Intro: Car Tie Down Anchors, the Easy Way to Tie Anything to Your Car Roof Quickly and Safely
Back when I first was driving, my '76 Buick had solid steel bumpers that also worked quite well as battering rams. you could strap or tie anything off to them and even bolt a trailer hitch directly to them without any concern for strength.
Today both of my cars have bumpers made of plastic and foam blocks. trying to strap or tie off to them involves laying on the ground and feeling for something solid way back underneath the car. Then you have to figure out how to run the strap or rope up through all that plastic and foam without crushing and cracking any of it.
Both of my cars have trailer hitches which gives me a good tie off, but what do I do for the front end? And while I'm at it it would be nice not to have to lie down to find a tie off point.
in my I'ble https://www.instructables.com/id/easy-way-to-cartop-a-canoe-or-boat/ I mentioned I needed a way to tie the canoe down better than a strap through the car doors. this explains how to set the tie downs up without scratching your paint or, cracking any of the plastic on the ends of the car.
I added these tie downs to my minivan last year when I needed a way to tie my canoe on the roof without my great canoe carrier on the back end as I was towing a trailer at the same time. Right after I took these pictures we drove 1 hr on the highway with no problems, the canoe was just as secure when we got there as when we left.
The best part about this is that it is out of sight when not in use, unlike some people I have seen who actually mounted eye-bolts through their bumpers and other parts of the car. With a set of these installed at each door, the hood and trunk you will never run out of good spots to tie off to.
Step 1: Parts/tools
-nylon webbing straps (I used old cargo straps)
MAKE SURE THE STRAP AND YOUR ROOF ARE RATED FOR THE WEIGHT OF THE ITEM YOU PLAN ON CARRYING
-correct size fender washers (this will depend on what diameter bolts they used to put your car together and if they already have washers installed)
old screw driver, awl, or long wire with a handle
heat source like a propane torch, gas grill, gas stove or lighter.
sockets and ratchet for whatever type and size fasteners your car has.
Step 2: FIRE!
the doors, hood and trunk lid of your car are heavier than you think, if you have ever taken one off or put one on, you know what I mean. that means the hinge points on a car are very strong, and the points on the car they bolt or screw into are also very strong.
- Open the Hood of your car and look for the bolts or screws used to attach the hood, or other body panels.
-find a pair of them that are at the area that will give you a good tie off point.
-remove the fastener
-find an old screw driver or other long metal object you don't care about that is about the same diameter as the shank of the bolts you took out
-get your self a good strong cargo strap, I used an old ratcheting cargo strap.
-fold the strap double and figure out how long of a strap you need to have the loop come up above the top of your hood, trunk or door, to get a rope or strap through it.
-if your bolt doesn't have a washer already on it, find fender washers with the right size hole for your bolts.
-cut the strap to the right length
- melt the ends of the strap to keep it from fraying
-heat the screw driver or long metal tool in the flame until it will melt the strap (test for enough heat on a scrap piece of strap)
-when the screw driver is hot enough, fold the strap in half, match the ends, push the screwdriver through the strap.
-make sure the sides of the hole are melted together, this adds strength to the hole and strap, if the two holes melt together it doesn't matter.
-make sure the bolt fits tightly in the hole in the strap
Step 3: Putting Things Back Together
-put the bolt through the holes in the strap.
-tighten the bolt back into the nut plate in the car, keep the strap pulled in the direction you want it to be when the bolt is tight.
-make sure the loop doesn't get caught on anything when it is folded under out if sight.
-make sure the loop sticks out enough to get your rope or strap through with the hood, trunk or door shut.
-close the hood, door, or trunk and you are ready to tie off anything you need to.