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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-20-2007, 11:26 AM
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Made my own door release buttons.

Told badbob I'd share my custom door buttons.

Initially I started out just shaving the original door handles and locks but shortly afterward a friend of mine pointed out that if I want to run the car at the local drag strip it won't be legal. I dug out a NHRA rule book and sure enough he was correct but, I figured I'd just go with the original plan since I already shaved the doors and purchased an autolock shaved door kit.

Well, along comes my wife.
She made it quite clear how I will be sorry when the car is finished and I can't take it to the track occasionally. So, I spent hours drawing different ideas for custom door handles on the door with a magic marker and trying to visualize in my head how I'm going to make it work.

Well, along comes my wife
She sits down by me and watches what I'm doing for a minute and then asks why I don't just put a round button in the door. I thought about it for a minute and duh, she's right. It's clean and I can make it flush with the door to keep the shaved look. Maybe I should let her finish the car

I made the button support from a large flat washer welded a piece of tubing to it and machined the bore. Then, I hammered a slight radius in the washer to match the door profile, cut a hole through the door with a 1 1/8" hole saw and welded it in place. I ran an expandable reamer through the hole after welding to ensure it was round and sraight then, I finished the outside of the door around the hole with lead instead off plastic filler because I thought it might be less prone to chipping. I also had the button installed and locked in the door so when I finish sanded the outside of the door I sanded the face of the button at the same time so It's flush with the door face and follows the profile perfectly.

Machined the button from aluminum, left a shouled on the backside for a positive stop, milled a slot in the side for a pin so it won't rotate, that way the button profile will always match the door profile, and made a recess on the outside to insert whatever I want to help it blend with the door. In the photos I inserted a piece of black rubber in the recess but I'ts a bit too thick and sticks out past the door surface. I figured it would be better to have something inserted in the button rather than paint it because my fingers will wear and scratch the paint.

The swivel unit that connects the button to the latch I machined from 7/16" key stock and locks with a set screw to the 1/4" round stock that I welded to the latch release arm.
The spring holds the button against the shoulder machined on it and should preload the unit enough to keep it from rattling.

About halfway into the project I figured why not have both electric and mechanical doors. I already purchased the shaved door kit so I mounted a micro switch that activates the door solenoid when the button is pushed in about 1/8." but, pushing the button all the way in will mechanically release the door, if no power is present, and hopefully that will meet NHRA rule requirements.

The white wheel you see on the door latch is for the cable that goes to the solenoid. I machined a small axle, welded it to the latch and machined the wheel from delrin.
I kind of threw all this together Saturday so I could take pictures and share but,I have wired the unit and ran temporary power to it and it works just slicker than snot on a door knob. The only thing I think I'll change is make new buttons that have a delrin sleeve so I won't have to lube things.

I'm sorry I didn't take photos as I went, I never think to do that and I get busy and don't want to stop.

Thanks for letting me share.

Ed
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:11 PM
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Top quality. I like your Idea and will likley adapt it to my project. I really like the elctric or mechanical setup simplfies things for when the battery dies. Nice work.

Kris
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:42 PM
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Nice tutorial Ed. I'm sure it will get a lot of folks thinking.

Is it still possible to still lock the doors from the outside so you override the mechanical portion of the button?
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Old 08-20-2007, 02:01 PM
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The shaved door kit I purchased has a transmitter so the door locks are going to be electric but I'll have a mechanical override, via cable, through the electrical conduit on the drivers door. I still have to work out the mounting of the power door lock motors and emergency cable.

Gee, maybe I should ask my wife.

Ed
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Old 08-20-2007, 02:33 PM
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I have always liked these and will probabally put them onto the pickup project that iI want to start soon.
Shane

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Old 08-20-2007, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevrolet4x4s
I have always liked these and will probabally put them onto the pickup project that iI want to start soon.
Shane


Those look like AMC or Chrysler handles? AMC Eagle? or Dodge Challenger?
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:47 PM
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Ed, you've got some seriously good fabrication skills there! and also sounds like you've got a good encouraging Wife. There was a really cool 68 Chevelle custom that was done about 30 years ago that cruized the local streets here, candy lacquer with a lot of lead work etc... really good quality work. One modification that really stood out as being cool was he shaved the factory handles and installed one push button on the doors-it was a slick idea! I look at your doors but can't place what they are off of? Looks to be late 50's-early 60's? mopar?
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:09 AM
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Shane,
I too thought about using some sort of factory recessed door handles but wasn't sure how I would recess the sheet metal in the door so the handle would be flush. The only thing I could think of was to cut the sheet metal out around the handles on the dinner doors and weld them into mine.
Downside to that is you have to buy two complete doors and depending on where you mount them on your doors you may have to match some sort of curve or body line. These are some of the reasons I decided to make my own plus, no one will have handles exacally like mine. Good luck and keep us posted on how you end up working it out.

badbob,
Sometimes I wished I would have chose something more common to hot rod such as a old mopar. The body panels probably would fit better and I could probably get rubber for it but, I wanted something different so I chose this 59 Rambler American. I've seen some of the old two door wagons done but not
many sedans.
It's not the best looking car around but with some suttle body mods, low aggressive stance and lots of power it should be fun. The whole car is pretty much custom I've built everything myself so It's taking a long time. It's fun to share progress and I haven't had much of that lately. The body work is so time consuming and challenging plus, it's been so damn hot lately.

Ed
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baddbob
Those look like AMC or Chrysler handles? AMC Eagle? or Dodge Challenger?
70-74 E-body MOPAR Challenger and 'Cuda.....
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:34 PM
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Ed, That Rambler is cool-I just checked out some of your journal. A good friend of mine is looking for late 60's version-square body style like the old Chevy II. Looks like a Tremec transmission?-awesome! That thing should fly being as light as they are. With the details and quality you're putting into the build it will definately be a keeper.
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