For years, I and other Dodge van owners have griped about loose vent window latches. Despite asking on several different web boards populated by very knowledgeable people, I have never found out how to tighten up the latch. In fact, I was often told that tightening the latch was impossible and I should just tape some pennies to the frame and live with it. Tonight, I discovered how to tighten the latches!
I am in the process of tinting the windows of my brother's 83 Dodge van and I had to strip the old tint off of the vent windows to put the new tint on. IN the process, I had to disassemble the vent window latches and discovered that it is actually quite easy to tighten up a loose and floppy latch.
Follow along as I give a step-by-step pictorial guide to the disassembly and reassembly of a vent latch.
Step one- Put the latch in the "open" position. The latch must be in the "open" position in order to be disassembled and reassembled.
Step two- Find the small roll pin that holds the handle on the latch assembly. Drive the pin out with a hammer and small punch. I found a nail that fit perfectly.
Here is a picture of the roll pin next to a utility knife blade for a size comparison:
Step three- Remove the handle from the assembly:
Step three-and-a-half- The handle contains the plunger, inside of which is a spring with a black rubber tip. The spring amy or may not come out with the handle. It can stay in the handle. If it comes out and get shuffled, the rubber tip goes out, not in.
Step four- Once the spring is out of the way, you can look down the center of the latch assembly and see a Phillips head screw. This is the screw that comes loose and leads to a floppy latch. Tighten the screw, reassemble, and you are done!
Step six- if, like me, you need to disassemble the latch the rest of the way to clean the window or tint it, I have included the following pictures that show, sequentially, how the rest of the latch assembly comes apart. Note the existence and orientation of the various tabs and recesses. It must go back together the right way or the latch will be upside down. Also, the roll pin won't go back in unless the latch is in the "open" position.
Wave ring comes off:
Screw unscrews and central shaft comes out:
Grommet comes off:
Outer nut comes off:
Voila! All the pieces of the latch assembly:
I Imagine this will work for most Mopars with this style of latch. Probably 60s through the 90s, but I don't know for sure.