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Discussion Starter #1
A friend was kind enough to help me add wings to IKE. Install was actually easy and straigh-forward.... although I was very nervous going into this level of modification.

I altered the instructions a little bit reguarding the L bracket. there is a factory stud nearby that holds the factory L bracket. Its a bit too close to the vertical hinge but if you grind about 1/8inch off the top of the bracket, it fits with the factory stud/nut without interfering with the new hinge.

I had some reservations about buying this, as SmartMadness can confirm. LOL They were kind enough to answer many questions and even send detailed pis of their own car to help me understand what the install would involve and how it would look in the end.

Not much more to tell, so on to the pictures!


IKE without his face!


This is the hinge


IKE has no door!


Hinge installed, door closed


Higne installed, door up


Finished look from the rear


Finshed look form the side


Finished look from the front
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Um... that is a good question. It was done over the span of about 5 hours, but we were all goofing off and took a break for lunch and I vacuumed and chemicalized the pool to open for the season.... so it probably too less than 4 hours if we worked straight thru.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
A couple of friends demo the doors for the camera.
<EMBED src=http://www.youtube.com/v/31lM7qxsqkw&hl=en&fs=1 width=425 height=344 type=application/x-shockwave-flash allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always"></EMBED></EMBED>
 

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Does anyone tried to drive the smart without doors? Looks kinda cool, like a dune buggy.
May be not on the highway, but on A1A around the beach?


CUBE
 

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Wow... I love these doors. I'm just not confident that I'd have the skills to pull off a mod like this.

My biggest reason for not getting them though it kind of personal. See, I'm about the same "build" as the guys in the video. The biggest worry I have about this mod is about how difficult it would be to get in and out of the car once the doors are setup like this. so, if I may ask... Is the fit a little "tighter"? :)
 

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My biggest concern is how much of the door opening you sacrifice - the doors don't swing all that far out - they try to compensate a bit by swinging up, but for some of us that are tall and gravitationally enhanced, it looks like an snug fit to slide in there...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It actually opens to within an inch of the first detent of the stock hinges. When I park in my garage, I could open the doors to the first detent without hitting the wall, now I just graze the wall when opening these outwards.

I, too, am a big guy - sizewise, I am inbetween my friends in the video. Both Cary and Scott are able to get in and out of my car just fine. Cary, who owns a Kia Soul, wants a set for his Soul now, LOL

I used to open my doors to the first detent about 90% of the time. The doors were actually too long to open fully in a normal parking spot.

Its quite easy to get in and out with the doors up or down..... but I have to say, itsfunny to get out and have the door panel at face level, LOL just something to get used to.


I have had great reactions to the doors. The Dealer here in VB thinks they are awesome!
 

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One of the primary things that concerns me when seeing this modification is what potential impact it has on the safety of the car in a crash.
 

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Thanks for the info intocoasters... now I have to think about it. :)

One of the primary things that concerns me when seeing this modification is what potential impact it has on the safety of the car in a crash.
Well, considering the normal hinge came off in one of the five crashes, I'm betting this doesn't do much worse. But even if it does, the main structure of the door and the frame won't change. This just changes a piano style hinge with a slightly more complex two hinge system. It can't be weaker than what it's replacing...
 

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Well, considering the normal hinge came off in one of the five crashes, I'm betting this doesn't do much worse. But even if it does, the main structure of the door and the frame won't change. This just changes a piano style hinge with a slightly more complex two hinge system. It can't be weaker than what it's replacing...
My understanding is that the hinge held up fine, and that the door unlatched (though this may be related to an issue with the early door latch mechanisms that also kept some doors from closing). I'm not saying with certainty that the replacement hinges adversely affect safety, just that it's worth giving some thought to.

"It can't be weaker than what it's replacing..." somehow brings to mind another more well-known statement: "That guy's gotta stop... He'll see us."
 

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Jeez, when you modify a car in any way you give up any expectation that it's going to react the way it did as designed. I'm sure the owner accepts the risk. This door thing isn't for me, but doesn't look nearly as bad as the same thing done to a Ford truck.
 

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One of the primary things that concerns me when seeing this modification is what potential impact it has on the safety of the car in a crash.
I don't think it would have any impact on safety in a crash. It is a hinge that holds the door on. The lock on the right keeps the door latched. The bars in the doors are not modified in any way so don't see how a side impact would be affected. As for another crash. Who knows, I don't think it would impact it any though.

As for the doors, I still don't see me getting them right now. Maybe when my business takes off, and I have no bills and just want toys, then I migth be so inclined.

Looks good though.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you John H!

RE: safety

there is a cut away Smart chassis at our dealer. There is not much in the door as far as I can see. With the vertical hinge in place and the door closed, the door seats in the frame the same way - there would be very little difference in a side impact. A front impact.... I dont know. I imagine these hinges could hold up well. The stock hinges are lightweight and were not torqued as tight as you would imagine. The new hinges are about 16 pounds a piece.

I know, I know weight doesnt necessarily mean better quality. It is, however, bolted into the same holes as the stock hinges and there is no cutting of the structure of the car.

the bottom line for me:

I bought this car based on looks first, the safety and comfort were secondary concerns. I put these doors on the car for looks, again safety was a secondary concern. Ever since Cube mention it, I am entertaining the idea of driving around without doors - just to see what is feels like :)

I hear "I wouldn't want to get in a crash in that thing" on a weekly basis.... The truth is, neither would I. I don't want to get in a crash in any vehicle.

I am sure that, in the end, this car is still safer than my Metro convertiable of my Fiero... so its a step up in many many way.

Remember, drive safely and have fun!
 

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maybe someone can make half doors like on the razor prototype... the doors were just a cover for the beam that runs horizontally from the hinge to the door pin near the door handle
 

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One of the primary things that concerns me when seeing this modification is what potential impact it has on the safety of the car in a crash.

The Vertical Doors, Inc. hinges are a whole lot more butch than the OEM door hinges. If there's an issue with the doors in a collision, I rather think it'd be caused by the latch and/or striker failing at the rear of the door, rather than the lambo-hinge failing at the front.

JMHO, &c.
 
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