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Old 08-20-2009, 04:14 PM   #1
WRX USA
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Default DIY - Covering the Grab Handles (aka Oh Ish Handles)

So like many others I have decided to black out the pillars, map lights, visors, dome lights, and the grab handles (to be referred to as the OSH for the rest of this DIY). And like many others I have found that Plasti-Dip just doesn't work on this rubbery surface. Add to that, the people that tend to use them (the passengers) don't seem to take any care when they grab them which means that no matter how many layers you put on or how much prep you do it is going to come off. Well, I think I have found a solution and the nice thing is that the OSH don't stay "out" after being used as well.

The solution is shrink tube.

I purchased this at Fry's Electronics and they had black, green, red, yellow and white.



This is how my Plasti-Dipped OSH looked after being used.



First I sanded the Plast-Dip off and after some test fitting realized that the center of the OSH was a bit wide for the shrink tube that I have.



I figured that the shrink tube would add some thickness any way and I wanted a very snug fit so I sanded off enough for the tube to snugly slide on.



I cut the tube so that it was just long enough to cover the original grey surface of the OSH (no more than 1/4" extra on each side). Before you shrink it, you want to make sure that the seams on the tube are on the top and bottom of the OSH.



Finally you shrink the tube and reinstall the hardware and it is is ready to go back in the car. You can see the finished black one here with my "Proof of Concept" yellow one (I had the yellow left over from another project).



Here it is installed in my friend's car



And another one showing it installed in my car with my newly Alcantara covered headliner (Note that I used the 'deletes' on the driver, because I think it makes no sense for me to have an OSH).

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Last edited by WRX USA; 08-23-2009 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
corms333
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pics in car?
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:23 PM   #3
WRX USA
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I have my headliner stripped out right now in preparation to wrap it in Alcantara. As soon as I complete that I can post installed pics.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
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Best looking solution for this issue I have seen yet! How much excess tubing did you need on the left/right for it to shrink and fit properly? I will be adding this to my list of things to do when I get back.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:56 PM   #5
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Originally I used plasti-dip on the handles. Had the same results as you. I used mineral spirits which stripped it right off and just sprayed the handles with regular black paint. Looks fine and hasn't started to rub off..

Your solution looks good too.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aggie113 View Post
Best looking solution for this issue I have seen yet! How much excess tubing did you need on the left/right for it to shrink and fit properly? I will be adding this to my list of things to do when I get back.
Thanks for the compliment!

I added no more than 1/4" to each side so that the shrink tube totally covers the OSH.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:04 PM   #7
WRX USA
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I realize that the heat shrink tubing is rated for continuous operation from 55-135 degrees C and up to 300 degrees C (for short durations) which could be an issue for some people in colder areas so I threw the yellow one in my freezer to see how it holds up.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:12 PM   #8
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genius, where did you find heat-shrink that big?
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:18 PM   #9
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Wow. This is an awesome idea. +1
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupaHottSauce View Post
genius, where did you find heat-shrink that big?
Fry's Electronics
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:15 PM   #11
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Ha. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:20 PM   #12
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nice idea, post installed pics
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:12 AM   #13
WRX USA
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7 hours in the freezer and the shrink tube is fine.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:20 AM   #14
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looks great, does the tubing come in a wide range of colors?
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1r4g3 View Post
looks great, does the tubing come in a wide range of colors?
I have seen Black, Yellow, White, Red and Green. If you find "STi Blue" let me know
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:43 AM   #16
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Hmmm, interesting idea. I think I may still try flocking mine though.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:55 AM   #17
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That is really a great idea. Good job.
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:24 AM   #18
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Wow, great job. I plati-dipped mine and they turned out like s**t. I went with the deletes.

May HAVE TO try this now...
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vecdran View Post
Hmmm, interesting idea. I think I may still try flocking mine though.
This would result in total failure. The DIY flocking kits will not hold up to such a high wear item like the handles.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:39 AM   #20
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good idea man
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:54 AM   #21
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This is one of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments...
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:21 AM   #22
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Great job! It looks real clean.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:39 AM   #23
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Brilliant! This is the best solution I have seen for making the OSH black. Good job.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:22 PM   #24
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Yep, I have yet to see any solution for the OSH that is as durable as this. I just ended up ditching mine totally, but this may make me hope I kept them.

This mod gets the Sheepdog stamp of approval.


Oh, and do not flock them. The flocking does not like to dry on flexible vinyl without an adhesion promoter and primer, so you'll end up with your passengers having sticky black goop on their hands which they can then wipe all over the car.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:25 PM   #25
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I added a picture showing it installed.
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