1980/81 sliding door lock project

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1980/81 sliding door lock project

red1980F150
Hey all,

My 1980, Elain, still had the original sliding locks on the inside of the door - both were broken, of course.  Being new to the Bullnose scene I hadn't realized that they were impossible to find but I saw lots on converting to the post style.  Well, I build metal 3D printing machines and sensors for a living so decided to go another route, namely reverse engineering them and making some nice new metal units that bolt together rather than relying on some crappy plastic weld thing.  

Just for a refresher in case you don't have the sliding locks, here's the backside of the original part with the broken plastic tabs:


The machines I make use a process called laser powder bed fusion, we essentially take a software representation of a part, slice it into layers, and weld the entire thing one very thin layer at a time by melting (and welding) powderized metal.  In this case I used a relatively pedestrian Aluminum alloy.  Anyway, using a handy set of digital calipers and a CAD package I reverse engineered the original part.  I'm making new sliders and a new bezel.  The metal spring that holds in the door from the original part will be reused, except I'll wobble out the holes to put 8/32 bolts through.  

Here are the parts as they come out of the LPBF machine


The company logo on there are some friends of mine, no real connection to the project.  I did a little bead blasting next to remove loose aluminum powder and clean the parts up a little.  Here is how they look right now.  Notice the little Ford spelled out on the slider.  




On this last picture, below, you can see I've modified the back of the bezel and put holes in for the 8/32 bolts


There is a little bit of deformation on the bezels because I had a slight oversight when designing the manufacturing process, you can see the warping towards the top of the bezels in the above picture.  That's something I could easily prevent if I build them again.  Anyway, this is a fresh project and you're looking at the current state of the parts.  I plan to update the thread as I remove the parts from the build plate and get them installed.  I hope you enjoy
John

Red 1980 F150 Custom - Standard cab, long bed, 4WD
302 v8, Auto transmission
Almost completely stock, quite clean but not perfect.
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

Gary Lewis
Administrator
That is really cool!  I like that!

Have you thought about selling them?  I plan to use slide locks on Dad's truck.  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

Rembrant
In reply to this post by red1980F150
Very cool!
1952 Mercury M-1 Pickup '96 5.0/4R70W swap project...
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/ 5spd. Sold.
1980 F150 4X4 Flareside. 300i6 w/ 5spd. Sold in 2021.
1980 F100 4X2 Flareside. 351w/2bbl w/NP435. Sold in 1995

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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

delco1946
Wow, that's very impressive! I second Gary!
Christopher in Portland Or. 1981 F250 Ranger XLT 4x4 trailer special 351M, and auto C6
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

kramttocs
Administrator
In reply to this post by red1980F150
Well done! Those look really good.
Scott
'Camano' 1986 F250 Supercab XLT Lariat 460/C6
'Chanute' 1980 F350 C&C 400/NP 435 - Gin Pole

But there ain't nothin' wrong with the radio
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

salans7
It's so cool to see the common problems with these trucks finally being addressed after all of these years.

Great work!
-Shaun (Florida resident, but not thy Florida Man)
-1980ish Ford F350 Ranger XLT 4x4 460/T19/D60-10.25 Sterling
-2003 Ford Ranger Edge 3.0 V6/M5OD/8.8
-2002 Ford Ranger XLT 3.0 V6/5R44E/7.5
Previously owned:
-1980 Ford F150 Ranger Lariat 4x4 400/C6/D44-9"
-2000 Ford Ranger Sport 2.5 I4/4R44E/7.5
"I didn't choose the Ford Truck life, the Ford Truck life chose me."
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

Shorty
Awesome.
Took me forever to find two used ones on eBay.
“Find what you love and let it kill you.”
― Charles Bukowski

1980 F100 Custom, Big Six, bench and 3 on the tree. My bare bones play truck.
2012 VW TDI Sportwagen daily driver.

Dennis
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

red1980F150
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by red1980F150
Thanks guys.  I didn't get much done today but did get them off the build plate.  The little aluminum pillars break off really easy so they won't be a problem really. Still, I wish I changed the angle I built the sliders at a little bit so there were no columns on the front face that people will see... now I'll have to carefully polish that area, adding some time to the project for sure.  Basically, this manufacturing process doesn't like doing too steep of an overhang, the limit is typically near 40 degrees.  I built these at 55 degrees, if I backed that off to 45 I probably could have avoided the pillars on the front side of the sliders. Learning more for next time, I guess.  

I would love to help you guys do these for your trucks!  The only problem is the manufacturing process is so dang expensive.  These parts took about 14 hours to build and typically guys will charge near $25 per hour, plus Argon usage and material (Argon plus material will probably be around $80).  The best way to save money is to combine multiple orders onto a single build process.  That 14 hours may go to something like 18 so you definitely get some savings.  I have a machine with a 10 inch square plate that uses a copper alloy for rocket engines, I could probably fit 4 or 5 orders on it if y'all don't mind copper (I for one think that would be awesome).  I also have some NIckel-contaminated copper powder that should build fine, but isn't useful for any critical aerospace jobs, so it should be close to free.  

If we can get a group together then let me know what embedded logos or lettering you want and where you want it.  We can remove NAMPros and put anything... anywhere, because I made the design.  

**EDIT** I just remembered the copper builds about 25% faster too, so that knocks the cost down some.  
John

Red 1980 F150 Custom - Standard cab, long bed, 4WD
302 v8, Auto transmission
Almost completely stock, quite clean but not perfect.
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Thanks for that offer, but I think those are out of my league.  But it is good to know it can be done.  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

Dorsai
In reply to this post by red1980F150
Wow, those are nice!  Great work.

There's got to be a market for those, I'm sure there are people out there who'd like durable sliders on their trucks.  I'm still nursing my originals along (the drivers side got JB Welded a couple years ago and is doing fine, the passenger side is original and intact), but if they ever break beyond repair I'll be looking you up.  I definitely would NOT want to go to vertical pulls.
Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

red1980F150
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Yeah it's pricey!  I might be able to make some of these for you guys here and there.  Every once in a while we have to do a test build on a machine for calibration of the machine, or a sensor test, etc.  It's entirely possible I could put these on during a test.  I didn't mention that the first time because I definitely cannot guarantee it.  

Today was a big day for the sliders, I finished cleaning them up and installed the passenger side, the driver side will only take another 20 minutes, so I'm essentially done.  First thing was cleaning up the parts after removing the columns (support structure for fabrication).  Here is one slider cleaned up, and one that is not.  


And cleaning up the sliding surface on the bezel


After cleaning up all 4 parts, and hitting then with a wire wheel, I clear coated them to keep them from dulling over time (hopefully)


Tapping the bolt holes on the bezel...


Then wobbled out the spring/backplate from the original lock, and bolted it together


And here it is installed on Elain


I'm really happy with how it looks.  My only concern is that it might rattle, but if it does I'll add some plastic between the slider and bezel to fix it up.  
John

Red 1980 F150 Custom - Standard cab, long bed, 4WD
302 v8, Auto transmission
Almost completely stock, quite clean but not perfect.
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

grumpin
Great job!
Dane
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6 Sold
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
1998 GMC Sierra SLE K1500 350 4L60E
2000 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 3.3 RE4R01A
Oregon
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

Gary Lewis
Administrator
In reply to this post by red1980F150
That is really cool!  But, being metal it should be able to withstand 400F, right?  That being the case the parts could be powder coated.  And certainly we could hit them with SEM Color Coat to make them match the interior.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

red1980F150
You know, I hadn't even thought of that. I've never powder coating anything, that could be interesting.  I'll have to think on it, I think on one hand it's cool to have it stand out since it's obviously unique, but on the other hand it shouldn't stand out in a bad way.
John

Red 1980 F150 Custom - Standard cab, long bed, 4WD
302 v8, Auto transmission
Almost completely stock, quite clean but not perfect.
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

Gary Lewis
Administrator
I've powder coated thousands of things, but there's no way I know of to have a powder that matches the colors Ford used on the interiors, unless it is black.  And even then there are lots of "blacks".  But SEM Color Coat is said to work on metal.  So you could match it that way.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

Frank Wyatt
Very nice. Price wise they would be too much for me but they would look great in my truck. Congrats.
1981 F 150 Custom 300 ci Carter YFA T-18 3.25 9" rear 2WD
all emissions intact except thermactor pump and cat
dual gas tanks
1990 Lincoln Town Car 5.0 AOD
Home town Mc Kenzie, TN
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

FuzzFace2
Nice job and look great installed in your truck.
My truck had nothing for either door so don't even know what they look like other than on the web.

They are also out of my price range and being LMC no longer has them and if they did they may have the same issues as the factory ones.
I think I am going with the door top push / pull but keep my latch so they work backwards.
Oh I also need to replace the door panels and why the door lock change.
Dave ----

ps they would look great left alum on red door panels
Dave G.
81 F100 flare side 300 six / AA OD / NP435 / 2.75 gear
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1980-Ford-F100?page=1
81 F100 style side 300 six/SROD parts truck -RIP
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1981-Ford-F100
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

red1980F150
In your case we would have to figure out a solution to hold it in the door panel since I reused the backing plate from the original.  

I realized as I reviewed the thread that I didn't post a good closeup of the assembled part, so here is one.  
John

Red 1980 F150 Custom - Standard cab, long bed, 4WD
302 v8, Auto transmission
Almost completely stock, quite clean but not perfect.
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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

Gary Lewis
Administrator
We can probably come up with backing plates.  But the rest of it is usually broken, if not missing.

Can you do it in plastic for less cost?
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: 1980/81 sliding door lock project

red1980F150
Oh yeah, plastic is easy.  It would cost about $1 in material and then whatever one wants to charge in machine time.  Since it isn't really a business for me I wouldn't need much, if anything.  

I have a 3D printer for plastic sitting on the desk here near the computer.  I'll print one sometime this week and post pictures.  The inexpensive plastic machines don't have the same resolution as the laser machines (metal or plastic), but I bet it's still better than a broken lock :)
John

Red 1980 F150 Custom - Standard cab, long bed, 4WD
302 v8, Auto transmission
Almost completely stock, quite clean but not perfect.
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