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Grab handle without Wedges?
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:58 pm    Post subject: Grab handle without Wedges? Reply with quote

Anyone install a Grab Handle without using the Wedges that seem to be required?
If so what did you use instead and how did you do it?
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davideric9
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you talking about the handles on the "A" pillars by the windshield or on the "B" pillars by the sliding door. Why do this without the wedges? They make the handle set flat and provide the anchor for the screws. I have many of these that I am not using, do you need some?
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:40 pm    Post subject: It's Not QUITE That Easy... Reply with quote

After I mentioned my own plan to do this mod, I got a nice note from a fellow Sambanista, Levi, offering his help--and the wedges! He wouldn't let me give him anything but my thanks, but he got those and then some when the envelope arrived with those in it.

The catch is... There are wedges and wedges. The ones on the 'B' passenger's side pillar are angled to fit the pillar. The ones I got from Levi I soon realized... Weren't. When I matched their position to the ones on the 'B' pillar, I realized that, for one, the angle of my 2nd handle wouldn't be the same as the 1st, and, for another, the wedges wouldn't fit in the space between the windshield and the end of the pillar.

Marking the holes was fairly easy, I took the handle I had (Levi also sent me the wedges to cover the screw holes) and marked through it with a china marker. Then I used a drill with a 'rod stop' to drill 4 1/8" pilot holes, and pushed a wire through to move the BIG electrical cable running down the pillar away. It had a habit of breaking loose and hurling itself against the point of the drill, during all the fun that happened after, but I don't think I quite got through all the insulation.

One fun thing--those wedges took some BIG holes before I got the wedges into place, and by the end of the process the huge big bits I was using--a 7/16 was just a bit too small--stuck out further than the rod stop could go, and every time the drill would just LUNGE into the pillar as it cut. I had to wedge a pen into the enlarging holes to try and keep that cable away from the holes.

I think I should have tried it without the wedges. I had to put a cutting wheel on the Dremel and slice off the sides nearest the windshield to get them to fit. With suffering, and a lot of metal shavings, in the end, they did! The handle is at a slightly different angle than the angled one on the other side, but it is firm, and it is useful, which is something. But I wonder if the monster sheet metal screws I used, stainless steel for good measure, would have done as well holding the flat base of the handle against the flat surface of the pillar.

But, if you had the RIGHT wedges... and what happened to me doesn't diminish the sincerity of my thanks to Levi a whit. The installation (pictures Sunday or soon thereafter) does look very good, you can't see the cut-off sides of the wedges. I haven't had a lot of chances to use the new handle yet, but, it is nice to shift at awkward moments in the driver's seat.

I just think the screws in small enough holes would have held as well. The ends of the screws, though, are shielded by the plastic ends of the wedges, which might keep them from abrading those wires still in the pillar.

Best!
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:07 pm    Post subject: Re: It's Not QUITE That Easy... Reply with quote

msinabottle wrote:
The catch is... There are wedges and wedges. The ones on the 'B' passenger's side pillar are angled to fit the pillar. The ones I got from Levi I soon realized... Weren't.

I am confused. Where did you / do you want to mount this handle?

It seems like you want to add another B pillar handle. Behind your driver seat?

Most of us want to add one to the driver A pillar. Seems you likely got A pillar wedges.

What's the deal?
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:20 pm    Post subject: Driver's Side Reply with quote

By 'This Mod' I meant 'a grab handle on the Driver's Side pillar.' It's all mounted. I'll have a picture to show you exactly what I meant soon, but the main point is that the wedges I used didn't match the angle of the handle over on the passenger's side.

The new handle on the driver's side is QUITE usable and doesn't look weird, I'm just suggesting that people either forgo the wedges or use the right ones, or telling those who end up with the un-angled ones, they had a curved bottom, how to get those to work.

Allesklar?

Best!
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You really do need the wedges if you mount another grab handle
on the drivers' side "A" pillar. It would be as if the passengers'
handle were flipped over to the drivers' side to make it look right
and be secure.

I also installed a grab handle on the sliding door with wedges. It looks
as if it were there all along and works terrific.

You want to be very careful if you mount a handle on the drivers' "A" pillar as not to drill into the wires that are running up through it.
Dammaging these wires will create another project for you, that you can avoid.

Here's some pics of my finished projects.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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The Salt
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pics! Where did you get your handles?
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Salt wrote:
Great pics! Where did you get your handles?


Drivers' side handle from Samba member Sleepyjoe
Drivers' side wedges from Samba member Davideric9
Slider from Ebay, wedges included.

Look in the classifieds, but make sure you ask about the wedges.
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The Salt
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha thanks!
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Winston's Handle Reply with quote

Here are the pictures of the handle I installed on Winston's driver's side pillar. I think it would have worked without the wedges, but, I used them. It doesn't look too bad, for a fact:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


In this shot, you can see where I had to use the Dremel to cut off the lips of the wedges I used to get them to fit in the room I had on the pillar. Still doesn't look too bad:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


There's a BIT of flex, as much from the handle, I think. I'm used to doing without it, but it does help with that lift and squirm behind Winston's big steering wheel.

Best!
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 2:54 am    Post subject: Re: Winston's Handle Reply with quote

msinabottle wrote:
Here are the pictures of the handle I installed on Winston's driver's side pillar. I think it would have worked without the wedges, but, I used them. It doesn't look too bad, for a fact:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


In this shot, you can see where I had to use the Dremel to cut off the lips of the wedges I used to get them to fit in the room I had on the pillar. Still doesn't look too bad:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


There's a BIT of flex, as much from the handle, I think. I'm used to doing without it, but it does help with that lift and squirm behind Winston's big steering wheel.

Best!


I am reading your post and it sounds as though you may have put this grab handle upside down. If you took the one from the passenger side and mounted it on the drivers' side as an example. The top of the passenger side grab handle would be the bottom of the drivers side and the opposite for the bottom passenger.

The easiest way that I found to mount my drivers side was to take off the passenger side and put a piece of masking tape on the collumn. Marking the length from the top of the collumn to the top hole of the grab handle. Then marking this same length from the bottom hole of the grab handle, as this would be my top hole on the driver side. Then I took a pencil and shaded in where all the holes are and for added measure I measure them all for one another just to make sure they were even lengths.

By taking off the passenger side, you'll take out the guess work as to what the final size of drill bit will be also. I only found one chain store that had drill bit stop collars in my area and that was Lowes. These are invaluable when drilling into any piece that you are unsure of what's behind it i.e. wires etc..

Your top wedge does not appear to be set in right. It looks as if the handle has some play in that area, I wouldn't trust that to hold the weight of a man if it's loose. Sooner or later it my let go. The wedges really make the handle more supportive.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 11:49 am    Post subject: Okay... Reply with quote

I could find no difference in either the handle or the wedges--the wedges were identical, the handle was symmetrical. I measured from the top of the wedge on the passenger's side and made the same measurement for the top of my wedge on the driver's side. I used a China Marker to make the marks for the position of my wedges and the holes for them.

If the handle had been asymmetrical, it would not have lined up with the wedges in one position, it lined up with the wedges in either position. It's possible I had two lower or two upper wedges--they were what I had, I told folks how I got them to work.

I used a drill stop rod to keep the drill from penetrating too far, but the larger bits were longer than the stop rod allowed. A stop collar would have been nice, I didn't have one. I was working my way up to the minimum size hole that would fit, and I didn't want to risk the old plastic of my other grab handle by removing it.

There is some flex in the handle, there is no play in the handle against the van. It is quite firm to the touch.

I weigh close to 200 lbs., the handle held my weight in both tests and usage.

Best!
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Okay... Reply with quote

msinabottle wrote:
I could find no difference in either the handle or the wedges--the wedges were identical

Best!


There are two different part numbers for the wedges, 251.857.615 and 251.857.616.

The numbers are on the back of the wedges, maybe you do have two of the same?
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 12:42 pm    Post subject: No 'Maybe.' Reply with quote

There was no maybe, the part numbers were identical. Your posts are excellent and your installation far better than mine, I was merely pointing out what I had to work with, and how I made it happen.

I do think the screws alone would have been enough to hold the handle in place.

Best!
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, a fella can only do what he can, with what he's got.
Glad to see it in use instead of sitting in a box in my garage for the next 15 years. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: Shorten the big screws Reply with quote

Use caution w/ the two bigger screws. I installed a passenger grab handle w/ all of its original hardware onto the driver's A pillar, in a location that matched the right side.
After I screwed them in, I then noticed the large screws had dimpled and chipped the outer sheet metal! D'Oh! Recommend grinding 3/32" or so off the tips of those screws for clearance, or at least use two washers under both of their heads.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:27 pm    Post subject: VW Vanagon Grab Handle Wedges Reply with quote

Does anyone have a set of the VW Vanagon Grab Handle Wedges that I can purchase. Like others on this string, I'm looking to install it on the drivers side of my 1987 Vanagon Westy.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Vanagon Grab Handle Wedges Reply with quote

shikingb wrote:
Does anyone have a set of the VW Vanagon Grab Handle Wedges that I can purchase. Like others on this string, I'm looking to install it on the drivers side of my 1987 Vanagon Westy.


Likewise. I like the ease of entry on the passenger side and wish I had it on the driver's
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:09 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Vanagon Grab Handle Wedges Reply with quote

shikingb wrote:
Does anyone have a set of the VW Vanagon Grab Handle Wedges that I can purchase. Like others on this string, I'm looking to install it on the drivers side of my 1987 Vanagon Westy.

try jason, good guy reasonable prices, been here in NCal for yrs doing honest business
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1202508
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another grabber option:

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