How to: Mustang Door Latch, Handles and Door Locks

This article and video demonstrates the tools and procedures to remove all of the components that open and secure your classic Mustang door; including the door latch, striker, door handles, door locks and door handle relay shaft.

The procedures are the same or similar for these years: 

  • 1965-66 Mustang
  • 1967-68 Mustang
  • 1969-70 Mustang
  • 1971, 72, 73 Mustang

Remove Door Latch Striker

The Mustang door latch striker assembly screws are secured with two very large Philips screws, these screws are on vary tight and will most likely require the use of an impact driver and hammer to loosen and then remove. When you strike the impact driver with the hammer it will apply inward force and counter clockwise motion to jolt the screw loose; once loose you can then use the impact driver by hand to continue removing the striker screws.

DSCN3234 IMG_0221

Disengage the Door Latch Control Rod Clips

“The Mustang door glass should be in the up position to execute these procedures”

Before you can remove the door latch you will need to disengage the lock rod retainers from the inside door handle relay/shaft, door lock and outside door handle. There is also a screw and j-clip that secures the long rod rod that runs from the door latch to the door handle relay that you should remove. I typically disengage the rod clips at the actors, keeping all of the door latch rod control set attached to latch so when removed or installed I don’t have to figure out where they will reconnect to the latch. Don’t forget to remove your door lock knob if it is attached.

DSCN3232 DSCN3215

Remove the Door Latch

The Mustang door latch is secured to the door with three Philips head screws; remove all three screws. When the latch is ready to be removed you will push/pull the latch into the inside of the door shell, working with and positioning the lock rods in a way that will allow you to sort of thread the latch and rod assembly out through the large opening in the door.

DSCN3213 DSCN3212

Remove Mustang Door Lock

To remove the door lock you will need to disengage the lock rod clip and rod from the door lock, then with a pair of pliers remove the door lock spring clip, the Mustang door lock can then be easily removed from the door.

IMG_0228 DSCN3238

Remove the Door Handles

The Mustang door handle is secured at two points; one at the front of the handle with a nut and stud combo inside the door shell, use a 1/4 inch drive ratchet and socket; and the other is at the back of the handle/door, use a Philips screw driver to remove the screw. I found it easier to remove the handle with the lock rod removed at the handle, I still had to maneuver the handle a bit to get it out due to the bell crank mechanism.

IMG_0224 DSCN3231

Remove the Door Handle Relay

This part is used a lot and may have become worn and sloppy and may even fail to function. You will need a Philips screw driver to remove the three screws that secure the door handle shaft.

DSCN3225 IMG_0225

Parts List for Your Project

3 thoughts on “How to: Mustang Door Latch, Handles and Door Locks

  1. Hi,

    You show how to remove the door latch etc. when the window rods are also removed before.
    How is this done when the window is still in.
    In my door the little black lock broke off (second time), and I can’t get to it easily.
    Do I have to remove the window etc. before I can fix the lock?

    1. You window will be all the way up to do the replacement on the clip. You should consider changing out the plastic clip for an OEM style
      65-66 Part # C3AZ-6221952-BR
      67-73 Part # C5AZ-6221952-AR

  2. With the door closed and unlocked, I am pulling on my driver door handle to open the car door to get out, but it is not working. I have to roll down window and then push button to get out or crawl over to the passenger side. What do you suppose could be causing this? Is the rod adjustable between the latch and relay? Thanks in advance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.