I had a heck of a time while disassembling the drivers door on my 49 Sedanette project I'm just diving into.
The passenger side door latch came out relatively easy, but the drivers side was a real pain.
I ended up having to remove the springs through the keyhole in order to pry the latch out of the door.
As you can see in the photos, the window channel that runs between the interior & exterior portion of the latch is impeding the access hole on the outside of the door.
Has anyone run into this or have any advice?
I have a little room to clearance the holes, but I do not think I have enough coverage from the latch itself to open the holes wide enough to make reassembly reasonable.
Once I get the door surround down to bare metal and the door off the hinges, I'll be able to see if the angle of the window is misaligned in any way to the door.
These can seem nearly impossible to remove..almost as if the door were built around the door latch assembly! However, if one is very patient, turns, twists & tilt the door latch unit just right, the unit will come out. Joe Cutler The 49caddyman
In addition to what Joe wrote, in my experience with several '49s there can be minute differences in the metal structure of the door from one car to another or in the set up of 2 different latches, making this operation seemingly impossible in one instance and only a bit difficult in another. (Notice I didn't say "easy" in the best case scenario.)
I've struggled for what seemed like forever more than once while doing this, but just yesterday, to my utter amazement, I removed and replaced the door latch in my own car in just a few minutes. Go figure.
It sometimes helps when doing this to refer to the 1948 Oldsmobile 98 / Cadillac "C" Body Manual (which can be found on ebay or from literature dealers) which says to tilt the latch slighlty "toward the inside of the car and then forward" to remove it. Occasionally this strategy actually works!