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Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

 
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Old 02 Apr 2010, 06:35 am
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Smile Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

Hey Everyone,

[b]I often get asked what my thoughts are on doing suicide rear doors on a PT. To be completely honest, I really love the idea, and the look, but this is probably one of the most difficult and involved modifications you can do to your PT as a whole, so should you decide to perform this type of mod, be prepared to spend both some serious time and money on this one.

Another critical factor I would like to touch point on before we start, and I cannot emphasize this enough, whenever you take on a project like this, it is imperative that you know what you are doing, have all of the correct tools, the right materials, hardware, and a good working knowledge, and understanding of what you are doing before you ever try to attempt a modification of this magnitude! Do to several unfortunate serious accidents surrounding this Mod as it relates directly to PT Cruisers, their are now very few Body Shops that will even consider taking on this project no matter what cost is involved. This includes Ray Newton of PTeazer who was the first to perform this modification on a PT ever, and has sworn he will never do another again do to both liability, and the sheer amount of work involved to perform this Mod correctly.

To give you an example of just how dangerous this type of Mod can be, I remember a Gentleman who had attempted to install a Suicide Door Kit on his PT back in 2003. He did all of the work himself without having proper training and knowledge of how to do this Mod. One day while Cruising down the freeway his rear door latch failed and the left rear door flew open on him. The door hit one car from the front, and then another car from the back which caused the door to literally rip through the rear quarter panel almost to the wheel causing extensive damage, and creating a huge mess. So once again, this type of Mod is not to be taken lightly under any circumstances! I do not recommend ever trying to attempt this Mod at home at any time. This modification is recommended only for professionals, and even then, I would highly recommend asking questions and making double sure whatever Body Technician you decide to consider has a very good working knowledge of everything that is involved with this Mod before he starts cutting into your PT! Always remember Safety above all else, no exceptions!!!

Now, while in theory this looks to be fairly easy, and straight forward, I can unfortunately honestly confirm that it is far from it. With that said, here is a basic explanation on how this Mod is performed to give you a better understanding of how it is done.

Before we begin, lets take a good look at everything that is involved with this type of Mod. When you Suicide a door, you basically reverse the door hinge to make it swing in reverse. This means you have to reverse the hinges to the opposite side of the door which means you need to both design a very sturdy heavy duty hinge system to support the full weight of the door, redo the front of the door to accept the new door latches, and then you must re-configure the center structural support so you can add new latches to close the doors. Sounds somewhat simple enough but it is actually a fairly complicated process. Here is an example of a suicide door conversion.



Now, their are a few PT's out their that have done this Mod. Some have done a great job, and some have done a not so great job. Some have chosen to have their Doors swing out, and slightly up at an angle, and some have chosen to have their Doors swing out straight. In my personal opinion I am not a big fan of the angled Doors as to me they look more or less unfinished like the Body Technician either did not know what he was doing when he performed this modification, or decided to rush the job and not take his time working the panel and doing thing correctly.

In truth, their really is no right or wrong when it comes to customizing your Vehicle. Weather you like the angled Suicide Doors, or Straight Doors, basically comes down to personal preference.

Now, their is a Company called Street Dreams that offers a Suicide Door Kit for the Cruiser. Included In This Kit:

One hinge consists of each of these items:

* Aluminum door hinge assemblies with bushings, shoulder bolts, installed in a steel mount flange.

* Door-side steel mount plate. Depending on the kit, this will have three or four small holes that bolt to the "paddle" of the aluminum hinge. There will be one per hinge. The steel mount flange of the hinge is to be bolted to the steel mount plate with a large hole. This mount plate is to be welded into the door.

* Jamb-side mount plate. This plate has one or more large holes to mount the hinge flange to the door jamb.

* Assorted Hardware for assembly

Here is what the Street Dreams hinge kit looks like.



The Model # for this Kit is Model: SDLGSH, and has a cost of $680.00 ($30.00 extra for a highly polished surface) and here is the Link where you can buy it.

Large Suicide Hinge Pair [SDLGSH] - $680.00 : Street Dreams By Ross, L.L.C.

The problem with this kit is that the hinge itself is under sized in my honest opinion, and not as structurally sound by design which could lead to sagging of the door itself over time, as well as potential fitment issues which can lead to problems if doing it yourself, or more cost involved if paying for a Body Shop to do this Mod for you.

This Kit is what people have been utilizing more so to provide that slight angle to their Doors as I was talking about above. To give you a better visual, here are a couple of photo's of both this Kit, as well as a couple of examples of PT's with the Kit installed off center to achieve the angled look.




As I already had said earlier, I personally am not a big fan of the hinges being mounted at an angle as to me it just looks for lack of better words, a bit strange and unfinished. It just comes down to personal taste, and can be done either way during installation. I am a bit concerned though with the smaller size of the Street Dreams Hinge, and less surface area it comes into contact with on both the door, and the quarter panel area's. It is my belief that by having a smaller part coming into contact with less surface area is just not a great combination when trying to deal with the significant weight of the PT's rear doors which can lead to the doors sagging over time, and possibly causing problems down the line.


Now with that said, the other method is to go with Custom Made Hinges which have been done several times as well. These Kits are a bit more involved, and have much heavier Hinges which will better support the heavy rear doors without much problem. Here is what I mean when you compare side by side both Kits. You can see the difference in parts. To me I would prefer utilizing the more robust Hinge on the left which is larger in size, covers more surface area, and just appears to be more structurally sound.



Here is what the rear Suicide Doors should look like. Notice how nice and straight they swing out. This is the way I believe they should work.

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Old 02 Apr 2010, 06:36 am
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Smile Re: Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

CONTINUED

Now that you have seen both types of Kits, lets go over some of the work that is involved with this Mod.

Not only do you have to rework the rear quarter Panel on each side, but in order to do the best job in making sure everything is properly braced, I would recommend cutting a small section directly out of the rear quarter panel to gain access in order to beef up the supports to ensure you have no problems later. In addition to reworking the rear panels, you will also need to cut into the rear inner door skins as well to weld the other brackets into the doors as well. Then the front of the doors must also be reformed to allow for the latches to work properly with the strikers which need to be mounted on the center pillar. Then you need to decide if you wish to relocate the rear door handles, or shave them and use electric poppers. Here is a pic showing examples of some of the custom work involved.





One last thing to possibly consider is depending upon installation, many Suicide Door Kits do not allow for the rear doors to open fully, but rather just to a certain point which can have an effect on making entry, and exiting of the vehicle somewhat more complicated.

For a job like this, on average a cheaper job done at a Body Shop including parts, paint, and labor based on current pricing at the time of this write up, you are looking in the neighborhood of $3500.00 - $4500.00 and up, and for a better quality job where the rear quarter panels are cut completely out and reworked, you could be looking roughly in the neighborhood of $5000.00 - $7000.00 and up to do this type of job right.

Please note that I have never performed this Mod on a PT, but have done it on a variety of other Street Rods over the years. I have also seen both Kits in person, and know people who have performed this Mod on several PT's as well.

This is my take on Suicide Doors for your PT. As always, if you have any questions about anything I have written up, please feel free to ask me anytime and I would be more than happy to try to answer anything as best I can.

Thank you for reading this write up, go easy, and I will catch you later.


Go easy, and I will catch you all later.

Candyman
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Old 03 Oct 2010, 06:08 am
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Default Re: Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Candyman View Post
Candyman

Hi... There are photos of the fifth door?... Interesting modernization.
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Old 03 Oct 2010, 09:53 am
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Smile Re: Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

Эй их Сталкер,

Это - одна из моих всех модификаций фаворита времени, чтобы сделать к ЗАПЯТОЙ также. Парень названием Рей Ньютона, который имеет Компанию по имени PTeazer, построил ту ЗАПЯТУЮ. Он - хороший мой друг, и я живу приблизительно на расстоянии в один час от его Таможенного Магазина ЗАПЯТОЙ. Вот - еще некоторые фотографии нескольких различных задних дверей дробления для Вас. Кроме того, другая фотография у основания моего поста здесь имеют заднюю дверь дробления также, но раскалывание трети в более низкой половине так колебание дверей вместо вниз, которое является тем, что мы называем "голландскими Дверями", и последняя фотография Оранжевой ЗАПЯТОЙ снизу имеет ЗАПЯТУЮ, где они только раскалывают заднюю дверь вертикально в то, что мы называем "Дверями Сарая".

Если бы Вы имеете какие-нибудь вопросы на этом как проект, я был бы более чем счастливым спросить Рей что - нибудь, что Вы могли бы хотеть знать, или я также оставляю Звено у основания этого Поста к Вебсайту PTeazer также. Вот - фотографии сначала.


















И вот - Звено с Вебсайтом PTeazer.

PTEAZER - Your Source For PT Cruiser Parts, PT Cruiser Aftermarket Parts, PT Cruiser Accessories, PT Cruiser Conversions, PT Cruiser Modifications and Panel Conversions

И если Вы когда-либо имеете больше вопросы, пожалуйста сообщите мне в любое время, и я всегда более чем счастлив пробовать выручить в любое время.
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Last edited by Candyman; 03 Oct 2010 at 09:55 am.
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Old 07 Nov 2011, 07:39 pm
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Default Re: Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

I talked to Ray and he said to split the rear was ALSO a big pain and because of the roll on the hatch it was hard to keep it from rubbing. He said that some Aussie's have put some kind of extenders???? to move the rear out a little when it is opened. I also was thinking of suicideing the front doors because I don't have any rear doors and Ray said that you really have to beef up the whole structure to make it work without sagging later. Let's see about 7k for the split hatch and 7k for the doors 14k hmmmmmmmmm. Guess not on Social Security, I know that I named mine 401k but I can't go this route. Darn.
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Old 07 Nov 2011, 07:55 pm
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Default Re: Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

So wish I could do this on my 2 door vert!
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Old 14 Sep 2012, 02:30 pm
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Default Re: Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

a pic from '04. Not a kit
I miss that neon yellow and the black light at shows
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FS: '03 GT Elec Blue w/rear suicide doors or '03 auto PCM, S3 turbofold, WGA, 3.5" o2 & 3" DP - make offer
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Old 14 Sep 2012, 03:04 pm
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Default Re: Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by OurPTGT View Post
a pic from '04. Not a kit
I miss that neon yellow and the black light at shows
You just answered a question that I hadn't ask yet.

Another question---do you still have the yellow parts in engine bay and were they painted with just a yellow paint or with a "neon yellow" as you stated? I see you had the aluminum intake painted yellow so the composite you probably switched to is stock black?

Jerry
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Old 14 Sep 2012, 03:30 pm
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Default Re: Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

Awesome Pics
Just goes to show what can be done when you have
Time
Cash
SKills
Freinds
A PT
OurPTGT and wwpptc like this.
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Old 15 Sep 2012, 09:47 am
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Default Re: Write Up: Suicide Rear Doors on a PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwpptc View Post
You just answered a question that I hadn't ask yet.

Another question---do you still have the yellow parts in engine bay and were they painted with just a yellow paint or with a "neon yellow" as you stated? I see you had the aluminum intake painted yellow so the composite you probably switched to is stock black?

Jerry
all of the yellow is gone except for calipers. All metal parts were powdercoated. The color is NEON yellow even the hoses came in neon yellow. We used to hang a black light from the underside of the hood so everything glowed nicely
yes, the composite mani is black
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FS: '03 GT Elec Blue w/rear suicide doors or '03 auto PCM, S3 turbofold, WGA, 3.5" o2 & 3" DP - make offer
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