I purchased the genuine Nissan grab handle
from an on-line OEM parts dealer. The handle
comes with the two clips for installation. I installed it same day, but there's a trick I'd like to share. First off, when you get the part you have to figure out how to release the clips. Pull back on the pin at the top.
Then lift up the retainer.
When the retainer is off, the metal clip slides out. (Also see INT-28 in the shop manual.)
Now for the fun stuff. Mark an initial location with a lead pencil measuring horizontally from the A-pillar cover and vertically from the lower crease in the headliner. With this general area in mind, slip your hand up between the door rubber seal and the headliner, gently.
You'll find a plastic handle
shaped silhouette snapped over the holes you need. Slide a slender flat screwdriver up there with your hand and gently pry the plastic piece with its two plugs out of the handle
mounting holes (pry toward the interior of the car) and remove the offending piece.
Now, with the feel of your fingers under the headliner and the initial marks in pencil, you can use your Exacto or a sharp box knife to cut the headliner way. (Removing the offending plastic surrogate was my trick. It prevents you from finding the holes through the headliner.)
You can then install the metal clips.
You have to cut away more headliner for the knobs (in black in the next photo) on the backside of your new handle
. A small pair of needlenose pliers helped me remove some of the white padding under the gray felt.
Now you can install the handle
with the retainers. If they don't slide in (with a strong effort), remove a little more padding. I got both retainers started before pushing them all the way to assure that they were lined up side to side with the new handle
Fit the headliner back under the rubber door seal and nobody will know you've been in here. It took me about 1.5 hours to learn the trick and do the job. If you start knowing the procedure, you should get done in a half an hour of actual work. Watch your head in an accident. I hope this helps you.