Adding Tie Down Points To Almost Any Car

You know, sometimes it’s the simple hacks that get our attention.  If you have a roof rack, and use it often to shuttle things around, adding these stow-away, front tie downs might be for you.

Most all cars will have a few bolts along the top of the fender that ties into a semi-rigid or structural part of the vehicle. [Andrew Morrow] used about 12 inches of nylon strap, added a hole to the both ends, and attached them to the fender bolts. With the hood closed, he now has a convenient tie down location for what ever he’s hauling around.  We love that when not in use they simply can be stored beneath the hood. Hidden away, but not something you’ll forget to bring with you, or easily lost.  Just make sure that they don’t come in contact with moving engine parts, or hot exhaust manifolds.

31 thoughts on “Adding Tie Down Points To Almost Any Car

  1. I can’t express how simple and awesome of an idea that is! It was always a pain to crawl under the front of my wife’s car to find a good place to put the hook on the end of the strap.

  2. I agree, a nice hack, especially for HaD.

    Besides the fender washer, I would use an old soldering iron to melt holes in the strapping. He might have used something similar, but I didn’t read the article ..

      1. Melting the hole will fuse the fiber ends and prevent fraying and loss of the fastener over time. Fender washer is an excellent idea, but I’d be tempted to use two to sandwich the strap between two flat surfaces.

    1. Thank! As a relatively new writer for HAD – I assumed it would be taken as “not an electronics hack – don’t’ care!” Will do more – and different things.

        1. Consider George may have been reading Hackaday long before he became a contributor. Perhaps the not a hack comments are being rejected now because we aren’t seeing them that often lately, there was a time where George have read many not hack comments. Probably not an attitude, just experience has him second guessing.

      1. Not at all, this was great. The high level stuff is cool, but I’m a bit fatigued on the hacks that require a 4-year degree and/or $2,000 worth of specialized equipment to get started with. Keep em coming!

        1. +1

          Over the last year HaD has been making me feel like a dunce because I dont have an EE degree, dont own or know how to use a oscilloscope or know 17 different programming languages.

      2. I actually prefer more of the simple hacks, electronic or not. Actually getting tired of all the large projects and contests. I want more of the quick-and-easy, “Why didn’t I think of that” type hacks.

      3. On the contrary: it’s cheap (both in terms of materials and tools needed), can be applied to a wide range of products, and thus can interest many people.
        I don’t have a roof rack myself, but it’s still a neat trick to keep in mind.
        I find this way more interesting than stupid binary clocks or “hacks” that require a 3D printer or laser cutter!

    1. How so? The straps go past the hood and attach to the same vehicle structure that supports the fender.

      Worst case scenario might be to the paint on the edge of the hood due to the strap rubbing.

    1. I agree. Unless you click on the article and read it, you can’t tell by the picture that the kayak on the roof is way over on the passenger side (thus the anchor point may be pulled pretty straight). If you have a center-mounted kayak you’d probably need one on each side of the hood and then the rubbing would be a much bigger issue.

  3. Couple of points:

    For best UV resistance, use polyester webbing, not nylon or polypropylene. Polyester is pretty common and it’s likely the one you’ll find. Black tends to be more resistant than other colours. Polyester will also stretch less than nylon when wet.

    Don’t just cut off the ends near the hole – fold an inch or so of the strap over and then make the hole. That will reduce the chance that the ends will fray and tear through. The down side is that the strap will be four layers thick at the bolt point instead of two.

  4. These straps are commonly sold by our local canoe/kayak stores. My fav store has a candy jar full of them at each register. They even have a grommet to strengthen the nylon strapping material at the hole.

    I still use these for the occasional 4’x8′ sheet of plywood one needs to transport time to time. You set the canoe bumpers on the roof, set the sheet of plywood on them, then tie it down to the straps with rope.

    First saw them about 20 or more yrs ago. First owned some about 15 yrs ago. Have a set on the front of both vehicles, (don’t need them on the back ’cause plenty good places to tie down in back, but they would work in back too if you needed.).

    Should move this one to bloopers section.

    1. Bloopers?

      Huh… but why? It works and appears to work well. ‘Bloopers’ are typically reserved for things that dont work.

      …unless its because its a concept you’re familiar with? Which still doenst apply because I’m sure I’m not the only one that just learned of a clever trick.

  5. This past weekend I assembled a Harbor Freight trailer (the folding 1,950lb capacity one), and was trying to figure out how to best add tie-down points. I had settled on using eye-bolts on the 4 outer-most corners (which would prevent it from folding fully). I think this is a perfect solution to that problem, and I can put straps at mid-point bolts, too!

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