instanoodles
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:08 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jan 2019
Location: Dartmouth, NS

DIY tie down point for the rear hatch

Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:26 pm

First thing I noticed about this car was the lack of tie down points for the rear hatch, makes it very hard to get lumber home. I don't like the idea of tying a rope around the rear wiper arm or trapping the rope in the rear hatch's locking mechanism so I decided to add one. To do this you will be drilling a hole into the metal part of the hatch and in the plastic trim. Excuse the crappy pictures, my phone does not take good ones.

To add the mounting point I bought some 1/4-20 rivet nuts off of amazon, if you want an easier install try to find aluminum ones.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B071X6X4FS

To install the rivet nut I used this youtube video as a guide but I used a tooth lock washer instead of a flat one to keep the rivet nut from spinning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6H6wr7fJYo

So the first step is to take off the plastic trim on the inside of the hatch, starting with the small piece at the top of the window. Once everything is exposed there is a big opening where the hatch's locking mechanism is. If you reach inside you can feel some spots where the sheet metal is thicker, this is where you want to drill your hole for the rivet nut. I drilled my hole off center because when drilling sheet metal, the drill grabs as it breaks through. Its very hard to stop when drilling by hand so by going off center there is room for the drill to bottom out without hitting anything.

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Next is installing the rivet nut like in the video above. If you are having a hard time keeping the rivet from spinning you can try expanding it a bit outside of the hole for a snugger fit. This video shows you how you can do that to the rivet nut outside of the hole.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeaMsvai0FA&t=163s

Here is my rivet nut installed, my washer was a bit too big and I over tightened it a bit so the shoulder deformed a bit.

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I then threaded in a 1/4-20 bolt, sticking out about an inch and put some tacky grease on the bolt head. Take the big plastic piece of trim and try to install it back in place so the grease on the bolt will transfer to the plastic. I drilled a 9/32 hole at the grease mark but I would recommend drilling it with a smaller one first. Metal drills tend to tear plastic when drilling through thin material so I would take a smaller drill and drill from the back of the plastic to the front. Then take the 9/32 drill and drill from the front to the back, if the plastic does tear you will not see the damage inside the car. Here is my eye bolt threaded in place with the trim installed.

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Just to test everything out I put my hand truck sticking out the back and tied the hatch down. If you have the seats folded down, you can use their locking points to tie your rope to, if the seats are not folded down you can tie the rope to the car seat anchor points. I have a piece of a pool noodle, split down the middle to protect the hatch. When I don't need to move anything I wrap the rope around the pool noodle, tie the eye bolt to the bundle and keep it where the tire crap is stored. If you drill the hole in the plastic the right size you could find a similar coloured plastic plug to make it look a bit better when not in use, I didn't think to until it was too late.

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I am not too sure how many people want to drill holes into their car for something like this but I really needed a way to safely and securely tie down the hatch and I figure I am not the only one.

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