Clever hack for making your car’s trunk a kinder, friendlier place for your grocery bags!
During our recent car shopping adventures I discovered a nifty feature inside the trunk of an Audi A4. A pair of flip-down hooks attached to the roof of the trunk allowed you to hang your groceries or a purse. Now instead of letting bags slide around your trunk all willy-nilly you can hang them on these hooks. I wasn’t impressed enough to buy the Audi, but I did buy a pair of those cargo hooks!
The parts come in a kit with a pair of speed nut and 6mm screws. If you have a late model VW or Audi chances are pretty good you have a couple of holes inside the trunk to accept the speed nuts provided with the kit. In this case installation is dead simple. However, since I have an Infiniti G37 there were no such holes. Not to worry!
I removed the interior panel covering the “roof” of the trunk and found a couple of suitable spots to mount my hangers. The local hardware store carries a keen little doo-dad called a rivet nut. Sometimes they’re called Rivnuts, and there’s even a fancy Rivnut Setting Tool.
I bought some 6 mm Rivnuts because that’s the size of the screws provided with the cargo hooks. These are internally threaded sleeves that work like a pop rivet- just without the POP. You set them by threading in a screw until it “crimps” or collapses the barrel of the Rivnut. Which, it turns out is much easier than it sounds! I guess that’s why they make that fancy tool!
Here’s a couple of tips to make it easier:
First off you need to drill suitable diameter hole–just large enough to slide in the Rivnut, but not too big! Then load up a washer on a screw, insert the Rivnut into the hole and start turning. What usually happens as the screw gets tight it turns the Rivnut and you end up with a half-ass crimped Rivnut hanging in the hole. The trick is to use a washer that will not turn under the bolt. I found an angle bracket in my junk drawer that was perfect for the task. One end acts as washer and the other end is your handle. As I tightened the bolt I could hold the end of the angle bracket and keep the whole mess from turning.
After the four rivnuts were set I held the interior panel in place and marked their approximate location. Using a hole punch I popped four holes in the trim piece and then reinstalled the trim covering. Once I screwed in my four allen-head screws the hooks were mounted and my trunk was officially ready to organize.
If you’re interested in trying this project you can find the parts on eBay, or check with your local VW or Audi dealer.