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Hello, new Transit Connect owner here. Well, new to me, right? 

 

I have a 2013 model that I bought with 47,000 and now have 51,000 on the odometer. And I love this thing! Made a camper set-up and it's just like home. All mileage has been with surfboards on the roof, with a Yakima rack that I installed after purchase. Thing is, I am afraid that the roof rack load is damaging my van.

 

The damage appears in the form of divots under the beam that supports the roof rack. I usually carry 2 longboards and a shortboard, must be less that 40 lbs total load, including the rack itself. But look at my pictures, the roof itself seems to be buckling. I noticed this the other day when adding sealant to the rack mounting point threads (but that's another story). I know that the previous owner did not install a roof rack. I also never carry more than 40-50 lbs on top, and I never drive over 70 mph. Cannot figure out what is going on, and worried that I am going to have a problem with my van's roof in the future. Can anyone offer some advice? 

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Are you sure the marks appeared on your watch? There is no organic reasons for the rack or the foot load of it to cause this. The roof is very strong and the rack should be able to carry 200 lbs easily. There are service vans with a major rack on the top where two people can work.

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Congrats on your new to you TC.

Extra points cause you're a surfer :thumbsup:

I use my Gen2 TC primarily as a surfmobile (see attached pic). Love it!

 

Regarding your rack problem, please share some pics that show how your rack sits on your roof and how those dimples line up with the rack mounting points.

My Yakima is setup on tracks that I installed in the recess so the load is somewhat distributed and could be more reinforced to handle racking (see attached pic).

 

 

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Barn Door Holder 01.JPG

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Do you have a picture that references the location better. 

Looks as if something put on the rack dented the roof

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I think @windguy is onto something here--I don't have rails for my setup. I'll post pics later, but without tracks installed for the rack (just plain Yakima Skyline towers), all weight is coming down directly on top of the four mounting points. I''ll post pictures later today when I get home.

 

In the meantime, has anyone else suffered roof damage from using the roof rack without rails?


Are there other users who carry heavy loads without rails or tracks, without problems?

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Here's a better view of the roof. You can see the divots underneath the cross-bars.

 

The van had a single previous owner, and I know that she never used a rack. 

 

Worried that the divots are going to get worse, but to be honest, I don't know if they were already there when I bought the van. 

 

Do other Transit owners have these roof divots? Cracking paint? Distressed body panels on the roof?

 

 

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Wait, those are not the correct mounting points. have the holes have been drilled in the flat roof sheet? This may cause extra stress on the roof.

 

The correct points are in the drain grooves.

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I'm just guessing here based soley on the photos of what's being carried, the rack installation as shown, and the location of the dimples being under the crossbar and not under the support feet. The problem may not be the weight of your load causing a down force, but instead it may be the load shape causing an up force due to wind load while driving.

 

I think the dimples may be at spot weld locations attaching the roof sheet metal to the supprt beam underneath. If the brackets attach to the sheet metal and not the framing underneath, wind under the load may be trying to lift the entire flat roof away from the support beam. But again, that's just a guess.

 

After getting the Ford rails for my factory roof rails, up lift was a big concern since my only anticipate use would be for carrying sheet goods which would tend to catch a lot of wind. And the relatively small recess in the rails that the cross bars attached to makes me wonder how much upwards force they can resist. They look to handle down force fine, but may not handle wind lift. Thankfully, I have not needed to use them yet. But when I do, there's going to be a lot of extra strapping to actual vehicle structure, not just the cross bars.

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@halfalpine - thanks for sharing some pics.

I have no idea how those landing pads are attaching to your roof. What do they grab onto?

I think just putting them in some arbitrary spot is risky and it's obviously affected your roof.

 

In my Gen 2, there are five mounting holes on each side in the recessed tracks and around each mounting hole the body is double plated for extra reinforcement. Other areas of the roof are pretty weak and flexible and unsupported. I would suggest scrapping those landing pads and getting ones as shown in the link below and then mounting a pair of tracks. Five foot tracks should be just fine and give you more flexibility on where to place your rails based on the size of your boards or other loads you plan to hoist up there. The new landing pads are compatible with the Skyline towers, which is what I am using.  I'm using Landing Pad #1. The tracks can bolt through the van for a secure and strong base. Do you have access to the inside of the roof or is there a headliner? In my cargo van 4 of the 5 mounting holes are accessible. The fifth or front one is under the headliner in the cab area.

 

LANDING PAD #1 - Manufacturer Part Number: 8000221

https://www.rackattack.com/base-roof-rack-systems/permanent-custom-mount-roof-rack-systems/yakima-landing-pad-1/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_content=Yakima+Landing+Pad+1&utm_campaign=brand+item+three+-+Top+Brands+-+search+-+exact+-+Enhanced+CPC

 

TRACKS - 5FT - Manufacturer Part Number: 8001135

https://www.rackattack.com/base-roof-rack-systems/permanent-custom-mount-roof-rack-systems/yakima-60-inch-track-with-bolts/

Tracks come two ways, with bolts or plusnuts.

 

Yakima items are expensive and price fixed but they let retailers offer a 20% off sale a few times a year if you prefer to wait.

 

 

Edited by windguy

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can't edit my above post - forgot to add the pic below to my above post

 

 

halfalphine racks 01.JPG

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I re-looked at this thread to consider my racking options and I realized I have an answer about the dimples shown in the black roof: they're normal and caused at the factory. I look out a 2nd story window and see the top of my van a lot. My van has a dozen or more of those dimples down each trench at the sides of the van. They're small distortions caused when something on the inside of the body was spot welded to the roof skin.

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