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Old 03-08-2005, 01:16 PM   #1
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split side doors

I would like to keep the original front doors on the bus. But once I load the rear of the bus and put the wall in (for moving) there will be no way to operate the door from outside the bus - like locking it and gaining access. Has anyone seen or created a succesful system that does not involve complicated arrays of string and pulley's? I would love some advice. I am trying to not replace the door. Thanks - Richard
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Old 03-08-2005, 03:41 PM   #2
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I used a standard locking garage door latch mechanism that I got at Ace Hardware, but it did entail using 3/32" coated cable & 4 small pulleys. The cable is not obvious from the outside, and is routed inconspicuously inside. In addition to that, I also used a lawnmower choke cable mounted in a hidden remote area in case I ever misplace my key. I realize you don't want cables & pulleys, so maybe you can use a choke / throttle cable approach. I understand that some companies now offer some locking systems like this, and hopefully someone else on this sight can refer one. In fact, I think I read a reference somewhere on this sight, I'll try to find it again. Good Luck!
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Old 03-08-2005, 04:16 PM   #3
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Couldn't find the exact one I was looking for, but here's a couple threads on this site to look at: Conversion Projects->Buffy, posted Sept. 02, 2004 and Conversion Discussion->Air Idea, posted Jan 12, 2005.

I'll try again later on to find the reference to OEM solutions.
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Old 03-08-2005, 11:15 PM   #4
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re: Cables

Thanks Griff. Do you have any photo's available? I'd love to see your mechanism. My wife rigged up a system to open the door, but we do not have anything to close it. Thanks again. -Richard
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Old 03-09-2005, 06:04 AM   #5
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At the moment, I do not have photo's. I borrowed my son's camera a while back to try to post some photos, but I still can't seem to get it to work right. It loses the pictures when I try to move them from camera to PC. It took me at least 100 attempts just to get my Avatar up. That said, I continue to try to get pictures posted in the gallery, and as soon as I am successful again, I'll shout out here!

In a nutshell, I got a lockabel 'T'-handle & back latch for a garage door from Ace as well as the coated cable (I'll go to their site later & get you part #'s of the handle & back latch I used). My bus has 2 out-ward opening doors that open via normal skoolie pivot handle with bottom latch when in closed position & pivoting push rod that adjusts and connects the door to the handle using clevises. The clevis is attached to the forward door, about center of the door. I mounted the 'T'- handle to the left (looking at it from outside) of the clevis so I can use the 'T'-handle as a doorknob also.

I routed the cable from the latch through the clevis to the front wall and pulley system. The pulleys are simply mounted in the most direct route that kept the cabling from sticking out like a sore thumb, but would not restrict cable movement. I also used the smallest swivel pulleys I could so that they wouldn't stand out much either. Like you, I didn't want a jungle of cables, but wanted to lock/unlock my bus from outside.

I'd rather not divulge my "In case of stupidity, pull here" unlocking device particulars here. Most would not take advantage of it but some might if my bus is spotted alone on the road somewhere. Let's just say: you know how your hood latch / trunk latch / gas cap door latch systems on your car work? Same principles and method, only the location of the control remains secret.

I'll get you some pictures of the cable system ASAP and get the #'s from Ace. Hope this helps for now!

Griff
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Old 03-09-2005, 06:14 AM   #6
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P.S. In the "for what it's worth" department - when I bought my bus, it had a regular padlock hasp mounted to the door that I did use as lock & pull handle until I rigged up my current setting. If you need a quick temporary solution, this could work for you. Just remember to drill any holes such that they will not interfere or create problems for you in the future while trying to install a 'T'-handle setup! Griff
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Old 03-09-2005, 10:14 PM   #7
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doors

Thanks Griff. I look forward to seeing some photo's one day. It sounds like you put some time into your system. I will have to take a peak in the hardware centre next time I'm there and look around for the mechanism's you are talking about. -Richard

ps- good luck with your camera.
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:07 AM   #8
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Another option you might consider (I am considering it), is using an aftermarket automotive remote power door lock system, just use the solenoid that would operate the door lock to release your handle latch. These kits are not really that expensive nowadays, and it eliminates cables & pulleys. It does however rely on a good battery, (hence a remote manually operated cable in a discreet location).
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:50 PM   #9
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Sorry it took so long to get the part numbers for the T-handle hardware I got at ACE Hardware, but here they are:

Slide-Co/Prime-Line "T" Locking Handle (Gd52169) Item no: 5064761
Slide-Co/Prime-Line Center Mount Swivel Latch (Gd52120) Item no: 52040

I bought the 3/32" coated cable & swivel pullies, etc. at a local hardware store.

Still no joy with the camera, but I'm still trying. Been having trouble with my internet connections, too. When it rains, it pours!
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:54 PM   #10
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Oops! Here's a link that I forgot to put in the last message. You can see what they look like here-> http://www.acehardware.com/sm-replaceme ... 55033.html
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