<VV> Seized Convertible top latch

Jim Becker mr.jebecker at gmail.com
Mon Apr 22 11:06:23 EDT 2019

My experience is with an early and long ago.  As I recall, the early/late 
latches do not interchange but the same basic design.  So this should apply. 
As I recall, removing/installing the latch assembly is simply the two bolts 
as you concluded.

The J hook screws into a small casting.  The small casting is attached to 
the rest of the latch mechanism with a single pin.  It is free to pivot on 
that pin.  There is a spring that pushes the small casting one direction. 
There is a small lug cast into one side of the small casting.  It contacts 
another lug on the latch mechanism that causes the small casting to rotate 
against the spring force as the latch handle is moved.  This rotating action 
is intended to bring the J hook into position as the latch is operated.

The most common failure I have seen is a broken small casting.  The small 
casting is essentially a clevis that is pinned to a single member of the 
latch mechanism.  When the small casting breaks, one side of the clevis 
breaks off.  My guess is that is what has happened to your latch.  The 
broken piece may have jammed into the mechanism keeping it from moving. 
Removing the assembly from the car and giving it a close inspection should 
verify this or let you find the actual problem.

Originally, GM only supplied the entire latch assembly as a replacement 
part.  Clark's catalog shows that they have replacement parts for the hook, 
spring, and small casting.

Jim Becker

-----Original Message----- 
From: Arlette Pat & Carl Kelsen via VirtualVairs
Sent: Monday, April 22, 2019 4:14 AM
To: Virtualvairs Virtualvairs
Subject:  Seized Convertible top latch

G’day everyone,
Well I am pleased to report that I now have a fully installed Clarks Corvair 
supplied convertible top on our 1965 RHD Monza convertible. A big job, but I 
am very happy with the results. Not a wrinkle, totally smooth and I am 
progressing well with the side glass adjustment (an equally frustrating 

However, today when I was lowering the top one of the locking latches (above 
the front windscreen) seized solid in the open position. The chrome hook 
swings freely at an odd angle. I can lower the top but can’t lock it down on 
one side.

I expect that the seized locking latch is either damaged (broken) beyond 
repair and will need to be replaced or maybe it just needs re-alignment / 
assembly? Either way I expect that I will need to remove the seized latch to 
determine if it can be repaired or if it will need to be replaced totally.

The illustrations in the Corvair Body Service Manual suggest to me that 
these laches are simply held on with two bolts and can be removed easily 
without disturbing the top material. I certainly hope this is the case but 
wondered if anyone has any advice on removing / reinstalling these top 
Regards from Australia
Carl Kelsen
RHD 1965 Corvair Monza convertible
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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