Grab Handle For Old Folks in a '53 F100 (applies to 53-56)

Discussion in 'Interior' started by jniolon, Jun 27, 2017.

By jniolon on Jun 27, 2017 at 12:34 PM
  1. jniolon Article Contributor Founding Member

    by John Niolon​

    Some of us as we've 'matured' end up with joints that have been misused, abused and just worn out. Mine are specifically hip (replaced) and shoulder (surgeried). My wife's knees give her problems. We both look for handrails and 'hold on' places when climbing stairs and even up sloped areas. One of her favorite attachments on my Suburban is the grab handle (and the running board) to enter and exit the truck.

    So I decided to incorporate a grab handle in the '53 attached to the A-pillar. The A-pillar in these trucks is pretty thin... maybe 18 gauge... so after talking to some other mid-50 owners, I decided to reinforce the area around the mounting area...

    I did a little poking around and looking with a flashlight and mirror.(that place is really really hard to get to. The top is impossible with the curve of the roof and all the pieces coming together there, but it is open. The bottom ends up under the dash and inside the kick panel but the access is straight. I fished a wire thru the pillar from the bottom and my plan is to drill and tap a piece of 1/4 x 1" flat bar and haul it up thru the pillar with the wire... When I position the handle on the pillar, I'll drill the mounting holes... pull the reinforcing bar into place and use a longer bolt to hold it in place (as a handle) and thread the other bolt thru the handle and the pillar... then remove the long bolt and put the other end of the handle in position and mount it ! sounds simple enough, right ?? We'll see. I'll bet a SS check it's gonna be fun trying to get the bar stock laying just right to do this... but hey... if it was easy my grandma could do it...

    Here's a shot of the handle came from a 2006 Chevy W4500 tilt cab truck... Isuzu actually makes these trucks and badges them with a bow-tie. Isuzu part # 8-97867-209-1. The bar stock.. nothing fancy... just scrap I had in the bin... drilled and tapped 1/4" x 20 thread for the mounting bolts


    Did a little test with the wife on placement, marked the location and then marked the mounting hole locations.

    Drilled 5/16" holes (a little wiggle room) and then snaked the backing bar up into the pillar.


    It did take a little finagling to get the bar in position... but got it in place, held it with longer bolt in upper hole and used socket head cap screw and attached lower handle mount in lower hole snugged up slightly... then unscrewed long bolt and swung handle and upper bolt over hole and screw it in place. Here's the final mounted pic



    Whole deal took about an hour... longest part was waiting for the paint to dry on the bar and the little finaglin' to get the holes lined up... and well it took a few days to find the right handle on the WWW.

    The whole bar is 14" long so when you pull on the handle, the load is spread across nearly the whole pillar.

    When paint time comes I'll loosen the handle, remove one bolt and slide the handle out of the way... insert a short 1/4" bolt remove the handle and put another bolt in the last hole...

    done... and done.
    wpnaes, whomrig, JWC 3 and 1 other person like this.


Discussion in 'Interior' started by jniolon, Jun 27, 2017.

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