Roof racks

Hey guys, i have a car with a naked roof. I currently use pool noodles as a “roof rack” but am wanting something more sturdy like a real rack. Unfortunately, my car, a 2007 hyundai tiburon isnt compatible with anything from thule. Are there any good universal roof racks you guys recommend? I’m looking at the seattle sports kayak roller, but want some opinions before i jump into something. The kayak i’m transporting is an Ocean Kayak Frenzy. Thanks!

You didn’t mention Yakima. Are they
also not offering anything for your car?

I’ve had to improvise on a couple of cars, way back when there was Quick’N’Easy and nothing else. The challenge is that Thule and Yakima research so they know where the hidden strong points are for tower racks. If you don’t know that, and use some sort of universal or improvised towers, be careful that the load points are well distributed and that you don’t tie down unnecessarily hard, just enough for stability. Road bumps are going to cause transient increases in load.

Your means of clipping to the window holes is also going to be a challenge.

Are you sure you shouldn’t trade that car?

here you go (Inno rack)

– Last Updated: Mar-23-15 10:18 AM EST –

It ain't cheap.

Time to trade in for a new Genesis coupe? ;)

Looks good!

Another thing I would suggest,
whenever a tower and clip rack is an unknown quantity, is to connect the front and rear crossbars firmly with struts. This turns two sub racks into one and reduces stresses on the towers. I can’t say how struts should be improvised, but it is worth the improvisational effort. Sometimes available accessories, like bicycle troughs or gear baskets, can serve as struts. It puzzles me that the major rack makers do not offer struts for their tower-and-clip racks. The gain in security is considerable.

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using bike troughs = good idea
And if you’re also a cyclist, it’s a “two birds with one stone” solution.

Yakima does offer
A rack compatible, but its $300+ for the towers alone, which is out of my budget once you include the cross bars, proper rack, etc.

wish i could trade.
I’ve tried multiple times to trade it for a little pickup truck, but for how much i owe on it, i’m gonna have to wait a bit to do anything.

naked roof best for rack
I love cars with naked roofs as they allows lower placement of roof racks.

Here is what I think it’s the best and most secure way to mount a roof rack:

drilling holes in your roof to carry

– Last Updated: Mar-24-15 9:24 PM EST –

a kayak makes about as much sense as drilling holes in your kayak to bolt it to the car. Less so because a car is worth a good sum more than a kayak. Sheet metal is exceedingly thin on modern car roofs, and they're not all the same. Once you get moisture in your headliner, good luck getting it out. Your windows will steam and frost incessantly and your headliner will start to sag. And we all know what moisture does to metal.

I'd never do it.

I've never had a yakima or thule rack, neither of which rely on "friction", give way in over ten years of use, crossing the mackinac bridge when trucks needed escorts due to high winds, crossing the middle part of the country in high winds, etc. IMO failure of these type of racks is due to user error - you have to be diligent about following the instructions.

I wouldn’t necessarily mind drilling …

– Last Updated: Mar-24-15 10:01 PM EST –

... holes, but I do have certain doubts about pop-rivets. Pop-rivets are okay for a connection that is stressed in shear, but not so great if the rivets themselves are in tension (like if there's a lifting force on your boat). The back-side anchorage of a pop-rivet is just a very gently tapered wedge, nothing more. I'm not sure I'd trust that wedge to not pull through, since the sheet metal on modern cars is thin, and flimsy to the point that it can be cut with household scissors. I'd like to know what the pull-out load limit is for a single pop-rivet anchored to a single layer of automotive sheet metal. Maybe there's information on that somewhere.

I'd prefer any drilling to pass through reinforcing members, which would not only give better anchorage to rivets, but minimize the up-and-down "give" that you get when a tower pad is connected only to one layer of the roof's sheet metal. But by the time you've located the reinforcing members, you've quite likely done so in a way that makes it possible to use bolts and washers, which are far better. Maybe those tower anchors consisting of long strips would be a good system, as that would provide lots of rivets to share the load, if the strip is reasonably stiff at least.

not your ordinary pop rivets
the kit that was supplied by Wispbar did not come with your ordinary soft aluminium pop rivets but with high grade stainless steel ones.

I had to purchase a real heavy duty pop riveter to be able to pull those rivets and had to put extension bars on the handles of the riveter to create enough leverage. Those rivets aint’t going to fail, or at least I have 10 times more confidence in those than the removable brackets held by friction.

Fair point on thin sheet metal: therefore I mounted those pads on the edge of the car roof where a section of the sheet was about to turn at 90 degrees so there will be no deforming of the roof. Of course if I did mount those pads in the middle of the roof (I don’t see how that would be practical) the roof would most likely deform and possibly fail.

My concern for drilling into the roof of a car and have potential water ingression was addressed with polyurethane sealant on the interface between roof and pad, making sure some went into the tight hole where the rivet was placed.

If manufacturers are confident to drill below waterline of kayak (foot peg rail bolts) and keep that from leaking on a composite shell, I am confident that I can seal a couple of holes where rivets go.

Then again car manufacturers often drill several holes to install the so called roof rail and seal those properly. Furthermore: I think that the windshield has a much greater potential for leaking than those tiny holes I drilled.

The sticky problem remains: how did I dare drill into God Car? :slight_smile:

You may watch eBay as I scored
some compatible bars for my vehicles at about 1/2 price. But must do homework on proper part numbers from Yak catalogs/website.

Yes, that’s it
I wasn’t worried about the strength of the rivets because of the way you originally described them. I was only worried about the wedge-shaped plug pulling through the sheet metal. Of course, that’s why it would be nice to know just how much force it takes to pull them out. It could well be that there’s plenty of safety margin, but until I know for sure, that’s the one thing I’d wonder about.

Good thinking on your part to put the attachment alongside a bend in the sheet metal. That’ll make a huge difference.

It sounds like you have a fair bit of experience with this method, which is why the doubts I expressed aren’t serious. It’s just a natural, logical concern.

it’s completely unnecessary

– Last Updated: Mar-25-15 9:10 AM EST –

There are racks that work just as well and hold just as fast.

Do whatever you want but IMO it's superfluous and a plain bad idea. Obviously gnarlydog doesn't care about resale value or letting moisture enter the interior and reaching parts of the metal that may not be treated to withstand continuous moisture (maybe that's what he meant by "god car"). And that is what you'll have the moment moisture gets between the roof and headliner. Anyone who lives in a northern climate can vouch for what a PITA it is once you have trapped moisture inside the car.

Water leakage

– Last Updated: Mar-25-15 10:00 AM EST –

I've seen plenty of cars with holes drilled in the roof for such things as heavy-duty racks or radio antennas. It is VERY easy to seal the installation so that no leakage or rust occurs, and gnarlydog mentioned that he uses sealant too. In fact, the connections for factory roof racks are not sealed at all, and I've never heard of a problem from that (remember all those station wagons of the 70s and 80s with factory luggage racks bolted to the roof? Ever see one that leaked or rusted?).

I'll agree with you that some people would want to worry about resale value, but not everyone needs to. Besides, some buyers might appreciate having a good roof rack.

I won't agree that there's nothing to be gained with a bolt-on system. I am not saying there's any serious problem with typical racks being firmly attached, but the fact is, clamp-on systems are not immune to shifting forward or backward. There's no provision, other than friction, to prevent such movement, and on some occasions it happens (it's a lot less likely with kayaks, because there's hardly any wind resistance). Ezwater's suggestion for connecting front and rear towers helps a lot to minimize that slippage risk. The old gutter-clamp systems rely on friction to prevent fore and aft movement too, but the direction of the clamping force in that case is applied in a more efficient orientation.

so you know the inside of the roof is

– Last Updated: Mar-25-15 10:48 AM EST –

And you know you've re-sealed the inside of the roof once you've drilled thru

I think you missed the part about cars not being the same as they were in the 70s and 80s. The OP has a sports car, which may have even thinner sheet metal. May be just me but I'm not sure how many people buy sports cars merely to drill holes in them and use them as boat carriers.

"Some buyers might appreciate having a good roof rack"? Thule already makes a "good roofrack" that doesn't require the buyer to guess at drilling and re-sealing. I don't agree that clamp-on roof racks are prone to sliding, because they're stressed most when a boat is tied to both crossbars, which means it's more difficult for one base or clamp to move independently of the rest. UNLESS you haven't properly clamped it.

It's unnecessary and certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution. But hey, it's your car.

Enough arguing.
I would love to use a thule rack, only they don’t exist for my car.

the INNO is the same thing
in fact I wonder if they bought the old patent from Thule.

No need to take an extreme position
When I said “a good roof rack”, I’m talking about one that’s even stronger than clamp-on models. I for one would appreciate that. I’m not saying a clamp-on rack isn’t usually good enough, but if a car I was looking at on the used market already had one that required no futzing and was even stronger than normal, I’d like that, and I figure I’m not the only person on the planet who’d see it that way. I know you are obsessed with sports cars, but not all of us are. I’m generalizing this application for regular cars too, including cars that are basically tools to get the job done rather than being religious artifacts.

As to the leak issue, you are deliberately being ornery about that. Just because you have zero first-hand experience with this doesn’t mean it’s not possible for someone else to know that sealing the mounts is easy, effective and reliable in the long term. Believe me, anybody can do a better job of sealing bolt holes than the car makers do. It’s not rocket science.

Don’t forget that Thule offers bolt-on roof-rack mounts. If there were no justifiable reason for using them, why does Thule make them? Anyway, plenty of people swear by them. I’ve read that right here on this board.