Loosening a frozen Yakima Tower?

I have a set of Yakima lo-rider mounts attached to my car’s factory roof rails. After the past winter I found that one of the towers

cannot be adjusted or removed. The tightening mechanism is frozen. I have sprayed it several times with WD-40 and another anti-seize compound. I have also given it several good whacks with a machinist’s hammer on the exposed end of the threaded tightening bolt.

Any suggestions on how to loosen the bolt/adjuster without damage?


Impact tool
I have a tool from my mechanic days that has a 3/8 socket stud on one end. It is heavy and rotates for on or off. When you whack the end with a hammer it causes the socket to rotate slightly while applying forward pressure. I used it to get phillips head bolts out of motorcycle engine sidecases. Impala Bob

Be careful. They’re easy to break/strip.
Call Yakima and ask them. They were good to deal with.

Try some heat from…
a hair dryer on it.



Is it the threaded take-up assembly, or the Zytel wedges that are stuck?

I just traded cars, and getting my LowRiders to let go of the bars was difficult. Tou might try smacking the metal casting with a RUBBER mallet while twisting the bar. Once the bar is loose, the wedges will follow soon after.


It’s the the threaded take-up assembly
as best as I can determine, Jim. There is a bit of rust on the threads. I have repeated tried loosing/twisting the Zytel wing/arm (the part that can be locked down with keyed core locks). It will move a quarter of a turn, but I can see that all it is doing is shifting around on the bolt head. e.g. the threaded bolt itself IS NOT moving.

I did give Yakima a call. They were very polite and offered to supply some replacements parts, but this really doesn’t help me get the Tower loose or off of the car : - (

Thanks, Joe

Well, in that case
I don’t have any good ideas. Liquid wrench and time may be your best option.

Good luck


Try some Classic Coke. It eats rust.
Seriuosly. Just make sure you wash everything afterwards.