We have seen a lot of discussion recently regarding doors flying off at WCF this past weekend. We have also seen that our quick release door hinges have come up in the conversation a few times. We want to make it very clear that there are many cars running our door hinges on race days without any problems including SpeedFactory Tuning & Fabrication 200+MPH Outlaw Civic. It is very important to note that the car doors must be adjusted and fitted perfectly and tight in the door frame of the chassis. Failure to do so could leave gaps where air can start to pull the door away from the frame. Proper fitment is even more crucial because lexan windows and window latches (to hold in the top of the door) are not allowed in many classes.
If you watch the videos of the cars that had some problems, not just from this weekend but other videos of doors coming off cars, you'll notice that in all of these situations, the top of the door starts to pull open as the car accelerates down the track. Many aftermarket doors don’t have the same fitment as OEM and these will often need extra work in order to get them to sit perfectly. Gaps need to be avoided because doors that are not sitting perfectly flush will increase drag, which is both unsafe and will also slow the car down. Having to retain glass in fibgerglass/carbon doors adds a lot of weight to the top of the door and at this speed there is a lot of force being applied to the now top heavy door.
Below are a few videos. Understand that our hinges are not a new idea. We originally designed a set for our race cars years ago. There are many cars are racing every weekend with their own quick release hinges. Great video showing in car of what it looks like as the speed simply pulls a door open when not seated properly.
It might be hard to see but in this video you'll notice the door is pulling open at the top as the car goes down the track.
Hard again to see with the vibration, but in this video take a look at the door and the B pillar. You should be able to see the door gap opening and closing.
We will be adding a new feature to our door hinge design that incorporates a lock into the hinges. This will only take you so far though as a door flapping as you go down the track is only going to increase drag and only hold together for so long. The ideal scenario is well fitted door and lexan windows and windows latches for safety. We know that IMPORT VS DOMESTIC has already commented on the matter after WCF and we have be informed that cars will now be able to use lexan windows. We just hope that other events will follow suit. We have spoken to others in the industry who are big advocates for lexan windows for safety and hopefully we will see this as an option for all events very soon.