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Old 13th July 2021, 21:01
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Default Doors, locks and latches.....

For once my lack of updates is because I've been very busy in my garage. I finally decided to tackle the re-assembly of the doors. The original builder had made a start on the doors but I don't think they were ever finished as the locks didn't work and the electric windows weren't wired up.
For those of you not familiar with the Royale Sabre, the doors are a complex GRP moulding with an internal steel support frame. Working on the door locks is like key hole surgery and a pair of very long nose pliers are essential.

Drivers door by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

One of the benefits of my build being over an extended period , I've been able to accumulate new latches, exterior handles and internal handles. The doors are designed to use either Ford Sierra or Ford Granada locks and handles. I'm using Sierra latches and Granada handles as these are nice chrome versions of the cheaper black plastic Sierra ones. It's a bit of an adventure as the build manual leaves little detail on how the latches and handles should be assembled.
The locks are fiendishly complicated to understand how they operate and I hoped it would become clearer once they are connected.

Drivers door lock1 by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

The tab on the left with the red clip is for the external key lock. The other left tab with the yellow clip is for the external handle. The tabs on the right are for the internal handle and lock. Ford designed them with a primitive central locking system but I have decided not to use this for a number of reasons and I figured that on a two door car it wasn't really a problem.
I manged to source new locks from Germany.

Drivers door lock2 by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

The Royale build manual advises that it's not possible to use the original Ford lock barrels as the GRP doors are thicker than the Sierra steel door skins. The ones that came fitted to the car are very rusty so I bought these off a stall at Stoneleigh. The tab is far too large and had to be modified.

Lock barrel 2 by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

The Ford lock 'red tab' has a total travel of only18mm so I had to create something that translates 180 degree rotation to a 18mm travel. This is the third option that I came up with and seems to work. The small bush in the centre is welded to the tab but is a bit rough as I had the welder turned up too high. The washers at the base are Araldited on just to hold them in place while the 5mm countersunk screw is tightened.

Drivers door lock adapter by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

With the key lock and adapter in place I then had to bend up an operating rod to connect the two. Here it is shown in the locked and unlocked position.

Drivers door lock rod 2 by Sabrebuilder, on FlickrDrivers door lock rod 1 by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr
Rotate the key and it is in the locked position. The metal bar in the middle is part of the steel internal door frame. Bending and shaping the rods is a very tedious and frustrating job with much cursing.

Next, I fitted the exterior handle....

Exterior Locks by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr
And then bend up another rod to connect the extrior handle to the latch mechanism. The original Ford rod turned out to be the right length but the wrong shape so with more bending and more cursing...

Outside handle actuator rod 1 by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr
Outside handle actuator rod 2 by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr
So now I had an external key barrel lock and handle that seemed to work so I moved on the fit the interior handle....
The original builder had used the Sierra handles but I wanted to use Granada chrome handles.
Interior door handles by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

It soon became obvious that I need to fit the door card to get the position and height of these handles correct. Here's the GRP door card being fitted to align the interior door handle.

Door card by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

I've fixed the interior door handle with these two strips of galvanised steel.

Interior handle fixing 1 by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

And then make up another actuating rod from the handle to the latch....

Interior handle actuator rod by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr
Which had to be supported half way along with one of the original Ford clips.

Interior handle actuator rod by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

At this point I decided not to fit the actuator rod for the internal lock as with a soft top car this would be a security risk. It would be easy to put a wire or stick between the top and window and flick the lock off.
But now I was stuck as the logic of the Ford latch mechanism didn't work.
To cut a long story short I found adding a spring in place of the interior lock appears to work.

Interior handle actuator rod by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

The spring allows the fourth operating leaver on the latch to be moved when unlocking with the key and pulls it back to the locked position when the key is moved to the locked position.
Difficult to put it into words but it appears to work.

This has to have been the most frustrating part of the build but I feel I'm nearly there.
Of course, I've still got to tackle the electric windows but I may do the locks on the passenger door while I can remember how I did it!

So until the next update, stay safe........

Peter
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