XK150 door latch weakness/failure

Hello, am new to the forum and quite new to ownership of a ‘60 XK150dhc. Last fall, after some wonderful excursions on the Maine coast, I began to have trouble getting the doors to close securely, The interior sliding door handles became sluggish and “sticky,” as if return springs were weak and grease was hardening. The car had been used little for about 10 years before I bought it—was well maintained mechanically, but sat too much. I am looking for a detailed diagram of the door mechanisms and recommendations for step-by-step trouble-shooting and repair. Also, is this a common problem with a “standard” R and R approach, or unusual? First inquiry here—many thanks for responding.

Hi there and welcome to the forum!
The sliding door mechanism could certainly ‘clag up’ from a buildup of old grease and dust. That is how I found mine when I disassembled the doors for restoration.
I use a mix of the Spare Parts Catalogue (SPC) and the various supplier’s diagrams for references. Also take photos as you disassemble.

I think you will have to take the door trims off and clean all of the surfaces that rub.
Here’s a pic of my door mechanism that may help. I can take more photos if you need.

Regards Jon.

Thanks very much, Jon. I will look for photos or copies of those reference materials. SNG sent me a catalog after my first inquiry, and I’ve got access to the factory parts book. It’s not easy for me to tell where a return spring would fit, but there must be one. Did you remove your doors to take apart this mechanism? My car had a bare metal prepped refinish about five years ago, so I want to be very careful. Tx. Brownie

Hi Brownie,

I had the same issue, and it was down to gummed up works. To remove the door cards you have to remover the slider knobs. I ended up having to drill the grub screw/set screw that retains the knob to the slider on the one door I have fixed.


Hi Brownie,.
Here’s a few more photos that may assist.
There are two springs involved in the slide. .

Hopefully a general clean and lubricate should get your slide working again… (that is not a euphemism)

Great photos, Jon. Thank you! The mystery (for me) of “Where are the springs?” is solved. You’ve not mentioned the need for special tools, so I am now encouraged that I can undertake this operation. Will certainly take photos to document steps. Did you have to drill set screws in slide handles? Tx, Brownie

Thank you, Clive. Interestingly, the set screw on the driver’s side is too long, and actually creates a very small, sharp “bump” on the surface of the slide handle. Must have been replaced at some point. Question: did you use any special tools for this procedure? Thanks, Brownie

Hi Brownie,

No special tools, but I drilled too deep and into the shaft of the slider, rather than just removing the head of the set screw. This happened because the knob was firmly attached to the shaft and needed levering off once the screw head no longer held it in place. I now have to put a bigger set screw in as the hole in the shaft is enlarged.

Patience, frequently trying to lever off the knob, and care!


I have removed my door cards many times,
You do not have to remove the door.
You will need a small allen wrench to remove the slider knob,
after that its a flat screwdriver to remove the door pull, Push the bezel of the window winder in to expose the small pin to remove the winder, and use a drill to remove the pop rivet heads,
After the two side panels are removed the cap rail comes off, then the door card, The door pocket at the bottom can stay , unless you want to do a full clean and rust treatment of the door bottom.
You do not have to remove the window to disconnect the slider mechanism.
To re-assemble, a pop rivet gun will be required. a flat screwdriver and again the allen wrench.
Use a de greaser to remove old grease,

Hi Brownie,. No I didn’t as the previous owner had kindly removed the slide knob, door card, etc before I bought my “basket case” restoration. Of course the previous owner had unkindly lost the slide knobs etc in the process… Replacements have since been sourced.

Thanks, Jon. You are a courageous man! In my next life, I intend to develop the skills necessary to do a “basket case” restoration. But it likely won’t be an XK 150, more likely a Morris Minor Tourer. My wife owns a '59 Traveler that has required a fair amount of work over the years–such a fun car! We have to decide whether to take it or our “new” 150 to Vermont’s British Invasion in September.

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Thanks very much for this “step-by-step” guide, Morris. Wish you (or others who have offered helpful responses) lived in my neighborhood. I am surprised that there are rivets, rather than small bolts ad nuts, or screws. Guess I’ll understand when I get there. Beginning to think Spring–even in Maine!

You could probably use small/short flathead screws instead of rivets. Its always puzzled me why they used them unless it was for clearance issues.