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How to make a set of half doors
 
 
In this section, we will show you an example of "how to make a set of half doors" from scratch. A good set of half doors can increase your visability while your out on the trail. These particular doors will be made of a set of factory doors. They are fully functional, and cost effective.
 
WARNING: This is not to be attempted by those who are not skilled with hand tools. This is moderately difficult, and there are extremely sharp edges. I recommend either a good set of gloves, or it to be completed by skilled personnel. There is alot of precision cuts, measuring, and fabrication. If your still determind to attempt, I would encourage practicing on a scrap door first. After they are cut, it is permanent.
 
What you will need:
1 - good sharp set of tin shears                                                                      1 - mirror (minimum)
1 - hacksaw                                                                                                      1 - large piece sheet metal
1 - pair pliers                                                                                                   2 - door handles (your choice of style)
1 - tape measure                                                                                              1 - can body filler
2 - highly visable markers or soap stone (2 different colors)                        1 - set of common hand tools (wrenches, etc.)
1 - strait edge
2 - doors (1 driver, 1 passenger)
 
 
 
1) Start by marking out lines on the door. This will be the
    approximate location of the cuts. Estabolish how you
    would like the door to look (IMPORTANT: in order for
    door to be functional, you must retain the latch mechanism
    and hinges).
 
 
2) Using the tape measure, go to the truck that the doors
     are intended for. You will need measurements as to
     where the panel will be inside (IMPORTANT: just
     remember that the outside skin hangs down further
     than the inside).
 
 
3) Next compare your measurements to the markings you
    made earlier on the door. Mark the new measurements
    on the door using the different color. Compare the 2
    different markings, and use either the new or difference
    between the two.
 
 
4) Using the strait edge, mark out the final cut lines. These
     are the lines that you will actually be cutting. Next,
     remove all glass and items that will not be retained. You
     may want to retain the inner skin to cover the inner panel.
    (IMPORTANT: if the door is equipped with structural
     supports, you may want to retain those)
 
 
5) Using the pair of shears, carefully cut along the lines. Be
     sure to cut on the side where it will be removed. Excess
     metal can be trimmed later to assure a strait line.
 
 
6) Transfer markings to the reverse side of the door. These will
     have to be in line with the outer panel. (IMPORTANT: these
     measurements will have to be taken from the jamb, and window
     openings).
 
 
7) With open access to the inside of the door now available,
       remove any excess parts. Power lock assemblys, window
      motors, extra linkages, and unused hardware.
 
 
8) Once again using the strait edge, mark out strait lines on the
     inner panel of the door. This side will be more diificult, due
     mainly in part to the structural improvement bends in the
     steel. These are to make the flat panel stronger, allow for
     inside access, and cut down on sharp edges.
 
 
9) Very carefully, cut away on the inner panel. This side will be
     alot tougher, and contains more sharp edges. The depressions
     make cutting the door more difficult. When this occurs, the
     hacksaw can alleviate complications. (IMPORTANT: use
     the pliers to pull on the panel. Those bends will not allow
     this side to move like the outside. Those edges are extremely
     sharp, and the pliers will help prevent cuts)
 
 
10) Hang the door where it will simulate being on the vehicle.
      Check the height of the two sides to make sure they're even.
 
 
11) This is the point where you will make any trimming. Keep
       all the edges strait as possible. This is a finishing cut, and
      the line estabolished will set the tone for the trim work.
 
 
12) Estabolish where you would like the door handle to be
       mounted. Linkages or cables will have to be used to
       operate the latch assembly. Also, now is the time to
       settle on a handle design or type.
 
 
13) Choose a mirror style, and mount it to the door BEFORE
       it is closed up. These are not only required to be legal, but
       are helpful on the trail.
 
 
14) OPTIONAL: This is the point that presents itself, as an
      opportunity to reinforce the door. One may add a stringer
      of sorts (a lateral rib for structural integrity) to make the
      door more rigid. The drawback, is that more steel adds
      weight. I will be using expand - a - foam. This fills in all
      air pockets, preventing the door from caving in. This will
      make denting the door more difficult, add strength, and not
      add very much weight. That is the route I took, but the
      decision of what you do is yours.
     
 
15) Fabricate the cover panel for the opening. This does not
       have to be removeable, but a removeable panel will have
       to be installed on the inside if it is not. After it is fabricated,
       mount the opener handle to the panel. (NOTE: i recommend
       using a removeable panel on the inside of the door, as
       originally designed. This promotes a cleaner finish).
 
 
16) After cover panels are mounted. Using body filler, smooth
      rough edges to make for a factory appearance. If a removeable
      cover panel was installed, do not use filler on that panel.
 
 
17) This is entirely up to the person whom the door is for. If
       you would like to make a cover panel (such as an interior
      door skin), the material and style is entirely up to you. I will
      not be showing how to design this piece, as per different
      materials available. (NOTE: this is the point where if you
      saved the original door skins, you may want to cut those down
      to cover the inside. They are already contoured to match the
      door. One need only to notch them to match the cuts.)
 
 
18) For decerative purposes, one may opt to paint these to match
      their vehicle. This would be the point at which the opportunity
      would present itself.