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2017 Outback 2.5 Premium-20mm rear sway bar, recessed Sprinter roof rails
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142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just joined here, a few days ago. Thought I'ld be a contributor.I'm not a fan of the roof rails supplied on my 17. While they may work for others but not for me. I carry 19'-21' racing kayaks and surf ski's. The stock setup is IMHO not safe for my use. There is not enough distance between the cross bars. With this set up I am installing I'll have 58" between the bars, much safer in crosswinds. And the width with stock is , well , frankly a joke for my use.
anyway here are my mock up pics. I'll need to very slightly remove some material from the rails for them to fit nicely. and do something about that ,in the way shark fin,
Thanks to others here that showed how to drop the headliner, was helpful,
I plan to take my time and post as I go along
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R, black on black
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7 Posts
Super clean! Nice work. Regarding the fifth photo with the track rising above the roof... is that something that you're just going to have to bend down to fit the contour of the roof? Very intrigued with this as I am not a fan of the stock crossbars either.
 
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If this is 100% about function and not about form (you just mentioned you weren't a fan of them... didn't say why... assuming it's about function after reading your post), why not go with something like a receiver mounted crossbar setup? You wouldn't have to get rid of the existing rails, it's removable and the span will better support the longer loads you say you need to carry.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Premium-20mm rear sway bar, recessed Sprinter roof rails
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142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In the pics, The rails are just set in place so I can think thru mounting options.The tracks/rails easily bend down into the roof groove.The rails resist side to side movement. Which is ok as the area that requires them to bend sideways is located about 1/2 way between forward doors and windscreen. The small grooves in the bottom of the track do actually fit over the small raised part of the roof (like a pinch weld?) See pic 1.
The receiver mount is not an option, I need to open the aft hatch.and With the spread of the crossbars I will be safe in crosswinds. My 2002 Forester with aftermarket cross bars had a spread of 59" which was plenty good.I will be adding a hitch, actually scheduled to be delivered today, That's for pulling the pop-up camper.
Also the width of the factory bars was not suitable for my use. Many times I carry 3 boats, river running shuttles mostly.
I've found that Toyota Tacoma rubber roof trim fits the roof groove nicely, thats what will be used for transition from windscreen to tracks.
Using the Yakima landing pads I am able to remove both cross bars within 45 seconds, yup 45 seconds.
So, I'm not bad mouthing the stock rails, but really? Subaru markets these cars for active lifestyle people, I guess they got the picture with the new touring rails, but even those do not provide the spread I desire between cross bars.
Thanks for your interest, more pics this weekend.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Premium-20mm rear sway bar, recessed Sprinter roof rails
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142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm doing it myself.picking up UHMW plastic today for shim material
Yes ,dropping the headliner is no big deal.
Semper FI, mf, HMM-263, 69-70
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Premium-20mm rear sway bar, recessed Sprinter roof rails
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142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
there is no problem removing the nuts that hold down the stock racks. all are easy to get to. Others here indicate there is a clearance issue for one nut , an airbag in the way, I did not encounter that issue.
maybe I should post a few pics of the removed items. and I will post more pics this weekend as I move along.
( notice I did not bite on the nuts dropping down)
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Premium-20mm rear sway bar, recessed Sprinter roof rails
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142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't get much done today... managed to drill 1/16" shims and tracks and prebend both tracks. The weight of the upgraded system is within ounces of the stock setup. Major difference is the weight of the crossbars- The part that holds the weight.
So here are a few images, I've included some of the stock stuff just so folks can see how chintzy their construction. So, how do you feel about carrying a $4000 kevlar, boat, kayak or a Cervelo or two on the stock set up now?
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Premium with Eyesight
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23 Posts
Tim,

Its looking great. Very interested in following in your footsteps on this project, so THANK YOU very much for sharing. The tracks look like Rhino Rack product. Could you please fill us in on more details (track identification name/number, source, length, price, etc.)? Really looking forward to seeing the finished product and expect that it'll be very sleek looking! Thanks again, - Codger
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Premium-20mm rear sway bar, recessed Sprinter roof rails
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142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, Rhino Rack track. RTS514 for Mercedes Sprinter. Weird thing is if you go to Rinos web site the track profile is not what I have...go figure.I purchased the tracks from Rack n Road in sacramento for $180 pair. They charge $800 labor to install, just upped price from $600 recently.They were quite nice to me when I indicated I would install them myself.actually gave me a few feet of the Tacoma rubber to trim out the transition from windscreen to track.
I'll have things bolted down tomorrow, will post more pics and info.
BTW- Thule and Yakima crossbars and towers work with these tracks. I've been a Thule guy for a very long time. Just switched to Yakima for the ease of removing the cross bars. I gotta sell my Thule stuff now, have 3 sets, lol
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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4,018 Posts
Just noticed we're in the same neck of the hood. The same builder built our place as the ones around you. Small city, small world. The rails look slick. We are fortunate to have a Rack n Road local. I noticed the first attachment point for stock rails looks to be long way from the windshield. No wonder there have been so many noise/warping issues. Great pics btw.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Premium-20mm rear sway bar, recessed Sprinter roof rails
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142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OBnube---How do you know who built my house? Is there some location device here on this forum of which I am not aware?

Also-- I see you work for the FAA-- Their motto..... We're not happy till you're not happy.
Or are you just a crusty old guy, in which case we should have a cup o joe sometime...lol
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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Nah. Sorry for coming off a bit creepy. Late night posting always looks good. I'm just a crusty old guy who has lived in the same house my wife and I watched being built in 1979. H. C. Elliott was the builder. They're one of the better tract home builders. They had 4 or 5 developments going at the time. I'm retired electrician and can spot one a mile away. Hey, I'm a wealth of useless information.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Premium-20mm rear sway bar, recessed Sprinter roof rails
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142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Heres some pics about headliner drop. most are self explanatory . I circled in red some of the fasteners,clips etc. The things that were most confusing to remove were the inner visor holders. I would note that there is a thread on JDM rails that has some good pics also.
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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Heres some pics about headliner drop. most are self explanatory . I circled in red some of the fasteners,clips etc. The things that were most confusing to remove were the inner visor holders. I would note that there is a thread on JDM rails that has some good pics also.
Holy Schmidt, You are fearless. Nice pics. Wheel Arch Moldings and Antisway bar are about as far I get.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Premium-20mm rear sway bar, recessed Sprinter roof rails
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142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Getting close. This is what it looks like. I just have the rubber trim to install on each side of the tracks. Also plan to cut down the shark fin and reinstall it after a visit to Tap Plastics.See what kinda magic glue they stock and pick up 2 side sticky tape for trim.
Track length is 66" so distance between bars is more than I hoped for at the start.
I drilled 2 holes on each side as added insurance, I now have thru bolts on each side of the Yakima landing pads, close to the pads.I did drill thru one of the inner roof trusses, I'm here to say, that is some tough stuff!!
If you like whats going on give me 5 stars rating, lol
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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Getting close. This is what it looks like. I just have the rubber trim to install on each side of the tracks. Also plan to cut down the shark fin and reinstall it after a visit to Tap Plastics.See what kinda magic glue they stock and pick up 2 side sticky tape for trim.
Track length is 66" so distance between bars is more than I hoped for at the start.
I drilled 2 holes on each side as added insurance, I now have thru bolts on each side of the Yakima landing pads, close to the pads.I did drill thru one of the inner roof trusses, I'm here to say, that is some tough stuff!!
If you like whats going on give me 5 stars rating, lol
Those rails put the "low profile" Touring to shame. Is there some sort of gasket under the rail or did you do something else for water penetration?
 
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