Anyone else have a VW roof rack?

Tim the Inspector

...and if so, did you break it like I did to mine? Twice?

So I'm not the most muscular guy out there but it seems I may be stronger than I thought. I've over-torqued a couple of bolts in the hold-down mechanism and it looks like I'm going to have to do some repairing/replacing. The part that I buggered up is essentially a channel with maybe 1/8" tabs on one end to hold in a square nut. When I over-tightened the bolt that runs through this nut, I've managed to partially pull the tabs open and partially pull the channel open, causing the nut to pull its way out of captivity. This has happened before, I squeezed the channel shut last time and hammered the tabs back over but it seems the problem has returned.

Has anyone else ever dealt with this before? I think I have a good idea for how to fix this once and for all but before I do I thought I'd ask for opinions.


Are you talking about the roof rack that VW puts on their cars, or one of the aftermarket racks? And which model VW?

Most car manufacturer's racks are designed more for looks than for function; if you're describing nuts that are captured by the skin of the car body, you've definitely got a bad case of that. Once the metal gets fatigued and starts bending, nothing good can come of it.
It's a Mk.IV Golf and the roof rack is the one you get through the VW parts department. Luckily the car itself is okay, it's just a bracket well within the mechanism of the rack's attachment system that's giving me trouble.