GET A HANDLE ON GETTING IN

Originally Published in Issue 30 of 4Low Magazine

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By Christian Sturtz, azfreedom4x4@gmail.com

Photos by Christian Sturtz

Lifted vehicles can present several challenges. One of those challenges is getting in. Jeep YJs and TJs can be especially challenging to get in and out of because the floorboard is approximately 6” lower than the door entry height. So, when getting in a YJ or TJ you must lift your feet 6” higher than a same height pickup truck.

One way to aid you getting in and out of your jeep is a set of handles by GraBars. GraBars make handles for YJ, TJ, and JK (2 and 4 door models) Jeeps. GraBars for JL and JT models will be coming soon. GraBars offers several different grip colors to help you put a custom touch on your install. They even offer some limited edition grip styles, including leather.

What we like about GraBars is that they are a 100% American made product. The fit and finish is far superior to the competitors’ knock-off copies. WD Automotive, the producer of GraBars, also gives back to the community and even helps out on a global level, with a school in Uganda.

We are going to cover the install of GraBars handles on a 98-06 Jeep Wrangler. Jeep Wranglers (98-03) installation is the same. However, there are minor differences on the 04-06 models.

The handles on 98-06 Jeeps are the same and use the same bolting locations. On the 04-06 models it simply requires that you drill a hole for the handle to go through the plastic trim (you may also install an optional grommet in this hole). The plastic trim is designed differently in 04-06 models – it runs along and on top of the windshield.

On 98-03 Jeeps you must remove the two bolts that hold the roll bar to the windshield, with a T40 bit. We put threadlock before reinstalling the bolts through the handles.
On 04-06 Jeeps you start by removing the 3 screws from the plastic trim and the screw that goes up through the sun visor, on both sides. On soft-top models, unlatch the front soft-top from the windshield and lift it up, supporting it with a block. On a hardtop model it will be necessary to loosen all the hardtop bolts and remove all but the back one on each side. Then, unlatch the top from the windshield, supporting it with a block.
There is a rubber seal between the windshield and top (on both hard and soft-top models). There is a barbed pushpin clip that goes through that rubber seal into the plastic trim. Also, the corner of the top keys into the plastic trim. This requires the top to be lifted to remove the plastic trim without breaking it or tearing the rubber seal. Use a trim tool to pry the barbed pushpin clip out of the plastic trim. After popping the plastic trim off of the windshield, remove the two T40 bolts that hold the roll bar to the windshield.
Next, we marked out and drilled a 1 ½” hole through the plastic trim for the handles to go through. The handles were slipped through the drilled holes, threadlock was applied, and the handles were bolted into place.
The plastic trim was clipped back into the windshield; the barbed pushpin clip and screws were reinstalled.
The top was re-latched to the windshield and the hardtop was bolted back down (if applicable). Here are two variations of the handles installed on 2 TJs as well as handles installed on a 4-door JK.

There are many applications and colors available for your Jeep.

Sources:

GraBars USA
5208 2ND Avenue South, 2nd Floor
Everett, WA 98203
206.317.4433
www.GraBarsUSA.com

Parts Used:

GraBars:
Purple TJ (1018XP)
Black TJ  (1018)

Other Parts Shown:
Black JK 4-Door (1005)

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