Replica Parts £17 (striker plate, shim & two screws)
Stainless Steel Pair £80
What’s in the pack:
A pair of super shiny polished stainless steel door striker plates, matching stainless shims and a pair of polished Allen screws for each side.
The doors on my car were fine, but recently they have become temperamental and difficult to shut first time. I checked the impact marks on the striker plates and they looked central to the door catch, maybe it had moved and needed adjusting? I then went to wipe the centre pin and found the pin was loose on the plate itself. Depending where the plate pin was last located, it could mean the door shutting first time, or it needed a firmer second pull. I had used the original door striker plates after being cleaned up as they looked fine. It seems like time had got the better of them along with the new door catches. The new door catches have firmer springs so that means more stress on the door catches. This not only looked rubbish trying to shut the door a few times, it sounded rubbish with a “clank”, instead of a nice “clunk”. This banging could do some damage elsewhere by having to be forceful with the door.
After removing a striker plate on the drivers side and looking at the back you can see the gap which would allow a good three or four millimetres movement on the striker plate front pin. The passenger side was fine as it obviously doesn’t get the usage.
The replacement striker plate seen here below from the same angle. You can see that there is no gap at the back and the pin is rigid in place.
The new striker plate on the left of the picture below is a polished stainless steel version, compared to the original gold zinc version on the right. The other main difference apart from the finish is the fasteners. On the old version they had the correct cross head screws. On the new version it’s a couple of 3/16th Allen screws. The new version is less obtrusive to look at on the B Pillars too. It’s important to get a good fitting Allen key so as not to round the fitting.
It could be a good idea to check the movement of the door hinge pins at this point to see if they need to be replaced with the bushings.
At the back of the B Pillar there is a thick plate which floats between locating lugs what the striker plate will screw into. There is a fair bit of movement to allow the alignment of the striker plate to the door. This striker plate can take a while to set up correctly so that the striker plate pin is in the centre of the door catch itself. Not only that, the position of the striker plate will determin how hard the door will shut against the rubber door seals. So I have a plan which will help out, but it’s not necessary to follow. However it will protect the paint from any accidental damage as well as making the alignment so much easier. The choice is yours:
Undo the two screws holding the striker plate to the door pillar, remove the striker plate. Place the new striker in place, locate the screw holes again and tighten up the new screws until they nip up. Align the striker plate if needed and tighten fully once in position.
The replacing the striker plate itself is dead simple, alignment of the striker to the door and how the door shuts is where the skill lies.
- To far up or down will force the door against the hinge pins causing premature wear and tear.
- To far into the car and the door catch will not be able to grab onto the striker plate pin correctly thus not allowing the door to shut correctly.
- To far out and the door will rattle because it not tight enough and could allow water into the car along with road noise due to the poor seal.
Although my method is longer to change the striker plates, it guarantees it will be correct first time and gives a piece of mind for any minor mishaps.
I used electrical insulation tape to lay along the edges of the striker plate. The insulation tape will peel nicely from paint work leaving no residue, you could use any masking tape you wanted.
I undid the top screw until it came out then put it back in a full turn. Undo the bottom screw and remove completely.
You will now be able to move the bracket away from the pillar and out-of-the-way to one side. The rear pin could drag on to the paint work at this point, but as it’s covered that won’t be a problem. Replace the bottom screw back into the plate to hold the plate in place while you remove the top screw completely.
You may ask yourself why hold the backing plate in position with a screw at the bottom? Well, I have seen these pillar plates fall completely away from the back of the B Pillar because the retaining lugs have either corroded away or been damaged previously.
In order to get that backing plate back in position you would need to do a complex sequence. Remove the rear seats bottom and back. Remove the parcel shelf. Remove the window winder handle. Undo the screws that holds the side panel itself covering the inner section. Try to remove the damp proof membrane without tearing it. Once that is all removed hold the plate to the inside of the pillar and screw the striker plate in place. Replace all of the above. Your five-minute job has just turned into a few hours!
Make a note of how many shims are in place behind the striker plate, there should only be one. Sometimes two or more are in place if the door wouldn’t line up correctly at the time of manufacture or to correct door gap issues, maybe the car had been in an accident and the extra shim(s) was required to correct the door position.
Place the new strike plate in position and screw the top in a turn or so. Holding the plate to the side you can again remove the bottom screw now.
Align the striking plate between the marking tape and tighten the two screws back up.
Double-check the alignment of the door. If all is correct which it should be, remove the marking up tape you used.
While you are checking the door alignment it would be a good idea to clean the old muck out of the door catch itself. Once it has been cleaned apply some white grease to the door catch through the hole in the top of the catch, and then around the jaws.
Clean the door hinges and apply some of the white grease to the door hinges.
Five minutes if you are lucky and do it text-book.
Fifteen to twenty minutes if you take your time and play it safe.
The doors shut with a single push now and shut with a reassuring “clunk”. The striker plates have had a serious upgrade of blind. With the door shut nobody will see it. Open the door and the catches look amazing. The doors work as before again, and the visual brilliance of the polished stainless steel is something different.