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Old 05-10-2019, 02:04 PM   #1
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Conversion doors rattling and weather strips leaking

Hey Guys, I'm finishing converting my van and I came across in two problems that are driving me nuts...

A bit of context, my van used to be a wheelchair van. The company that converted it doesn't exist anymore.
Since it used to have a lift in the back, the company extended the rear barn doors to accommodate the lift. This became a big pain the *** because...

- The OEM weather stripping is not compatible anymore and even though I'm not getting any water leaks, at the end of every trip I find a lot of dust in the back. I can see light through at the top. (Meaning that light, smells and noise leak out making it less stealthy)
- They didn't install extra latches, so every time I hit a big pothole or I go off road the door rattles like crazy like hitting two metal pipes, this is the issue that is actually killing me.

I've done some research on the last one and tried moving the latch striker around which made things better for a little bit, then I realized that the latch mechanism had some play, so I guess I need to change the entire thing...

To make things worse, the passenger side door (the one that rattles the most) has only 1 latch in the middle, which I guess it would be fine if they keept the doors OEM, but since they are larger now, the top flaps and makes that metal to metal sound. This is what it looks like:




There are a few things I can think off to fix this, like replacing existing latches and strikers for new ones. I don't know if installing a new latch in the passenger side and hook it up with the handle is feasible.

I dont know anything about weather strips. Is there a universal one that I could use for this?

and last, I feel like I've spent a lot of time into this issues and I was thinking about bringing the van to a shop to get this fixed but I don't know what kind of shop would do this work and if is worth the money...


Any latch or weather stripping advice that you guys can give me would be highly appreciated and if you guys know about a reputable shop in the bay area CA that would take on a work like this... or at least the kind of shop that would do something like this I would have a starting point.

Thanks !!
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:02 PM   #2
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I can't help you with the weatherstripping or latch part but I can tell you almost every van gets dust inside after dirt roads. There have been many threads on this. The answer is positive pressure in the cabin. Turn your blower/AC/whatever on medium to high when you're cooking along in dust and it will offset the problem considerably.

Van looks sweet BTW!

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Old 05-10-2019, 06:06 PM   #3
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A couple threads on improving existing seals;


http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...oor-22493.html


http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ase-21112.html




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Old 05-12-2019, 05:55 AM   #4
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Holy cripes---I have the same van! Color, windows all 'round, former wheel chair lift equipped.

Assuming your doors are adjusted to the original body (below the extended top) the seals aren't the issue. Yes you can/do see light around the extended doors which doesn't really let most water in so those aren't an issue either.

You could use different brands of aftermarket generic profile seals you'd apply yourself. Before 2004 or so this would have caused the doors to NOT seal as they'd be too thick and push the door shell away from the body. Your van should have the upper left rear door latch installed which is a huge benefit if you want to replace the existing seals with something "better".

Honestly I don't know its worth the effort as Scotty says all van's leak dust. Along with whatever is suggested in the links BroncoHauler suggests keeping the factory seals in good order with silicone wet-type lubricant---it keeps the seals pliable which is how they effect a good seal.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:29 PM   #5
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I have the exact same rattling issue with my rig ('99 E350 Extended, high top with vertically extended rear doors).

On mine, the upper latch seems to have a double-locking articulation (I am sure there is a more technical term for this) -- one at full lock where it holds the door tightly shut, and one partially engaged, where the door is able to move around causing rattling and squeaking). My latch doesn't seem to want to stay in the "full-lock" position when I encounter even minor bumps along the road, and the squeaking and rattling begin.

I recently glued a thin piece of speakerbox carpet around the "striker" portion of the mechanism (a recommendation i'd found on some other forum), and it seems to have fixed the problem so far... (although I don't know how permanently). Hope it continues to hold, because it was awfully annoying hearing that metal on metal grinding / screeching all the time.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorwamsley View Post
I have the exact same rattling issue with my rig ('99 E350 Extended, high top with vertically extended rear doors).

My latch doesn't seem to want to stay in the "full-lock" position when I encounter even minor bumps along the road, and the squeaking and rattling begin.
Your situation sounds more like the latch in the left door is beginning to fail--or possibly the attaching screws have loosened which is common on some Ford doors.

The upper latch should be standard Ford issue so not horribly difficult to find new or in great condition at a scrap yard.

Typically the body-mounted striker doesn't wear out and a few have been known to work themselves loose. Also Ford stock parts so replacing them if necessary isn't too difficult.
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