Custom cars are all about form, sometimes at the expense of function. Take door handles, for instance: They're perfectly logical and functional elements on any car. They're also the first parts to get sacrificed in the name of cool streamlined style.

The question of function still remains, though. Through the years custom builders and owners have used many means of entry after deleting door handles: cable pulls, electric solenoids triggered by hidden buttons, a brick through the glass-you name it. Most such means had drawbacks. Cables had to be hidden in stealthy locations where they were often hard to access; the same was true for electric buttons, which were also susceptible to weather and crud. Worse yet, astute young neighborhood punks could easily see where you reached for that cable release or button and figure out how to put their butts in your ride.

Enter the remote control, that miracle of modern science long revered by football-crazy couch potatoes. Electric solenoids activated by remote control have become the preferred method of entry for shaved-handle customs in recent years, and with good reason. Small, key-fob-sized remotes make it easy to carry your door-release button with you, and there's a certain convenience in being able to pop doors open as you approach the car. Remotes are reliable, too, as the same technology is used on most car alarm systems and door locks on new cars.

After several years of reaching through the vent window to open the door on my mild custom '63 Dodge, I finally decided to enter the modern age and install solenoids and a remote-entry system. Ordering a complete Shaved Door Handle Kit from AutoLoc was an easy choice, as it saved me from having to mix and match components from various manufacturers. The kits come with solenoids, brackets, relays, a remote control system, and most necessary wiring and hardware. The solenoids themselves are available with various pulling strengths (up to 100 pounds), and you can get remotes than can handle up to 18 functions (though I opted for the basic six-function setup). AutoLoc also has other goodies to help make your system complete, such as emergency cable-release kits, waterproof back-up buttons, door-popping mechanisms, and so forth.

Setting up remote-control doors on any vehicle is a pretty simple chore but will vary slightly from car to car. What you'll see here are just a few highlights from my installation, plus general tips and advice for setting things up, no matter whose products you use. Hopefully the information provided here will give you the power to go keyless.

SOURCE
AutoLoc
201 SE Oak St., Dept. SRM
Portland
OR  97214