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Malibu Door Locks

These custom door locks were made for my sons classic 65' Malibu SS.  He has been restoring it for several years now and doing a great job, taking his time to do it right, and allows me to hand him tools sometimes! 8-).  I had noticed the door locks he had were those cheapo plastic ones and thought about building some cool ones on the Mini out of aluminum.  I looked around on the web to see what was out there and get a few ideas, but most were pretty tacky; there were some Piston types on E-Bay but they were chrome plated pot metal.  So, I decided to draw some up and see if my Mini and I could build them.

This is the final version installed, and in the down position.

Here is the initial drawing I did for a swivel top with some embellishments.

Actually I built this as a prototype to make sure it could be done.  There is no mini-mill in my needed to see if I could cut the flats and drill straight enough to have the wrist pin work properly.  Also needed to find out if my Hi-Lo chart was correct for the connecting rod and if I could actually tap that deep for the 10-24 mounting (.875DP).  Here are some pictures of the Proto.  Note: I didn't make the valve indents in the top but tried to make the SS symbol by double stamping it with 1/8" letter punches...didn't work to my satisfaction.

Side view.  Note: the ring groves were made by grinding down a P1N cut-off tool down to .025 thick and the oil ring the standard .040 thick.  Filing down the flats took some time.  I used a Dremel to create the skirt radius.  Drilling the wrist pin straight turned out OK.

Bottom View showing the wrist pin & counter boring and the deepest threads I have ever done.

Top View showing the munched up SS.  The scratches are because it's been floating around in the bin for a while before I took these pictures.  It was much better before.

The Proto looked pretty cool but the wobbly piston didn't feel right and my figures for the Hi/Lo position of the connecting rod needed adjusting.  So back to the drawing board making a couple of versions you see below.

This one was kind of sexy but I couldn't find an O-ring to fit the groove.

This ended up being the final version although I didn't make the SS on the top with the punches.  A local engraver provided an estimate...Wow...$150 for 4 letters on two of them...Took me less time to make them so I made a raised section on the top as seen in the pictures.  Pretty simple to make on the Mini although the flat and skirts needed to be handmade.  This time I ended up doing the deep tap on the Mini by chucking up the tap in the tail stock and turning the lathe chuck and tail stock handle by hand until it was straight, with about 6 threads in.  With the piece in the chuck still, I switched to a T-handle to go the final distance...whooow...full length of the tap!  Assembled it with some 242 blue Loctite.  The Hi/Lo worked well as you can see in the pictures and my son was Thrilled with them.

Right side in the up position.  Note: the door panel grommet is missing on this side.

Left side down with the grommet.

Left side up.

Overall, this was a really fun project that taught me a lot about the mini, sequence of operations, and got to make my son Happy with a fun gift to Shirley...his Classic 65' Malibu SS.  Please feel free to save the drawings and try them yourself if you have a need or want to learn some skills on your Mini.