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Old 05-14-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
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Passenger side grab handle write up-

So the the wife has a bun in the oven, and its getting hard for her to get in and out of the van. I saw that some other inmates here had talked about adding a grab handle, so here's my write up. I searched and didn't see one that completely walked you through it so hopefully this helps when you go to do yours. For reference, my van is a 2000 RB Cargo.

Parts that you will need.
Go to the junk yard and look for a van that has the passenger side grab handle and associated trim piece ($10 at a pick n pull)



you will also need a way to attach the grab handle if you do not already have holes in your A pillar. Enter what Tacoma Screw calls a "Jack Nut", and the hex head bolt that goes with it.



Remove your existing trim on the A pillar. They just pull off, but can be stubborn. I started at the top and it came off fairly easily.

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handle1.JPG   handle9.JPG   handle2.JPG  
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:06 PM   #2
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Re: Passenger side grab handle write up-

here is what it looks like when there are no holes under your A pillar trim



Then you take the new piece of trim and scribe some center lines where the holes are when it is mounted up.



Then remove the trim piece again and transfer those center lines to the edges of the metal of the a pillar so that you can see them when you have your bracket in place.

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handle3.JPG   handle4.JPG   handle5.JPG  
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:15 PM   #3
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Re: Passenger side grab handle write up-

Nice! It can also double as an "oh shit" handle for those occasional bumpy roads.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:16 PM   #4
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Re: Passenger side grab handle write up-

Next grab your bracket and line it up with these holes. I started with marking the hole for the center one because it has some adjustment and you can rotate the bracket to make it fit right.



Make your mark and then take a punch or other pointy object and place it on your mark and tap it to make an indent so that your drill bit has a place to center on. Note I would recommend multiple small taps over one hefty hit for the windows sake. Watch your swing so that you don't hit the window.

Before you drill take some spare cardboard or whatever you have lying around and cover your dash vents so that you don't end up with a bunch of metal shavings in there, and subsequently in your wife's face



Next drill your hole. Use multiple bits to make it easier, and go slow. You cant get the angle exactly right(read 90degrees) with the window in your way, so I put the mark just a little off center so that the drift of the drill bit would end up being close to center.

I chose my final drill bit a little tight for the jack nut so that I could "waller"(the technical term) out the hole to fit just right. Im not sure that this is needed but I wanted it to be as tight as possible.

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handle6.JPG   handle7.5.JPG   handle8.JPG  
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:22 PM   #5
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Re: Passenger side grab handle write up-

then you install your jack nut. It probably could be done with just a ratchet and a lot of pressure, but it was easy with a nut driver.



Note in the picture that you need this jack nut tool, it costs about 3 bucks, but it helps stop the nut from spinning. Once you have it tight it flattens out on the back and there you go.

I would be careful not to over-tighten this with the bit driver, so I used a light trigger finger.

Then I installed the bracket with just one nut and marked out the remaining holes. and I test mounted the trim piece back on to make sure that it would fit. FYI if you screw this up, you can grind the head off and let the piece fall inside your frame and then elongate the hole with the drill bit to fit better. But is better to measure multiple times and drill once.



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handle11.JPG   handle12.JPG   handle15.JPG  
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:27 PM   #6
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Re: Passenger side grab handle write up-

I also mounted the handle up with just one bolt securing it and aligned it so that it was parallel with the line of the door opening. The little rubber cover pieces are flexible and easy to attach, their exact placement is not very critical as they hide any irregularities. Then I removed it and marked the remaining holes for drilling.





repeat the process for the first hole for the next two holes. Place all the hex head bolts in the bracket loosely so that you can tighten them down together to make up for any inconsistencies in your nut placement.

Then I took the handle and cleaned the greasy hand marks that a year or more in the junk yard built up on it and then installed it.

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handle13.JPG   handle16.JPG   handle17.JPG  
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:32 PM   #7
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Re: Passenger side grab handle write up-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapatio
Nice! It can also double as an "oh shit" handle for those occasional bumpy roads.
It certainly can, and she needs that as everything I do seems to cause her to gasp
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:42 PM   #8
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Re: Passenger side grab handle write up-

Great, well documented write-up. I'm a visual person, so pics are always very appreciated.


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Old 05-14-2014, 05:47 PM   #9
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Re: Passenger side grab handle write up-

Dude! You rock! I need to put one on the driver's side. Once you do a lift of some sort, even the minimum 4 inch required for 4x4 the driver tends to start using the steering wheel to climb aboard.

QUESTION: Where did you get the bracket? Is bolted on the donor vehicle or did you have to cut up a donor vehicle A pillar?

QUESTION: Do you think the passenger side bracket can be flipped. (But then I would have to Dremmel out the holes in my existing trim.)
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:48 PM   #10
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Re: Passenger side grab handle write up-

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Great, well documented write-up. I'm a visual person, so pics are always very appreciated.


Herb

Thanks Herb.
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