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MG TD TF 1500 - Door Safety Latch

Even though my latches fully close with the pin fully engaged, I think about this problem on our cars all the time, especially on the passenger door where my wife sets. To ad a little more safety I ordered a pair of these stainless marine latches to install on the lower part of both doors. 15 bucks each is very cheap insurance. I'm also installing seat belts. PJ


Seat belts are essential and 3 point much better than lap belts. Make sure to bolt to metal not wood.
Geoffrey M Baker

Seeing how I have no place to mount the shoulder belt and have no plans to ad a roll bar, lap belts will do. Yes they will be mounted to fabricated steel brackets mounted to chassis outer and trans bracket inter. PJ

I believe some have mounted the shoulder belt to the rear seat adjuster bolt. There are ways of doing it without a roll bar...
Geoffrey M Baker

Paul, I have the same ones. They are a bear to line up to latch like they are supposed to. I use hitch pins to make sure.
efh Haskell

From the Frame up, sells "Period" locks that were for the TS-B-C

Part # AC114.
Not inexpensive at $57 for the pair but well made.

Jim B.

JA Benjamin

The safety of shoulder belts is arguable. The mounting position being below the shoulder could cause a dislocated shoulder or worse, and in a rollover you go from potential serious injury or death to almost certain serious injury or death. But in a minor accident it may prevent hitting your head on the steering wheel or windscreen. I run lap belts only.
Steve Simmons

FWIW here's a photo of my door safety catches which were on the car when I purchased it 25 years ago - period accessory in Australia.
Peter TC9356

Peter Malkin


Can you expand on what you say in your post that your latch is a "period accessory"? I know there are a ton of items a T series owner could buy to compliment their MG (heater, fog lamps, luggage rack, aero screens, etc)

I never knew a safety latch like yours was period dealer aftermarket add on.

Anyone know if there is any vintage advertising available promoting these latches for the MG market?

Just curious.



Frank Cronin

I had a chrome Overdrive emblem on the back of my 72 MGB and a chrome Mark II badge that were only on Australian built MGBs. There is a way to identify the real thing and not a fake. So what I'm saying is, it wouldn't be unusual for an accessory on an Australian built car to not be available in the UK or other parts of the world. PJ

The latch in the photo provided by Peter Malkin looks familiar. I remember that kind of thing being used on cupboard doors and the like here in the UK back in the 50s. Not seen one for years though.
Dave H
Dave Hill

I use
Mike TD29330
M Lees

I just can't justify drilling 8 holes in my car to reduce the chances of a door flying open.
How many of you owners have had it happen? Isn't there a way to make the original latch more secure?

"Risky Chuck"
cj schmit

This comes up all the time.
If the locks are correctly fitted they cannot come open. It the lever is fully home and the tapers fully in then the door is locked.
I had a broken chassis and the doors stayed locked!
Ray TF 2884
Ray Lee

The I discovered to late is that you cannot tell if the pin is fully engaged into the latch opening. While the handle will go back to the normal position because of the spring, it will not be an indication of the position of the pin. I have issues with my TF doors but the TD I sold was rock solid and due to the incident with the TF I put safety straps on the doors anyway.
MG LaVerne

Since I have modified the striker mounts on my TF I have confidence in my door security. The fact that no longer am I reliant on fixings secured into a wooden frame has boosted my confidence.
G Evans

During the '60s I had a TD and, if I remember correctly, bought two latches the same as on my TC from Monaro Motors in Melbourne. They could well have been off the shelf items for other uses but were a common fitment on T Series cars. Peter Manton (Monaro Motors) made many period accessories - aero screens, oil filter cannisters etc. Some years ago I gave away two Monaro Motors aero screens to fit a pair of Brooklands - a few weeks back a pair of Monaro Motors areo screens sold on Aussie ebay for $1680Au!!!
Peter TC9356
Peter Malkin

This is a solution with no change to the car. No drilling, etc.
it is a set of rubber latches that are readily available.
I'll post 3 photos.
I used these on my TD before my current door latch.

Mort 50 TD

The two mounting holes in the latch just happen to have the same center to center distance as the holes in the TD door.

Mort 50 TD

You just pull slightly on the rubber handle and it fits over the door knob.
This assumes you have closed the door properly and the striker is engaged in the second hole. The rubber latch will prevent it from popping open. It is very sturdy.
Although I don't remember who it was, I believe I mailed this set to someone on this BBS. Perhaps they can relate their experience.

Mort 50 TD

Are you able to offer the brand and model number?

They look like a very simple fix. I'd like to give them a try.
Dan Nordstrom

Seems simple enough, BUT if by chance the striker pops out of the second hole for some reason, what prevents the knob from being pulled out of the rubber hole? The other latches have a positive locking piece that would keep the door closed even if it did pop out of the second hole. I have the same set as Paul, but have not mounted them yet, as I like the design that Peter Malkin has better.
L Karpman

The trouble with locking the handle is that the handle can be in the closed position with the bolt NOT engaged in the receiver.
Even the original "Silenttravel" snib as fitted to my car will not stop the door opening if the bolt is not in. The rubber latch will not hold the door if the lock opens. If the rubber latch goes from the door to the tub it might hold
It is essential that the bolt is fully into the receiver and that the wedge is as far back as it will go. Any free pay in the handle means it is not home.
See photo for original type snib (not fitted to T Types)
My doors are two finger pressure to shut snick/snick and I have complete trust in them.
Ray TF 2884

Ray Lee

I strongly second Ray's view that the original catches, correctly fitted can be trusted for more than normal driving conditions (maybe not for rough terrain).

That said they can be a b****r to get to close properly, I reckon to set aside at least a day, and have a good set of shims to hand to complete the alignment which gives the necessary easy click into the inboard hole in the striker plate.

After that I have never had it even slip out to the safety catch nib.
Ian Bowers

Dan and others,
Go to the archive and type in "Door Safety latch" for a discussion about this latch.
The URL address in my first post there no longer works but the latch can be Googled

Southco F7 Series Natural Rubber/Nylon Front Mount Flexible T-Handle Pull Draw Latch, 4-13/32" Length

Once again. If your door is closed with the striker in the second hole this latch will absolutely prevent it from opening. See all the amazing things about it in my first post in that old article.
Mort 50 TD

Thanks Mort.

I will do my homework.

Dan Nordstrom

I agree with most everything said in this discussion, but 60 years ago when dating my wife, the right door on my fully customized 47 Chevy flew open making a left turn, my intended wife almost went flying out the door, but I grabbed her so fast and quickly stopped to close and check the door. Fortunately all went well. No one could figure out why that door flew open as it had an all new latching system. Her brothers and I tried but could never make it do it again.
That car didn't had suicide doors thank God.
I would never totally trust the door latches on our T series cars.
What I didn't tell you was, we went on an errand for her mom, and returning home, when I grabbed my wife, I tore her blouse, I had some tall explaining to do when we got back, her mom and dad plus three very big brothers wanted an explanation. An exciting day to say the least. LOL. PJ

That's a great story Paul.
I have been thrown out of a car twice in my life so I will add some protection to my TF. Seat belts also (lap only) so we don't get tossed out going over a bump.
Latches that are 62 years old should not be trusted. IMHO. There is too much flex in old wood.


Dan Nordstrom

Paul: I bought the same latches (at Mercers, our local marine supplier.) When I went to put them in I saw a problem. If you put the smaller catch part on the door and the lever latch part on the car, how will that hold the door shut, if it wants to swing open? (Try it...)
If you put the longer latch part on the door and forget to swing it out of the way before you shut the door, then you'll damage the door frame or at least the paint job. Or so it seems to me... If you do figure out a way of using these please post the results! I'd love to find out that they can be used... Thanks, Peter
Peter Pope

This thread was discussed between 02/12/2015 and 06/12/2015

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.