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Old 03-23-2020, 10:45 AM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 400
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Locking Mechanism and New Handle for Original School Bus Door

My wife and I are keeping the original folding bus door for the aesthetic and character. However, the handle mechanism takes up quite a lot of space, and it can only be unlocked from the inside.



Has anyone modified the door opening mechanism to be much simpler than the whole three point handle? Or has anyone created a way to unlock the door from the outside? I'm kind of thinking of an elaborate block and tackle mechanism, but I'm not sure if it's even worth it.

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Old 05-05-2021, 06:30 PM   #2
Almost There
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 85
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Girardian Handicapped Commercial
Chassis: E-450
Engine: Ford 7.3L
Rated Cap: 9,000
Wondering same. What I did in the mean time is a bolt hinge that is welded to the door that drops through the bottom step. Then waist height, inside, I welded ears, with holes to the doors and put a rod through the holes making a double lock.
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:33 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 802
Can you fit an external "button" like the highway coaches have? We live in an MCI which has this button on the front (with a hole in the shaft for a padlock). Pushing it shoves the inside door opening handle past the lockover point, then you pull the door open.

Some of our other coach buses have either pull rods or buttons, too.

I tried to upload a video of me pressing it, but I guess it's not a valid file type...so imagine a palm pressing this.

photo_2021-05-05 18.29.05.jpeg
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Old 05-05-2021, 11:06 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sandpoint, ID
Posts: 376
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Girardin Microbird MB-IV
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3 Diesel
Rated Cap: 25
Funny all us Girardin owners are thinking along the same lines. That opener and related supports sucks up valuable short-bus space! My son wondered if we could retrofit an electrically operated door control. Has anyone done this? Push button inside, key on outside.
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