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Posts Tagged ‘door’

WWII Door Handles

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Shortages during this major war was the reason for many modifications of Chevrolet and GMC door handles. War demands for die cast material changed handle designs on military trucks as well as the few commercial vehicles bought by civilians.

The attached photos show these war time designs. The exterior handles have a stamped steel outer cover. Their inner liner is thinner metal and much more susceptible to rust. The entire assembly at times holds moisture resulting in damage during below freezing temperatures.

Both the inside doors and window handles were made with flat steel. This was covered with a Bakelite or plastic type material in a mold. It prevented rust and gave the shape of the earlier die cast handles. Unfortunately, years of heat and cold caused shrinkage and cracks. Pieces broke away and finally the internal metal strip is all that remains of the original handle.

The door handles usually had a short life but did serve the purpose during a time when better material was not available. Most were exchanged, with the chrome die cast style, after the war.

WWII Door Handle 1

Exterior handles; Side view with one ferrule still attached.

WWII Door Handles 2

GMC Exterior handles; Side view of metal stamping.

WWII Door Handles 3

Interior handles; The full set. Middle windshield handle not used by military.

WWII Door Handles 4

Interior handles; Close up of a pair for a door.

1939-1946 Suburban and Panel Doors

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The unusual side doors on these Suburban and Panel trucks will fit on the more common pickup cab, however, their looks will tell the observer that something is not correct. Across the top of the outer skin is a horizontal stamping or groove. This groove is a continuation of the stamping that runs the length of the body to help strengthening the long sheet metal sides.

The pictures below should help you in obtaining the correct used door for your panel or Suburban restoration project. Tip: Even a badly damaged door from a Suburban or panel truck is of value. This will perfectly graft on a pickup or large truck door to make the rare item you need.

Suburban and Panel Door 1

Suburban and Panel Door 2

1939-1946 Inside Door Handle Mystery

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Two different designs of inside door handles are seen when looking at 1939-46 Chevrolet and GMC trucks. This photo shows the attaching portion is the same. However, the opposite ends are much different.

Door Handle Mystery 1

1939-40 ‘ Small Ends only GM produced this 1939-40 handle design until NOW. NOTE: Even GM later replaced these with only the later design.

Available August 2015, Jim Carter Truck Parts will have them in stock as part # DPH101.

1941-46 ‘ Large Ends. This allows the palm of a hand to better push the handle down and open the door. (A later aftermarket company also produced this 1941-46 style).

1934-1946 Door Hidden Bumper Cushions

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The mystery of where to find and replace the rubber door bumper cushions on 1934-46 GM trucks is solved by the following data:

During many restorations these bumpers are neglected or the owner doesn’t even know where these small units are hidden. They can not be seen unless the inner cab sheet metal panel at the rear door post is removed.

The purpose of these rubber bumpers are to cushion the door dove tail that has entered the receiver on the body post. (The dove tail is attached to the door and supports it when in the closed position.)

These bumpers are paired with small protective cups. The bumper gives the cushion to the door and the metal cups take the wear as the dove tail enters the cab post.

The old saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ certainly applies here. The left cab rear door post in our example was removed from a very tired truck, however the dove tail mechanism was still good. Even the original Export Blue is still showing. The parts were carefully removed and some even cleaned of rust for better pictures.

Check the following data and pictures. They should help one even better understand GM’s heavy duty door support system.

Door Bumper Cushions 1

Removable components of the door cushion system. The Metal cups will cover the smaller part of the rubber cushion.

Door Bumper Cushion 2

The assembly as it sets in the cab post.

Door Bumper Cushion 3

The inside of the cab post. Much of the assembly fits inside the small box which is welded in place. Note how the ears on the cups connect to the larger bracket. This is not visible in an assembled truck.

Door Bumper Cushion 4

What you see on this cab post. These screws have been loosened prior to removal. Only the back side of the metal cups are visible.

Door Bumper Cushions 5

The back side of the cab post. The inner sheet metal has been removed exposing the retaining screws. Several very small screw holes ( about 5″ apart) are visible where the sheet metal panel is secured.

1934-1946 Door Handles

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The two series of exterior door handles on GM trucks between 1934-46 are certainly different yet they share a few similar features of interest.

One characteristic which seems strange today is that the handles lock the right doors only, not on the left. This occurs on GM trucks from the early 1920’s to about 1959. At this time, we have no reason for this feature. Maybe it kept the driver from standing too near traffic as he locked the door!

The 1934-38 handles are the same. The left has no cylinder key but the right handles are the locking style. Yes, the right and left handle will interchange but this is not the way it was done by GM. Switching handles would prevent the right door from being locked. There is no inside lock on the right!

With the introduction of the new body style in 1939, the handle design also changed, however the locking and non-locking handles remained in the same position. The big change started in 1942.

GM decided that rough roads plus freezing in the North caused too much lock breakage. The die cast lock parts inside the handle were too easy to break. During that year, the lock was moved down into the door skin. Both right and left handles became the same non locking design. The following photos show this big change in door locking on Chevrolet and GMC trucks.

Door Handle Trivia

The locking key cylinder used between 1934 to 1941 is the same despite visual changes in the handle body. Of course, if the truck is right hand drive, all is reversed!

1934-1938 Right

1934-1938 Right Door Handle

1939-1941 Right Door Handle

1939-1941 Right Door Handle

1939-1946 Left and 1942-1946 Right

1939-1946 Left and 1942-1946 Right Door Handle

1942-1946 Right

1942-1946 Right Door Handle (lock in door skin)

Buy Parts for 1934 to 1946 Trucks


Advance Design Door Weather Seal

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Installing the door weather seal on 1947-1955 G.M. trucks is not difficult, however some extra knowledge is required. Gluing it to the door edge incorrectly will limit it’s ability to seal drafts and add to wind noise. It is just as easy to attach this seal correctly.

The design of correct weather seal is square on the bottom that holds the glue. On the opposite end are two ears, each being a different length. The short ear is glued against the door and does not extend beyond the door edge. It should not be seen when the door is closed. The longer ear receives no glue and extends further up to touch more of the cab or body when the door is shut.

A nice touch at the two lower corners is to cut these ends at 45 degrees. The horizontal rubber bottom can be turned over so the metal lower windlace retainer fits in the groove between the two ears. It is a package that all looks very nice once placed together.

advance design door weather seal 1

A view of the 45 degree angle where the side and horizontal bottom door weather seals join (above)

advance design door weather seal 2

Here, the weather seal is installed on the door incorrectly. Note that the long ear can not reach the door post or body. (above)

advance design door weather seal 3

This photo shows an incorrectly installed door weather seal. Note the long ear is visible when the door is closed. Not correct.(above)

advance design door weather seal 4

Short ear side, glued against door | Longer side, mounted away from door (above)

1955-1959 Door Differences

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Though the 1955-1959 GM doors are basically the same and will interchange, there is one noticeable difference. The inside metal door panel (covering window and door mechanisms) is held in place with smaller screws in 1955.

It is assumed these smaller 10 x 24 screws were easier to break or strip when over tightening on the assembly line. By 1956, GM had increased their size to 1/4″ x 20 and this remained through the series.

1972 Door

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

One might assume that because the 1967-1972 cabs are the same, there is also no difference in the doors. Yes, they will interchange, however, there are several visible door differences for 1972.

During this year only, a countersunk hole exists in the interior door panel several inches from the wing vent vertical post. A Phillips screw here helps prevent the interior and exterior door panels from separating with this improvement the horizontal window seal stays in better alignment with the side glass.

The full interior door panel was updated in 1972. A sub panel (wood grained on the deluxe model) covers the upper area behind the door handle and window crank. This raised panel requires the handle studs to be approximately a 1/2 inch longer. Therefore a use 1972 window regulator and door remote will not properly interchange with a 1967-1971 door.

1972 door