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kelticwizard 25th September 2006 10:20 PM

Magnets To Attach Ski Rack To Car Top?
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This sure doesn't have anything to do with audio, but it does everything to do with magnetics, so I thought I would post it here.

I have a second car, well used, on which I usually keep a simple ski rack-actually just two simple bars with pads on them. Crude drawing of one below. The pads are 2.5" by 4.5" with rubbery plastic on the bottom. The racks attach to the car by hooks which hook under the top of the windows.

The ski racks are useful in case I have to transport anything like plywood or ladders. The ladders I usually use are a simple 10 foot step ladder and the occasional-very occasional-20 foot extension ladder.

The problem is that I got rid of my old second car, for which the ski racks fit beautifully. My new second car does not have anything for the ski racks to hook onto in the window area.

I really, really don't want to glue anything or drill anything to the car rooftop. I've looked around for some comparable ski rack which might work, but I haven't found one.

I was thinking of taking flexible magnet material as anchors and gluing the bottom pads onto that. If that is not strong enough, I was thinking of several small solid magnets to be glued onto the pads.

A) Does anybody think the magnet material will be strong enough? I imagine a flexible magnet material piece of perhaps 4" square per pad.

B) How about some hobby small magnets, say one inch flat rounds Would several of them work glued to the bottom of the pads??

C) I would like to attach some thin material to the bottom of the solid magnets if I use them. Felt would be nice except I don't think it holds up to rain and snow well. Anybody have an idea for a fabric material to glue to the bottom of the magnets to prevent the roof from getting scratched?

I realize I am not giving you much in the way of specific figures here, but I think a lot of people on this forum have worked with magnets and can guess what flexible magnet material and hobby type solid magnets can and cannot do.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Aengus 25th September 2006 10:45 PM

I seem to have pointed to the Lee Valley site a number of times in various posts - perhaps it's time to issue a disclaimer: I have nothing to do with this company except as a long-time satisfied customer.

Anyway, here is a link to magnet information, including some non-skid material intended to be glued on to the magnets which may fit your application.

I_Forgot 26th September 2006 12:45 AM

Please post your license number and car description so I know not to ride behind you when you go down the freeway with a 20 foot extension ladder held on the top of your car by a few magnets.

Have you seriously considered the safety aspects of what you are intending to do?


kelticwizard 26th September 2006 01:07 AM

I don't think I'll be going down the freeway with plywood or ladders on top of the car. Just the local streets.

Yes, I have considered the safety aspects of this and intend to test it after buying the magnets. If I don't have confidence in it, if I don't honestly think this thing is being held down really securely, then I'll reluctantly drill the holes for ski rack.

I was hoping that someone who works with magnets might be able to give some advice, even if that advice is "Forget it".

HIPCHECK 26th September 2006 01:09 AM

what is your make/model of auto.

the reason is: i have some sport lift universal roof racks that are old stock and not much need.

they might help you out some.

Variac 26th September 2006 01:22 AM

How will you get them off?

kelticwizard 26th September 2006 01:33 AM


Thank you for the link. It might be that rare earth magnets might be the way to go here.

kelticwizard 26th September 2006 01:55 AM


Originally posted by Variac
How will you get them off?
Thank you for asking. :)

My basic plan is as follows.

Take piece of plywood a foot long by six inches wide, with a small piece of canvas underneath it, and place a few inches ahead and to the side of one of the pads.

Take tire iron or perhaps longer piece of steel pipe, slip between ski rack crosspiece and car top, and put one end down on plywood. The ski rack cross member should bisect the lever much closer to the end contacting the plywood than the end you will be lifting.

Lift the crossmember, which will cause the pad to separate from the car top.

With the lever still holding the crossmember in the air, slip a piece of two by four with a towel wrapped around it under the pad.

The first pad should now be separated from the car top by at least a couple of inches, well outside point where the magnets make much difference.

Repeat for other three pads.

I figure it might take five minutes or so to get the rack off, but I don't put it on or take it off the car that often, so it shouldn't be a bother.

Variac 26th September 2006 02:01 AM

Might want to put some neprene foam,like wetsuit material, under the board, so it conforms to the curves

Are you planning to move a body? :eek:

kelticwizard 26th September 2006 04:12 AM

How did you know? :D

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