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I wanted to install a tennis ball parking aid-but didn't want a ball on a string in my garage at all times. I rigged it so as the door closed-the ball raised up out of the way. When the door is opened-the ball drops down into perfect position.

The string length is determined by the location of the eye in relation to the door being closed (longest length). A knot is tied (at a measured spot) to stop the ball at the correct height of the windshield-and the slack hangs loosely.

Its a cool, easy, quick and cheap project.

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

-Ladder (or stool)
-3/32" bit (used to drill pilot for Eye)
-3/16" bit  (used to drill hole in tennis ball)
-Needle nose pliers


-20 feet of paracord (length depends on your garage)
-Tennis ball
-Fishing sinkers (or similar weight such as screws/sand/etc.)
-Hook and Eye (only Eye used-inside diameter of 1/4 inch)

An automatic garage door opener is obviously needed for this~

Step 2: Prep

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Park the car in the exact location you want to park in every time. Make sure its perfect.

Drill a 3/16" hole into the tennis ball.

Insert about 2 ounces of fishing sinkers/old screws/sand/ anything that will fit inside the hole (helps lower the tennis ball).

Tie a figure eight knot at the end of the paracord and shove into the tennis ball.

Step 3: Eye Location

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Grab the marker and tennis ball/cord combo

Using the ladder/stool, find the ideal location for the parking aid. I centered the ball on the steering wheel for the X axis, and centered up and down on the windshield for the Y axis. This way- I center the aim the ball center line with my steering wheel.

Mark the location on the ceiling/joist-this is where the eye will be installed.

*Optional-move the car out if you don't want wood shavings dropped on your car-or a cordless drill going through the windshield*

Drill a 3/32" hole in the marked location and install the eye.

OlgaK14 months ago

Thanks for the clear instructions and good pics!

I was just telling my wife about this great idea I came up with...You beat me to it...Congrats...
skibanana61 year ago
Works perfectly. Thanks for the instructable, "King"
rkochman2 years ago
DualPhase2 years ago
Great idea!
We just bought a house and I'm doing this for sure! Thanks for the idea!
finton3 years ago
Well, I'm impressed! Great idea.
b2ben3 years ago
Love the project write-up! I did the same thing in my garage at my last house. I ended up filling the tennis ball with BB's.
fat elvis (author)  b2ben3 years ago
Thanks for the words! I like the BB's idea.
cqi3 years ago
Great idea!
Knotz3 years ago
This is great. I did this today. I tried with regular rope and it didn't work. Then I went and got the paracord and it worked as explained.
rimar20003 years ago
Very clever!