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Hood latch dilemma

Guest virgilmule

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Guest imported_virgilmule

I have a problem with a couple of the hood latches for my '30 Marmon. They are so full of rust, dirt, and crud (and maybe chrome), that they can't be pulled out far enough to hold the hood down (as of now, neither the hood nor the latches are mounted). I added "chrome" to the above list because I can't say for sure whether they worked properly before being plated last year.

There seems to be no disassembly to these parts. The outer tube is apparently pressed/crimped into place, and there are no visable screws, bolts, etc., to loosen. I have soaked the parts in Mystery Oil for months - no good. I soaked them in vinegar for 3-4 days: bad move - the chrome began to disappear. There is an oil-hole on the side; adding oil has not helped. Flushing them with water, blowing them out with compressed air, banging them on the workbench - nothing works.

Any thoughts?

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Those hood latches are feisty little things! Most are either stamped or crimped and are a pain to fix. I would suggest replacing unless you have skills such as Dean H (under Restorations) to tear apart and repair. A photo or two will give you the best chance of one of us matching what you have. Sometimes the crud will build up on the top of the shaft during re-chroming and is darn near welded to the shaft. Try to find some before ripping one open. If all else fails, try ebay. Just type in "hood latch" and see if there are any like yours.

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Usually the outer tube has very fine internal or external threads which attach it to the finger pull. These threads are not visible when the latch is assembled, especially if it has been chromed. We disassemble, remove the spring, then send out for plating. If they were plated as one piece it may be very difficult or impossible to take them apart without destroying the chrome. We learned this, like a lot of what we've learned it seems, the hard way.

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