DIY METAL Locking In-Floor Storage Latches

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JRD505

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Hey everyone, my first post here, but I got the initial idea from member Kad (https://www.ramforum.com/threads/diy-locking-floor-bin-latches.162107/) who sparked my interest to try and make METAL slam latches meant for the marine/RV industry work instead of the plastic ones he installed. They are basically identical to those but simply metal, which will obviously provide much more security, although the only additional piece you need to install is the little piece of "L" metal. Thanks Kad for giving me this idea in the first place, this was a fun little project for me! I recently purchased my 2019 1500 Warlock and the first thing I wanted to do was replace the cheap plastic locks for these floor bins, so I'm glad I came across this forum!

Here is the eBay link where I purchased, https://www.ebay.com/itm/175034434293

The metal lock from eBay is literally an exact replica to the factory plastic one, it may be off by like 1/16th but did not alter the performance. I'll start with the pictures and descriptions now below.


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I started by taking the L metal and using duct tape to ensure it wasn't too low (meaning you could pull up the lid too far in order to get leverage or stick a tool underneath), or too high (meaning the lock wouldn't even be able to engage), so just play around with it and make sure it's set in the correct spot. Once confirmed just use a sharpie or something to mark the bottom or top.

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So I used JB Weld steel stick to secure the "L" metal (it is extremely strong, no concerns with it snapping off). Also make sure you take some sand paper or similar and rough up the areas where the putty is being applied. You'll want to remove the top cover lid if you go this route. I also realized after installing that it stuck out to far and would not allow the latch to even close or unlock, so I ended up having to take a hand grinder and grind off about 1/4". For the other side I did this prior to the JB weld, and on a table grinder instead, so I was able to make it look factory and much nicer.

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After I got done I realized I could have spent a little more time to make it look better visually, but honestly no one is going to see it so I wasn't too concerned, especially after the box that comes out slides back in, you can hardly tell the steel putty is there as shown below. You can also see below that you have to cut out a small section of the plastic bin in order for the bracket to fit. Or if you want to make it look even better, take off a 1/4" on the side so you don't need to cut the plastic at all. Again these are all things I learned after the fact and that you guys can better improve on, I'm just giving you a good starting point.

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I also realize there are other ways to attach the L bracket besides with steel putty. If you want to take a little extra time you could remove the entire box secured to the truck, make two holes, secure it with a screw/bolt and nut to give you an even cleaner look. I would have gone this route but again, did not realize until after the fact and saw the 2 additional bolts holding it in place to the truck frame as shown below.

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After all that I realized that I was ready to install the lock, but the stock screws that come with the metal latches were too short to secure the mounting/lock plate, so a quick trip to home depot fixed that very easily. The screws below worked perfectly.

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Once that was done it was finally time to install the latch, and both sides work flawlessly. Overall it took me a couple hours of trial/error/troubleshooting. After reviewing this thread and knowing how to better approach this project, it could easily be done within an hour. I paid like $28 overall instead of the $140 mopar locks go for. Plus I personally love little projects like this and had fun while doing it. I hope this helps you all! I honestly feel much better having these metal locks instead of the cheap plastic ones. 98% of the population wouldn't even think to flip up the floor mat in a Ram to reveal these storage bins, but if they did, these locks would stop most criminals unless they had the right tools.

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Dave Haddon

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Well done!..next time I am in Seattle for a dog show i will buy you a beer or two and you can guide me thru this..looks great.
 

ANGLICO

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Very nice. Thanks for taking the pain and posting the sequence photos.

I need this with keyable locks. That would make the boxes even better for quick storage.
 
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JRD505

JRD505

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Well done!..next time I am in Seattle for a dog show i will buy you a beer or two and you can guide me thru this..looks great.
Hell yeah man of course, would love to help and drink a couple beers while doing the install, seriously let me know! Like I mentioned, many of us that own these trucks are guys that like to get our hands dirty and get more joy doing projects like this ourselves. I loved doing this one in particular!
 

Dave Haddon

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Right on..like you love the truck, & like to give it something personal..specialize..Yep will try and find you on the forums and give you a heads up when weare coming out for the next dog show. It will give me an excuse to sneak away and do some truck stuff...thank eh!!
 

Hardracer

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Pretty cool!
 

JW2 Innovations

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Thanks for posting this @JRD505 , great job btw!, I can't tell you how many times I've looked at these (passenger side plastic bezel is broken around the handle right now... :( )and thought about swapping to keyed locks like you show. Especially when the Mopar ones are so expensive and still aren't key matched - this approach seems much more economical.

Mopar ones I've found for price compare I mention: LINK
 
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