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 Two: Making The Filler Plates
There are two options when it comes time to fill the holes in the doors: either make your own or go and buy them. If you buy them, make sure you are getting quality fillers. Sixteen-gauge sheetmetal is ideal- any thinner has a tendency to warp easier and have more blow-through when welding. Grant Kustoms made our fillers for us, but if you want to make them yourself follow along as Bob shows us how.

Final Step: Opening The Door

To install the door-popper mechanism, it's necessary to find a spot in the door that is out of the way of any moving parts. In most cases it will be in the lower part of the door below the door latch. Connect the power lead to the door solenoid before installing.


SOURCE
Alsa Paint Corp
www.alsacorp.com
Grant Kustoms
Oroville
CA
AutoLoc
201 SE Oak St., Dept. SRM
Portland
OR  97214
Merzees Paint &Body
www.merzees.com
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