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Hot Rods suicide door safety question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by racer-x, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 1,970


    Could you incorporate the safety pin into your latch? I/e it would always be pinned, until you open the door from either side.
  2. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    the belt Idea would be a good way to do it as most of the track EMS personal have the seatbelt/ hammer tool on them and the gap also would allow them to help pry the door open too . and like bruce said if its past that point ripping the door physically off wont matter . another thing you might want to look into is a cold fire system for the interior . $600 and I know they work and can be reused.
    dearjose likes this.
  3. the seat belt idea is cool. it seems simple and do able for most cars. i do run a onboard fire system. luckily i didnt need it. i might not have been able to set it off.
  4. The seatbelt idea sound like the easiest solution. An idea of what to do with the buckle would be to install a metal 'recess' in the door for the buckle, use a metal buckle, and put a magnet behind the recess to hold the buckle when not in use.
  5. If the doors already have bear claw latches, the frame is stiff so flex should not be an issue.
    Do you really need the supplemental pins or is the latch good enough??
    I say ditch the pins and rely on the bear claw latches.
  6. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 1,651

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    Right, but this is no longer a standard Henry Ford body and frame. He's building a full tube frame, caged for a 7 second certified race car, that will be street driven with an old body attached to it. For this build, I'm thinking that door pins may be more danger than safety device.
  7. kevinwalshe
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 428


    @3wLarry what are these originally from? They are absolutely perfect.
  8. unkledaddy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,859


    That's me! I wear my seat belt and have a small crow bar just under the seat because with the chop I can't get
    through the windshield or window openings. If there's no impact and the door just happens to fly open then I'll call my insurance man.. But I haven't had a problem in 10 years. running with just the bear claws.
  9. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,743


    The real problem is that anything that must be opened from the inside or has an electric opening device (solenoid) will put you in a bad spot in a crash if you are incapacitated. So safety door pins, bear claws and etc. are all pretty much a non starter unless there are external handles.

    If you have glass instead of Lexan you are OK because they can break the glass either with the tool that all safety crews should have in their pocket or with a sparkplug. If you have Lexan side glass you are back in the same boat.

    I think that someone posted a pic of a Lexan door window with a hole for external access. That is probably a good idea for a race car and it would be something that a track Emergency tech would recognize or be looking for.

    Anytime that we put ourselves in a car that is a little out of the ordinary we are in a bad spot if we become incapacitated. I am not sure that there is a pat solution for the problem.
  10. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 837


    Maybe look at making the window easily removable from the outside, also. All emergency personnel at a dirt track, NASCAR etc., know they cant get the door open from the start.
    I'm glad to hear you werent hurt, and its good to hear you're thinking ahead.Good Luck
  11. BrandonB
    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,875

    from nor cal

    I wonder if there are any stats out there as to how many people did not survive an accident due to not being able to get the door open because of safety door pins?
    dearjose likes this.
  12. panheadguy
    Joined: Jan 8, 2005
    Posts: 916

    from S.E. WI

    I really like Bruce's idea. Idiot simple and easy for safety crew to figure it out. The question I have is who makes the best bear claw latch to begin with?
  13. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,529

    from Inman, SC

    I have a pair of these in my swap meet bin that were in a 32 3 window.

    IMG_0001_1 (Medium).JPG IMG_0002 (Medium).JPG
  14. those look like the rockys brand that I'm using.
  15. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,529

    from Inman, SC

    Don't know, Took them out because it had bear claw latches in it already and it seemed like overkill to me.
    unkledaddy likes this.
  16. R35J1S
    Joined: Jul 20, 2012
    Posts: 141

    from Missouri

  17. This is a good topic, I was thinking of the hole in the window for my truck. It would put the latch on the right side of the functioning window and tracks.
  18. i ordered the lexan for the car from pro glass. im going with stimpys idea with a port hole in the window. the rules say a four inch hole. it needs to be that big if they need to stick a fire hose in the car. i run the car on the street so i will use one of the available covers so rain cant come in.
    Lone Star Mopar likes this.
  19. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,226

    from New York

    It's a " dambed if you do and dambed if you don't issue". They are great for safety because of body flex but what do you do if the electric ones will not work after a crash. Also, what do you do with the manual type if you are physically unable to open them. I have seen first hand what a suicide door will do when opened at speed. Granted it was a Gibbons fiberglass body, but the damage was incredible! The driver said it popped open somehow at about 70, 75 MPH. It was on a '34 Ford 3 window, It peeled back the entire drivers side of the car. It ripped of the fender and gas tank cover and the trunk lid was hanging by the passenger side hinge. The only good thing to come out of it was that the insurance company totaled the car and he was able to buy it back for a fraction of what he spent and he re-bodied the car.
  20. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,743


    I just had a bonehead stupid idea. OK just listen for a minute.

    The idea is safety in a crash and the doors won't pop open. Why not u put a door in the roof like a funny car? Could be done easy enough, and the tech guys would know how to handle that well enough. And it won't normally get jammed in a crash either.
  21. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    you will find out how fast they can fill up your car with water with that 2" line they use too lord help you if they use ARF ( alcohol resistant Foam ) you smell it once and you ad a B to the name .. LOl
  22. 12046735_10206985782155988_6184338672301714515_n.jpg My buddy Art had his door come open a little before the 1/8th mile mark in his 34 coupe. I was watching from the stands and couldn't believe what I seen. It bent the B pillar and the door had a rubber mark like nascar from the rear slick.
    He put bearclaw latches in when it was repaired. Sure was something to see with him sitting in the car racing the
  23. beaner i thought of that to. with a funny car cage and the diagonal bar thats required for my chassis i don't think i could get out. a true funny car doesn't have the diagonal bar. it would be nice to have a escape hatch. this will be a left side steer car. i also don't have the room in front of me like a fc has.
  24. ahgarageohio
    Joined: Feb 6, 2008
    Posts: 180

    from ohio

    The window my dad had when i was a kid had basically a piece of dog choker mounted to the door and a hook on the cowl for it to hook to. It was a old 70's show car that was channeled 12 inches and hitting a hard bump would make the drivers door pop open. The chain would allow the door to open four inches and then it would catch. His current three window didn't have them when he got it and it came open. It was when he first got it home after buying it and was just taking it down the street and was in front of the neighbors house when the passenger door popped open going about 15mph. The tire stuck out just past the fender by a 1/4 inch and the door smacked the tire, dented it and bent the hell out of the hinges. After he fixed it he installed the deadbolt style down low on the doors and was always nervous if he ever were to get in a crash in it.
  25. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    I was going to ask about the roof bar and cage type .
  26. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,760

    Rusty O'Toole

    What do they do about late model cars with automatic door locks? There must be some way to open them in an emergency. You could use the same system.
  27. BIG-JIM
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,369

    from CT

    I like this idea. Now how to make it look good in a (non race car) hot rod? Hmm!
  28. I think the idea to have something with slack in it, like 4 inches or so, would prevent major body damage if it opened at speed. Either the seatbelt option or a simple chain or other strap would do it.

    As a little self-serving plug, using good quality bear claw type latches will prevent most problems as compared to stock latches on the older cars. The latches i sell are certified to meet all new car door latch test requirements. As example, the pull open force is over 2000 lbs. Of course in an accident, things bend and distort, so that is why the value is so high.
  29. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,743


    Well I have used a spark plug in the interstate. Too cheap to buy the real tool and always have a spark plug or two.

    I know we are talking about a race car but the truth is that most of us drive cars and in an accident we still need to get out. So it should be a general concern for everyone not just racers.
  30. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,744

    from vail az

    61 Ford Galaxie was the victim. The jaws failed on the A pillar after sectioning the roof, kinda.
    I had all the glass out of it and by that time it was pretty much a shell.
    I guess they didn't have the Hurst brand but a knock-off, lowest bidder, China's finest.

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