Saturday, September 24, 2011

DIY Roof rack cross beams

So we have a honda pilot - that we just got back from the autobody shop after a run in with an out of bounds box truck - and while big it barely seats the 7 of us. It seats 8, so we have an empty seat but as the kids get bigger we find room more and more scarce. So when we planned a vacation with all of us we had to consider where we would put all of our junk.

Enter a Thule roof rack from craigslist I snagged for less than half price of retail. It requires crossbars to install- which we lacked until tonight.

Here is a parts list:

2x 1 inch wide by 4 feet wide steel square stock
4x 5/16 U bolts
8 - 5/16th acorn nuts/cap nuts
8 lock washers
3/8th inch vinyl tubing

Fit the bars across the top of the running bars, align the Ubolts and mark where you need to drill

drill holes and fit everything together.

I got the inspiration for this from an Instructables guide sheet, so the credit goes there:

We tested it out tonight with the roof rack on and there were no weird sounds or vibrations even at 80 miles an hour. I took off the empty Thule box and willow took it to a friends baby shower, she said there was a whooshing sound but nothing annoying - I think its the open ended tubing, something duct tape will fix.


  1. I am assuming that by carrier you mean one of those "turtle" looking roof boxes. If it is, how did these crossbars did with a load on them.
    I am going to attempt these tomorrow before a long trip.

  2. yeah, I am with you, I went to rack attack $550 for a Yakima system(only one would fit my vehicle), put a better system on my 2009 ford Taurus X for $60 by going to princess auto and getting parts, fully adjustable for my rooftop carrier box as well as completely adjustable and able to carry my canoe. Also able to put any after market accessory on my rack such as ski or bike carrier by any major brand. Screw you rack companies, you charge to much!
    Disclaimer: takes a bit of doing, had to go to princess auto and look around for what i wanted(about 1 hour),took another 1 hour and various tools such as a basic drill and measuring tape to complete project. Time will vary depending on skill, but even if this takes you 8 hours do you make $550 dollars in 8 hours if so go pay to have it done and i don't feel sorry for you!

  3. seriously, he as 1 inch bar, you could probably stand on this without it warping. it will stay attached to your roof at 200 km an hour,

  4. you can get end caps for those bars, look around no whooshing.