Anyone here

have any experience with installing or having installed the Thule racks for cars without factory side racks. The type which requires a track to be penetrated into the top of the vehicle to receive the feet. I worry about leaking. TIA

Screws through the roof
I installed roof tracks on a minivan with short fat stainless steel sheet metal screws bedded in silicone sealant. I had the car about 3 years without leaks.

Thanks for the reply

Were the tracks you installed, Thule or Yakima?

I would be more concerned with…
blowing up an overhead air bag if it is a new vehicle.

On several on my pick up trucks in the past, I have drilled through the roof to install Yakimas “Landing Pads” and I was already to do the same on my new 2014 Dodge Ram last year, but was warned by a man who does collision service on the interiors of the Dodges that they now have overhead air bags.

I had him drop the headliner and sure enough right where I would have drilled I would have drilled into one.

I went to game plan “B” !

On some cars like my 2014 Forester, (with out the factory side rails) and my daughters CRV there are small plastic plates that you pop out and there are threaded holes under them for installing

Yakama or Thule towers.

Jack L

after installing the
expanding nuts for my Thule tracks, I applied the Sealant before securing the tracks, and have has no problem with leaks.

interesting replies

I have a 2015 Toyota Highlander SUV. It has the plastic inserts that poop off revealing 2 bolts. I was told that this vehicle requires the Thule 460 rack system. The installation kit supplies a center bolt for installation of the 460 fit kit number 3134. Problem is, I see no center hole for this bolt on the Toyota, only the 2 existing bolts. I’m not too sure Thule is correct here.

Welding Shop
If it were me, I’d take advantage of those mounting locations and build my own rack mounts that fit. For the average person in your situation, I’d suggest a trip to your local welding shop to ask them to do it. If you go that route, forget Thule/Yakima when it comes to the crossbars as well, and build them or have them built (though making your custom mounts accept Thule or Yakima bars is an option too). A custom-built rack won’t be cheap, but since Thule/Yakima stuff is already over-priced, I’d bet that the difference won’t be much, and it could easily be cheaper if you don’t mind painting the rack yourself.

Or maybe it’s as simple as drilling the additional hole that’s needed in the Thule mounts, or as simple as using two bolts per mount instead of three (I’m not sure about either case, based only on your description).