Baja Half Doors with TEAM ZUKI
About a year ago I decided to remove my factory targa bar and beef my roll cage. I really like riding without the targa bar and have decided to leave it off during the spring and summer months. I also prefer running without my doors but wanted a little protection from mud slinging off my Swampers. Since the current aftermarket half doors are designed to be used with targa bar in place, they would not look right on my truck. After emailing Dewey Marler about his soft door conversion I went in search of some Baja Half Doors for a CJ. Yea I know, a Jeep part on a Zuki is a bad thing! Or is it? I figured since I was already running a set of Rancho CJ springs with my Missing Links, it would be OK.
I picked up a set of Baja Half Doors for a CJ7 at Leon Rosser Jeep in Bessemer, AL. After test fitting the soft doors, the first thing that had to be done was to convert the hinge pins on the half doors to match the Zuk. We started by cutting off a section of the Jeep door hinge so that it would line up with the Zuk hinge. Next we welded on the proper size steel sleeves to the half doors that matched up to the Suzuki hinge. Now just like my hard doors, they slipped right over the stock Samurai pins.
The next obstacle was mounting a striker plate for the latches on the half door. The stock Samurai striker does not come close to lining up with the half door latch. Striker plates were included with the half doors but they had to be offset from the doorjamb to line up. By using a couple of steel spacers it brought the striker plate in line with the door latch. If you decide to remount the hard doors, you'll have to remove the half door striker plates. Also you will have to remove and reinstall the seatbelt retractor that is mounted on the side panel in order to bolt up the striker plates. I didn't have to do this since I had already removed mine when I installed my RCI 4 point harness. I plan to rework the strikers in the near future but the spacers we used are working just fine.
Granted the doors are not a perfect match, but for about half the cost of Samurai aftermarket half doors, I can live with the small gaps at the bottom corners. I really like the new look plus the added protection from the elements. This was a simple modification but it did require some welding and drilling, so it's not really a bolt-on. I do like the fact that I didn't have to change the hinges on my Samurai to match the door. Reinstalling the full doors this winter we be a snap!
I?d like to give a special thanks to Rusty at Rusty?s Off Road for doing the welding and cutting for me. One of these days I?m going to buy a welder and learn how to use it! Hummm, Fathers Day is not too far off! I hope the wife and kids reads this part!
See you on the trail!......