I think Ford designed the rails to look nice and add a new attractive low profile roof line. With the rail going straight, it becomes raised on the front where the roof drops. If they wanted people to only put clamps on the first 24", they would have stopped the rail there instead of putting the groove down the whole length. And most Ford cars use the groove for mounting, by the way, so they would have left that out if they didn't want people to use it. By your logic that Ford only wants people to use the raised rails, Ford doesn't want anyone to use the roof rails on my Sable Wagon that has rails flush the whole length of the car, and provide cross bars that fit into this groove.Hwycruiser wrote: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.
Mounting the box on the front part of the rails will definitely stick the box out into the jet stream, which flows back along the windshield line or further back.
The car will handle better with more better with more equal weight between front and back. With the engine providing weight in the front, adding more load in the back will be better. Your speculation doesn't make sense.
Incidentally, I commonly put 6 bikes on my Taruus X: 2 bikes on top and 4 on the rear hitch. Last year, I also took a ride from California to Moab, Utah, and Fruita, Coloroado with four mountain biker friends - four bikes on back and lots of camping gear on the roof box. The Taurus X is a travel vehicle of choice among among my biking friends.