Mods - Exterior Discussion related to the looks of the exterior of the HHR.

Rear Window & Door Handle Delete a.k.a. Panel Conversion

Old 01-31-2019, 11:48 AM
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Rear Window & Door Handle Delete a.k.a. Panel Conversion

Let me start by saying I don't have much luck using the search function on any forums but especially here. The exception would be if I can boil it down to a single word. My searches all came up empty.

Having said that, I've been searching for information on converting a standard HHR to a full panel, at least externally. This of course would, at the very least, mean welding sheet metal in to fill the voids left by removing the glass and rear door handles. For what I need, painting the glass or filling the voids with fiberglass won't work.

So, I'm asking the forum veterans if they know of a thread that covers this. I know some will say "just buy a panel" but that's not going to help me so please don't.

I may be doing this for multiple HHRs and other vehicles for a business strategy I'm working on so purchasing an English Wheeling machine may be in my future.

If it all goes to plan, would anyone be interested in buying a set of blanking panels to convert you HHR into a panel?
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:57 AM
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Add the panel doors to this idea from a member long ago

https://www.chevyhhr.net/forums/how-...2-panel-23392/
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:33 PM
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Figuring the latches and poppers would be the big challenge. I know there is an extra relay box for them. Modders have been doing that for years.

Long time ago, I think I recall a company selling panels fort the rear windows, that would be fairly easy to do; just duplicate the glass panel& roll the edges. Wouldn't need welding or filling. Glued in with urethane window adhesive.
Could probably figure something similar with the door windows easy enough.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:29 AM
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Full disclosure. I'm planning on doing a somewhat unique form of car advertising. Because of the nature of the business strategy, it's imperative that the window openings are filled with steel panels, welded in and must be as smooth as a factory built panel with the bare minimum of filler. The HHR panel offers an eye catching shape along with a reasonably large amount of advertising space. Most everyone here in north America has seen HHRs, but the panel version catches the eye without taking all the attention...sort of like snapping your fingers in a room full of people or ringing a wine glass before proposing a toast.

The reasons for wanting to start with a non-panel are...better availability, better option packages, easier to find with lower mileage and that I neither need nor want the storage compartments that displace the rear seat.

If my idea takes off, I may need several of them and don't want to drive hundreds of miles to check them out, or pay four figures to have them delivered.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by motorhedfred View Post
(snip)
but the panel version catches the eye without taking all the attention...sort of like snapping your fingers in a room full of people or ringing a wine glass before proposing a toast.

The reasons for wanting to start with a non-panel are...better availability, better option packages, easier to find with lower mileage and that I neither need nor want the storage compartments that displace the rear seat.
If my idea takes off, I may need several of them and don't want to drive hundreds of miles to check them out, or pay four figures to have them delivered.
Agree about Panels. But your comment of regular HHRs' have "better option packages" ? Panels came in LS (base) 1LT & what I have, loaded 2LT, then then the SS Panels.

But the 2LT Panels are fully loaded out the gate...

Anyhow good luck on your venture. Hope you are good at welding thin skin. There is a member on here that is parting out many HHRs. Maybe he has some complete ones that you could start out on.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by sleeper View Post
Agree about Panels. But your comment of regular HHRs' have "better option packages" ? Panels came in LS (base) 1LT & what I have, loaded 2LT, then then the SS Panels.

But the 2LT Panels are fully loaded out the gate...
I know about them being available, they're anything but plentiful however. I've wanted an English Wheeling machine for a long time anyway so...

Thanks to everyone for your input.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by sleeper View Post
There is a member on here that is parting out many HHRs. Maybe he has some complete ones that you could start out on.
So I went looking someone parting our HHRs and look what I found that the search function couldn't.

https://www.chevyhhr.net/forums/classifieds-%7C-buy-%7C-sell-%7C-trade-%7C-wanted-ads-16/2010-hhr-ss-panel-conversion-60720/

Hopefully he's still an active member and doesn't mind me picking his brain a little for metal forming advice.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:07 PM
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Try a PM to hellshotrod, he is the guy with a yard full.

I don't think an English wheel is necessary, just basic weld/grind/paint. None of the window sills are bowed. Maybe a bit to put a reinforcement in the larger parts.

Any kid that took autobody for shop could do it easily.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by donbrew View Post
None of the window sills are bowed. {They may not look it at a glance, but I checked all four windows with a Starett steel ruler as a straight edge and they all have a bow at the bottom And top.} Maybe a bit to put a reinforcement in the larger parts.

Any kid that took autobody for shop could do it easily.
doubtful, unless the young man is very talented
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:44 PM
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so easy to do , iv done maybe 40 plus over the years , don't waste your funds on a wheel just buy a good mig and make some patterns if u use the window rear doors u can keep the inside panels which is nice as too door pulls and arm rests , just make a insert for were the window would have been my wife made nice padded inserts for the qtr windows and doors the worked and look great , if u need info pm me I'm doing a chopped panel now so any thing can be done this is what I'm starting with it will be a 2 door panel chopped 5 inches more to come
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