Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 07 2.5i OBW with the OEM cross bars. I got some Thule snowboard racks on the cheap from a friend. I tested out the clamps that attach to the cross bars and they fit beautifully.

Last night I went to put the snowboard rack on and realized the racks are too wide for my bars. Because of the huge clamps the OEM bars use, which extend into the roof space, I don't have enough proper sized side to side bar space to fit the (4 board) snowboard rack.

My front bar is finicky anyway, and I'd been looking to replace it alone if I could find one inexpensively, so I'm considering getting new cross bars. They would have to fix this issue of empty space between the roof rails and the actual useable bar.

I looked at both Thule and Yakima online but I'm not convinced they'd help my side to side useable space issue. Any ideas or experience with this issue, and thoughts on how to fix it would be much apprecaited.

I also have a Rola roof basket with "universal" mounts (it seems to fit aero/oval type bars best) which I'd still need to use with the new cross bars. Thanks for any responses.
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
Joined
·
276 Posts
How much are you short? The rack tapers to the back, so if you slide the bars as close to the front as you can, you may be able to squeeze it in. Sorry if you're already tried this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Can you tell me for certain that either the Thule or Yakima sets gives me more useable cross bar space? (measurements would be great!) I'm not going to buy a different set if it doesn't give me more space between the brackets. I've searched my local craigslist to no avial. Thanks though.

EDIT: Thanks ScoobyRu. The front one is just shy. I tried forcing it, but it didn't want to go. Which leaves me really SOL for the back rack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,802 Posts
Are you talking width across the width of the car? Or the front to back distance between the bars? The 07's had some of the most adjustable rack set ups due to the long roof rails running down each side of the roof line.

Rail grabs via Craigs list with standard after market bars will work easily on your car and support any sort of rack gear you can think of. The 07's the cross bars were adjustable forward and back - the rail grab set up is simply a clamp that grabs your roof rails running down each side of the roof line which you can set to any distance between the bars you like as long as the rail grabs have something to grab.

I think I paid $150 for 4 nearly new Yakima rail grabs with locks off craigs list some years ago and pending what I'm hauling I put 54 inch bars or 66 inch bars through the rail grabs and have run them on three different vehicles with zero issues.

Your limitation with the stock cross bars are their width across the top of the car for wide items like say fitting a Canoe and a roof box at the same time I use our 66 inch bars for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I mean width, side to side. Front to back is great, I agree, very adjustable. But the width of useable rail (without running into the fatter bracket) is not wide enough. I'd hop on a deal like you got for Yakima cross bars and feet (rail grabs) if I was sure the width measurements (and therefore useable, clampable cross bar) was wider. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,802 Posts
Yeah, I mean width, side to side. Front to back is great, I agree, very adjustable. But the width of useable rail (without running into the fatter bracket) is not wide enough. I'd hop on a deal like you got for Yakima cross bars and feet (rail grabs) if I was sure the width measurements (and therefore useable, clampable cross bar) was wider. Thanks.
I sense you don't really understand how the racks work? The railgrab feet can be used with any length yakima bar you want. Your width limit is based on the max allowable length of bar sold which I think is 88 inches. 66 inches is a very wide platform to haul stuff I car top a 12ft 54inch wide sailboat on the 66inch bars. I'm not clear on what you think you need but anything beyond 66 inches wide is getting up there in usability challenges given your car is only about 73 inches wide its self.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Okay, I guess I didn't explain it very well. The width problem is the space between the clamps, not the extended or outside the roof rails part. I don't have enough interior bar space. Here's some pics:

The first one is of my rear cross bar.

The second is the snowboard rack on top of the cross bar, with the clamps below where it would insert into the snowboard rack. You can see it's wider than the cross bar.

The 3rd pic just shows that the clamp would fit on the actual bar, and the 4th shows how it won't fit on over the bracket; where it currently lines up due to the snowboard racks width.

If anyone can tell me if the yakima or thule bars inner width (useable space between the roof rails) is wider than what I have now, that'd be great. Thanks and sorry for the confusion.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,802 Posts
Your width problem is due to the width of the bar.

In the case of the railgrab approach - you can mount fittings so they straddle the rail grab ie the rack attachments can be mounted to the bar outside of the roof rail / rail grab holding the bar.

The spacing between your rack feet can't change due to the car width and roof attachment. For wide items you have longer bars and mount them outboard of the bracket holding the bar to the roof.
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
Joined
·
276 Posts
It's hard to see how the clamps attach to the rack, and your clamps look different than the website clamps.

Could you simply drill new mounting holes into the snowboard rack?

EDIT: Interesting tidbit, page 2 of the online fitting guide looks like it uses a 3rd gen Outback as the "Rear hatch ski clearance" example.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Your width problem is due to the width of the bar.
Exactly.

In the case of the railgrab approach - you can mount fittings so they straddle the rail grab ie the rack attachments can be mounted to the bar outside of the roof rail / rail grab holding the bar.
Alright, now I understand what you meant before. I guess I was thinking I would prefer if the rack was directly over the car. Not sure if it makes a difference really, and maybe it'd actually be more convenient if it was off to the side. I'll look into it. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
It's hard to see how the clamps attach to the rack, and your clamps look different than the website clamps.

Could you simply drill new mounting holes into the snowboard rack?

EDIT: Interesting tidbit, page 2 of the online fitting guide looks like it uses a 3rd gen Outback as the "Rear hatch ski clearance" example.

The clamps are different. They are a few years old. Mine are supposed to fit aero bars, where the new ones fit all kinds of bars. I looked at it and it doesn't look to me like it'd be feasible to drill new holes. I did think of that and like the idea, but didn't think it'd be safe or doable. The hatch clearance I think is a different issue. Thanks for the suggestions.:29:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,802 Posts
The clamps are different. They are a few years old. Mine are supposed to fit aero bars, where the new ones fit all kinds of bars. I looked at it and it doesn't look to me like it'd be feasible to drill new holes. I did think of that and like the idea, but didn't think it'd be safe or doable. The hatch clearance I think is a different issue. Thanks for the suggestions.:29:
The plastic clamps are easily purchased to fit to other types of bars. Not a big deal.

Having the ski's off set to one side makes them easier to load and unload vs being center line.

Most experienced rack users don't like things sitting center line anyway due to both ease of loading and not having to lean against a wet or snow covered car while loading the rack - and positioning the weight of heavy items closer to the feet so you avoid as much bar sag as possible due to weight over the middle of the bar etc.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top