Visitor # 35669 since 28.AUG.2001
With taller tires, higher springs, and some body lift, getting into my truck is getting tricky, especially when you are trying to climb back in after checking the tricky off-camber spot you've gotten yourself into! It is times like this that I've wanted a nice grab handle above the driver's side door so I don't have to pull on the steering wheel.
Anyway, on the passenger side, the factory grab handle comes in quite handy. Unfortunately, the factory did not install one on the driver's side. I wagered that since the early 4Runners were designed for both left- and right-hand drive, the factory might have designed in mounting holes on the driver's side for a handle. I didn't feel like going to a wrecking yard to look for a handle, but I found an unused one in my truck. There are two handles in the rear seat area, one on each side. I found the one on the driver's side was never used, so I removed it. In the rear, the handle screws into the fiberglass of the shell with a wood screw, while in front, metric machine screws are used. I pulled a screw out of the passenger handle and found some matching screws at the hardware store, M6x20 as I recall. If you pull the door welting down, you can peek up underneath the vinyl headliner to see where the screw holes are. Poke through the headliner with something sharp then re-install the handle up front.
So, now what do you do with those empty screw holes?
After moving the rear grab handle to the front, you are left with two empty screw holes in the fiberglass. As luck would have it, I was looking around for a place to attach my D-cell Maglight flashlight. I picked up the Maglight mounting kit (Model ASXD026, P/N 108-000-426) and it included two brackets and guess what? They fit the grab handle mounting holes perfectly. Just screw the brackets to the shell using the old grab handle screws and snap the flashlight in. The light is now within easy reach, but out of the way.