Hey everyone. First time posting here, but it's been an amazing resource for me so I wanted to give back. There have been several posts about this already and I want to thank especially WESAYSO and SONOF40 for the inspiration. I'm preparing to do more car camping with my FJ cruiser, so in anticipation of sleeping in the cab I needed a way to exit. Here's what I did:
There's already a small access port in the bottom left of the rear door inside panel, so I calipered it and quickly modeled it in Sketchup to form my parts around. I modeled an inset port that has snap fit sides to sink flush into the existing opening. I also modeled a "button" that will gently snap in to the rails on the "port" and keep it traveling vertically, but with a loose fit as to not bind.
I was surprised this worked perfectly on the first try. But no complaints! I located the metal rod that moves vertically from the exterior handle and modeled a snap fit junction to intercept it with my own aluminum rod. The junction snap fits onto the existing rod and has a topside receiver for the aluminum rod I cut and bent to fit. This was a bit of a gut feeling shape. But in general I came up the length of the straight portion of the existing rod, then bent out and up 45 degrees, then back out at 90 degrees to the original rod. Basically targeting the center top of the existing opening. Then cut the excess off to slide into the rear of the button. The "junction' piece's rotation around the rods allows a little fore/aft play for connection, while keeping a rigid connection in the vertical axis.
(SEE EDIT BELOW) Next, I designed and printed a pull handle and created it to fit into the top left bolt hole that fastens the door cover on. There were naturally negative spaces on the left and right of the port for placing the snap in hole cover. I utilized these to keep the handle from rotating. Kind of a keyway design. One thing I struggled with was that the receiver for those two bolts is a plastic insert and I felt that yanking on the handle over time could weaken that, so I grabbed a 3" 5/16th carriage bolt from the HD that fit perfectly in the square hole of the door with the threads facing OUT. That way I can tighten the through bolt down from the outside for easy removal later. I had to remove the bracket from the door temporarily to install the carriage bolt.
Lastly, I basically did the exact mod that WESAYSO has posted, but placed the button under the pull handle to protect it from shifting cargo and prying eyes. 10 bucks on amazon for 5 3 position switches with male paddle connectors. Look to their post for details.
Ultimately, I think this recessed button design is the safest when it comes to shifting cargo. It seems very unlikely that anything would poke into a small opening AND push down, so I feel confident I won't lose my cargo all over the freeway. Here's a video of it in operation. Thanks for reading!
Edit: If you'd like to print your own kit, here are the STL files and instructions to bend the rod. I suggest printing in PLA+ or better. Also, print the port face-down, the button lying on it's back with support and the handle on it's side with support.
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Hey everyone. I was never really thrilled with my pull handle design and after field testing mine for some time now I’ve decided to redesign it. It looked cool, but I feel like it didn’t have the proper strength for hard pulls. I was throwing it in free-of-charge for that reason when people requested a set from me. I’m no longer making this particular part for people, but I’ll leave the file there in the event it’s still desired. The door release mechanism has remained unchanged and appears to be working well for everyone!
Instead I’ve come up with this soft handle design that I think is less intrusive and far more useful. The only time that the handle has truly been necessary for me is when bedding down for the night and needing to pull the door closed, so the distance to handle when standing on the rear bumper wasn’t ideal. The idea behind the soft handle is that you can clip longer webbing/rope to it when you want to pull from inside the truck. I had to source additional hardware and webbing for this design so if you’re interested in one, let me know. I have Black, Blue, Red and Orange webbing available.
One other thing! I know it’s not obvious, but if you’re new to the forum and you need to DM me for a request, you must FIRST post a reply in the forum here or anywhere and your DM capability will be unlocked.