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suicide doors

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chevrolayd, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. chevrolayd
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 63

    chevrolayd
    Member

    i have gone through all the old posts and searched the internet and can not find a picture or any information on suicide doors on a 1954 chevrolet sedan. i am planning on doing it but would like to make sure the door opens enough so i can put my kids in their car seats

    any information or pics of 53-54s would be appreciated
    thanks
     

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  2. my 53 has suicide doors, they were like that when i purchased the car but im returning them back to orginal as it doesnt suit the era im going for. open fine for rear access if its what your after.
     
  3. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 3,695

    hrm2k
    Member

    My friend and I did suicide doors on our 51 Fleetline. After taking a quick look at your 53, I think it would take a shit load of work to make it happen. Your 53 is kind of like our 51. There is not a flat panel on your car. If you look closely, you will see your quarter panel behind the door is rounded top to bottom. I would assume your door is as well. You also have the body panel that sticks out for the rear wheels. When you build the door hinges, you will need to have them be an articulating hinge that not only opens the door but also swings it out away from the body at the same time. If you take a look at some of the old (95 or so) Lexus coupes, you will find the type of hinge I am talking about. I don't think you would be able to retro fit them though,
    You might be able to do a uni-hinge type ( big single hinge arm) but that would be hit and miss. To have the door move away from the car, you will need to have the hinge points as close to the body as you can get in your bulk head and without looking, I am not sure you would have enough room.
    We did suicide doors. Are we happy? no.....we wouldn't do it again simply because of the amount of work doesn't justify the " WOW" factor but that is your choice

    Good Luck
     
  4. tinmann
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,588

    tinmann
    Member

    Just one man's opinion, but the cars that best suit suicide doors came from the factory with suicide doors. The same is true with Lamborghini style swing type openers. The only people that will be impressed at the next car show are the people who know way less than you.
     

  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,423

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've had them on my truck since 1981 but they are a real pain to get set up right and as mentioned above may not flow with the era that you are shooting for.
    If it's the two door you are contemplating putting them on I think they would limit access to the back seat for dealing with kid seats and getting the kids fastened down. They probably will end up right where your or your wife's hip wants to go when you are reaching in the back seat.
    If you have to do it, look at the back door hinges on a late model extended cab GM truck. If you are working on a four door forget it unless you want more grief than the law allows.
     
  6. Devoted
    Joined: Jun 1, 2010
    Posts: 58

    Devoted
    Member
    from DFW Texas

    I know this an old thread just curious if you went ahead and did the suicide doors. My 52 chevy had suicide doors when i purchased the car but where poorly done im debating whether returning them back to original or fixing this mess

    [​IMG]
     
  7. chevrolayd
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 63

    chevrolayd
    Member

    No never did the suicide doors with the rear quarters coming out so close to the doors it would not open far enough to get my kids in the back. I will be using the kit I have on my 57 chevy instead it will be more of a custom than the 54 is

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  8. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,904

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Way too much work, way too little return.
     
  9. teddyt
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
    Posts: 99

    teddyt
    Member
    from U.S.

    I put suicide doors on my pickup a few years back. I used 55 Pontiac hinges. They worked out great,.......and literally opened straight out from the car. Those 50's hinges have quite an arch to them. Don't listen to the Negative Nancy's. It's a lot of work,....but your satisfaction in your result makes it worth it.
     
  10. LOW LID DUDE
    Joined: Aug 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,222

    LOW LID DUDE
    Member
    from Colorado

    Why do you think they call them suicide doors ? In the early days 30's people would try to grab the door when it opened going down the road and it pulled them out of the car on to the road with usually not good results,hence SUICIDE ! It happened to a friend of mine .His wife got major road rash.He sold the car. So I got to ask WHY?
     
  11. teddyt
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
    Posts: 99

    teddyt
    Member
    from U.S.

    I would not suggest suicide doors without a safety pin /latch type system in place. My brother and i have run them for years,.....without incidence of any kind. Peace of mind is only possible with a strong and reliable safeguard in place.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  12. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    If you are hell bent on modifying the door swings, i think I would gull-wing those doors, rather than suicide them. Much cooler, and better accessibility to the cabin.
     
  13. chevrolayd
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 63

    chevrolayd
    Member

    Im not doing them on this car and gullwings are not even an option unless it was a custom van in the 80's

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  14. 54fierro
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 493

    54fierro
    Member
    from san diego

    a long time ago i did some doors using some hinges similar to the ones pictured below. I just had to cut 2 openings in the door jambs and do alot of re-inforcing on the quarter panel and door. The hinges allowed the door to swing out and away from the body.

    The ones i used i think were of an international. That being said, wouldnt do this to any classic steel
    [​IMG]
     
    Devoted likes this.

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