What would our world be like without remotes? Can you imagine having to actually get up from your comfortable position on the couch or recliner to manually change the channel on TV? That's barbaric! That said, what's the last thing you think about after shaving the door handles on your car? Remotes! Granted, a wing window left ajar will allow access to those not willing to step up to the next level, but that leaves little to be said about the security of said car when left unattended. If you're looking for a "remote" entry system for your car, AutoLoc has the answer.
Being that my '53 had no side glass in it, entry was never a concern--driving in foul weather, however, was! As side glass will be one of the next items on the Chevy's to-do list, I figured that I'd better get some sort of entry system installed, so I began shopping around. Though I couldn't find a bad apple in the bunch, I was lured to the AutoLoc kit for its wide array of future options, like trunk, window, and even engine start activation. Though most likely designed for modern-vehicle use, the kit is very well suited for minimal function situations like ours, as the control module is very compact, and excess wiring can easily be disconnected (and just as easily reconnected later if need be).
With remotes come solenoids, obviously, and AutoLoc's provide enough pull to open the heaviest of doors. Without the side glass in, it was a breeze installing the solenoids; hooking them up with the existing door latch mechanism was a whole 'nuther story. While in many applications you can simply route the solenoid "pull" cable directly to a portion of the door latch, on these types of Chevys, the direction of the pull is rotated, which would mean the solenoid would have to be mounted pretty much where the vent support is. The solution is fairly straightforward--devise a pulley system that allows you to mount the solenoid in the lower rear door pocket (where it should be) and still have the cable pull from a horizontal angle. That aside, the remainder of the installation was an enjoyable experience.
We spent the better part of a day with Jimmy White at Circle City Hot Rods in Orange, California, to perform the install. Coincidentally, Dennis McPhail just happened to be in town with his friend, Jeff Myers, in tow. While Dennis was busy selling his soul in tattoo work, Jeff was just a casual observer, so we put him to work too! Our collaborative effort worked, resulting in a fine-tuned remote entry system (once we got a few bugs worked out, but you'll read about that in a bit).