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  1. #1

    Default So I did something stupid today- Door latch striker

    First off, I am not very handy. I wanted to put new bushings on my door latch strikers. I took off the driver's side striker and was unable to remove the washer (like the LMR video made it look easy to do). I have an '85 latch which is different from '87 in the video. So I put it back on no problem, figuring I'd deal with it later. Then I had the bright idea that I'd try the passenger side's latch because maybe THAT washer would come off. After accepting that it was all a folly, I went to put it back on and the backing plate went clink clink clink into oblivion. So now my passenger door has no striker to hold it shut. Any suggestions for this bonehead?
    Last edited by '85GTVert; 04-03-2021 at 06:02 PM.

  2. #2
    FEP Power Member qikgts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Rockledge, FL


    You could always just replace it with one from the bone yard or if you want new, the DORMAN 38448 fits and is available at most auto parts stores.
    '85 GT

  3. #3


    I would try to fish it back out.
    79 Zephyr, 4v/4r70w swap planned, with team z front and rear suspension, 8.8 and upgraded brakes and coil overs.

  4. #4
    FEP Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Grand Rapids, MI


    As you found, some of the strikers can be disassembled and some cannot. I'm not sure why they made them both ways. You can either buy the entire striker assembly or split a new striker bushing in half and spread it over the striker on your car.

    As for the captive nut that apparently isn't so captive anymore, I would also say to try to fish it back out, but I don't know how you are going to do that. A magnet is going to stick to everything but the nut on the way down. You may be able to access the inside of the panel by removing an interior panel to get at it from the back side, but I am not familiar enough with Mustangs to know if that would work.
    '89 XR-7 5 Speed
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    '85 Ford LTD Squire

  5. #5


    take the back seat out take the quater trim panel off and you can get it out

  6. #6


    I have a flexible retracting magnet wand that is handy for retrieving dropped nuts/bolts. I have seen them with retractible claws as well.
    79 Zephyr, 4v/4r70w swap planned, with team z front and rear suspension, 8.8 and upgraded brakes and coil overs.

  7. #7
    FEP Super Member Bryan Knebworth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Lexington, MA


    You guys are gutsy-gutsy-gutsy. I wouldn't touch a door latch with a 20ft pole!
    Unless, it makes an shlteload of noise or needs some WD40, I don't touch, lol.
    Last edited by Bryan Knebworth; 04-04-2021 at 07:47 AM. Reason: grammar

  8. #8


    Thanks all. It seems that removing the back seat and quarter panel is gonna The Way. Another fun project lol!

  9. #9
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Grand Junction, CO/RR TX


    You may be able to remove the lower back seat cushion and pull off the lower quarter panel trim piece. Loosen the screws along the B pillar holding the larger quarter panel trim and the seat belt bolt (T50 torx bit). Hopefully you can carefully snake your hand/arm in there to grab the backing plate. Then you have to drop it back into the bent metal tabs that hold it in place. When I have to do it, I hold the backer plate and get the striker threaded into it with the other hand, so it can't drop again. If you can't get to it like that, then you will have to at least remove the rest of the quarter panel screws, the metal trim bracket above the door opening and the metal trim at the back of the headliner, so you can pull the quarter panel out enough to get into the rear quarter and grab the backer. Often folding the upper rear seat back down will give you enough clearance or leaving it up if you can maneuver the panel away from the quarter window. Hope that helps!

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  10. #10


    Thank you all for the feedback!

  11. #11


    Like wraith said, you don't need to removed the i/4 panel trim. You will take out every screw from the back of the seat forward, and the eat belt anchor on the pillar and the panel will flex quite a bit, more than enough to get an arm inside to find the captive nut and get it back in place.

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