Pre-Introduction The information contained within this CD will aide you in converting your doors to the style of a Lamborghini’s doors. This CD is also helpful because it will give you the knowledge of where to find cheap parts, where to install parts, very helpful pictures, and bonus websites!
Introduction The following is a brief discussion on the 4 most popular door modifications used on exotic sports cars today a) Suicide Doors, b) Gullwing Doors, c) Butterfly Doors, and d) Scissor or Jack Knife Doors.
a) Suicide Doors Suicide doors are the opposite of regular doors, i.e. they open the other way. The door hinges are moved from the front to the rear, as the wiring for the power locks, windows, speakers, and the dome light switch. The latches have been moved to the front.
B) Gull wing Doors The hinges on these doors are located on the roof thus a strong roof and/or a light door is necessary. These were made popular by the classic Mercedes Sports coupes back in the hay days. It might be hard to make this modification to your car since the roof is converted to be part of the door.
C) Butterfly Doors These type of doors open up like a butterfly opens up its wings, in the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. They have 2 hinge points with one close to the roof and one at the traditional location. These doors are commonly found on exotic cars such as the McLaren and the Saleen.
D) Scissor or Jack Knife Doors Also know as “Lambo” doors or “Vertical” doors. These type of doors swing straight up and will be the main focus of this guide.
Lambo Door Construction Vertical Door Opening –Double click screen to replay (Acrobat format). The below image was taken with permission from Street Dreams [http://www.iserv.net/~strdream ].Street dreams does custom work pertaining to street rods, classic and custom cars.
The Hinge The hinge is the most important part of the conversion, apart from time and labor. This section analyses the vertical hinge. The following are pictures of real Lamborghini hinges, please analyze them carefully.
Lambo Kit Hinges The following are pictures of lambo door conversion kit hinges:
Animation of Door Hinge Double click picture to play again (Acrobat format).
The real Lamborghini door hinge • This is a real Lamborghini door hinge used for kit cars. The cheapest way to have lambo doors on your car is available via courtesy of http://www.sequentialturnsignals.com/lambodoor/lambodoor.html or • http://www.iserv.net/~strdream/hinges.html . The cost for each hinge, approximately $100-250/pc
Door Geometry I think the biggest problem to convert an existing door will be the door's shape. On very square doors, the bottom corner may hit the pillar when it tries to rotate upward. There are a few work-arounds for this. You might be able to find hinges that throw the door forward as it rotates up. You can see this on the new Cadillac concept car. Otherwise, you may also use another hinge setup that pops the door outward before rotating it up.
Door Hardware Needed All you really need is a single hinge and a strut. I've heard that Volvo tailgates, mid 90's Pontiacs, and Ford Explorer lift gates provide good salvage yard struts. For a specific strut contact RV shops in addition to the normal strut mnfrs. You will need to know your compressed and extended lengths as well as the force required, which will be more than the door's weight (especially if you locate the strut at some weird point). If you won't be using struts, there are other mechanical and hydraulic options but they will cost you more as well. Local scraps are a good starting point to get the struts and hinges, as they are cheap and easily accessible. * the above text was taken with permission from Filip's Falcon GT: A Scratch Built Project [http://www.statikdesign.com/scratchbuilt ]. The site is a compilation of research geared toward the novice who wants to build their own sports car from scratch."
Determining the Correct Strut Specs Part A: Equipment Required: • Tape Measure • Pencil or crayon to mark on door and body • A helper strong enough to hold the door at the vertical position • Scissor hinges which you will use (this is strongly recommended but not required) • A produce-type hanging scale. You could construct a crude version using a rope, pulley, and some counter weights (like from a dumbell set). * the above text was taken with permission from Filip's Falcon GT: A Scratch Built Project [http://www.statikdesign.com/scratchbuilt ]. The site is a compilation of research geared toward the novice who wants to build their own sports car from scratch."
Determining the Correct Strut Specs Part B: The Procedure: • First, you should mount the door on the proper hinges. For a door mounted conventionally you should take it off of its hinges and position it in the door jamb so it is free to rotate up (or out). • From looking at a lot of pictures, the strut is usually mounted on the body about a foot or so down from the hinge. You can use this as a starting point. • The strut's compressed length will be the distance from its mounting point on the body, to the mounting point on the door itself. [Compressed Length] = • Now rotate the door around its hinge point to the upright position. It is a good idea to have someone help brace it up for you. It will get tricky to hold a 50+ lb door up with one hand while you use the tape measure with the other. Now measure the new distance between the strut mounting points (as in Step 3). [Extended Length] =
Determining the Correct Strut Specs Cont’d • Your length of travel is the extended length minus the compressed length. If your Length of Travel is more than about 40% of your overall length, you will need to move your strut mounting point. The majority of struts will not have a Length of Travel more than this.[Length of Travel] = [Extended Length] - [Compressed Length] • If the door is empty, attach all of the trim, mirrors, interior, glass, actuators etc. You will need to simulate the weight of the final door. You may use dummy weights but be careful where on their placement. Adding 5lbs to the end of the door versus closer to the hinge will make a huge difference. • Now you will need that hanging scale, or you will need to come up with an alternative. Either way, attach the a hook to your strut mounting point on the door (you found this in Step 3), and pull up to the position you want. The max weight that the scale reads will be your force. The reading might fluctuate depending on the door's position, but it should read the highest when the door is at the closed position. Add about 15-20% to this as a safety margin. You don't want the door to close too easily, plus you should take friction into account and some wear and tear later on, which might degrade the strut's pushing force. Offhand, I know of a '95 civic that was converted and used 175 psi struts. If you don't have a produce scale, I will try to post an alternate method soon. This will not simply be the weight of the door. Leverage is working against you. The closer you mount the strut to the hinge (on the door) the more force it will need to push up. It also depends on the shape of the door and the location of its add-ons. * the above text was taken with permission from Filip's Falcon GT: A Scratch Built Project [http://www.statikdesign.com/scratchbuilt ]. The site is a compilation of research geared toward the novice who wants to build their own sports car from scratch."
Door in vertical position This is a shot of a passenger door in the upright position
Door Hinge Installation Blueprints A company by the name Street Dreams manufactures hinges used for Lamborghini kits which may be applicable to your car. They have developed blue prints for DIY hinge installation which can be seen here: Hinge info: http://www.iserv.net/%7estrdream/instr/sddoor1.pdf Door Recommendations: http://www.iserv.net/%7estrdream/instr/sddoor2.pdf Strut info: http://www.iserv.net/%7estrdream/instr/sdstrut1.pdf http://www.iserv.net/%7estrdream/instr/sdstrut2.pdf http://www.iserv.net/%7estrdream/instr/sdstrut3.pdf The above text was taken with permission from Street Dreams [http://www.iserv.net/~strdream ]. Street dreams does custom work pertaining to street rods, classic and custom cars.
Example 300 ZX Butterfly door
Example: 300 ZX • To install the door hinges, you simply have to have these parts: • Two air shocks - that work by switch (about 8 inches long each) • A welder • Steel tubing (for door reinforcement) • Thick steel sheet metal • You have to mount one shock onto a plate at the bottom front corner of the drivers door, mounted onto a flat plate that is welded to the floor/door structure of the car, under the carpet. The shock is not seen when the door is closed, the shock goes inside of the door and there is a plate welded to the door that also mounts to the shock at the tip of the skinniest shaft. • You have to reinforce the door for support. They take off the fenders do some cutting in below A post weld on about 2X3 square tube, then GMC or Ford E rear cargo doors hinge. Cut some off and add to it like 180* flat bar (now on that Honda they used 175psi struts). • When you hit the switch the door should slide out on that shock, now comes the pushing up part. You have to have the other shock mounted to the same plate, but it is about 12 inches long and runs up parallel to the door beside the seat and mounts to the door at the end of the shock. You have to have a shaft made to the door so that when the door pops out the shock slides on the shaft then when the door is popped out it catches and pushes the door open.
Example: 300 ZX GM or Ford full size van cargo rear door hinges
Considerations: Before you begin it may be necessary to consider the following: • Will you need to extend any wires, and if so do you have an extra supply of the wire • Will their be a speaker on the door, if so, you may need to extend speaker cables • Alarm function • Solenoid cable, automatic lock cables, etc. • Will applying lambo doors void any warranties • Are their any laws prohibiting these type of doors • Is their enough room for people to get out of the car safely.
Alternatives There are 2 alternatives: • Don’t do the conversion and leave your doors intact, and, • Buy a universal kit from a company called Decah.
Decah Decah has created a patent pending universal vertical door conversion kit for many cars. They first started off with Honda Civics.
Decah - Benefits The key benefits include: no cutting, no welding, quick installation, adjustible, complete with instructions and all necessary hardware.
Decah - Disadvantages The main disadvantages are: • Limited applications, but decah plans on announcing many more cars. • The cost at $1599.00(US)
Conclusion Now that you know how to put lambo doors on your car, you can now see as well how you can put lambo doors basically anywhere, i.e. your hatch door, your hood, gas cover, etc. It is all in the hinge. Most custom shops charge between $2-$8,000 to do this conversion, but now you can do it for a fraction of that cost. In my opinion, by having these doors alone it is enough for you to stand out from the ubiquitous cars with the same type of body kits, aluminum wings, stickers, rims, etc. Thank you for taking your time to read this guide and good luck for your conversion
Summary To do this yourself what you need is • Struts • Hinges • Patience You will have to remove the fenders and doors to do this conversion properly. It should not take more than a weekend to do because you are basically just changing the hinge pattern and using struts to reinforce the door. For older cars you may have to lighten the doors and roll back fenders. To lighten the door simply cut out the interior of the leaving it a hollow shell. You may want to remove the speakers as well. If you do not want to do this yourself, then print out this cd and give it to almost any bodyshop guy, they will gladly do it for about 1-200 bucks (depending on their labour rate).
Watch out for: • GULLWING DOOR CONVERSIONS – coming soon • SUICIDE DOOR CONVERSIONs – coming soon • DIY Hydrolics using mechanical struts • CARBON FIBRE DIY
Special Thanks Ross from street dreams: http://www.iserv.net/~strdream Filip: http://www.statikdesign.com/scratchbuilt/index.html, he has plethora of information about designing or building your own car from scratch. Ron Fletcher and Brian Wolfe – About your advice regarding conversions.