Sliding window latch repair

Saturday was warm and dry – finally got something done!

The previous owner had lost the door keys, and I suspect that’s why the left sliding window had no lock on it; that’s probably fine in rural Pennsylvania, but not in Brooklyn. The stupid little threaded pin thing that was missing of course cost $15, but it’s worth it to not have an unlocked car overnight.


Latch handle
(original was intact):
vanagon sliding window latch handle
Latch pin ($14.95 at
vanagon sliding window latch pin

Dry fit the handle over the little hasp that protrudes from the window and move it into the down position. Window should slide freely. Try sliding it up when it’s over one of the little notches in the frame, and it should lock in. Move it to the front one, for the closed position, and see how well it fits. If you loosen (careful, they’re short) the screws holding the hasp to the window, you have a little play to adjust the positionfor a snug close. If your fit is fine, check those screws for tightness and make sure the gasket’s ok.

To assemble the thing, you put the handle over the little hasp that protrudes from the window, fit a spring into the recess on top of the pin, insert the pin through the hole in the bottom of the handle…and then hold it in place for a minute wondering how you’ll ever turn the screw, which is now up inside the handle. You have about 1″ of space between the opening and a prodtruding bit of car interior, so it’s necessary to run off and fetch one of those screwdrivers with a 90 degree bend near the tip. You’ll want one as close to 1″ as possible, to clear the body yet go far enough up to seat the pin.

Then have fun turning a flathead screw when you’re restricted to 180 degrees of movement, and that only if you press the tool into the fragile side panel or remove it. Brilliant but somewhat sadistic engineers they’ve got in Deutchland.