shaved door handles …… the cheap way

Written by: admin@makezilla

every one in the car field knows and has seen a vehicle mod called ""shaved" door handles" usually to install this nifty item you need to find a customs shop or buy a expensive kit ... either way for the result you are looking at about 2-3 thousand dollars but my approach was less bar far expensive around 45 dollar may be less because i wanted to go fancy ed to find a customs shop or buy a expensive kit ... either way for the result you are looking at about 2-3 thousand dollars but my approach was less bar far expensive around 45 dollar may be less because i wanted to go fancy

Step 1: The items you will need

the main item needed is door lock actuators .. off older vehicles (the ones off older vehicles have a lot more power to pull larger locks) 

you can usually find door lock actuators at your local bone yard for about 3-5 bucks for a pair .. 

so to recap you need 

2 door lock actuators 

1 clothing hanger (the wire kind) 

assorted wire 

and a few small scraps of sheet metal 

2 water proof momentary freezer door switches marked ""off"" position (finding ones marked off is very important other wise once switch is installed it will be always conducting 12V and your locks wont work ) 

1 3 way momentary switch 

electrical splicing caps 


the tools you will need 

screw driver 

drill (and bits) 

metal punch 

ruler (I say ruler because it is simpler to use in side the door than tape) 

and wire crimpers

Step 2: remove the door

OK lets get started first you need to remove your inside door panel depending on make and model of the vehicle it may be held on by screws or clips mine was held on by clips be sure to save the door clips or screw other wise you will be hot gluing it back on ... not pretty next tear away the garbage bag like plastic away from the door so that you may access the internals 

Step 3: removing the handle latch

really the handle latch is nothing more than a metal bar connecting the door clasp to the external handle .... also you need to remove the external lock that you use your key on cuz once your handle is gone there will be no need for this the lock is typically held on by nothing more than a clip wedged around the cylinder once removed make sure the metal rod that was attached to the door clasp and lock is in the unlocked position do this by using your finger to close the jaws of the door clasp and trying the internal handle

Step 4: wiring up your switches

first you need to run a constant on power wire directly from your batter threw your fire wall .... I just used an existing power wire for my amp 

next mount your internal switch .. the 3 way momentary ... wire it up so that the positing 12v will be on the center pin of the 3 prongs on the back of the switch .... and run a wire from each of the remaining pins run these wires to the doors threw the existing holes where your door speaker wire runs 

now time to wire the external switches 
the 2 frig switches using sheet metal i bet in to a u shape i screwed it under the rocker panels of the truck with a whole drilled in the center to mount the switch doing this on both sides in the same location on each side .. run 2 wires on each switch up threw the cab under the carpet attaching the red wire to the constant positive you ran and the black wire to the rear of the 3 way switch on the wire ruining to the corresponding door 

next making a ground 

ground a wire to the door frame in side the door on each side using black wire .

Step 5: making a new rod and mounting the actuator

OK so now take your actuator and place it in side the door in the very bottom under the lock clasp mark the location of the screw holes in the actuator on the inside and out side of door by sliding your metal punch threw the screw holes and and giving it a love tap 

now with your drill drill out the holes and connect your wires .... and attach your screws 

next using your hand ruler measure from the old ear on the lock clasp that you removed from the handle portion down to the hole located on the pull part of the actuator 

taking some cut up clothing hanger measure out how long the space was plus about an inch or so so that you can bend it over to slide in the holes once the wire is attached be sure to bend it over in the holes inserted in so that they can not rattle loose 

Step 6: Testing

it is now the testing phase of our project be for you put every thing back together

using your fingers close the clasp on the door ...... so that its like it would be if the door was actually shut 

now the fun part try a switch if done right it should make a latch noise and the clasps should pop open ... be sure to test both inside and out side switches on both doors 

Step 7: finishing up

now that your out side handle no longer works you can remove it ... and fill it with body filler and prime it for paint 

I also removed my internal handle as well just cuz 

make sure to hide your wires as well and replace your door panel .. as you can see i cut and covered a new panel i made from mdf and some nice fabric 

have fun and good luck ..... just as a recap this entire project cost me about 35.50 that is with out fully repainting the door