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  1. #1
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    Question Pillarless Vehicles- Problems?

    We're starting to see in Australia, what I call a "pillarless car", such as this Dodge Ram 2500.

    I'm assuming the front face of the rear door is structured in such a way that it replaces what would normally be the B pillar, or do we just consider this vehicle to have an A pillar at the front and a B pillar at the rear?

    Are we likely to encounter problems during extrication with these?
    Problems such as:
    * Popping doors with spreaders- any harder or easier?
    * Cutting this rear door around the pillar area?
    * What about cutting the seat to lay it back- where is the seat belt retractor mechanism hidden? (Up high or down low?)
    * Any hidden dangers?
    * Any one encountered these in extrication and had problems?
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  2. #2
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    Another picture of the rear door closed and the seat belt structure in the seat....

    (And you Yanks reckon our steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car- give me a break! We didn't invent this!!!!)
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  3. #3
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    Hey, Luke.

    I don't have answers, just more questions.

    Is the seat belt attached to the body or frame anywhere? Or is it fully enclosed within the seat? I can't tell from the pictures.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  4. #4
    Forum Member firefighter26's Avatar
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    Well, I have not actually encountered this yet, but I do have some ideas to throw out.

    Because there is no "B" pillar where there traditionally would be one, it becomes obvious that the front and rear doors latch together. The rear door having its hinges where traditionally the "C" post will be. When I first started to learning extrication (I have never stopped learning) I was told that the posts where given their A, B, C, identifications starting at the front of the vehicle and working towards the rear. The question was brought up, what about something like a mini-van, or bus. The same thing applies, start at the front with the A post, work back to the last post, each with their own designation (in order). Since these types of vehicles lack a traditional B post, I would apply the same rules I was taught meaning what would traditionally be called the C post would now be called the B post. Does that make any sense?

    Ok, back to where I was. Because the doors latch together, I can see a number of disadvantages and advantages to this (feel free to add some if you have any).

    Placing your spreaders between them and displacing them against each other, provided both sets of hinges are still working, will give you basically two doors for the price of one. Once you pop the pin, both doors should be able to swing open. This will give you good access to the PT. With how the doors the open, it would be nothing to hyper-extend them and tie them off, giving you almost the same about of room as if you took the "B" post and walked the side wall away (I believe we talked about this at length last week).
    However, the doors could also work against each other, IE: with a front end collision, they could most certainly become jammed into each other, making the displacement and removal tougher because they are working against each other. Also, with no pillar to work with, it may take more time to find a good purchase point with the tool.

    Looking at the structural make up of the vehicle it could be seen that they may also be more prone to opening upon impact because both doors to not have their own latch points on their own pillars. A front corner impact could bend the frame enough to actually open the doors on the other side of the vehicle.
    When it comes to actually getting in and cutting the hinges, I wouldn't think it would be to different. Because the rear door opens opposite of what everyone is used to just means the hinges are pointing the wrong the way. That just takes time to get used to... sorta like having the steering wheel on the other side of vehicle (sorry man, couldn't resist).

    I don't know about seat belt retractor locations etc, etc, but I would assume that the manufacturer would have some information on these... however, phoning up Dodge's corporate headquarters at 2am on an Tuesday morning to ask might not work all that well... We don't have a rescuer's guide right now, but we are looking at getting one this year, so I assume that one of those, or their yearly updates, would have all sorts of information on these things.

    Those are pretty much my thoughts. As I mentioned, I have never had the opportunity to play around with one, so my ideas my be way off. Hopefully they c
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I believe that along with the normal "Nader" latch in the middle of the door, there are other latches at either the top and/or bottom of the doors. This would be evident by the fact that when the front door is opened, the back door is still latched and not free swinging. Also have not run into one of these yet, but have seen them on the road quite often.

  6. #6
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    Default Seatbelts

    The seatbelt is fully encapsulated within the seat...
    Luke

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    Forum Member firefighter26's Avatar
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    Good point Bones, I missed that in my original reply... I guess then, with top and/or bottom latches, displacing the door isn't going to be as orthodox as I assumed. However, we all know that there is not such thing as a standard run.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bones
    I believe that along with the normal "Nader" latch in the middle of the door, there are other latches at either the top and/or bottom of the doors. This would be evident by the fact that when the front door is opened, the back door is still latched and not free swinging. Also have not run into one of these yet, but have seen them on the road quite often.
    To further support this idea:
    1) There is a door handle visible in the rear door (easier to see in picture 2)
    2) In picture 1 - you can almost make out some type of latching mechanism at the bottom of the rear door and the corresponding "nader pin" (looks more like a U) along the bottom of the door line just behind the drivers seat (Hmm - felt funny saying driver and looking at the right side of the vehicle )


    Also - there is a still picture of a front end crash test on the 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 4 Dr. located at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/NCAP/Cars/1527.html (Not a very great one though)


    BTW - Lutan - what part of Melbourne are you from ?? My wife is from Lara and pulled a short stint in the SES before coming over to the U.S. (Contact via e-mail if you do not wish to post publicly n2dfire@hotmail.com)
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
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  9. #9
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    Let us not forget the 3 Door Saturn cars. Same problem, no B pillar.

  10. #10
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    Question

    I'll get a few more pix this afternoon to ahow the latching system on that door/pillar and also the seatbelt configuration.

    Another question, if you absolutely had to, do you think you could do a dash roll with a ram off that rear door/pillar?


    Also, this vehicle when it was imported into Australia, the steering wheel was on the WRONG side and had to be converted to right hand drive, which must make it the RIGHT side to be driving from!!!!!
    Last edited by lutan1; 04-04-2002 at 04:18 PM.
    Luke

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber truckman38's Avatar
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    we just had an extrication on a chevy model with the "suicide door" last friday.

    the truck was wedged under a semi trailer up until the edge of the dash. we did not have much of a problem removeing the doors(the impact did most of that for us) the issue was like lutan said doing the dash roll. there was no place for the ram, we tried useing 2 rams and an L and it didnt work. in the end we used a come-along and a chain. it was tricky but we got it.

    there are some pictures of the wreck at our web page www.ci.roseville.mn.us/fire in the whats new? section under recent incidents.

    why cant these things just come with a key like sardine cans?

    good luck
    Stay Safe! Truckman38 Firefighter/EMT
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  12. #12
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    Talking Grasshoppers....

    OK Grasshoppers, gather around and drink from the fountain of knowledge....

    I have taken a few more photos and have answered some of my own questions and probably some for others as well.

    Hope these help!


    The pic below is of the retractor mechanism on the seat. It is mounted low, on the base of the seat, on the inside of the hinging mechanism.
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  13. #13
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    The pic below is of the latching mechanism for top of the rear door/b pillar.

    Based on this photo and the ones following, I wouldn't try a dash roll on this. It would only end up popping as per the nada bolt on any door....
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  14. #14
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    This pic is of the top of the rear door/b pillar latching mechanism...
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  15. #15
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    The pic below is of the latching mechanism for the base of the rear door/b pillar....
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  16. #16
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    The pic below is of the latching mechanism on the bottom of the rear door/b pillar....
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  17. #17
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    The pic below is the front door hinges.

    Nice and easy to cut if needed!
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  18. #18
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    The pic below is of the rear door hinges.

    Once again, nice and easy to cut if needed!
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  19. #19
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    Found this some time ago in the internet: How to pick "Door No. 3"
    Jorg Heck
    Airbag&Co, Germany/Austria
    http://airbag.feuerwehr.org

  20. #20
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    Default Well done Joerg!

    Great article Joerg!

    If you're following this post, have a look at the article Joerg has linked to. Got some good pix, too!

    I've never even thought of a horizontal spread, we've always gone for a vertical spread. Appears to work great, especially on this style of vehicle....
    Luke

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