9 easy steps to install grab dampers on the Vento
I know to most people, they would be like, why even bother. But to me I find it kind of annoying. Especially for those people who like to hang on to the grab handles. And when they let go, THUD!
When I got the car, I was kind of disappointed that it didn’t have the damper, and it was kinda loud when the handles hit the headliner. Then Alvin told me that he planned to DIY into his Polo. So I too went online and search for these tiny dampers.
Basically its filled with oil and it slows down recoil of the springs.
VW have this annoying knack of trying their best not to use screws like other car manufacturers. And it was tricky to try to open anything in the car. Luckily, in this information age, there are others from team-bhp.com who had gone before me and did this modifications. My work is based on their instructions, but I also wanted to share extra information that was not available on their end.
2x flat head screwdrivers
1x rusty short cutter pliers
1x rusty long slim pliers
1x rusty pen knife
1x brand new mini hand saw (bought for only RM1.70!, well done MR DIY)
1x pull tool
STEP 1 - Unlocking the locks
Unlock the tabs by using a pull tool.
NOTE - Once the damper is installed, will need a flat tool to pry the lock and then use the pull tool.
STEP 2 - Removing the handle
Making sure the locks are pulled all the way. Get a good grip on the handle and give it a good PULL!
STEP 3 - Removing the lock
To remove the locks, we need to unlock the metal tabs that hold the lock in place. I used two flat headed screw drivers for this part.
Lock the lock fully and then use the screw drivers to lift the prongs on each side of the metal bit.
Once lifted, the lock will be able to slide out fully.
STEP 4 - Removing the plastic pin
Here we use the long nosed pliers. Apply just enough clamping force and use the thumb to push the pliers to the right, this should be quite straight forward.
Once the pin is removed, we are left with this piece, which we need to remove the plastic bits.
STEP 5 - Removing material
Here we use the cutters, slowly nipping at the edges and slowly moving inwards.
Once the bulk of the material have been removed, use the pen knife or any knife and slowly cut away the rough edges.
The goal is to get it as flat as possible. As long as its clear enough for the damper to be installed, we are good. We don’t need to make it pretty as people cant see it from the outside. But if you want to, why not.
My phone stopped recording at 10 minutes, and I didn’t know, so there were no footage of me using the hand saw for the next step.
STEP 6 - Creating the groove
This is an important step, so take your time, measure a few times and cut once. The groove MUST be dead centre so the pin will slide in smoothly.
Use the sharpie to blacken the area around the hole on the right side. Reason for using the sharpie is so that it is easier to see the cut. My first try was off centre and the pin could not pass thru. After that I used the sharpie and it was easier to find the centre to cut
The groove needs at least 1mm deep.
When inserting the damper, ensure the that the tab faces outwards. Once the pin can slide in and out smoothly, remove it and don’t move the damper.
STEP 7 - Reassembly
This bit is quite straight forward. Make sure that the tab on the damper fits into the recess.
Slowly insert the pin. Moving the smaller bit to check if the tab is still in the recess. Once inserted, I think there is no way to remove it already.
STEP 8 - Reassemble the lock
Clip back the metal bracket and insert back the plastic lock. Make sure to press down the prongs, to ensure that the lock can lock securely.
Before putting the hand back into the car. The lock needs to be unlocked. With the damper in place, it is impossible to unlock using the pull tool. Use a flat pry tool or a screwdriver to unlock it, and then use the pull tool to pull the lock fully.
Step 9 - Reassemble the handle in the car
Before locking everything back in place, make sure you push the whole assembly into the bracket, there will be a click. Once that is done, push the lock in place and its done!
After this, its rinse and repeat! The whole process is actually quite simple, the only difficult and time consuming bit was the step 5, the removal of the materials. If I had a dremel, I’m pretty sure that it would have taken less time.
Below is the full video, well, minus the step 6. I forgot the phone will stop recording at 10 minute mark :( I was still happily working in front of the camera
And for those who are wondering where to get the pull tool, check out your trunk!
Hopefully, this was helpful. Leave a comment if it was, or wasn’t or if you just want to say Hi!