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Marquizzo

Looking for aftermarket side rails for roof

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I got a 2019 Ford Transit Connect and am looking at installing roof rails. Dealership is quoting me $600 for EACH rail plus labor, which is ridiculous. Does anybody know of an online parts store where I can buy reliable 3rd party roof rails for my car? Yakima and Thule don't make them (they only make the cross-bars), and most online stores only sell fixed-point cross-bars.

PS: I'm looking for rails that look something like this:

 

rails.jpg

 

Appreciate your help!

Edited by Marquizzo

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Yakima and Thule do sell tracks that have a universal u-channel design as well as a few other companies.

It's a different style than the OEM in that they are flat and flush with the channel of the van. I like that feature so it's flush when racks are not in use.

Depends on how you plan to use your racks and how often.

See pics in the thread linked below.

 

 

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Quote

Yakima and Thule do sell tracks

 

Thanks for this correction @windguy! I couldn't find them online, but I saw the Yakima part number in your post, which was very helpful. However, I only found them for $500-$600, which still feels a bit pricey.

 

I followed @mrtn's link and found these for $200 + free shipping (impressive, given they're based in Germany)! They're rated for loads up to 75kg, which is more than enough for paddleboards or a skybox. I think I'm gonna go with this option. Wish me luck!

Rails2.jpg.e7d020f965152f1f63255f521ebded57.jpg

 

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I removed my factory rails and installed Thule tracks myself. Its lower profile, has a greater load rating, and looks cooler, but deff NOT worth it. My van is the passenger version with rear curtain airbags so between the interior removal, drilling new mounting holes, and assembly, it took a solid 3 days. 

C48CAA12-E812-4DF3-B64B-F92EC3D536D5.jpeg

7FE25CA7-9497-4BCB-8EA7-CC41AEEE0513.jpeg

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5 hours ago, Marquizzo said:

 

Thanks for this correction @windguy! I couldn't find them online, but I saw the Yakima part number in your post, which was very helpful. However, I only found them for $500-$600, which still feels a bit pricey.

 

I followed @mrtn's link and found these for $200 + free shipping (impressive, given they're based in Germany)! They're rated for loads up to 75kg, which is more than enough for paddleboards or a skybox. I think I'm gonna go with this option. Wish me luck!

 

 

The 5ft long rails are $159 list. A few times a year both Yakima and Thule have 20% off sales. Otherwise it's price fixed at list price. There are lower cost options too other than those companies.

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

https://www.etrailer.com/Roof-Rack/Yakima/Y01135.html

 

Do you have a cargo van or wagon model?

I would research how those CAN AUTO tracks installs and what your options are for cross bars.

I wouldn't worry too much about load rating for a SUP but more about the lift forces when you get air under that at highway speeds. That could be significant say compared to a ladder.

What length is your SUP?

Someone on this forum a long time ago posted about mounting SUP's on their roof rack. You'll have to search for that post.

 

 

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@windguy Thanks so much for those two links! That's definitely more of what I'm looking for in terms of price.

We have two SUPs: an 11' and a 10'6" that we'd stack on top of each other. You're right, I should take air lift into consideration. Is that why you're called "WindGuy"? 😃 I'd also like to take a Skybox on and off, depending on the trip, but I'm guessing the lift would be less of a concern with the Skybox than with the SUPs.

I have a passenger wagon, so the interior lining covers the entire ceiling all the way to the rear liftgate, plus it has airbags to worry about. I e-mailed the seller and he said it'd be easy to install from the outside. This was our e-mail exchange:

 

Q: I have a 2019 Transit Connect XLT passenger wagon. Would I need to pull out the interior fabric to install the this roof rail hardware? Or can it be installed from the exterior alone?

A: hello, you will mount from the outside. you do not remove the flooring. extremely easy.

 

I'm assuming "flooring" is a language thing, and he meant lining. Looking at their instructions, it looks like item #14 goes into the mounting hole and has that long bar to grab onto something so you can tighten from the outside? Am I reading that right? I'm not sure bolt #12 for the middle and back can grab onto something in the same way:

instructions.jpg.ef421e1a81f93c14e7de90ff89256bea.jpg

 

I'm going to visit a local shop tomorrow named Rack N' Road that specializes in these type of installations, and ask for their advice between the CAN AUTO vs Yakima options. I have to say I like the way the elevated racks look more than the flush ones, but I'm willing to go with the most reliable option. Besides, I'd rather pay them to do the installation than botch it up myself.

 

@emassa15 That looks really good! Why did you need to drill new mounting holes? I thought all TCs already come with 5 holes on each side. I'm definitely trying to avoid going under the headliner, I'm even willing to go with the fixed-position cross-bars just to avoid dealing with that mess.

 

Edited by Marquizzo

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@marquizzo - I think it's a very good idea visiting your local rack shop to see what solutions they offer. They have the experience that will save you time and money.

The one reason I like the Yakima type rails is that on mine I used four mounting points. They do have special nut inserts when you want to mount them from the outside. They will show you this at the rack store. I like the idea of having a fender washer and nut on the inside but I understand about the headache of removing a roof liner. But for this shop it might be really easy for them to do.

 

Those SUP's you have are very long. Sounds fun for cruising. What do you use now to transport them? Lakes, bays or ocean? You'll need to spread your cross bars apart as much as possible to balance that load and may have to opt for using the front mounting hole too.  The rack shop will advise you on that issue. My windsurf and surfboards are all under 8ft (4 total) so they are more compact. A 4ft spread on the crossbars is more than adequate for them. You would need around 6ft. I've been mounting boards on cars, pickups and vans since 1984 so I've seen it all. My preference is to still stick everything inside if I can. See pic below. The racks are just a spare option for me. If I had a board that long it might be cool to have a roller on the back cross bar so you can easily hoist the SUP onto the rack if you're by yourself. Just a thought.  It's nice that the Gen 2 TC has a reasonable roof height for loading but I guess that depends on our height.

 

Random thoughts - Make sure your liftgate doesn't bonk anything hanging off the back of the rack. I have barn door so it's not an issue. If you store your van in the garage, the garage door opener needs to be stored away from it's normally mounting point when you have a load on the roof rack or else you're going to zone out and just hit that button and pull in forgetting about that load on top. Been there, done that. D'oh!

 

Please keep us posted!

 

 

Barn Door Holder 01.JPG

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Rivet nuts are very easy to install.  Only problem is spending the money on the rivet nut setter.  That's a very expensive tool to use for 6 or 8 pieces of hardware, then probably never use again.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Fifty150

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Well @windguy, I come back with bad news. Rack n' Road says they're unable to help me with the installation because, as I feared, the supplied hardware would require to pull out the lining to install. They'd rather not do it because there's a chance they might damage the binding or the side-airbag system underneath when removing the lining.

 

I found this installation video by the seller and indeed, you can see they have to access behind the lining at the 50-second mark. Looks like the seller didn't tell the whole truth when I e-mailed two days ago. Upon further inspection, I figured out why:

mounting-holes.thumb.jpg.304ab30d4d581322a44601c9bbf4c816.jpg

 

The back mounting holes are elongated, so you can insert the hardware from the outside. For some odd reason, the front hole is circular, so there's no angle at which to fit the bolt in. I just corroborated this with my own van. Does anybody know why Ford would make this decision? You'd think standard would be better, but maybe there's a good reason.

 

I like the rivet nut idea proposed by @Fifty150 and @Don Ridley. I'd be interested in pursuing that further, especially if it's only $63 extra, but it looks like the end result is a nut (female), whereas the rack system requires a bolt (male) as indicated by item #14 below. Any suggestions to make it work? I'm afraid that if I replace bolt #1 with a longer bolt to reach the rivet-nut, it could come loose if I skip nut #13. I welcome your suggestions!

 

install.jpg.1f90f26176059f966085b7cc3f65e9a0.jpg

 

------

 

Windguy, to answer your SUP questions, I used to have a 2006 Ford Escape with an OEM sliding roof rack system that I just passed down to the family. That's why I'm so set on getting rails again, it was very versatile and useful. We could fit anything from our 15' Coleman canoe down to a 5' Skybox. Our SUPs are inflatable, so we used to keep them inflated when driving close to home, but packed away when taking them long distances. Typically we go to bays and marinas close to home, but sometimes drive a bit further to go to lakes.

Edited by Marquizzo

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@marquizzo - bummer. sorry to hear the bad news.

 

The rivet nuts are certainly an option but I'm not sure if this would be the best application because the hole would be much larger than optimal being oblong but I haven't thought it through all the way. You also have to be sure it's bulletproof because of the upward forces of the load on your racks. That's a big liability you can't exactly experiment with.

 

Couple of thoughts come to mind. If you went with a five foot Yakima or Thule type track like I used and only use the rear four mounting holes, then you can reverse the mounting bolt so they point up and the nuts are on the outside. Assuming you can drop the head of the bolt into the oblong hole with a washer. Might be tricky to angle but possible. You can mount the bolts and washers using ample amounts of silicon, then remove the nut, which will stay in place because of the silicon, and then put down the track and put washer and nut on to tighten. Another option is to enlarge the front mounting hole so you can add the mounting hardware. Being careful about metal shavings dropping inside by using a shop vac as you drill the holes or whatever tool you use. Another idea is to just drop the headliner in just the cab area so you can get behind that one mounting hole. I know some forumites have dropped that headliner and don't think it's too difficult, but I wasn't willing to try that myself. You can also consult with Yakima or Thule directly or another rack installation place to get their input. Maybe they have different experiences or solutions. Worth a few phone calls. I got some of my parts from rackattack.com.

 

How about the Turtle Roof Racks from Turkey? (thread below)

 

How about the Rhino racks someone else used? (thread below) Same place that you went to - Rack 'n Road. Not sure if you went to the Costa Mesa location though.

Keep exploring all options and doing your research. You'll get to a solution at some point. 

Always available here to bounce ideas off of. Good luck!

 

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On 10/3/2019 at 5:01 AM, Fifty150 said:

Rivet nuts are very easy to install.  Only problem is spending the money on the rivet nut setter.  That's a very expensive tool to use for 6 or 8 pieces of hardware, then probably never use again.

 

When you're only putting in like half-dozen or so rivnuts, there's no reason to buy any special tools for it. All you need is a properly sized screw, washer, nut & a couple wrenches. Why make things expensive with dedicated tools for only 6 or so rivnuts? lol. Whenever I get around to installing my L-track rails, I'll be using rivnuts with the below procedure and drilling holes in the van body that match the factory holes on the L-track itself. Now I just need to quit procrastinating and get it done - I've had the rails DIY bent to match the roof profile for at least 3 years now... 

 

 

 

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After months of shopping and waiting, I finally got the roof setup I wanted! I bought these used rails+crossbars for $400 from another 2019 Connect owner who just had them removed:

rack.thumb.jpg.e26be3b7494881efb08def6fb5f01b12.jpg

 

Rack-N-Road didn't want to install them because they would have to remove the interior lining, and they didn't want to run the risk of damaging the curtain airbags, so I had to go through the dealer at $750 for labor.

IMG_1922.thumb.jpg.623318fb886b03c4cdd7e1bebd85f1df.jpg

 

Then we got a 16-cubic foot Yakima Skybox.

IMG_1928.thumb.jpg.70e52a1927fe52816a0ea6a72b6337c8.jpg

 

It turned out to be wayyy more expensive and difficult than I ever expected it to be, but all in all, I'm very excited with the final result. Word of advice: Ask the car salesman to add a roof-rack system before purchasing the car. My salesman said it could be done for $500, but that was far from the truth. It's much cheaper to get them to do it before signing the paperwork than to figure it out on your own after signing!

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17 hours ago, Marquizzo said:

It turned out to be wayyy more expensive and difficult than I ever expected it to be, but all in all, I'm very excited with the final result. Word of advice: Ask the car salesman to add a roof-rack system before purchasing the car. My salesman said it could be done for $500, but that was far from the truth. It's much cheaper to get them to do it before signing the paperwork than to figure it out on your own after signing!

 

Even better is custom-order. Roof rails are a $195 option on the build ticket (or $335 with the cross bars), but then you have to wait for your special-order to be built and delivered, lol. Get to tick all the options wanted, though. As you've probably seen from the forum, ordering just the rails from Ford after-the-fact is $1000 not counting install! 

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@jrm223 Yeah I thought about custom-building it online, but to be honest, I got some pretty good discounts at the dealership, and ended up paying well below sticker-price. So I guess I shouldn't be complaining!

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