Auto Dealership Job: No Cars Involved!

Oct. 9, 2023
Large drive-in showroom doors get a continuous hinge upgrade

Today’s jobsite involves two doors that are attached together at a car dealership (Photo 1). One butt-style continuous hinge is mounted on the left door, but unfortunately it is not holding the door up all the way. We’ve got about a three-quarter of an inch – maybe more – of play up in the top. (Photo 2)

Note that this opening is two doors put together (Photo 3). They’ve actually sandwiched two doors and made them into one. Why they wanted to do that, I don’t know. I guess it was cheaper than having one large door. The opening needs to be wide enough for them to drive vehicles into the showroom.

We’re going to have to remove the butt hinge and put a surface-mount continuous hinge on it, and hopefully that will take care of the problem.

The two larger doors (acting as one) shut and lock in place and then the single door on the right also locks.

This is going to be a complicated project because of the length of the doors and the weight of the doors. This is also a great opportunity to sell continuous hinges to car dealerships. 

We have the frame tied up all the way tight along the top edge now and we have our proper reveal between the two doors. You’ll notice the giant gap on the left. With the butt hinge that we are replacing, there is no adjustment for that.

The SL57 is the only hinge that will allow us to have a tapered reveal in that side and actually compensate for the frame being out of square. That is the problem here. This door is so heavy that it began to pull this frame out of square because we’re hanging two doors on one hinge. Now we’ll get this adjusted properly and fix it.

In photo 5, Chris has the door. We didn’t have to drop it fully; we just leaned it on its edge (Photo 6). We started to get our airbags underneath and then we were able to remove the existing butt hinge.

The butt hinge we removed is a continuous hinge and, in theory, would work on this door. But it doesn’t work when you can’t account for the sloppiness and the out-of-squareness of the frame. That style of hinge is only going to follow the frame. If the frame is bent down, that’s going to carry out that angle all the way across the horizon of the frame and the door.

The SL57 allows up to taper that gap and have a larger gap at the bottom and a smaller gap at the top to solve that problem.

That worked out well. We pushed the left side all the way up and it is perfectly flush and even. Testing the locks with the key, the doors open and reclose smoothly. Nothing hangs up or drags. Mission accomplished.

Again, car dealerships are great potential customers. These oversized doors are extremely common because they need to have the oversized doors to drive cars in and out of the showroom.

Photo 15  shows a solid glass door. The panel on the right is also a door. That took a Select Hinge SL57 heavy-duty continuous hinge, and now all of these doors are working flawlessly.

We installed continuous hinges across every external door at this dealership. The customer is extremely happy that we solved all their issues for a lifetime. They come with a lifetime warranty. For more information about Select SL57 continuous hinges, contact your locksmith distributor or visit

To watch a video of this installation, scan the QR code or go to 

Wayne Winton is the owner of Tri-County Locksmith Services, located in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. For more information, check out Wayne’ and