the glass channel is right behind the latch and will not let it come out.
I don't have enough room to take the latch out.So, for all of you who have done this before,do I have to remove the window glass so that I can move the glass channel out of the way to let the latch come out. Looks like its going to be a tough job but I have to do what I have to do to get the job done. Need some Advice on this.Thanks to all.
PS- I do have on order the 55 Ford car repair manual but it won't be here for another 2 weeks.
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Old 08-04-2020, 04:01 PM   #18
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

This is from the 1954 section of my '54/'55 Merc service manual. The '55 section doesn't address latch removal.

After you've exposed all the fasteners remove the screws from the remote control base (where the inside door handle attaches) and unhook the control arm from the door lock.

Remove the inside cover plate.

Remove the door lock cylinder retainer and remove the door lock cylinder.

Remove the cap screw that secures the lower glass run to the door panel.

Remove the cap screws that secure the door lock assembly to the door panel. Lower the lock assembly with the inside locking rod attached and remove through the access hole in the door panel.

Reverse the procedure to reinstall.

Going by this it looks like you don't have to remove the glass run, just the cap screw. Again, this is for a '54; a '55 may differ.
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Last edited by Dobie Gillis; 08-04-2020 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:31 PM   #19
poolplayer1
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

Thanks Dobie. The instructions you have here are close enough that I was able to remove the latch. I did not have to remove the glass at all. Just removed all the things you mentioned above. To have enough room for the latch to drop down,I had to remove the screw at the bottom of the glass run and than move the run to the side.At this point,the latch will drop down. The locking button rod will have to be removed from the old latch assembly and put in the new latch before sliding the latch back up to its position.
Waiting for the new latch to arrive.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:37 PM   #20
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: 55 Ford Ranch wagon Door latch Question

Glad I could help.
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