We’re installing stock door handles, and we’re going to try to get them as close to the stock location as possible. We took measurements off Robert Rowe’s steel ’32. The only thing we’re missing is hinges, but I think it’s ok because we have an aluminum steering box. Some parts of this car are going to be old looking, some are going to be new looking. P.S. It’s our car. We used masking tape in the approximate location of the handle. Masking tape is always a good thing to have when you’re building a street rod.
We used a caliper to scribe a line in the masking tape at the right length in from the edge of the door. Stock door handles had the mounting plate screws parallel to the front door edge.
We did the same thing on the inside, although our plans changed later. The line of tape going down is where the window channel is. It’s a good idea to keep that in mind so you don’t plan to put your latch where there will be interference later.
Hot Rod Latch
We sliced, diced, welded, and made it work. The silver thing is the door handle mounting kit from Rocky Hinge. Part #HL001. We ended up welding it right to the bearclaw latch, because we wanted the door handle as close to the stock location as possible. The other thing we wanted was a bit of delay in the handle rotation before the latch was tripped, so that the handle isn’t as touchy as the latch. The short stroke is great for power actuators, but not so great for human powered handles- you drop a booger on the handle and you’ll trip the latch. That’s why there’s the gap between the “actuation cylinder” and the arm on the latch. One more thing to keep in mind: the door jamb is not perpendicular to the ground. If you weld the door handle mounting piece perpendicular to the latch, the handle will be drooping towards the ground. Measure the angle between a body line and the angle of the front of the door, then transfer that to the latch.
Continue reading “’32 Update: Installing the Door Handles (article 8, archived)” »
The Bear deck lid has a recessed rectangle that’s a good place to start for an access hole. I put masking tape around the inside perimeter of the hole, and will cut out the area inside the tape. This way, we can make up an aluminum cover later on to hide the hole, and it will be recessed. I’ve got the center marked on the other piece of tape.
The time consuming part of the deck lid latch is getting the slot in the correct spot. Mark the area with masking tape, measure your mounting hole centers, then figure out where the sweep of the “flag” is going to be. The distance from the flag to the outside of the deck lid is very important in our case, because we’re not using the bracket that goes on the body. We’re going to mount the handle so that the ‘flag’ will brush against the inside lip of the trunk when it’s closed. That way, there won’t be anything for the suitcases to catch on! I can’t possibly explain all the little dimensions I had to take- just remember to allow for the thickness of the fiberglass, and also the curvature of the trunk lid.
Voila… pretty trick, eh?! We’ll be using flathead allen bolts to clean it up even more.
Continue reading “’32 Update: Trunk Latch/ Handle Installation (article 9, archived)” »
Here I will make a latch for the trunk handle. The mechanism that came attached to the piece from Vintique isn’t long enough to do what we want done. In our application, because we don’t want anything really protruding into the trunk space (as in a plate for the latch to hook on), we wanted to add length to the original “mailbox flag” to make it long enough to tuck inside the lower lip of the body (or roll pan… not sure what to call it). It won’t latch into anything, but because the trunk lid swings out before it swings up, it shouldn’t need a hook and latch.
The tricky part is going to be making sure the “flag” is in the exact location we need it to be in so that the lid isn’t too loose, or too tight. This was done in the last article. So now, we’re just going to install it and hope I didn’t mess up the measurements too badly!
I started with a length of 1/8″ rod. I was originally going to make the locking “flag” out of 1/8″ plate, but I found this bar and the plate didn’t stand a chance. I cleaned it up a bit with a ScotchBrite pad.
The starting bend was made around a 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ tube that I clamped in the vise. The other bends were done around a 3/4″ bar, with a set of pliers to bring the 1/8″ bar in tight to the 3/4″ bar.
Continue reading “’32 Update: Trunk Lock (article 10, archived)(video added)” »
This is the kit we’ll be using to protect the occupants: it’s the Rocky Hinge manual kit. They also have one that’s controlled with an actuator. It’s so easy to install, even if you lose their excellent instructions. What I like about it is all the dimensions are “major” fractions. You won’t have to worry about whether you’re counting 32nds or 64ths; all the dimensions you need to know are either 1/2″, 1-1/2″, etc. It comes with led lights and a built in switch that will tell you when the pin is either in or out.
I decided to put it in the middle of the door because I was afraid the latch would get kicked if it was down near the floor. This way, it’s in line with the door pin too. Just slab some masking tape on there, and drill some holes.
To find the location of the hole that needs to be in the door, I put some tape around where I thought it would be. I mounted the unit, closed the door, and drove the pin against the door a few times to mark the tape. I decided to put the main unit in the kick panel for one major reason: if it’s accidentally switched when the door is open, the pin won’t hit the outside of the car.
The knob comes in a brushed aluminum finish, but I painted it black to blend in. The stainless bolts are standard.
I ground a flat where the set screw in the knob tightens on the shaft so it was oriented to be pointing towards the door when it’s locked.