Well, here is the "mini" bear claw latch, available from Car builder solutions. As you can see, they are VERY small! The fit into the door by bolting directly into the threaded rivets using two 1/4"UNC bolts.

On this page I will explain how I fitted them in to my Pop doors using the existing lock and door latch mechanism.

NF Autos also do a larger latch (which is still small) but the main difference to both these locks over others you may find is that the rivets are threaded, whereas the others need a nut on the back, very important when you are pushed for space!

First I constructed two lock panels, (left door shown) from 16swg/1.5mm thick steel with the lock cut outs and bolt holes as shown. This was done using a cardboard template, and transferring this to steel once the hole size and shape was correct. Note the lower hole, this lines up with the moving pivot hole on the latch, very important!
This shows the lock bolted to the panel, using high grade stainless steel bolts. The hole for the pivot plate is so you can scribe through the door & pivot plate when it is welded in, to mark the slave bar to get the correct hole positioning on the bar.
This is an inside view of the lock bolted to the panel. The bolts will need to be trimmed down to go into door and will be fitted with thread locking compound on the final fit.

This picture shows how I am planning to fit the new actuating rods/bars to the existing door lock. I used a spare inner door handle bar for this but some 3mm x 15mm bar will do fine.

The bar is welded to the original latch, so the moving joint will be the slave bar between the two latches. The bar welded to the original latch needs to be longer as shown, because the old latch moves backwards, whereas the new latch pivots in an arc back AND downwards, so the slave link allows for this.

The slave bar is bolted the wrong way round in this picture, when it is in the door (and bolted to the original lock bar) you can scribe through the aforementioned hole to get the correct positioning on the bar for the second hole.

The idea with this is that both latches remain as one single unit, so no fiddly rods to deal with, and it all fits behind the door glass as per stock! Result!! The standard latch striker plate on the body has to be removed (& holes filled) and if you weld some small 'L' shape tabs on the inside of the lock, you can then cut off the lock catch to fit flush with the door.

This is what it looks like when it is all welded into the door, I think you will agree it's a very neat and tidy setup.

A lot of care MUST be taken when you weld the new panel in, as you will have removed all the strength from the door which can bend easily. I know this as I managed to weld it up and found the door did not fit the body anymore!! Arrghhhh!!!!

One saw cut later and some massaging of the door and it fitted again, I then tacked it together again, checked it fitted (it didn't, ha-ha!) re-cut & re-tacked it, all was well so fully welded it.

You can also see on the finished side where the lock tang has been cut off flush with the door.

Make sure you get good weld penetration on the welds as this is what is going to hold your doors shut in the event of an accident! nuff said!
I then cut out the B post where the wedges box used to be and cleaned off the paint over the striker,* NOTE* tack weld the threaded plate to the body here as it will rattle otherwise!
Next I made up the striker plate for the body. This is fairly big to cover the wedges box hole. I double skinned it as shown on the left by tack welding the inner skin to the outer (then trimming to size) before welding the plate into the body. Behind this skin is to be the 10mm thick plate that the striker pin will go in to.
Once the new metal was welded to the body, I closed the door and carefully marked the plate through the door and latch with a pencil, and drilled a hole. This can be opened up quite a bit so that there is adjustment to align the pin, as the hole is hidden by the washer.
Once it's all aligned you can add the "cage" for the 10mm plate and also the extra bracing to tie in the inner end of the new plate to the inner bodywork.
On the right you can see the 10mm thick plate (drilled & threaded) for the striker pin to bolt to, with the new double skin section underneath it. (the bolt will go the other way around when fitted, - through the plates) This 10mm plate will be held "captive" with a couple of tabs on the car so the pin will be adjustable for door alignment. The 10mm plate is very important as the double skin alone is not strong enough to hold the pin and will bend very quickly, and in an accident........
well, you don't want the doors opening!!!!!
This is where the 10mm plate with the striker pin will end up after the new steel has been welded in to the B post.
I then made up a new steel cover plate to fit the latch striker recess and welded it in.

On the left you can see the finished body (with a quick lick of paint) with both plates welded in, welds ground back and the pin fitted.

On the right you can see the 10mm plate fitted behind the door frame, I will also add some supports from the body edge to the inner frame as well.

I am very pleased with this conversion, the door shuts with a beautifully light touch, no more slamming!!

I hope you have found this page instructive, and that it helps anyone who wants to carry out this conversion. If you have any comments or need any advice, feel free to email me