Roof rack for 2000 Solara

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Old 28 Jul 2006, 12:39 am   #1 (permalink)
Paul Stivers
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Default Roof rack for 2000 Solara

I'm trying to decide on a roof rack system for a 2000 Solara. I will
be carrying one or two 18 ft long kayaks, 60 lbs each. I get mixed
preferences from the kayak news groups, none who own a Solara, and
none who have tried installing custom tracks on a curved roof, so
thought I would try here.

I could go with Yakima Q towers and Q Extension kit. This would be
the standard system. http://www.yakima.com/Product.aspx?id=20
Maximum distance between the load bars would be only 30 inches
though, not that long for carrying an 18 ft kayak.

I might be able to go with permanently installed tracks. I could use
push nuts so that I don't have to remove the headliner.
http://www.yakima.com/Product.aspx?id=24 One potential problem is
that I'm not sure the Aluminum rails would bend enough to conform to
the curved contour of the roof. Probably would need to flex a couple
inches. Yakima service people aren't sure either. Also not sure how
well the push nuts would hold versus dropping the headliner and
installing washer and nuts.

Has anyone here installed the tracks? If so, with push nuts, or by
dropping the headliner? Are you happy with the system?

So far I'm thinking if I opt to drop the headline I should have an
auto upholstery shop do it, unless someone convinces me it's easy. I
haven't found any info on that. I'm thinking it's in the $150 Toyota
repair manual if anywhere. It seems pretty tricky with everything
snapping together.

Paul S.



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Old 28 Jul 2006, 10:00 am   #2 (permalink)
Scott in Florida
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Default Re: Roof rack for 2000 Solara

On Fri, 28 Jul 2006 00:39:10 -0500, Paul Stivers
<pstivers3RemoveThis@comcast.net> wrote:

>I'm trying to decide on a roof rack system for a 2000 Solara. I will
>be carrying one or two 18 ft long kayaks, 60 lbs each. I get mixed
>preferences from the kayak news groups, none who own a Solara, and
>none who have tried installing custom tracks on a curved roof, so
>thought I would try here.
>
>I could go with Yakima Q towers and Q Extension kit. This would be
>the standard system. http://www.yakima.com/Product.aspx?id=20
>Maximum distance between the load bars would be only 30 inches
>though, not that long for carrying an 18 ft kayak.
>
>I might be able to go with permanently installed tracks. I could use
>push nuts so that I don't have to remove the headliner.
>http://www.yakima.com/Product.aspx?id=24 One potential problem is
>that I'm not sure the Aluminum rails would bend enough to conform to
>the curved contour of the roof. Probably would need to flex a couple
>inches. Yakima service people aren't sure either. Also not sure how
>well the push nuts would hold versus dropping the headliner and
>installing washer and nuts.
>
>Has anyone here installed the tracks? If so, with push nuts, or by
>dropping the headliner? Are you happy with the system?
>
>So far I'm thinking if I opt to drop the headline I should have an
>auto upholstery shop do it, unless someone convinces me it's easy. I
>haven't found any info on that. I'm thinking it's in the $150 Toyota
>repair manual if anywhere. It seems pretty tricky with everything
>snapping together.
>
>Paul S.
>
>


I use the Q towers on my 92 Corolla Wagon. I never measured the
distance between bars, but I would doubt it is much over 36 inches if
that.

Quite a stable system.

.....and you can remove the whole system easily and quickly. The SRS
locks keep honest people honest and they can't remove it easily...


--

Scott in Florida
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Old 28 Jul 2006, 01:53 pm   #3 (permalink)
Ray O
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Default Re: Roof rack for 2000 Solara


"Paul Stivers" <pstivers3RemoveThis@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:Xns980DE6716F615pstivers3comcast.net@216.196. 97.136...
> I'm trying to decide on a roof rack system for a 2000 Solara. I will
> be carrying one or two 18 ft long kayaks, 60 lbs each. I get mixed
> preferences from the kayak news groups, none who own a Solara, and
> none who have tried installing custom tracks on a curved roof, so
> thought I would try here.
>
> I could go with Yakima Q towers and Q Extension kit. This would be
> the standard system. http://www.yakima.com/Product.aspx?id=20
> Maximum distance between the load bars would be only 30 inches
> though, not that long for carrying an 18 ft kayak.


One more possibility is to install a receiver hitch on the Solara, and
having a support made that installs in the receiver hitch. This would at
least provide some support for the back of the kayak.

>
> I might be able to go with permanently installed tracks. I could use
> push nuts so that I don't have to remove the headliner.
> http://www.yakima.com/Product.aspx?id=24 One potential problem is
> that I'm not sure the Aluminum rails would bend enough to conform to
> the curved contour of the roof. Probably would need to flex a couple
> inches. Yakima service people aren't sure either. Also not sure how
> well the push nuts would hold versus dropping the headliner and
> installing washer and nuts.
>
> Has anyone here installed the tracks? If so, with push nuts, or by
> dropping the headliner? Are you happy with the system?


Rather than trying to install the tracks for the entire length of the roof,
how about cutting them into front and back pieces with nothing in the
middle? You would lose the ability to adjust fore-aft, but it sounds like
they are already too close so you would not have a need to move the bars
closer together.

The port installed roof racks for station wagons and SUV's are attached to
the roof with nut-serts, which are basically a threaded pop rivet. If you
drill holes in the roof, make sure that you have some kind of stopper on the
bit so that you do not penetrate the headliner. Make sure that you do not
interfere with any side curtain air bags, and apply a good rustproofing to
the edges of the hole. The nut-serts do not have a lot of strength to
resist upward pulling so you have to make sure that the kayak is securely
tied down.

Dropping the headliner and and adding reinforcement would make the racks
much more resistant to the upward pull that might occure from a kayak.

>
> So far I'm thinking if I opt to drop the headline I should have an
> auto upholstery shop do it, unless someone convinces me it's easy. I
> haven't found any info on that. I'm thinking it's in the $150 Toyota
> repair manual if anywhere. It seems pretty tricky with everything
> snapping together.
>
> Paul S.
>

Instructions on headliner removal should be in the factory repair manual.
You can get online access at techinfo.toyota.com for $10/day.
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)


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Old 28 Jul 2006, 02:14 pm   #4 (permalink)
pws
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Default Re: Roof rack for 2000 Solara

Ray O wrote:

> One more possibility is to install a receiver hitch on the Solara, and
> having a support made that installs in the receiver hitch. This would at
> least provide some support for the back of the kayak.


That sounds like the way to go.

I don't think that I would do it with this car, but the people in this
picture have a large canoe attached to a Mazda Miata using a hitch with
what I assume is a custom support attachment.

http://miata.net/misc/images/miacanoe.jpg

Pat
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Old 30 Jul 2006, 08:05 am   #5 (permalink)
Paul Stivers
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Default Re: Roof rack for 2000 Solara

Ray O wrote:

> techinfo.toyota.com


Great lead on this. Thanks. I'm probably going to go with the Q racks
but am enjoying reading about the headliner. Thanks everyone for your
thoughts.

Paul S.
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Old 30 Jul 2006, 08:09 am   #6 (permalink)
Paul Stivers
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Default Re: Roof rack for 2000 Solara

Thanks for the thought here. One downside on this method is that the
boat isn't centered over the vehicle. The front and back safety tie
down lines are then ineffective for preventing forward movement of
the boat. Both safety lines would go slack if the boat were to move
forward.

Paul S.

pws wrote:

> Ray O wrote:
>
>> One more possibility is to install a receiver hitch on the
>> Solara, and having a support made that installs in the receiver
>> hitch. This would at least provide some support for the back of
>> the kayak.

>
> That sounds like the way to go.
>
> I don't think that I would do it with this car, but the people in
> this picture have a large canoe attached to a Mazda Miata using a
> hitch with
> what I assume is a custom support attachment.
>
> http://miata.net/misc/images/miacanoe.jpg
>
> Pat
>


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