If you haven't heard about the Magic Touch door handle system yet, then you've been missing out on a revolutionary new product that's going to be all over the scene very soon. The father and son team at LaFrance Autoworks have created a bolt-in product that gives you the shaved handle look, without any bodywork or paintwork needed. Here's how it works: The Magic Touch handles bolt in place of the factory handles and mount flush to the door skin so as to give the appearance that the handles aren't there at all. That, in itself, isn't anything new and amazing, but the way the doors open afterward is.
When installing the kit, you install a door solenoid just like you would on any vehicle with shaved handles. This solenoid is activated by touching the handle-not pushing, not pulling, not using any pressure at all, just lightly touching the handle pops the door and opens it. How does it work? Everyone's body carries an electrical charge. When you touch the handle, the sensor on the other side reads the capacitance of your body and triggers the system. Sure, it's fancy scientific stuff, but it's cool, too.
So, how do you keep it from accidentally opening? Integrated into the system is a trigger for the factory keyless entry system in your truck. If the doors are locked, the handles can't be activated. If they're unlocked, just touch the handle and the doors open. This is an ideal setup for leased vehicles, where you have to put your vehicle back to stock before you turn it in. It's also a great way to get the look of shaved handles, without doing any major work. The handles come pre-painted, and everything is ready to install right out of the box. In our case, we got a pre-production version that wasn't painted, so things will be a little different in your own install.
As if all that wasn't cool enough, LaFrance has even more products using this technology coming out in the future, including a glass touch sensor that will pop the solenoid by just touching the window in a specific area. The company also has an airbag control system that its releasing soon. The truck we're installing this in is an '04 Chevy Silverado work truck, which had no options out of the box. To remedy that, we installed an Autoloc keyless-entry system complete with Autoloc 50-pound adjustable solenoids and an eight-channel remote system. For more information, check out the source box.