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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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Old 03-21-2005, 02:37 PM   #11
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I think that is the solution I have been looking for as well, guess I'll have to order online since there isn't an Ace around.
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:04 PM   #12
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Steve-check around locally, I don't know what surrounds you, but I have seen similar ones in Mom & Pop hardware stores in my area.

I also know that Lowe's carries different ones in different locations. I have 3 Lowe's stores within a 75mile radius, and they cater to their surroundings. For example: I can't get 2x3 lumber in Greenville or New Bern, but I can get 'em all day long in Morehead City. All 3 carry different styles of garage door hardware.
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:48 PM   #13
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slit doors - Transit busses?

I was looking at a GMC fishbowl transit bus the other day and wondering what sort of mechanism they use for accesing the bus from the outside. Since they cannot gain access from any other doors they must be able to get inside somehow. Also they have split doors like a school bus. I know they have different mechanisms but they may have a system that can be applied. Does anyone have any info or photo's (for those of us visual learners)? Thanks in advance. -Richard
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:58 PM   #14
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Hey gang! Finally had another semi-successful go around with the camera and was able to post a couple of pics of my T-handle latch release.

It's not pretty, but it is VERY functional, fairly unobtrusive, and with the exception of the very bottom of the clevis, hardly noticeable from the outside. The door latches quite easily, but securely, and still opens all the way without obstruction. I did cut off some of the T-handle shaft to prevent getting snagged on it while entering & exiting.

You can see them with some descriptions in The White Elephant album here:

http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/WhiteElephant

Pardon the mess, I'm still renovating. If anyone has any questions, or wants part numbers for the hardware used, just post & I'll pass 'em on.
Total cost for the set up was under $30.00.

Please let me know if this helps any of you that want a little more security.

P.S. I also posted a new diagram of the floorplan that is taking shape.
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Old 05-20-2005, 11:32 AM   #15
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Fixed your link to point to the right place.

Seeing as I don't have that kind of latch on my door handle I can't use the same method but I can use the t-handle

I am going to mount the handle to the door as you have but with the bar going down to the floor or across to the other door (since my doors open in opposite directions. It will then fit through a hole or bracket in the floor or other door and secure it that way. It will be nice since everything will be on the door itself and I won't have anything stringing across the front of my bus.
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Old 05-20-2005, 06:21 PM   #16
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Re: Door latch

Thanks for all the info. Such creative ideas, it's great.

I have decided to remove the stock split doors in favour of a solid wood door I built. In British Columbia a few weeks ago someone broke into my bus by prying the doors open (read bent to crap! ) and stole my $2500 mountain bike. So I removed the doors and created a new one.

Now it is very thick, solid and locked!

-Richard
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Old 05-20-2005, 11:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
Fixed your link to point to the right place.
Thank you Steve, sorry for the trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
Seeing as I don't have that kind of latch on my door handle I can't use the same method...
I agree, it's not very asthetic the way it is, but at least it's out of the way. Ultimately, if I ever get the time, I would like to drill a hole through the defroster riser and route it all behind the dash to where the only places it would be visible are from the door to the riser and from through the dash to the latch. At least, for now, I have better security than I did.

I guess I should also have mentioned that the clevis only rotates between 30 & 40 degrees to release the latch and does not interfere with the left door at all. I guess I also didn't realize your doors open in opposite directions, but in principle, the link between the doors should be strong enough to hold the doors closed if only one door is secured. I don't have any of this latch rigged to the left-hand door, and upon herking & jerking vigorously on the T-handle (with door latched), have not seen any potential for inadvertent door opening, so if you were to run latches to the top & bottom of the door the T-handle is mounted on, it should hold for both. you could use hot-rolled steel slats or some all-thread rod & clevises to go up & down into slots/holes in the floor & top framework.

Hey, if someone really WANTS to get into my bus, they can, but it will thwart the passing common thief.

I have also devised a fairly simple locking system for the rear door, but the camera wouldn't cooperate long enough to photodocument it. On the outside, when leaving the bus in a parking lot, etc., I can padlock it via a mounted a swivel padlock hasp like those found on the locks of box-bed semi's, and a hole I drilled into the handle. Inside is just a piece of 2x3 wood notched to fit on both sides of the hand guard, and notched & rounded to wedge securely against the handle. A quick-release clevis pin through the guard & board holds the 2x3 in position to prevent releasing via vibration.
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Old 05-21-2005, 09:51 AM   #18
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I am making my door work with a electric window motor from a car.. I have working on the bench. I hope to have it in the bus soon. On the door linkage under the bus I have a spring that will pull open the door. to close the door I used the window motor with a cable to pull the door closed. The cable is under the bus. you will not see any thing inside. (you could mount the motor right to the door linkageunder the bus to open and close the door but I wanted to keep the motor clean and dry) Inside the bus will be a open and close switch. (No more door handle) Out side of the bus is also a open and close swicth Plus a key swicth to shut of the power. Now the door is locked... If I have a power Trouble all I have to do is pull a pin on the cable under the bus to open the door. I also going to try to make this work with a remote. The window motor is very fast and it has more than enough power to keep the door closed.........It work and it's sweet.........
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Old 05-21-2005, 11:48 AM   #19
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Kirbystud, it sounds like a very interesting solution. -Richard
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Old 05-22-2005, 12:59 AM   #20
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I agree, sound nice, post some pics if ya can! I opted for the manual method 'cause I'm trying to get a way form powered devices where possible (K.I.S.S., less parts to fail)

I still think it's a great idea though and would love to see more on the development & implementation!
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