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Subject: 52 8N front grill latches

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Mike D    Posted 01-01-2018 at 15:04:34 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • 52 8N front grill latches
  • Hi, I have a 52 Ford 8n with two worn top latches on the forward tilting front grill. One doesn’t latch anymore and the other screeches when driving from vibration. I have looked all over but refuse to buy a new grill! It took 65 years for the patina to look this nice. It looks like the latches are held by 2 rivets. Does anyone know where I can find a salvage replacement or new latch?

    Rustyal    Posted 01-03-2018 at 09:11:21 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 52 8N front grill latches
  • I have repaired those pins with a little weld. The main concern is the grill falling down in operation. I know it is designed to be easy to clean the radiator. But does anybody ever let the grill down to clean the radiator?

    Mike D    Posted 01-03-2018 at 12:53:54 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 52 8N front grill latches
  • Thanks for the replies. I found a set of used latches from Mr. Baumann.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 01-02-2018 at 07:49:23 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 52 8N front grill latches
  • HiYa Mike-
    What exactly is worn -the pins or the dogleg pilot holes? Have you tried to spray the latches with WD-40, LIQUID WRENCH, or PB BLASTER? If the pins won't stay engaged, it could be the dogleg pilot holes are wallowed out. Years ago I smashed up my grille while mowing, ran into a tree, long story so don't ask, and had to replace the radiator and straighten the grille to use. It was, and still is on my 8N, but never was exactly right and one of the spring-loaded latch pins never engages right. I keep it tied up with wire ties. I did purchase a decent used original 8N grille but have never put it on. I'm waiting until I do a complete restoration upon retiring the 8N for good. I can understand not wanting to invest in a new Dennis Carpenter 'like original' 8N grille repop at $295, but have heard nothing but positive responses from fellas who have bought them. There are some very cheaply made, wanna-bees out there that do have fit and function issues so it does matter where and who you buy from. As mentioned, my second option also would be to find a used one on fleabay. It may be rusty and or slightly bent but you could swap out or try to just salvage the spring-loaded latches and swap out your worn ones. I don't think anyone repops just the latches, at least none I've seen. If you do decide to buy a used one, be sure it an 8N grille, p/n 8N-8204, as it was one of the many new changes made on the new 8N Model -the flip down grille for easy cleaning of radiator fins. The 9N/2N grilles are permanently fixed and do not flip.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Mike D    Posted 01-02-2018 at 11:20:30 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 52 8N front grill latches
  • After all of these years the holes are a little worn but the biggest issue is that the rods have worn down to nubs. I think I am going to try to cut the old rods off the list cling lever and tack weld a new longer rod on then cut it to the needed length. I just need to find the correct diameter metal rod to use for the post replacements.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 01-02-2018 at 15:27:46 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 52 8N front grill latches
  • The pin diameter should be a standard fractional inch size, nothing exotic, that's how these Fords were engineered. Roundstock is available at McMaster-Carr. I'd go with a good tough steel, not cold rolled (i.e./e.g. 1018)maybe even a tool steel for long life, wear resistance. I'm not near my 8N right now so can't measure mine. I also meat to say the pinholes are in the hood, not doglegs. I was thinking of the pivot holes at the bottom. Doglegs have a threaded insert at the bottom to accept the pivot bolt. Originally this was a 5/16-24 x 5/8 L special shoulder bolt with a .403 shoulder for the pivot bolt. It is one of the few parts that slipped through the cracks when they wrote the parts books. Many fellas use a 5/16-24 bolt but must use caution. too long and you can screw it out into the sheet metal of the dogleg. Some get a long bolt cut off the head and just use it as a stud but again use caution. If you do decide to repair your own and make some new pins, why not document the procedure and we can post it in our HOW-TO's forum.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Kirk-NJ    Posted 01-02-2018 at 04:27:12 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 52 8N front grill latches
  • How about maybe replacing with a couple of roll pins. Sure you lose the tilting action but the 9n/2n grill didn't tilt.

    Kirk

    r geiger    Posted 01-01-2018 at 18:38:20 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 52 8N front grill latches
  • Buy a new grill and use the latches off if and send the rest of the new one to me. I have not seen any replacements but you might call dennis carpenter and ask them

    Mike D    Posted 01-01-2018 at 19:18:20 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 52 8N front grill latches
  • That is an option but an expensive one. I may just try to grind & weld new latch rods in place.

    Steve-N-TN    Posted 01-01-2018 at 19:22:13 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 52 8N front grill latches
  • Mike, I used the wire welder to build one of mine up and so far that worked. Just be careful and take it slow. On another one, I used round stock and tacked it on top of the worn ones. For what that's worth!!! Good Luck!!!

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