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Door Latch Options

13 posts in this topic

Posted

I am looking at door latch options.  Primarily the one Murle Williams offer,s and the one that Kitfox currently offers (the metal butterfly latch).

 

Anyone have experience with any of these (or other suggestions)?  I also have the wide body kit installed.

 

Larry

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Posted

I have the Merl Williams latches on my yellow plane. I would have mounted them on the bottom of the door frame, though.

post-36-0-48564300-1443096413_thumb.jpeg

I made my own latches for the Mangy.

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Posted (edited)

Larry,

You should be selling your latches - I like the place where you put the round vent - I had thought about putting a triangle window there too.

I consider the winged latches to be WAY overpriced - I would make my own.

I haven't heard any complaints yet about the Avid squeeze-type latches that anchor both front and back of the door at once. That could be converted to a lever that operates both rods just as well.

I like it better than the one on my Kitfox 2, which was a slide type that only latched the front of the door.

You can add a cheap keylock, cabinet type, to lock your doors.

EdMO

Edited by Ed In Missouri

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Posted

A single latch at the front works but a passenger leaning on the door tends to pop the door open((that really gets their attention)

I intend to fit a house window latch on either side at the bottom.(the 90degree turn that works a hinged flap)

These get used here often and are good at pulling the doors snug against the seals.

This type can only be used from the inside but work well.

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Posted (edited)

Dusty,

I agree that the two window latches work well from the inside. You can always add a locking cabinet / file drawer latch to the outside for that purpose.

Both are cheap and easy options.

EdMO

Edited by Ed In Missouri

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Posted (edited)

Having a 2-point latch system is a pretty desirable safety feature IMO. The doors on my KF 3 and KF 4 both had a dual latch system with locks, although each was done a bit differently.

 

I think the tiny lower latch on the KF 3 was probably an after thought or add-on out of necessity, tough to reach as far back as it was, but actually did the job.

 

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I definitely prefer the KF 4 for the beefy lower latch, much easier to find, grab and manipulate. With the little slide latch up front, the doors have never popped open and I do tend to lean on it.

 

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The Avid+ has a single latch door. Single latches have proved problematic in the past, however, I think this design will work better than most because the door frame is held snugly against a gusset at the lower front corner and the engage tab is very large. Nice, big handle too,and extra cockpit width of A+ means it does not interfere with your thigh. I also really like that these door frames have a built-in handle loop to facilitate closing! The handle itself is a rather simple but ingenious affair, probably made using scraps off the floor, lol. I've added extra pics in case you want to try replicating this one.

 

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The Aerotrek uses a 2-point cable operated door latch system with lock. The locking pin on the back edge of the door frame slides into the tubing cluster just below the triangular side window at the top of the seat back horizontal brace tube. Not sure how the hard pin is attached to the cable end, it's hidden within the door frame. Sorry about the pic orientation???

 

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Edited by dholly

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Posted (edited)

post-399-0-55184500-1443144573_thumb.jpgDoug,

The only Avid manual I have is the Magnum - The squeeze lock with pins that go both forward and aft and latch on the door posts would be a simple thing to make, and could be made with a simple lever control in the middle of the door.

I will copy a page from the manual an edit this and post it here. should take a few minutes to scan.

EdMO

Well, maybe I was thinking about the Airdale or some Kitfox :huh:

My Magnum manual has no picture, but talks about the cable connections like your Aeroteck. Guess I have a couple more manuals to check out on this.

All I have found so far, is a note that I wrote in my Kitfox 1 manual that says, "Avid has a better latch".

I know I have seen a drawing of it somewhere - Maybe in my Sportplane builder's books that Tony Bengliss (sp?) wrote.

Here is an attached picture from his book for a sliding seat latch, which is nearly the same as the door latch I was talking about - The bolts shown have to stick thru a slot in the Lexan so you can also operate the latch from the outside.

Sorry,

EdMO

My Kitfox 2 had what looks like cabinet or screen door handles bolted to the center tube on the doors - simple, and real handy for closing doors.

Ed

Edited by Ed In Missouri

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Posted

Great info.  Thanks for all the feedback and images!

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Posted (edited)

How much does Williams charge for his door latches? They look good.

Does he post a catalog?

EdMO

OK - I found it - $75 a pair.

Ed

Edited by Ed In Missouri

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Posted

Ed - Here's a version of a cam-lock latch spied on another KF site. Pretty simple add if you have the doors with two center horizontal tubes but I think Larry has the single center tube doors.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Doug,

That looks like the modification I had in mind for the squeeze-latch, but I would want mine near the bottom of the doors. I think you could still put this attached to a lever like the gray one you had showed earlier on a single tube.

EdMO

Edited by Ed In Missouri

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Posted

I have the Merl Williams latches on my yellow plane. I would have mounted them on the bottom of the door frame, though.

 

post-36-0-48564300-1443096413_thumb.jpeg

 

I made my own latches for the Mangy.

those look just like a smokers window latch in all the older trucks, looks like a nice option

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Posted

I have the same, mounted in the same place and they work great.  Plus nothing hanging on the outside.

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