<VV> Seized Convertible top latch

FrankDuVal corvairduval at cox.net
Mon Apr 22 23:55:07 EDT 2019

Jim's experience is also my experience.

Frank DuVal

On 4/22/2019 11:06 AM, Jim Becker via VirtualVairs wrote:
> Carl,
> 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 job).
> 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 latches?
> Regards from Australia
> Carl Kelsen
> RHD 1965 Corvair Monza convertible
> Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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