I have read through this thread of emails and wanted to offer my "two cents" about the hood latch failure on the Baltzar's 300C. I was there at the "Inc. Club" meet in Sacramento, California in June 1990 and had a look at the hood latch that failed. This event is one that I will never forget and I will now share my observations and opinions with others for the first time.
The catch portion of the latch mechanism is mounted to the hood of the car and consists of a base plate with welded nut, the threaded and adjustable catch, and a lock nut. The proper assembly of these three pieces is as follows: The lock nut is installed on the catch first. Then the catch and lock nut are thread into the base plate in such a manner that the welded nut is on top the base plate, then the catch is screwed into the bottom of the base plate. Once the catch is properly positioned, the lock nut is jammed to the bottom of the base plate. The welded nut on one side (top) of the base plate and the jam nut on the other side (bottom) of the base plate, provide the structural rigidity to prevent the catch and base from separating. These three pieces were pre assembled together in the factory before the assembly was mounted to the hood, allowing for proper installation. The base plate has a uniform bolt pattern that would allow an unassembled base to be mounted to the hood with either the welded nut up or the welded nut down if the catch is not installed properly into the base before the base is bolted to the hood.
Erik had his 300C repainted before the Sacramento meet. Apparently the catch assembly was removed from the hood prior to repaint and disassembled while out of the car. When the catch assembly was reinstalled, the base plate was apparently attached to the hood without the catch threaded in and was mounted upside down, with the welded nut on the bottom. Then the catch and jam were screwed directly into the welded nut and the jam nut was jammed directly to the welded nut. In this configuration, only the strength of the weld between the nut and the base plate kept the catch assembly together. It was the failure of the weld between the nut and the base plate that caused the hood to fly up at cruising speed.
I didn't say anything to anybody else at the time because I didn't know whether is was Erik or someone else who reassembled the catch assembly incorrectly and certainly didn't want to embarass anyone in the process.
My message to all you C, D, and E owners is to make sure your catch assemblies are assembled correctly, with the welded nut on top and the jam nut on the bottom, to be sure that what happened to Erik doesn't happen to you.
Chris the K MANIAC
From: John Lazenby french_fryguy@xxxxxxxxx
To: John L. Chesnutt <chesnutt@xxxxxxxxxxxx
>; 'Bob Merritt' <bob@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Chrysler300 <Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tue, May 17, 2016 8:02 am
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] survey for owners of C, D, E -Hood Latch
A correction to John Chesnutt's post. The Baltzar's issue with the hood on their 300C convertible was traveling to the 300 Club Inc. meet held in Sacramento, CA around 1988 or 1989. To clarify this further when Eric and Belva walked in to the Business Meeting and you could hear a pin drop when everyone saw them bandaged up.
The next morning it was discovered that a rear tire on their car had gone flat. When the wheel and tire was taken to a repair shop it was and dismounted the rim had split. This had nothing to do with the hood but just ads to the story of their luck.
I sent you a picture of the hood latch on our 1957 300C from Arlys’ cell phone. Hope you got the picture. Our car is 3N571325. It appears to be style 1.
If you would like a larger picture, I have one.
According to John Lazenby, the hood lathe on Erik and Belva Balzar’s 300C convertible broke on the way to the 300 Club meet in Carson City, Nevada, July 1986. I remember seeing Erik and Belva arrive in their 300C with the hood in the back seat, a rip in the top and the windshield smashed. Erik’s head was bandaged so you could hardly recognize him. I do not know if the nut on the top of prong was missing or the bolts gave up. I too often think about this when in our 300C.
] On Behalf Of 'Bob Merritt' bob@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 11:46 AM
To: Chrysler 300 List
Subject: [Chrysler300] survey for owners of C, D, E
We are working on a safety hood latch for the
C, D, and maybe it also fits the E.
Please give a look at this page
and let me know what style hood you have.
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