There is a new project on the horizon here at Sport Truck and it comes in the form of an '07 Chevy Colorado. I purchased this truck a few months ago thinking that this was going to be a simple project. Right. Well, one thing led to another, ideas were thrown around the office, and it is now going to be a full-on custom ride. One of those ideas was to clean up the exterior and get rid of the door handles. I teamed up with Bob from Grant Kustoms and Jeff, owner of Merzees Paint & Body, to tackle this task.
If you choose to take on this project yourself, here are a few pointers for getting the job done correctly the first time. First of all, take your time. Too often, customizers will try to rush through a job trying to see the finished product. When shaving door handles, this kind of impatience can lead to panel warpage during welding, mismatched paint or panels, and a bad overall finished product. Over the last decade, truck manufacturers have been going with lighter-gauge material on external panels to save weight, making it harder to shave without it warping and looking like the Bering Sea during crab season. So take your time welding, because it will reduce the amount of bodywork afterward.
Label the parts you take off the truck and diagram where they came off of if you are unfamiliar with how to put doors back together. You can also take a digital picture for even better reference. This will allow you to put everything back together more easily when the welding is done.
Remember, before you charge into a project like this, a body shop may charge you $150 to $300 per door for this work, but a new door averages between $800 and $2,000. Consider yourself warned: Replacing a door can be more expensive than paying a shop to do the work.
Part One: Disassembly 1....
Part One: Disassembly
1. Before I started shaving, I needed to get rid of the door handle. I removed the interior trim panel from the door and put it in a safe place away from the work area.
2. I rolled the window completely...
2. I rolled the window completely down and removed the bolts holding the glass to the window mechanism, being careful not to scratch the glass. I then carefully removed the trim pieces from the top of the door and removed the rearview mirror and pulled the window glass out through the top of the door.
3. I removed all plastic parts...
3. I removed all plastic parts and insulation from the inside of the door and then removed the two 10mm nuts attaching the door handle.