X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

WesH
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by WesH » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:26 pm

I’ll got the info you need!

I own a 2008 X - and had searched and searched... found a Thule Rack dealer, drove there and we spent more than an hour trying different components.. then Eureka!!!

We found a fit... with a very small adjustment .. works great!

This is what I use:

Thule #430 Tracker II Foot Pack
Thule #TK1 Tracker II Attachment Kit
Thule Standard 48" bars (fits the foot adapters)

The only small modification was with the Foot Adapter. This is a two-piece component. One part is the "base" that attaches to the roof rails, then other snaps on and off this base for storage (unless you purchase the locks and leave in place).

This attachment uses a small threaded tee-bar clip that fits down into the slotted track… except the hex screws that come in the kit are too short.

So I went to a specialty nut and bolt dealer, went to the Will Call counter with my threaded tee-bar and existing hex screw and told them I wanted one like that but a 3/8” longer.. and presto… they sold me 8 new hex screws (I purchase two extras for spares) that work perfectly …

I mounted the adapter bases on the racks, tip - now you will have to use your finger and make sure that the tee-bar aligns fully across inside the slot to maximize the gripping area for the tee-bar, but once you get all adapters spaced and measuring where all fits well together…those babies snap right into place and are very firmly attached to the roof.

There is no hindrance whatsoever with the X roof and rail or sun roof…

I have used the rack many times, carried a soft bag full of golf clubs for more than a 1,500 miles with no problems. The adapters nor bases have never been loose. I leave the bases for the adapters in place all the time never have taken them off. That way all I have to do is just snap in place the bars and off I go.. no more measuring.

One tip… once you get the bases where you want them… I sprayed some lithium spray grease on the screws in the slots to serve and a sealant to help retard rusting. And do that every once in a while just in case I ever want to remove them they will not be seized up.

Hope this helps!


dsalter
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by dsalter » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:05 pm

This seems like the best solution so far,

How does the height of this compare with the "lowrider" solution (which use only the front portion of the rails)?

I picture of the installed bars would be great.

Thanks in advance

chaimav
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Location: Central New Jersey

Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by chaimav » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:57 pm

Has anyone tried the "official" Ford solution?
2008 T-Rex SEL AWD

dsalter
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by dsalter » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:15 pm

I ordered it from Ford thinking that it must slot into the rail.

I was really disappointed to find that it is merely a Thule strap on type base which goes on the open (front) part of the rail. Fortunately my dealer said no problem and took it back.

chaimav
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Location: Central New Jersey

Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by chaimav » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:31 pm

dsalter wrote:I ordered it from Ford thinking that it must slot into the rail.

I was really disappointed to find that it is merely a Thule strap on type base which goes on the open (front) part of the rail. Fortunately my dealer said no problem and took it back.
Thanks for the info, I couldn't find any pictures of it anywhere.

This still leaves the question...........

What was Ford thinking?
2008 T-Rex SEL AWD

dsalter
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by dsalter » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:46 pm

So it appears that either the posted Thule or Yakima solutions work. The Thule solution seems easier as it only requires longer bolts. I know little about rack systems or cargo boxes. Are these two brands comparable in quality? If one installs one type of base will the other brands box fit?

I will likely do this by ordering the parts online as the local rack franchise insists using the front open rail section for a large/long box. I suppose if you want to box to double as a sunvisor. Too lazy to figure things out- as apparently was Ford :-(

mdalton
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by mdalton » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:31 pm

I will be trying WesH's Thule solution. WesH do you have the precise size of the bolts, ie. #10-32 x 1 1/2?

dsalter
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by dsalter » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:28 pm

After much fiddling I have securely installed the Thule #TK1 Tracker kit:

Parts are:
1&1/4" washers x8
1&1/2" washers x 8
3/4" beveled Bibb washers requiring trimming on 2 sides to fit snugly in slot
#6 metric bolts 1&1/2" long
8 extra washer similar in size to those that come with kit

tools required are 10mm socket

To eliminate the possibilty of the t-bolt loosening and going sideways, I placed a 1&1/4 inch washer between it and the upper insside of the bottom of the rail.

The rubber plumbing washer is larger than used in previous posts. It required some trimming with wire cutters on the side to get a tight fit

The 1&1/2" washer was placed under the tracker base to eliminate the chance that one edge of it slides partially into the slot.

It takes a lot of patience to reach under the washer and secure the t-nut for tightening. on each bolt I an extra washer to allow the 10 mm socket to grip the bolt head and tighen down all the way.

To reduce vibration and increase grip, I plan to add some very thin rubber "gaskets" (such as from an inner tube repair kit) between the upper washer and the rail.
Attachments
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base fasteners
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tadpole
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by tadpole » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:06 pm

To make the assembly easier, I used some rigid foam - pieces cut from some water pipe insulation - stuffed in the track to hold the nut plates and such in place long enough to get the screw started. You can actually drop the hardware in the track, start the screw, lift the nut plate up with the screw, slide some foam underneath, remove the screw, insert the screw through the base, and re-thread into the nut plate. Repeat for the other screw on the base. Move to the other end of the track and do it again. Etc.

lee_courtney
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by lee_courtney » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:12 pm

We took the Yakima roof rack off our 96 Explorer and using aluminum and screws purchased from Home Depot (or any hardware store) have attached to our 2008 Taurus-X AWD Limited. The rack sits on Yakima Landing Pad #1 and the aluminum plates are used to mate the Landing Pad to the T-X rails. You can see higher definition pictures at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lee_courtn ... 189233429/

The problem was the nut-plates that held the Landing Pad onto the Explorer rail were too small and would slip out of the T-X rail. Went down to the hardware store and got a strip of aluminum that I cut with a hacksaw into 5 1/2 inch pieces. Using the Landing Pad I marked drill holes and drilled holes for the screws.

I had to make the lower plate that fits inside the rail narrower so that I could tilt and slide it into the rail. Super-glued the nut-plates onto the lower side of the bottom aluminum plate. That's just so it would be easier when attaching the Landing Pad screws. This fixes the fact that the nut-plates are not big enough to hold the Landing Pad on the rail. Also needed longer screws which I think were M6x35.

We have made a couple trips from the Bay Area to Kirkwood and Yosemite with the setup. Seems to be sturdy and hold fine. We use the cargo box for sleeping bags, duffle bags, and other light-weight soft items. Other than getting used to the additional wind noise seems to be working fine. I take the box off between trips to increase gas mileage, but the Landing Pads make this pretty easy.

I suspect this solution would also work for Thule (we have a hitch attached Thule bike rack).

On a related note we had a lot of snow on our last trip to Kirkwood (elevation 8,000') and the T-X did great. We drove our 96 Explorer pretty hard as our mountain car and had no compliants for 12 years and >200K miles. The T-X AWD did great in the snow. Too bad Ford is discontinuing this model.

skraps
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by skraps » Fri May 29, 2009 8:22 am

I took our '08 Taurus X over to Rackoutfitters (Austin, TX) so they could have a look at putting cross bars on the roof rack. We had already purchased a Yakima cargo box for our Subaru Outback and I want to be able to put that on the Taurus X (sidebar: the cargo box fit easily inside the cabin with the seats down, the space is cavernous). With some additional hardware (longer screws, etc.) they were able to get the Landing Pad 4's on the roof rails. Looks great, so that is an option if anyone needs it.

cheers,
Chris

LarryQW
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by LarryQW » Fri May 29, 2009 8:52 am

skraps wrote:I took our '08 Taurus X over to Rackoutfitters (Austin, TX) so they could have a look at putting cross bars on the roof rack. We had already purchased a Yakima cargo box for our Subaru Outback and I want to be able to put that on the Taurus X (sidebar: the cargo box fit easily inside the cabin with the seats down, the space is cavernous). With some additional hardware (longer screws, etc.) they were able to get the Landing Pad 4's on the roof rails. Looks great, so that is an option if anyone needs it.

cheers,
Chris
The only problem in using the Landing Pad 4 with the longer screws is that the pad can shift slightly to the side and come off, especially with the wide rail opening and narrow pad. I suspect this is the reason Yakima pulled their recommendation of the Landing Pad 4 for the Taurus X.

I fixed the issue by putting a second smaller spacer block on the screw, but up higher up tight into the groove. The spacer block fits tight and prevents the screw from tilting and the landing pad cannot slip off now.

See my pictures of this appraoch a couple pages back.
Owner of Taurus X Limited - Ice Blue Metallic

Hwycruiser
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by Hwycruiser » Sun May 31, 2009 1:31 pm

Late post on this topic that has been well discussed. I have followed it since before we owned a Taurus X. I was also concerned about how Ford had designed the roof rails. But come to find out they are fine just the way they are. I do not think you need to configure hardware to load the roof. The roof rack puts the bikes squarely over the middle of the vehicle wheels where the should be. You do not want your load sitting at the back of the vehicle. The Yakima 58" bars with the "LowRiders" which attach to the rails. The spread is only 24" but that is fine with the Yakima attachments including their "Skybox" cargo boxes. Here it is loaded-
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Last edited by Hwycruiser on Sun May 31, 2009 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LarryQW
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by LarryQW » Sun May 31, 2009 4:10 pm

Hwycruiser wrote:Late post on this topic that has been well discussed. I have followed it since before we owned a Taurus X. I was also concerned about how Ford had designed the roof rails. But come to find out they are fine just the way they are. I do not think you need to configure hardware to load the roof. The roof rack puts the bikes squarely over the middle of the vehicle wheels where the should be. You do not want your load sitting at the back of the vehicle. The Yakima 58" bars with the "LowRiders" which attach to the rails. The spread is only 24" but that is fine with the Yakima attachments including their "Skybox" cargo boxes. If I can figure out how to load a picture I will.
The car is front-heavy so having a little more weight toward the rear is fine, and maybe even good, and maybe it doesn't matter too much considering the roof can only handle 125 lbs of load anyway.

My rack installer and others with experience say the skybox drag increases quickly the more it extends out front. If you draw an imaginary line up the windshield and tapering back quickly, the way a jet stream would do, you want the skybox in the dead zone behind the jet stream for low drag. This means getting the box much futher back. If you stick the box out front using only the first 24" of rail, besides looking funny, you may loose ~2 MPG in drag. With my box further back as described. I've measured the MPG on the same stretch of road with and without the box and the difference is a whopping "zero" effect on MPG, just as my rack installer suggested.

I also use the the roof rack for mounting bikes. Having a longer spread than 24" is better for reducing any torque forces and better spread of the load on the car frame.

In general, Ford gave a long rail on the Taurus X for a reason. Using only the first 24" raised portion is a serious limitation that is almost always negative. But if you can get away with just using that front portion, then go for it.

Incidentally, Yakima just came out with a new rail mount for the Taurus X called the "Rail Grab". It looks like you need to remove the entire structure unlike the landing pad, but it's lower profile. See more here: http://www.yakima.com/Consumer/ProductP ... 38&sPart2=
Owner of Taurus X Limited - Ice Blue Metallic

Hwycruiser
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Re: X - Roof Rack Cross Bars

Post by Hwycruiser » Sun May 31, 2009 8:25 pm

Although I have not mounted a Yakima cargo box yet I do not think it will stick out the front. I had a Yakima cargo box that did not allow for a 24" spread so I sold it and have not replaced it yet. But I did put the box I had on the roof and the fit appeared to be right on if I could have been able to use the 24" spread. The old style Yakima boxes are the same except the way the clamps on the underside work. You can see by the picture I added above using the rails with the openings puts the load behind the front passengers and it does not stick out beyond the front windshield as has been assumed. I think Ford designed the TX rails the way they did to force owners to properly load the vehicle between the wheels. I have 3 bikes on the roof in the picture each weighing approx 30lbs plus the weight of the rack. So I was probably at the weight limit of 125lbs and I could not even tell I had the bikes on the car. No handling difference or wind noise traveling at 70mph on the freeway.

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