Shaved door handles have been a popular modification on customs almost as long as customs have been popular. Removing the outer handles always adds a lot of impact, even on a mild custom. The simplicity of this modification is also an attractive feature; almost anybody can accomplish the basics with a few common shop tools.

If you have a mid-'50s and later custom, shaving the handles is pretty simple, as the latches are mostly rod actuated, with remote outer handles. This means the outer handle is not directly tied to the latch. A new solenoid cable can then be tied to the outer handle actuator on the latch and the job is done.

Older cars, however, are a little different. Most early-'50s and older cars use door handles that are tied directly to the latch via a square rod that when turned, twists the rod and opens the latch. An effective design, but using this style of latch when shaving the outer handles can create a problem when determining where the solenoid goes.

While it is possible to attach the cable to the latch at the same point where the interior handle rod mounts, this often leads to binding and excessive wear on the solenoid, eventually causing a failure. There is, however, a better solution. Using a section of the original outer handle square rod and a bit of scrap sheetmetal, the latch can be modified to accept the solenoid cable, leaving the inner handle as is.

To demonstrate the process, we modified a set of latches on our '47 Plymouth business coupe project. With a set of solenoids from AutoLoc, there is plenty of power on tap to operate the latches and the inner handles don't bind up.

SOURCE
AutoLoc
201 SE Oak St., Dept. SRM
Portland
OR  97214
Red Dirt Rodz
950 E 46th St.
Stillwater
OK  74074