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Recently the upper fastener of my luggage rack broke. The part that broke is a small block with two holes, which connects the rod that is screwed to the frame with the rod of the luggage rack. See photo for details.

It's just this small part (two parts actually) that broke, so it feels bad to dump the whole rack. However, I could not find this connector block anywhere, and I don't know the make of the rack (it has nothing written on it).

Is there any way to repair this, or should I just replace the whole rack?


Photo of damaged connector below. Note: One of the two connector blocks is still present (though shifted a bit), only the top part is missing (it broke off). The other block is gone, but there were two of them, one on each of the horizontal rods.

Originally, the blocks joined the horizontal rod and the rod of the luggage rack passing above it at a right angle.

Rack with damaged connector

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    Making one is straightforward, but expensive if you don't already have a drill press and thread taps. Sadly, more expensive than buying a new rack. Possibly you could replace the attachment bars with strips, and wrap them round the cross bar on the rack then bolt them to themselves as a clamp - like these: pushys.com.au/… – Móż Sep 27 '16 at 21:36
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    Simplest would be to take 4 cable clamps and attach a pair at each connection point, with their hoops interlocking. Or a "full service" hardware store might be able to produce some other fix. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 27 '16 at 23:32
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    Were you a boy scout? Looks like a square lashing around each crossing point would be perfect. Use light hemp twine, do a dozen neat rounds, then a couple of wraps around the middle to tighten, and tie it off. If you want to be very good, slap some varnish or lacquer or a hefty dose of superglue on the rope for abrasion resistance and waterproofness. A blob of sugru or RTV silicon in the middle of the touchpoints before lashing might help reduce vibrations too. – Criggie Sep 28 '16 at 6:17
  • Another option is to wander into a plumbing shop or a specialist fastener shop and see what you find. There is bound to be a clamp that will hold those two posts. – Criggie Sep 28 '16 at 6:18
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    @Criggie: I don't know precisely, but the rack rusts in some places, so I think it's steel, with some sort of grey covering (however, that might also be contact corrosion, I'll have to check). – sleske Sep 28 '16 at 7:26
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Its steel, so any competent welder should be able to weld them back together.

Your other option is plumbing mounts, something like this.

enter image description here

Imagine a pair of these on each side, with a nut/bolt through that top hole.

http://www.ezystrut.com.au/products/pipe-support-systems/pipe-clamps/e8y/e8y/

Or something like this but with a quarter-turn twist between the two holes.

enter image description here

Another simple fix would be a single jubilee clip around each crossing, at 45 degrees. It will distort on tightening but will hold well enough. AKA a hose clamp.

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    I've also used (steel with rubber covers) P-clips to modify a rack, with the two clips back to back but rotated 90 degrees. – Chris H Oct 3 '16 at 12:45
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    Another simple fix would be a single jubilee clip around each crossing, at 45 degrees. It will distort on tightening but will hold well enough. AKA a hose clamp. – Criggie Oct 3 '16 at 18:59
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With a drill press (just a cheap one that clamps to your drill's collar), a hacksaw, a tap-die set and (ideally) a mitre box it would be quite easy to make a block to replace this. Start with a cuboid of aluminium or delrin (plastic). Ebay is a good source for offcut sized pieces.

First drill your holes (two holes at 90°, diameter equal to the bars you're trying to clamp):

 _______
|   _   |
|  / \  |
|  \_/  |
|.......|
|       |
|.......|     ← dotted lines show hidden hole
|_______|

Next drill pilot holes for your clamp screws (dotted). Two each side should be enough, but you could go for 4.

 _______
|:  _  :|
|: / \ :|
|: \_/ :|
|:  :  :|
|:  :  :|
|   :   |    
|___:___|
    ↑ two holes (one hidden)

(hidden detail omitted)

Then saw through the middle of each big hole (dotted lines), leaving 3 pieces:

 _______
|   _   |
|. /.\ .|
|  \_/  |
|       |
|.......|
| . . . |
|.......|     (pilot holes omitted)
|_______|

In the outer pieces, open up the pilot holes to clearance holes, and in the middle piece, tap the holes (you will probably want to make sure the pilot holes break out the other side. Screw sizes could be M4 or M5 (stainless cap head screws are on ebay in small packs) to use hex key sizes that are used elsewhere on bikes.

  • Thanks for the detailed instructions. Unfortunately, this is way over my head - I don't even have a drill press, nor a tap-die set, and buying all that for a single use is not practical. Still, hopefully the answer will help someone else. – sleske Oct 3 '16 at 20:07
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    No problem. I sometimes give an answer that's only meant as an alternative to the best solution because it has advantages for some people. – Chris H Oct 4 '16 at 6:31

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