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Roof attachment points on 2014 Transit Connect

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As of now, I will resist using the factory rails. They usually aren't as strong as the aftermarket rails.

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There is an affordable rail kit but is marketed in UK. I don't know if it will work on the US model.

This is for Gen1 TC. Will not work on 2014.

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This is for Gen1 TC. Will not work on 2014.

THANX!

So pre-2014 is GEN 1? That explains the roof panel differences and mounting pattern. Are the EURO and US models bascically the same say other than minor trim differences?

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I ran into the same issue when buying my 2014 XLT Connect Wagon last month. Roof rails were the only “must have” option I really needed. Initially the salesman said not to worry, we could just add the rails after purchase. He called back though and told me that in fact it would cost over $1000.00 to have the dealer install the rails after purchase. I also called Yakima and Thule to see if they had an aftermarket solution available, but both said their “naked roof”/no factory rail solutions would not work with the Connect. Eventually our dealer found a Connect with factory rails for us and that is what we bought.

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I ran into the same issue when buying my 2014 XLT Connect Wagon last month. Roof rails were the only “must have” option I really needed. Initially the salesman said not to worry, we could just add the rails after purchase. He called back though and told me that in fact it would cost over $1000.00 to have the dealer install the rails after purchase.

I also called Yakima and Thule to see if they had an aftermarket solution available, but both said their “naked roof”/no factory rail solutions would not work with the Connect. Eventually our dealer found a Connect with factory rails for us and that is what we bought.

I learned something a very long time ago and that is if the feature/accessory you desire is not factory assembly, don't mess with delaer installations. Usually, the accessory is not FORD but sourced from an outside source and is not covered under FORD warranty.

I have seen years of dealer abuses regarding this subject.

This dealer actually sent me to an outside vendor as the vendor impiled he had a source for a kit. The shop wanted to fashion a kit from scrap parts to fit my new TC.

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THANX!

So pre-2014 is GEN 1? That explains the roof panel differences and mounting pattern. Are the EURO and US models bascically the same say other than minor trim differences?

I'm not sure how the model years are expressed but the rack and van pictured in the ebay link are Gen1.

Gen1 machines are pretty much identical, except engine/transmission and some lights (side markers and roof mounted brake light).

Gen2 are more similar with a matching 1.6 Ecoboost and auto transmission which is now available here as well.

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Does anyone know the actual part number from Thule for the foot that will attach to the TC factory rails? I have a set of Thule bars already but dont want to have to buy the entire kit from ford when I can just reuse the bars I have.

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Does anyone know the actual part number from Thule for the foot that will attach to the TC factory rails? I have a set of Thule bars already but dont want to have to buy the entire kit from ford when I can just reuse the bars I have.

Looking at the FORD Install Manual for the Cross Bar Kit, the bars are only shown as an assembly. Most likely, THULE has an agreement with FORD to whereas the bars are only available as assemblies offered in the kit. Contact THULE directly for confirmation.

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Has anyone found a better solution to this? I was told I couldn't order the rails on a custom order for an XLT wagon, but that appears to be a mistake. Now I'm stuck in the $500 per, plus installation. These are a must have for roof racks, hoping someone might have found a cheaper option.

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Robert - how does an exterior roof rack affect interior air bags?

Much belated answer-

They (side curtain/pillar bags) may interfere with the rail mounting(s).

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Much belated answer-

They (side curtain/pillar bags) may interfere with the rail mounting(s).

thanks. now that I have my van I can see that getting to the forward mounting point would be hard because of the head liner in the cab area. the remaining mounting points are all visible since there is no head liner. I would imagine that the wagon model uses this forward mounting point for the roof rail so not sure why that would be an issue for the van model. They both should have the same air bag setup.

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I also entered this post in "Roof Rack for 2014 TC"

The Ford dealer would charge about $520 per rail [$1040 for the pair] for my 2014 TC Van. It's the same roof rail available as factory option for the TC Wagon only, not the van. And the dealer would not install the rails, because they wouldn't remove and re-install the headliner.

At American Van, I ordered Van-Tech "Universal Roof Track" - 6' length, for $180/pair, [also available in 4' and 5].

Installation was $150. Total for roof track w tax and installation parts $356.

The rails fit in the groove of the roof. The installer had to drill new holes for the roof track, factory holes didn't match the track.

Then buy Thule Podium Foot Pack #460, and Thule Fit Kit 3101, and Thule Bars [make sure the foot pack is square or round to march the cross bars].

Just installed the Thule rack today, fits the rail perfectly. Ready for windsurfing, SUP, and saved plenty of moolah.

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I got a rack from american van and the holes matched with no problem. This is the one i got;

VBB-TC21BS 2014 & Newer Ford Transit Connect Long WB Aluminum Base Ladder Rack 16.00 lbs $319.6

vbb.jpg

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@bob248 - thanks for the rack info.

can you take a pic of your rack so we can see how nice it looks?

windsurfing in the midwest? really? just kidding. I'm sure there are some fun lakes to shred on.

I posted a few pics in my photo gallery of the cargo area of my van that has a rack I made to store sails and masts. check it out.

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@EmoMorales - thanks for the rack input. could you also post a pic of how the rack looks on your Gen 2.

The pic you have in your post in on a Gen 1 TC.

How many of the mounting holes do the rails use for mounting?

I think 4 of the 5 holes are accessible from the cargo area and the most forward one is blocked by the cab area headliner.

Also curious about the height of the rack. Does the rack sit below the antenna?

thanks

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Yes, Windguy, it's not the Gorge but there is indeed windsurfing in the Midwest.

As requested, a photo of my new track / rack - IMHO a bargain solution for Transit Connect van owners who want a removal rack. Ford sells the roof rails for over $1000/pair plus additional charge for installation, IF the dealership is willing to perform the install. This roof rail cost me $356 including installation.

Note the clean installation by American Van - the track fits within the groove of the roof.

Van-Tech "Universal Roof Track" 6' length, Thule Podium Foot Pack #460, Thule Fit Kit 3101, and Thule cross bars [available in many lengths].

[the Foot Pack and cross bars are both available in square and round design, obviously have to match]

All these details are provided so the next person doesn't have to reinvent the wheel [and find my earlier post]. I spent a considerable amount of time and energy finding this solution for the van roof rack. Calling and visiting multiple Ford dealerships was a complete waste of time.

Also photo of PVC rack for windsurfers [1" furniture-grade Formufit PVC, ordered online from Home Depot - free shipping to your home for larger orders].

2014 Roof track / rack

Rack2

Interior

Edited by Bob248

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@bob248 - thanks for posting pics of the roof rack with details. that's a really nice solution.

I like how the track sit flush inside the existing track so when you remove the crossbars, it's hard to see.

nice job on the board rack too. didn't know furniture grade PVC existed.

if you make something like I did for your sails/masts then you've got extra storage space below unless you have really big sails/masts that won't fit that way.

my biggest sail is a 5.6/wave and a 430 mast.

one thing I haven't fully worked out is the flopping barn doors due to heavy wind. I made a slotted stick as you can see in one of the pics that goes between the doors and clears my head when walking around. that works great for lighter wind but when it gets pumping the doors jiggle that loose. Yesterday, I ended up just using the stick against the ground to keep the windward door open, which worked okay. The stick would work better as designed if I can clamp the doors together as well. I need a better design.

Gear Rack

Beach Cruiser loaded up for fun

Edited by windguy

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2015 TC and dealer ordered part #BK3Z-61550A82-B. This is the 4 cross bars that bolt to the existing holes that are plugged. No side rail, non-adjustable, so that stinks. Local prise was $435.75 + tax. Then you have to install the crossbars. I have a Sears XCargo luggage carrier that hopefully will fit. But yeah the dealer was not very helpful. If not for me searching on the Internet I don't know that I would have gotten this far.

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2015 TC and dealer ordered part #BK3Z-61550A82-B. This is the 4 cross bars that bolt to the existing holes that are plugged. No side rail, non-adjustable, so that stinks. Local prise was $435.75 + tax. Then you have to install the crossbars. I have a Sears XCargo luggage carrier that hopefully will fit. But yeah the dealer was not very helpful. If not for me searching on the Internet I don't know that I would have gotten this far.

thanks for the update. sounds good.

let us know how the install goes and please post some pics

Did the Ford dealer say this was compatible with the TC - Gen 2?

Parts only shows it compatible for a Transit, not the TC so I'm curious. link below

http://accessories.ford.com/exterior/racks-carriers/rack-asy-roof.html

Edited by windguy

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those are for the big dogs not the little connect

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I am putting together a system for roof mounting.

I started with these extrusions and hardware from Mac's Custom Tie-Downs. Free shipping on this order.

4

310009

M10 Threaded Stud

$55.80

4

310001

Single Stud Tie-Down Ring VT-1000

$19.80

2

240096

VersaTie Aluminum Track (Series 4) - 96"

$139.90

I curved the track a little at the rear (tough stuff) to follow the roof line and cut off a bit so as not to need to curve it over the driver/passenger area.

I put 6 or 7 rivet nuts per side from Mcmaster-Carr in new holes with 5/16 screws for the attachments. The ford holes were not good spacing for the extrusions. If I were doing it again I would use smaller 1/4" or 5-6mm hardware for easier alignment. There is some pre glued neoprene tape under them to raise slightly to roof level.

The stud tie-downs can go anywhere along the tracks. Now I will make cross bars to fit my needs.

BTW the ford holes are oblong except the front one is round. I have misplaced the sizes but they seemed to be about 6x12 mm and they are not in the center of the groove. The airbag stuff is a couple inches below that level so be sure to use a drill stop and avoid areas where there are braces with more layers of metal to deal with.

Best wishes,

RN

post-4923-0-21239900-1437686880_thumb.jp

post-4923-0-92129100-1437686915_thumb.jp

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nice job on the rack. thanks for providing pics.

keep us updated when you get the cross bars installed

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Bob,

I can't seem to find a source for the 6' Universal Roof Track that you mentioned. Can you point me in the right direction?

Thanks.

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Bob,

I can't seem to find a source for the 6' Universal Roof Track that you mentioned. Can you point me in the right direction?

Thanks.

I'd send Bob a PM for a quicker reply

Also try contacting VanTech directly

http://vantech.us/Transit-Connect-2008-13-J-Series-Rack-System_c21.htm

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That helped. I had been looking at van-tech.com It's different. Thanks for the link.

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