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  FAQ - Exotic Door Tutorial
   

Lambo, vertical, scissor, suicide, gullwing, butterfly, OEM, regular.... what the heck are all these people talking about!?

It's not hard to get your door type mixed up. Here's the all knowing, all seeing guide to which doors are what.

Your mom's Taurus

OEM, or regular
OEM just means it's what came on the car (Original Equipment Manufacturer). As almost every car in the world opens with a hinge at the front side of the door, swinging out, that type has become synonymous with "OEM" and "regular". Your mom's Taurus... it swings regular.

Car manufacturers decided on this way to enter a car because it really is the most practical way to get in and out of a car. Do we like practical... no. Is it hot? No. Does it ever almost cause accidents because people are rubber necking? No. But it's good for putting groceries in the car, and that's good.

Scissor Door Lamborghini
Notice it goes straight up, low profile from the front.

Scissor, aka lambo, vertical
The most well known of the different doors, our friends at Lamborghini have probably made this door the most well known of exotic doors. The name scissor comes from the way it comes straight down like a pair of hand scissors. Because Lamborghini knew that their door would be opening this way, they have the A-pillar out of the way, and the door comes straight down, just like the blade on your scissors. The pivot point is usually at the top corner of the door, near the A-pillar. It is assisted by a shock to raise the weight of the door.

Gull Wing Delorean
Looks like it's ready to flap,
just like a seagull
Gullwing
Even if you don't think you know what this is, you do. Marty McFly drove a gullwing Delorean in Back to the Future, making it one of the most well known cars in the world.

The gullwing name comes from the profile of the doors open when looking straight at the car. They rise up as if a seagull in mid flight, about to swing its wings down. The pivot point for these doors is above the passenger compartment, where the roof is. This means the roof needs to be nicely supported because the weight of the door will be placed squarely on the top.

If you think about it though.... the gull wing setup is actually pretty common on vehicles... just not for the passenger compartment. Yep, you guessed it... SUV's use this setup for their hatchbacks. The door pivots on the roof, opens straight up, out of the way. Good for loading, but not really what were talking about here :)

Butterfly Mclaren
Notice you see the side of the door because it has rotated forward on the A-pillar angle

Butterfly
Well, if we have seagulls, we need butterflys, right? Yes, your mean $400,000 dollar Supercharged V8 618 HP McLaren SLR has cute butterfly doors. Don't feel bad though... they look incredible. Butterfly wings are close to scissor doors in that there pivot points are very close, and the doors end up in the same area. The difference is that with butterfly the pivot is usually on the a-pillar so that the doors turn towards the front, exposing more of the side of the door towards the front. The profile of a scissor door would be much less from a front angle... a butterfly lets you see the side of the door as it pivots sideways and turns up.

Suicide Door
Notice.... umm, the flat tires?
Suicide
Sounds cool, doesn't it? It is, but dying isn't... so why "Suicide"? Ill tell ya after we explain what it is.

Suicide doors have their pivot on the exact opposite side of "regular/OEM" doors, so they open up "backwards". The most common place you will see this is on newer trucks with extended cabs. Truck companies realized that they could have a bigger opening if they put the hinge on the other side, and now bigger people can squeeze into those little compartments behind the front seats.

Now, that is technically "OEM" because it came like that from the factory, but don't get confused... noones calling it that.

But why "suicide". Well, from what I've been told, they call it suicide because if the car was driving, and you decided to roll out, you be killed by the door smacking into you, whereas a "regular' opening door wouldn't be there to ruin your day with a nice headshot. You know what I'm talking about.... the old James Dean scene where they are playing chicken with a cliff... yeah, you don't want suicide doors in that scene.

Sliding Door
He hits the ramp at 90 miles an hour, just clearing the roof...

Sliding
Yeah, I know. Noone but minivans uses this... but it's still a passenger entry door type, so I'm throwing it in. But alas, ha, Huey helicopters use it.... so they turn out to be maybe the coolest of all. Ha, you didn't see that coming, did you?

With a top speed of 139.15 miles per hour, the Huey may not be as fast as the McLaren, but it can destroy it with it's M-240 7.62mm, GAU-16 .50 cal, GAU-17 7.62mm automatic gun, and 19-shot 2.75" rocket pods. And that makes it the baddest door in the world.

Dihera centra-what?!
These doors sorta rotate up, and out, ... and wow.

Dihedral Synchro-Helix Door Actuation
Yeah, I know. Big words. But these one of a kind doors are on the current fastest street legal car in the world (it just replaces the Macleran F1 car is the fastest production car in the world doing 0-100 kph in 3.5 seconds. In MPH's, thats very fast.

Here's what Koenigsegg says about their Koenigsegg CC doors: A geared rotational pivot operates simultaneously with a parallel arm, in an outward arc. Balanced by gas struts the doors lift easily to allow entry, their refined "flying punch" movement setting the stage. The doors require minimal area around them and above the vehicle, giving complete freedom of access to the car in confined areas.

If that confused you, then how about this... they come out as they rotate up easily. These are not scissor doors in the strict sense... although they do have a similar in motion.


Other ways to get in a vehicle...
I'll skirt the other military ways of getting in and skip the basics because then we could get into cockpits (top loading), tank hatches, even side windows ("dukes of Hazzard 'General Lee' no door opening" style) and all sorts of wacky ways.

I've heard "it would be cool to have suicide lambo doors". This wouldn't work though. "Suicide" is specifically not opening vertically, but normal, only hinging on the opposite side. You could have what would be "reverse lambo doors" which would open vertically, but hinge on the opposite side. These couldnt really be suicide though, because they would be up and out of the way, unable to give you that fatal head whack needed to be true "suicide" doors.

Import Precision VLS
Direct Bolt on Scissor / Vertical Door Conversion

So what is a VLS then?
The VLS most close resembles a scissor door configuration, because the pivot gets the door up and out of the passenger compartment, and puts it where the Lamborghini door is. The biggest difference is that it opens up slightly to allow for using the stock latching mechanism, and to clear the A-pillar. Remember how Lamborghini knew it was going up, so it moved the A-pillar out of the way? Well, us conversion guys weren't so lucky, so we have to go around it. There is some angle out to clear it when up, but because the profile is small, it comes straight down with no rotating, scissor is the best designation.

Some of our competitors have chosen to come out a little, and rotate the door in place. While this helps with the angle, it leaves the door in front of the passenger compartment, so you have to do a sort of sideways cha-cha dance to slide in, and fall into the seat. It also makes the door overlap the fender, which dissallows wide body kits, and makes you more likely to scratch the paint.

We decided getting in and out of the car was important, so we get it MUCH higher. With other doors the bottom left of the door, looking at the passenger side, is all the way down in that corner when the door is up.... Our bottom corner is up above the A-pillar where it belongs!

Wrapping up...
Now you know just about every way to get in the car I could think of in the 20 minutes it took for me to type this up. If you have something to add (my gf pointed out I should explain what OEM stands for) please send it in,a nd I'll update this "exotic car door types FAQ".

-Bill




Main Vertical Door Conversion List

We carrys everal different types and styles of vertical door conversions. Check out our list for the latest updates.


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Our Fiber Glass hoods are of the highest quality... they ship black gel coated, ready to primer and paint. Why fiberglass? CF is expensive, and if you are painting your hood, FG is a great alternative to lose the CF premium. Weight savings are comprable, and fiberglass hoods have been used for years in drag/ all racing and show applications.

  • Our Fiber Glass hoods are 100% made in the USA. We do not use foreign labor nor materials in our manufacturing process. The raw materials are sourced locally and 100% of the manufacturing is done in-house.
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