Permanent installation for Yakima racks?

watch where you drill
Just wanted to add a word of caution—

I drilled the roof of my '07 FIT for Yakima rails and very nearly cut a wire for the Air Bag System. Do your homework. 7 years later and all is still fine.

we had a 60s GMC work truck

– Last Updated: Aug-02-13 5:42 PM EST –

with metal headliner. In fact the only things in the interior that weren't metal were the steering wheel, window knobs and dashboard top. Face of the dash was even metal.

I’ve seen old trucks and cars with all-metal interiors, but always with the exception of the headliner. I wish I could remember what the interior of our '49 IHC pickup was like, but our '71 IHC Travelall when I was a kid had lots of metal on the inside, metal that was too thick to easily dent with a hammer in fact, but inside door panels were fabric-coated “hard board” and the headliner was a sheet of some kind of compressed-paper product. Still it’s hard to believe that this day and age, when every bit of interior surfacing and door-pillar trim is made of plastic, that a recent-model F150 has a metal headliner. They won’t even put much steel in the bumpers anymore (used to be you needed both hands just to lift a bumper, but now they’ve got the weight down to about 15 pounds, and you can even slightly bend the bumper’s sheet metal with your fingers) so no way are they installing additional steel where fabric and foam covered cardboard has long been the norm.

Very true - get the factory repair manua

– Last Updated: Aug-03-13 4:37 PM EST –

Toyota used to (and probably still does) offer access to their repository for electronic download of all the factory repair manuals for a small fee ($10?) for a limited time access. I had all the manuals for my Camry this way and they were quite handy over the 13-14 years i've had it. Did that for the older Prius too. Same with my new Honda - $10 or so for a 3 day full access to download all I want from Honda (unfortunately, piecemeal not as one full package). I could see in the schematics where the wiring and airbags are supposed to be and where the roof structural support is, etc. when I drilled, I could see through the holes that the schematics from the manual were pretty much right.

While the download subscription was active, I also downloaded the pages for other useful things such as brakes, battery/hybrid battery wiring, transmission, oil, radio, engine, etc., so I could do my own maintenance, repairs, and troubleshooting. I've saved thousands by following simple diagnostics to detect faulty O2 sensor or other cheap and easy to replace parts where mechanics usually tell you need a $2K repair by just looking at fault codes from their scanners (which, while useful, are not the whole story).

Someone asked me…
So I’m posting my thinking here too:

For what is worth, I think some of the outdoor retail stores who install racks, and especially kayak specific retailers, would do a better install than a random auto shop. However, you might want to ask your Toyota dealer for a printout of the pages from the Prius V body shop/mechanics manual pages that show the sheet metal on the roof and door sills and the wiring for the side air bags and the dome lights - you will want to avoid these when drilling… These can be downloaded off the web from Toyota’s web site for a nominal subscription fee too.