Mk7 GTI Tow Hook Cover Front Side Comparison

Tow Hook Cover Replacement

My 2015 GTI was purchased used and as such there were a few things outside of tailoring the modifications that needed addressing.  One of these was the missing front tow hook cover.

Mk7 GTI on ST Coilover Low Setting
Mk7 GTI on ST Coilover – Low Setting

I looked briefly into purchasing a new cover when it occurred to me that making a replacement would be a fun project. I had access to an OEM tow hook cover which was helpful.  Looking closely at it revealed that it is not a circle, nor is it flat, making replicating the cover a bit trickier.

Replacement Front Tow Hook Cover Progress
Replacement Front Tow Hook Cover Progress

Additionally there is a piece that flexes when inserting the cover and then holds the cover in place.  The design works well for the type of material the cover is made of, but doesn’t work so well with the PLA material my 3D printer uses, which is much more rigid.

Back Comparison of Tow Hook Covers
Back Comparison of Tow Hook Covers

After trying to replicate the OEM design and finding the results less than satisfactory I decided to stop trying to be like OEM and think about how to make the part function correctly some other way.

I decided to try sliding a short length of silicone hose onto a bar that would position the hose correctly to hold the cover in place.

Replacement Tow Hook Cover Locking Piece
Replacement Tow Hook Cover Locking Piece

This design worked well at holding the cover in place.  This left trying to come up with a well fitting cover as the last major hurdle.

Mk7 GTI Tow Hook Cover Front Side Comparison
Mk7 GTI Tow Hook Cover Front Side Comparison

This proved to be more challenging to design than I was willing to spend time working on so I made a design that was “pretty close”, and then got out a metal file and worked the edge until the gap around the cover when installed was close enough to being equally spaced that somebody would have to look closely to spot that it wasn’t quite perfect.

Replacement Tow Hook Cover Installed on Mk7 GTI
Replacement Tow Hook Cover Installed on Mk7 GTI

The main objective was to get the tow hook hole covered so that it wasn’t obvious that it was missing.  With that accomplished I may revisit cleaning up the cover some more, but for the time being I am satisfied with the results.

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