I recently had help putting Fiona’s hard top on (right before the cold snap!) and also put the cargo rack back on. I recently noticed that 2 bolts were missing from the two top front holes and that the rack was shimmying a little bit apart. Now, just driving around town, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but the past week I’ve been on the highway driving a round trip of 150k a day, to & from work and the rack has been shaking it’s way apart. I wouldn’t normally notice this, but there was a strange bumping noise that made me inspect the rack to see if it might be the problem. When I saw that the two pipes were coming apart, my heart jumped into my throat. Visions of my whole cargo rack flying off in sections as I was careening down the highway passed before my eyes! I envisioned pieces smashing into other vehicles on the highway, shattering windows, denting hoods and puncturing tires as pipe chunks flew off the jeep onto and under cars and trucks. “I have to fix this right NOW!” I thought to myself.I searched my jeep for the 2 missing bolts with no luck so decided I’d have to buy new ones.
But it’s Sunday and chances of finding the right bolts today will be a challenge. Fiona & I set out to good old Canadian Tire with hopes of finding something close to what I needed. First I checked the hardware section to no avail. Then I headed to the automotive section and found a few small rotating racks with various small packages of vehicle repair items. It took a while to sort through everything but I finally found some 1/4 inch by 2 inch bolts and packages with washers & nuts to correspond. Armed with parts and hope, Fiona & I headed back home to sort out the cargo rack.
The passenger side of the rack had not started to separate and I was able to put a bolt in it easily. The driver’s side, however, was about a 1/4 inch apart and I couldn’t fit the bolt in. Time to get creative. I remembered that I had a case in the back of the jeep with bungees and 2 straps with come alongs. I pulled out the straps, set them up from the front to the back of the rack and started to tighten it up. Once I got it as tight as possible, I got a piece of wood & a hammer & pounded on the rack with hopes that it would move. It didn’t move all the way back into place but it moved enough that the bolt fit! I just needed to know that the rack would stay together. I slipped the bolt, washer & nut through the pipe and secured it. The bolt was a bit on the thin side & was wiggling around a bit, so I wrapped both sides with electrical tape to hold everything tight.
When I get the proper bolts, washers and nuts, I’ll replace these small Canadian Tire bolts, but they’ll give me peace of mind for now!