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Door Handle Shaving Guide - Pop This!
Shaving Door Handles Got Simpler Thanks To This Kit From Electric Life
Apr 1, 2009
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Door Handle Shaving Guide - Pop This!
Suffice it to say, if disassembling a door is too daunting a task for you, maybe this kit is better left installed by your favorite shop. But here we are, the IROC door stripped down to its bare essentials. Since it is difficult to install and photograph a story at the same time, I went to Chino High School's Regional Opportunity Program (ROP) auto body class, where instructor Roy Landgrave and assistant Jeff Martin, along with student Jacob Vermillion (aka French Fry), helped with the install, making it easier to take the pictures.
The OE power door locks sit in the exact location where we want to place the 60 lbs door solenoids. The solenoids don't weigh 60 lbs; they have 60 lbs of pulling power.
The truly great thing about this particular kit from Electric Life is the 12-channel keyless entry system. The electronic brain can control more than just door locks and windows. It can control most any 12-volt source on the vehicle. We started with just the basic keyless entry system; should it be decided to add more to the system later on, an alarm, remote starter, remote auxiliary lights, and remote window operation can all be added at a later date. The honest truth is this system was really easy to install. It just took time and patience to figure the exact location of each solenoid and the door poppers.
First we ground down the rivets on both doors that held the OE electric locks in place...
...and removed them.
The second step was to figure the exact location of the solenoid and bracket to hold it to the door. We used the bracket and a Sharpie marker as a template for drilling the mounting holes.
The guide holes are first drilled and then the step drill bit is used to get the exact size of the bolt holes.
The step drill bit (uni-bit) turned out to be the best friend for this install.
This is the 60 lbs solenoid that will fit inside the bottom of the door.
This is the best, most straightforward method when installing the solenoid. If there is not enough room in the factory location, it can be installed elsewhere in the door and a pulley system can be used to open it. Fortunately, in our application it installs in a perfect vertical position and is out of the way of the window.
When it came to the spring-loaded popper, there were a few different options for its location. We debated on whether to install the popper in the door, seeing as there was plenty of room there, or near the door latch. After some measuring, we chose the stronger area near the door latch.
The same method that was used on the door bracket was used to install the door popper.
The stepped drill bit is a perfect 3/8-inch, the same exact size as the door popper, so we drilled right through the bottom of the door frame.
On the back side, we had to use a pneumatic reciprocal saw to cut an opening. No worries here; the interior panels cover everything up and the popper remains disguised behind the panel.
The door popper should be perfectly level in the door frame.
For extra support on the back side of the popper...
...French Fry quickly created a couple of support brackets.
The support brackets are tacked into place...
...on the vehicle's sheetmetal and not to the door popper.
Lastly, this ring (which comes in the kit) slides over the back of the popper and is set into place with the set screw.
There are no worries of this door popper wiggling around in the vehicle when the door slams shut on it. And that is it. Once the poppers and both solenoids are in place, the wiring is next.
Wiring can be very intimidating to some people. Thankfully, this kit makes it easy enough for the do-it-yourselfer to figure out. The key fob sends the signal to the receiver; the receiver, which has a 12-volt source, an ignition source, and a ground, is in turn wired to a set of two relays. The relays also have a 12-volt source and ground. From there, there is one wire that operates each individual solenoid in each respective door. The solenoid in each door is already grounded to the vehicle via the mounting bracket. And that is it in a nutshell.
Where the receiver and relays go is ultimately up to you. When it came to this '88 IROC, the dash pad was removed and the receiver will hide nicely in one of the nooks and crannies.
What is all that extra wiring you might be thinking? Those wires are for additional features that Electric Life sells, such as vehicle alarm, windows, trunk, starter, etc., which are all remotely controlled. Take a look at the video demo we have on the Super Chevy web site.
Before we go any further, we wanted to introduce to you the latest and greatest TIG welder from Miller, the Diversion 165. Yes, it is a home hobbyist TIG unit. It has only three switches. One is the power switch, the other that is the AC or DC for either steel or aluminum welding, and the other is the metal thickness dial from 22-gauge up to 3/16-inch. That is it. It is a perfect companion with the smaller Millermatic MIG welders. What is also interesting is the fact that a foot pedal for this home TIG unit is optional. A power switch is built into the gun itself and that controls the arc from the tungsten.
But why use a TIG welder? It takes more time to learn and requires the use of both hands and usually a foot. A big reason is weld profile and weld penetration. In this photo Jeff Martin uses the Diversion 165 and TIG welds the patch panels on the driver's side. Since my TIG welding coordination skills are still in the embryonic stage, I let Jeff handle this.
If you notice the circle patch panel, a small portion of it was MIG welded while the rest of it was TIG welded. The immediate difference is the weld profile. The TIG process lays a flatter weld puddle than the MIG. The arc from the TIG welder is more concentrated and does not disperse as much heat as the TIG. That's not to say there is no danger in warping the thin metal doors, because warp they did despite our best efforts. The door skins are approximately 22-gauge metal. Metal that thin can build up heat in a hurry and warp if it is not cooled down quickly.
The passenger door was all done using a Miller MIG welder. Notice the profile of the welds when compared to those of the TIG welder. A lot more grinding is required when a MIG is used over a TIG. Even though it took me nearly two hours to stitch this patch panel in, warping did occur.
Warping on the TIG side (driver's side) was less than the passenger side. Even though warping occurred it was mild and easy enough to deal with. Armed with a body hammer and dolly and nail gun, the doors were straightened back out as much as possible, then body filler and a high-build poly primer were used afterwards. This is where most of the work comes in. Lots of time and sanding is required after the welds are ground down.
Here is a closer look at the Diversion 165. Our web site also contains a more in depth look at this new TIG welder.
This Camaro will eventually be repainted in Hugger Orange and the door bump guards will be removed, the antenna will be shaved, as well as the gas door. Follow the future progress on this '88 Camaro at www.superchevy.com.
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