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How to install an expo roof rack

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  #1  
Old 04-07-2013
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How to install an expo roof rack

Items needed:
Drill & drill bit
Hack saw to cut rails
Screwdriver or nut driver depending on what machine screws you purchase at the hardware store.
Threaded insert tool (Harbor Freight)
Silicone adhesive

You'll need to obtain a roof rack from a Ford Explorer. I got mine from the junk yard for $25. I also purchased the threaded insert tool kit from Harbor Freight for $16.

45 Piece Threaded Insert Riveter Kit


From the kit purchased at Harbor Freight, you will have to select the threaded insert you want to use. I selected the 10-24 pieces to do the job since I didn't want the holes to be too big. I brought one with me to the hardware store to purchase the correct stainless machine screws. Make sure you don't go too long. I also brought along the extra piece of rail left over from step 2 to ensure that the screw heads would not be too big or too small. Too small would mean they would fall right through the holes of the rack. Too big would mean the adjustable cross rails would not be able to be moved over the screw heads.

Step 1:
Remove the end cap from both roof rack rails.





Step 2:
Measure and cut to the desired length. I measured from the front end cap 36" since I've got an extended cab Ranger.





Step 3:
The end caps have a little notch that will prohibit it from going back on the cut rail. I took a wood chisel and removed the tab.

BEFORE:


AFTER:




Step 4:
Under each rail is a plastic piece that sits between the rail and the roof. You'll notice that the ends of the plastic have notches to accept the end caps. Since cutting the rail is needed, the notches need to be cut as well, otherwise the end caps won't fit properly. The plastic on the left has the original notch. The right side is after cutting, but before you notch it. I used some snips to get the job done.




Step 5:
Assemble the roof rack and crossmembers. I spaced the crossmembers at the very ends in order to ensure the assembly was square. (No picture available)



Step 6:
Measure and place the assembled rack on the truck. Getting the assembly centered from left to right was difficult since I had no one to help me. It took about 1/2 hour of going from side to side and adjusting little by little. (No picture available)



Step 7:
Using self-tapping screws, screw down the rack into the roof using the remaining 6 holes in the rail. This is only to mark the holes for drilling.




Step 8:
Remove the screws and assembly. Using the correct drill bit, enlarge all 6 holes to accept the threaded insert.




Step 9:
Apply silicone around the drilled hole, then apply the threaded insert.

SILICONE:


THREADED INSERT:




Step 10:
Once all 6 threaded inserts are done, apply the same silicone INSIDE the threaded insert. Reattach the rack to the roof with the screws purchased at the hardware store.

Step 11:
Stand back, take pictures, share said pictures, and have a beer if you drink. If you don't drink (like me), then continue sneezing up a storm because of your damn allergies acting up. Don't forget to wipe the snot off the roof as well.




 
Attached Thumbnails How to install an expo roof rack-imag0849c.jpg   How to install an expo roof rack-imag0850r.jpg   How to install an expo roof rack-imag0851h.jpg   How to install an expo roof rack-imag0852pz.jpg   How to install an expo roof rack-imag0856s.jpg  

How to install an expo roof rack-imag0882.jpg   How to install an expo roof rack-imag0883e.jpg   How to install an expo roof rack-imag0885e.jpg   How to install an expo roof rack-imag0884g.jpg   How to install an expo roof rack-imag0886c.jpg  


Last edited by annguyen1981; 04-07-2013 at 07:10 PM. Reason: Editing grammer, spelling, and added pictures.
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2013
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Pictures coming soon... my phone died and is charging.
 
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Old 04-07-2013
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Sub'd
 
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Old 04-07-2013
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Ok... WHY can't I attach pictures to this thread??????
 
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Old 04-07-2013
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Ok... had to upload all the pics to Imageshack.

Original post has all the pics.
 
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Old 04-07-2013
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those threaded inserts make the install really clean. great work!
 
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2013
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roof rack

sweet looks just like mine good job
 
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Old 04-08-2013
Join Date: Aug 2010
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roof rack

also nice wright up, other members like us will appreciate it
 
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Old 04-08-2013
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sweet! i like it!
 
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Old 04-08-2013
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Diggin the threaded inserts.
 

Last edited by seed60; 04-08-2013 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Originally Posted by larryellison99 View Post
sweet looks just like mine good job
lol. Me and Larry collaborated on this for a while trying to figure out a solution since neither of us wanted to settle on using self-tapping screws. When I finally found a source for the threaded inserts at Harbor Freight, Larry sent his daughter over the border and purchased one to bring back into Canada. lol

Larry was officially the first one to install it though. :-)

Originally Posted by 99offroadrngr View Post
those threaded inserts make the install really clean. great work!
Originally Posted by 06RangerXLT View Post
sweet! i like it!
Originally Posted by seed60 View Post
Diggin the threaded inserts.
Thanks guys. When I do something like this, I always take too much time thinking about how to make it a clean install, even if it takes longer. I purchased the rack at the end of last summer, and FINALLY put everything together. It took that long to find out who sells the threaded insert tool. Every other source was $150+.
 
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Old 05-25-2017
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I have a few questions! Did you drill right through the roof and use a nut on the under side? Or does the threaded insert eliminate the use of a nut?

Just looking for the best way to install the same explorer rack, but to my cap.
 
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Old 11-11-2017
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Threaded insert eliminated the need for a nut on the underside.
 
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Old 09-24-2018
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...I know this is an old thread, but...

Any updates for how the install held up? Any issues with leaking? What have you hauled or otherwise attached to the roof rails?
I installed a rack (DIY) on my cap and am contemplating installing donor rails for a roof basket to mount in front of it. Thinking about going with this same type of installation. Thanks in advance!
 
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  #15  
Old 10-29-2018
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Alternative mounting idea...

I posted part of this in the "What did you do to your Ranger today?" thread, but figured I would post this update here as an alternative mounting method that may help someone searching in the future...

Built a roof rack frame from Unistrut (aka Superstrut), mounted to my cap with 6 eyebolts, " diameter, drilled through the fiberglass cap, reinforced with Unistrut backing plates, used a boat trailer bow bumper cut down to the right height for the 6 towers (2 of the cut-off ends were used in the middle towers, 4 larger sections of bumper used for the 4 corner towers, 4 bumpers total). The rubber is firm enough to support the rack very well, but soft enough that I have had no leaks after several very hard rains. I will probably still seal the insertion points with a good sealant later, after I paint it. Added bonus...the bumpers are cheap ($4 or $5?), and made for exterior wet exposure....and easy to cut with a hacksaw.

I have hauled a 150-200ish pound cap on top of this rack with zero issues.

Next steps:
- Cut the cantilevered section over the cab back so the cap rack ends at the front of the cap.
- Use rivnuts to make anchors in the cab roof, and seal them well!
- Make and mount a Unistrut frame for the cab, at the same level as the cap rack, using the same bumper towers for the cab.
- Make and install a roof basket for over the cab, with a wind faring.
- Paint all of that

Original boat bow bumper as purchased.

Eyebolt with backing support plate inside cap. All the bungee and caribeener stuff is from an overhead storage net suspended from the rear 4 eyebolts. Oh, and that metallic rope thingy is an LED rope light, because....why not?

Top view...pay no attention to failing fiberglass gel coat. Also, the section in front (left) of the bike rack will be cut back, ending the rack at the front gap to the cab.

Side view, showing towers.
 
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