Door latch, just disappointed. | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Door latch, just disappointed.

Discussion in '2nd Gen 1991-1996 1.9L SOHC' started by Marvin, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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    I have a mint, always garaged, low mileage rust free 1.9 tracer trio. Still has original rear brakes, timing belt, exhaust, plug wires and many bulbs.

    My automatic seat belt just started to act up on the passenger side. I am not surprised it's a common problem. Well just a little surprised perhaps because it's the passenger side that started to fail first rather than the drivers door that gets used more.

    Anyway the thing that disappoints me the shear amount of these cars built and no new parts are available. I know it's old but the part that failed is a door latch. It's kind of important. It's no longer giving the signal to retract the belt. I c;leaned and lubed it. It's just lame that you cant get new parts because the black plastic/rubber coating wears off and causes this malfunction. I doubt that I am going to be able to find a used part in better shape then my own. I will probably figure an alternative method to get a signal to the seat belt instead.

    Why do I care so much? My 16 year son failed the drivers test because the belt did not function. It's in the full back position so it's safe and you can manually release it to put it on. Despite this the state failed him for this. If states are going to be pricks about this stuff parts should be available. Rant over.
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  2. JamesGarfield

    JamesGarfield FEOA Donator

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    I think you will have several responses here about the seat belt problem. Without trying to second-guess your diagnosis, could you expand a bit how you have concluded that the problem is in the door latch? I ask this because there are some 'spring contact' switches in the seatbelt track assembly that can confuse an analysis.

    But you are right that it's rare for the passenger belt to fail since it gets much less usage than the driver's side.

    That said, what State are you in that would care if the shoulder belt is manually buckled in?
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  3. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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    I live in Pennsylvania. I hold a state inspection licence and myself would pass any car for this condition as it does not prevent you from using the belt. The state driver instructor who does not have an inspection licence is the one saying it's not safe. We have a clause that any condition that a safety inspector feels is unsafe can fail at his own descretion . So technically it's a grey area and would depend on the judgment of any inspector. Many would pass and some would fail it. Willing to bet most would not even check it because they are lazy. Cost me $75 bucks to have my kid fail the drivers test because of it. I have no idea how much power a drivers test instructor has but they do a check of wipers, lights and what not. Was told not to come back until its fixed lol.

    I know its the latch because its binding from the plastic/rubber coating coming off. I can manually work the latch with the door open and get it to work perfectly by just prying on the latch a little more. Lubing it does not help and if I remember correctly completely removing the coating still screws up the operation because it changes clearance to the latch switch. I have seen this problem several times as I worked for Ford many years ago. It may be possible to modify it to get that clearance back but I never tried it before because years ago you could just buy the part.

    Many times if you have bad limit switches on the track fresh blast of silicone spray will free them up. Often the grease on them gets dirty, thick and sticks more than what the spring pressure can push out. Ford does have a special tool that plugs into the control module and monitor all the switches but I don't have access to that.
  4. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    "Ford does have a special tool that plugs into the control module and monitor all the switches but I don't have access to that."

    Tell us more! Maybe one might turn up occasionally on ebay.
  5. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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    Ok I will see if I can find the tool number...
  6. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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  7. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Thanks, I see it is strictly for the "passive restraint system", so not of interest to me.

    Part description:

    Ford Rotunda Passive Restraint Tester 007-00034

    Up here we have manual seat belts, or I guess what Ford would call "active restraint systems"
  8. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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    Yes passive restraints are automatic seat belts and the airbag system. This only tests the seat belts though. Active restraints you got to physically use like the rear seat belts.
  9. focus2000

    focus2000 FEOA Member

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    been going through the same problem, replaced my passengers side seatbelt track and it usually stays it the unlocked position, sometimes driving over heavy bumps will jostle it enough and the seatbelt will go back to the locked position, very annoying and I haven't taken my door latch out yet.
  10. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    This is why I hate power seats too. The can fail and then you fail inspection.
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  11. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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    Well the tester is only $20 on ebay. It would show you what switch is malfunctioning. It would also give you manual control of the belt motor when connected.
  12. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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    I hate power seats too, especially the ones with memory because other people always mess the settings up and they end up doing something stupid. But what I dislike the most is cars with power seat backs. I like to lay down and relax during breaks at work. Power seats are slow and take time to recline and you waste the precious time to relax. Manual seats you hit the lever and boom, it's all the way down if you want it.
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  13. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Isn't the tester only something that gives you a code?
  14. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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    I was referring to the special tool that Ford dealers had. The belts have no self test capabilities. You unplugged the module located under the drivers seat and installed this tester. It shows the status of all inputs and ouputs and allows you to move the motors at a flick of the switch. https://www.ebay.com/p/Ford-Rotunda...MI-cuUxq7q4wIVS-DICh3gJgo0EAkYAyABEgKtMPD_BwE
  15. Marvin

    Marvin FEOA Member

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    focus2000, Every switch in the system is a normally open switch. If the seat belt moves forward but does not return you have the possibility of only two switches being bad. The rear limit switch or the latch switch. To figure out which one it is you could check for them being grounded by back probing at the control module or just by simply disconnecting them one at a time. I myself suspect the rear limit switch and it's the most easy to get at. Simply unplug that switch and if it retracts back that's the problem. Just make sure the key is on and door is shut when you unplug it. If you unplug the latch and it moves then you know it's the latch.

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  16. focus2000

    focus2000 FEOA Member

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    Thanks for the good info, I am definitely going to check the switches

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