New(er) Car - New Problem


Inquiring Mind
The 1996 Jetta Trek died on me for the last time a couple of weeks ago, and now I have a 2003 Jetta Wagon...I thought the roof racks would help me get rid of the syrofoam blocks and rope until I saw the price of the cross pieces! So the solution to half my problem is a couple of new foam rubber blocks!

The second part of the problem is making sure the nose and tail are secure and not going to get oscillating or airborne on me, but there's so much underbody plastic covers under the front bumper, radiator, fans, etc. I'm afraid I may end up having to crawl way under to catch something on the suspension, or engine mounts, or whatever.

This'll leave a rope or a strap rubbing the bumper or front hood, and the rear end (of car) is just as bad except it has ONE metal ring on the passengers side which doesn't solve me getting a centreline point very easily...

On the off chance anyone has seen some ingenious hooks or other solutions, I'm asking here. (like from the front wheel wells or under the front hood, etc.)


P.S. Is there an unusual number of Dennis' and Denis' in these forums?

"On the off chance anyone has seen some ingenious hooks or other solutions"


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I use something similar to the "Top Ties" suggested by Dan. But being a cheapskate I couldn't part with the nine bucks to buy them. Instead I tied a small loop of rope around a structural part under the hood on either side. They stay there out of sight until I need them. Then I open the hood, flip them out and close the hood.
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Front tie down

I solved the problem on my Subaru by removing one of the screws that hold on the license plate and replacing it with an eye bolt. Nuts on front and back to hold it tight. I can then tie a line from the canoe to the eye bolt. I use parachute cord, I can't stand the wide straps often seen on cars flapping in front of my face stretched diagonally across the hood. Invest in a decent roof rack dispite the painful price - peace of mind knowing the canoe is going to stay on the car at 70 mph with an 18 wheeler passing you is worth it. You could also get a trailer, then you could bring four canoes to the assembly.

Jim C.
A lot of folks here make there own "hidden" loop anchers from bulk 1" wide nylon/poly strap, just melt a hole in the ends with a hot nail and bolt em in.

On our old mini van I added eye bolts to the underside of each corner to the frame. In the back I had to add some angle extensions, about 12" long, to get the eye's closer to the edge.

Tie one on

On some VWs, there's a front tie-down point inside the front grille. Once you figure out which grille panel it's behind, you then get to figure out which end of that panel is hinged...

Bolting web straps to the frame is much simpler, and is more secure as well.
What I Came Up With...

Sorry for the delay in thanking you all for the suggestions, and I figured I'd just report back on the solution I came up with...

I saw some possibly useful openings under the front hood, and was looking 'round the local mega-store for hooks, etc. and came up with these (hooks1.jpg and hooks2.jpg). They're used to stick into that peg board so's you can hang tools off the wall and all that.

I wrapped the parts most likely to rub anywhere and slipped them into the slots under the hood and held them in place with more handy-man helper (duct tape).

I can loop 1-inch poly/nylon straps through it and just the tension on the straps is enough to hold the hooks in place (I figured getting up to 140km/h is a pretty good comments, I don't do it THAT often!), so's it's easy to slip them in and out.

Getting a centre line on the back was easy enough, too. I lay the centre of a nylon braided rope in the back and shut the hatch, pull it taut and it can't get past the latch and is easy on the rubber seal.

Worked great! (So did the duct tape when I hit a rock hard and started drawing water!)


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For the front tie down, I've used a bit of para-cord around the hinges of the front hood then looped my tiedown thru them & thru a carabiner that if attached to front of my canoe/kayak (I've transported both 17' & 22'). For the rear, you could do the same or just run a long piece of para-cord, rope, or whatever around the bumper. I drive a Tacoma, so the rear tiedown for me is the hitch.
The object is to prevent an updraft from lifting the front or rear of your canoe, not to tighten it down so it can't move (that's for the center tiedowns...I still have the couple of pieces of 1x3 hardwood that have suction cups from when my dad used them back in the 50's).
Good luck