Precision Street Rods & Machines

Building Quality Cars Since 1982

Precision Street Rods & Machines

 "How We Shave, Suicide & Latch '56 F100 Doors"  

Since the smoothie look is still going strong today, most street rods, muscle cars, trucks and customs being built seem to have shaved door handles. This look really cleans up the lines of any vehicle. Doing this does create a problem, how do you get into your pride-n-joy? The answer is simple, use an actuator, solenoid or mechanical cable.


An actuator is an electrical devise that works on polarity. When current is applied it either retracts (pulls) or extends (pushes). When the polarity is reversed (switching the ground and power signals via. a reversing switch) it does the opposite function. An actuator is gear driven and works extremely smooth. If the actuator is in the “in” or “out” position, it will retain that position until the current is reversed.


A solenoid has a magnetic coil that pulls a plunger inward and returns to a neutral position (like the ones you would find on a starter motor). It doesn’t react smoothly; it’s more of a quick snap and has three times more pulling power than an actuator.


A mechanical pull cable is self explanatory. These are a great addition to any electrical entry system in case of a loss of power or accidentally locking your keys in the car with the windows up.


People have been using solenoids for years. They’ve been used to open shaved doors, trunks or anything else that’s latched with no means of entry. Typically when you use a solenoid to open doors or trunks, you don’t need the solenoid to change polarity as you spring load the latch. All you need is an easy to access momentary push button switch. For a more modern twist, a remote operated key fob to send a signal to the actuators or solenoids, like the 94120 16-function keyless remote kit from Electric-Life. The 94120 kit includes (1) 99920 control module, (1) plug in wiring harness with built-in relay packs, (2) actuators or optional solenoids, (2) single rotary bear-claw latches, (1) 1/16-inch stainless steel pre-stretched emergency pull cable, (2) door thrusters or optional door jammers to pop the doors open, (1) billet & braided stainless steel hose door jam through fittings and (2) 5-button remote transmitters.


We decided to use the contact switch pins for our project as our door slides when it pivots. Pinched wires are no longer a problem. The Magnum Shooters have been around for a long time and have proven themselves to be dependable and durable. The installation is straight forward with a clean looking outcome.


The last thing that we’re throwing at this project is suicide doors. This creates a few problems, namely hinging and latching. To get over this hurdle we’ll be using Electric-Life’s single rotary Bear-Claw latches and the original but highly modified F100 hinges (at the other end of the door).

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