For my next minor modification, it was time to give the Wrangler some additional things to hold on to – handle bar grips. While my normal driving style doesn’t need this, when I do any off-road wheeling, my kids and passengers have said that they needed some handle bar grips to hold on to.
Enter the Wild Boar Grips from Opar. There are many different brands and companies out there that are making these style of grips, but honestly I just liked the Opar versions the best. They come in pairs, for both the front and the back separately or together as a package. Almost all of the brands out there are similar, so really it comes down to color and choice. They all pretty much install the same way, and really only vary in color and material of constructions.
The Rear Handle Bar Grips Install
First, I installed the rear handle bar grips. These installed the easiest Along the top rail along the rear door, you will find two screws that hold the plastic covering over the bar. This plastic will not easily fall off when you take these two screws off, so do not panic. Simply remove the screws, and replace with the screws (and spacers) included with the kit. Note: the handle bars are slightly bent – inward. So if you try to mount them, make sure that you have them facing inward towards the center of the cabin and not externally towards the windows.
As you can see from the outside (its a sun glared picture – sorry), its a clean installation. Notice that the spacers go “up into” the mount holes, to give it a nice flush mount. Make sure you tighten all the way so that these are solid.
The Front Handle Bar Grips Install
Next, I moved up to the front handle bar grips. These were a bit more challenging to install. These also require two screw mounting places, but these screws are the larger “frame” bolts in the front bars of the Jeep. Removing these takes a deep socket and some muscle to break them free – watch the glass! Also, when you use the deep socket to get these out, watch that you don’t loose the bolt into the frame! So when the get loose, be careful!
Once you get them out, mounting these is also challenging. The reason is, that the screw holes are not perfectly aligned to the spacers of the handles, and are off-centered (not 90 degrees). So, I recommend starting with the “top” spacer first, and get it screwed in near the top but visibly loose. Then, use that to help guide the side wall screw in. Take your time and feel it out till you feel it grip – don’t force it! Once you have it caught, get it near tight. Alternate back and forth till you have it firmly tight on both. These are frame bolts, so it is going to be very tight and hard – enjoy the workout!
These too have a slight bend to them, where it is intended that they are angled inward toward the center of the cabin. Make sure that you have them angled correctly, and not facing outward, or you could damage your window on your door!.
These handle bar grips will look awesome when you are finished, and actually feel very strong and comfortable for when you have an “oh sh!t” moment.
So, for ~$60 USD, you can have a set of front and back handle bar grips that look good, are very sturdy, and will accent your Jeep Wrangler quite well. It is still bolt on modifications, albeit a bit more challenging, but a great set of Handle Bar Grips!
You can find them on Amazon, search for Opar Front & Rear Grabars Grab Handle Kit for 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.