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Old 05-22-2024, 05:29 PM   #1
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Year: 1995
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Chassis: International 3800
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Need help with Broken Lock

So the lock mechanism itself I just installed. It did not have one before. This is for my battery box. I wanted to add a lock, so I drilled a hole into handle so the lock can fit into it, and welded on a tab so the lock can lock onto when locked. But after I finish doing this, the back side spring seems to have come undone somehow and I have no idea how to fix it.

I attempted to remove it with a sledge hammer, and it doesn't appear to be welded in but I think it is tack welded inside. I don't know how to remove it either. I spent a lot of time getting this lock handle to work, and that part does, but the part I didn't touch doesn't want to come out.

Pics below show:

Picture 1 shows the good state as it should when it's closed.

Picture 2 shows the good state when it's open.

Picture 3 shows the bad state when the latch is closed but the outside hinge won't spring out. This is what is broken. How do I fix?

Picture 4 shows delima from the outside.

HELP! How do I fix this without removing the latch?

...And in before you say it's rusty, It's not, it will slide on it's own very easily, it moves freely, you can tell it's lost it's spring. It is not rust.
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Old 05-22-2024, 07:06 PM   #2
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I decided there was no way to get to the spring so I used the grinding wheel to cut open the casing, and I got this pic. I think I can figure out how it works and the. Weld the casing back on.

That spring ain't doin shizz.

I don't get it though because it was working fine. Prior to the weld. Is it possible the welding from a 110v was too hot for it? I cant imagine that did it though because it was protected on the other side of things. It may have got warm to the touch but not red hot to make it sieze up.

And I don't see it broken in half. The slight heat had to of damaged the spring. Only thing it can be.
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Old 05-22-2024, 07:30 PM   #3
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Well, I always wanted to remove the rust from the inner slide latch that I could see from the front but gave up on cause there was no way to get to it, now there is :

Get your popcorn out, because we're about to learn about the science of how a 30 year old slide latch works, and have this documented for anyone else trying to restore one of these.

I did managed to find 1, possibly 2 sources, that could potentially replace this whole slam latch assembly, I will provide the link here. They also sell the locks that can fit your old slam latch if you only need to replace the locking cylinder mechanism. The problem for me was, I couldn't remove the whole latch assembly because it was tack welded from the inside. I took a sledge hammer to try to pop it out with no luck. Didn't budge or losen at all. But if you can managed to get yours out or need to and can get it out you can buy replacements from here as of 2024:

The Correct Lock Cylinder:
https://www.horsetraileraccessorysto...ey-_p_273.html

Now, if that link ever goes down, you may potentially find a replacement here below, but there is no picture for viewing to know if it's the right one for your bus, but possibly you can buy the whole assembly here for the next two links:

Battery Door slam latch (Without locking capability. I went through all this trouble to modify one of these to add a lock so I wouldn't have to buy one, plus couldn't remove mine.):
https://allpointsbus.com/bus-parts/n...oor-latch/1861

Battery Door Slam Latch with lock: (I don't know why you wouldn't want to lock your battery compartment?)
https://allpointsbus.com/bus-parts/b...assy-left/1864

This fits the Baggage compartment doors on older Thomas's.

And if you just need to replace the lock cylinder cause you want new locks with one key for all.

The Whole Slam Lock Assembly:
https://www.horsetraileraccessorysto...eel_p_268.html

This are the ONLY places selling these. The lock cylinders alone on Amazon are too large and require a nut on the end which makes them too large for these slam latches. I ordered the smallest you could buy from Amazon and they wouldn't fit, nor can you make them fit. I called Thomas, they do not offer these locks anymore either. This is the ONLY place I've managed to find them. They are a local business too, a very small mom and pop out of the home business, and if you have old locks and are thinking of replacing the cylinders, give them some business. You can order as many locks as you want all with the same key pattern (You'll still get a key for each one as spares), or you can have them all differently key'ed.

This is partially why I wanted to start this was because I had 3 locked compartments, with no key, and a battery box without a lock cylinder hole. And I wanted to be able to lock all 4 of them with a single KEY!

This was the solution for me, but then this mishap occurred with the failed spring, attempting to upgrade the battery box slam latch by drilling a hole to add a cylinder, and tab.
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Old 05-22-2024, 09:43 PM   #4
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Nikitis, thanks for the info!
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miloshk View Post
Nikitis, thanks for the info!
Yup, no problem. Just the next step in my journey of restoring my classic bus.

4 Pictures here show the mechanism dismantled from the underside you'd never see:

I stretched the old spring out, but it is so soft now it won't push out the metal block on the right. It'll never be good again. It's lost it's strength over 30 years.

I'm trying a small round compression spring that's made of stainless steel, it's far stronger than the larger spring, and may actually work if I can make sure it doesn't move, but if it did move it would fail function again with no way to fix it. So, I likely need to make a spring that will fill the compartment so it cannot move, or 3D print some sort of block filler to hold the spring in it's place.

I also plan to clean up any rust on the components, and use an oil based paint to protect and allow it to slide better. Over time it could wear out the paint, but not for a long time, and for a few years allow it to slide smoothly. These things are already way past their life expectancy so it's a good compromise in my opinion.
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Old 05-23-2024, 10:50 AM   #6
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Update on progress.

Apparently no one anywhere makes springs like this any longer. I called 8 different spring companies who claim to make 1 trillion types of springs, but tell me they can't make this one.

One spring engineer gave me a decent idea to drill a hole into the back of the casing, and then slide a bar that a round spring (or two) can ride on, so it doesn't slide around, essentially upgrading the slam latch to accept round springs.

He also mentioned that the only places that might still have tools that can make square springs are Gun manufacturers, but they likely won't make you one because of licensing issues and they can't take the risk they are making you a custom spring to make an illegal weapon with. So none of the spring manufacturers are making springs rectangular anymore because the tools to make them no longer exist in the enterprise. Everything has to work on a round spring now.

My how this country has fallen.
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Old 05-23-2024, 11:03 AM   #7
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I've done research on the metal type needed for an application such as mine.

I will have to tack weld the casing back on when I'm ready to install the spring to finish the repair, and I'm worried the heat will remove the annealment on it as it did originally when welding on the tab for the lock cylinder.

Research has shown the strongest type that can accept the most heat is a chrome silica metal, or potentially a Stainless 302 may work as well. Since we need the highest tensil strength possible on a very small spring to push the weight of the latch properly, I'll try to order 2, (one of each type) and see which one works out.

I've measured out the original specs of the old spring of what it is supposed to be.

Original Specs:
Uncompressed length = 1in
Maximum compressed length = 3/8in
Width = 3/4in
height = 1/4in
Coils = 5.5 coils
Material Type: Unknown, metal was ruined so difficult to tell, but looks like it was an older stainless, not 302.

Modified Round Spring Specs Needed:
Uncompressed length = 1in
Maximum compressed length = 3/8in
Width = 5mm (Can't be more than this or it won't fit in the chamber height wise)
height = 5mm (same because it's round)
Coils = 7.8 (Any more than this, and it will not compress to 3/8in when opening the latch, and fail to open)
Material Type: Chrome Silica, or Stainless Steel 302

So my next step is to head to Truvalue hardware, and find a 1in spring matching these specs. If they don't have one locally, then I'll have to order one and wait, but in the mean time I can work on drilling the holes and rods that the springs can ride over to prevent them from turning inside the casing while driving.
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Old 05-23-2024, 11:10 AM   #8
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They had lockable and non-locking options. This one here looks like what you have. https://www.ebay.com/itm/31409060743...G8rgAsGbrquaiE

Last one I put on was lockable and was 40 something bucks IIRC.
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Old 05-23-2024, 11:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
They had lockable and non-locking options. This one here looks like what you have. https://www.ebay.com/itm/31409060743...G8rgAsGbrquaiE

Last one I put on was lockable and was 40 something bucks IIRC.
It is not possible to remove my old one that I can see, it's welded into the door. I could buy that and replace the door I suppose. At the point I'm at now, it may be less work just to drill a hole in the casing, and use a round spring, then tack it and be done.

I went ahead and bought the one you linked to have as a spare one day should I need it. But it might also have the spring I need, but I'd have to cut out the casing on the new one to get it.
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Old 05-23-2024, 12:24 PM   #10
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@Nikitas,

Nice right up on locks!
good pics, makes explaining easier!
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Old 05-23-2024, 12:57 PM   #11
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I can't see yours that well through your pictures. It has a bracket covering the latch. But

If you don't have studs/nuts like this.


Or blind rivets like this.


Then they used glue/sealer/epoxy whatever you want to call it, like mine here.


Shut the door, take a sharp chisel with a dead blow hammer and split it between the door and latch from the front edge going back. Start at the corners and work your way around.
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Old 05-23-2024, 05:25 PM   #12
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Mine looks close to your last two pics, but I have angle iron over it on the back side but under the angle iron, it's tack welded into the door. So it's not like any of your pics.

Thomas did something different in my case. If you go look at one of my first pics, you'll see there is a casing welded onto the back covering the lock, where as yours does not have that. I'd have to cut that casing off.

Moving forward, below is a pic of two springs I picked up. I will 3D print a block to go between the springs to keep them in place. In testing, it has the perfect resistance. As long as I don't ruin the springs during welding. I have some Rust-oleum 2000F primer. I may coat the springs in this to help with the temperature from the weld.
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Old 05-23-2024, 07:17 PM   #13
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3D Model designed and printed. Block works perfectly. Springs don't move at all, will be held down by the slide. They aren't going anywhere.

The Block is 3/8 so the latch can compress right up to the plastic block. Spring size is 1in uncompressed, and goes down to 3/8 in exactly. The specs I needed.

The Block has rounded edges around the springs, so there is far less rubbing on the plastic. It should last a long time. You can see the shape better in the provided CAD Picture. (Picture is upside down for easier printing, imagine it turned around 180 degrees).

The Block has a top cap which fits precisely inside of the cage, keeping the springs inside and from moving. They are stiff enough they will not bend in the middle where it's open, just compress as they should. Little to no friction.

You'll see in the pictures 2 additional blocks. The smallest one was prototype 1, the middle sized one is prototype 2, and the 3rd is Final prototype and Final Stencil. Prototype 2 does hold the springs well enough, however, I realized it would benefit from a top cap, so the 3rd version is prototype 2, but with a 2mm taller and wider cap.

The Block has a hole in the back of it. The back of the casing has a punched hole that needs to be drilled out. I will drill this out, and put a screw through it, which will screw into the plastic block further locking down the plastic block. You can see a pic below how the 3rd final prototype holds the springs when I bend it upwards. When I bend it backwards you can see the screw hole ready to accept a machine screw, or a small wood screw. It'll take either.

I had thoughts on using JB Weld instead of using a 110v welder because of the heat problems and springs. (And now plastic). I think a line of JB Weld along the cut lines should work.

Next step, clean up of the parts. Rust removal, prep pieces.
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IMG_20240523_195614.jpg   IMG_20240523_195739.jpg  
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Old 05-23-2024, 07:24 PM   #14
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Here is the .STL for anyone who wants to do this in the future. Saves you the design phase, just grab the .stl, load it up in your 3D Printer, and print. Then you'll have the part. One way I can give back to the community.

Instructions. In order to fool the attachments as it won't take a .stl file type, I renamed it as .pdf

So what you will need to do is download this file, and then rename the extension to .stl and you'll be able to use it in a 3D Printer. It will fail to load in a PDF Reader. Please rename to "Bus Lock Spring Holder (6).stl"
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Old 05-25-2024, 08:31 AM   #15
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Updated pics:

Scrubbed rust and etched primered the bad areas. JB welded it back on partially. I needed tape to hold it and it was in the way so I just partially JB Welded it. When it cures in 1 day Ill remove the tape and it should hold on its own well enough to give it a good thick application after that, then it should be done and upgraded and functioning if the 5200 psi JB Weld holds it together well enough.
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IMG_20240525_083723.jpg   IMG_20240525_084048.jpg   IMG_20240525_084955.jpg   IMG_20240525_085001.jpg   IMG_20240525_091201.jpg  

IMG_20240525_091210.jpg  
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Old 06-01-2024, 09:09 PM   #16
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Final Update:

Locking mechanism is working great. JB Weld holding very well, 5200 lb strength. Door holds closed now, (used to pop open while driving).

Pics below of it working.

I've successfully converted a non-lockable 30 yo bus handle to a Locking version, and fixed the spring.

I now have 6 of these locks, but 4 doors, and 4 of the 6 locks are installed on all 4 doors so I can use 1 key for all 4. Mission Accomplished.
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