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Yakima roof rack with Flex vista roof


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12 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   _3143

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 05:58 PM

Has anyone added a Yakima roof rack with a vista roof? From the Yakima site, it looks like the Yakima Control Tower + Landing Pad #11 + 58 inch crossbars should work. There are four bolting points under the rain channel strip. Using the 2nd and 3rd would avoid the front vista opening and give a 30.5 inch crossbar spread (adequate for the Space Booster car top carrier). I would have to drill holes through the channel strip at each of the used bolting points. Has anyone tried this?

Thanks,

Gordon

#2 OFFLINE   eosBlue

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:06 PM

Has anyone added a Yakima roof rack with a vista roof? From the Yakima site, it looks like the Yakima Control Tower + Landing Pad #11 + 58 inch crossbars should work. There are four bolting points under the rain channel strip. Using the 2nd and 3rd would avoid the front vista opening and give a 30.5 inch crossbar spread (adequate for the Space Booster car top carrier). I would have to drill holes through the channel strip at each of the used bolting points. Has anyone tried this?

Thanks,

Gordon


See thread below. Down aways in the thread, there are pictures of rails on a Vista Roof. I wish my Flex had a fold down middle 2 row seat. My preferred method of carrying skis is in the back with the tips over the middle folddown seat. I was able to do this with my former Jeep Commander.

http://fordflexforum...ed-wvista-roof/

Edited by eosBlue, 11 September 2010 - 05:07 PM.


#3 OFFLINE   _3143

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 06:29 PM

See thread below. Down aways in the thread, there are pictures of rails on a Vista Roof. I wish my Flex had a fold down middle 2 row seat. My preferred method of carrying skis is in the back with the tips over the middle folddown seat. I was able to do this with my former Jeep Commander.

http://fordflexforum...ed-wvista-roof/



Following up on my own question....I went ahead and gave the Yakima Control Tower a try on my Ford Flex 2011 with Vista Roof. So far, it is working well. I am just being extra careful when putting items on the roof to avoid damaging the glass. The cross rails can be removed very easily leaving just the control towers which do not cause noticeable wind noise.

See Yakima rack pictures

Installation just required
(a) taking off the gutter track
(B) removing two of the factory bolts under each track based on the desired rail separation (I took off the 2nd and 3rd which gave about 30.5 inches of separation)
© marking the points on the gutter track to drill
(d) reinstalling the gutter track
(e) drilling holes in the gutter track (no holes required in the actual car)
(f) bolting the Yakima Control Tower to the car

No complaints yet with this configuration.

#4 OFFLINE   _3411

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:53 PM

Following up on my own question....I went ahead and gave the Yakima Control Tower a try on my Ford Flex 2011 with Vista Roof. So far, it is working well. I am just being extra careful when putting items on the roof to avoid damaging the glass. The cross rails can be removed very easily leaving just the control towers which do not cause noticeable wind noise.

See Yakima rack pictures

Installation just required
(a) taking off the gutter track
(B) removing two of the factory bolts under each track based on the desired rail separation (I took off the 2nd and 3rd which gave about 30.5 inches of separation)
© marking the points on the gutter track to drill
(d) reinstalling the gutter track
(e) drilling holes in the gutter track (no holes required in the actual car)
(f) bolting the Yakima Control Tower to the car

No complaints yet with this configuration.


I am looking at getting a Flex soon. I carry two canoes weekly, so roof rack options are a major factor in new car shopping. I was wondering where the other locations are along the roof? Yakima only lists the max spread as 81"

#5 OFFLINE   _3143

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 05:38 PM

I am looking at getting a Flex soon. I carry two canoes weekly, so roof rack options are a major factor in new car shopping. I was wondering where the other locations are along the roof? Yakima only lists the max spread as 81"


There are four points along the roof rail to bolt in the Yakima towers. I chose the 2nd and 3rd (when counting from the front of the car). To get a longer spread, you can put the towers in the 2nd and 4th locations. The 4th is about 30 inches past the 3rd (just in front of the antenna on the back) so that would give over 60 inches of spread. You could also use the 1st and 4th. That is probably what gives you the full 81'' spread. In my case, the first bolt point is over the driver's sun roof which opens and I didn't want to risk interfering with that. I doubt it would be a problem since the towers sit a couple of inches off of the roof, but for my purposes 30 inch spread is sufficient. I think the first bolt is on a slight slope in the roof line while the rest are on a flat line.

Your sales man should be able to pull off the decorate rail cover to expose these attachment points.

#6 OFFLINE   anaye

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 12:02 PM

There are four points along the roof rail to bolt in the Yakima towers. I chose the 2nd and 3rd (when counting from the front of the car). To get a longer spread, you can put the towers in the 2nd and 4th locations. The 4th is about 30 inches past the 3rd (just in front of the antenna on the back) so that would give over 60 inches of spread. You could also use the 1st and 4th. That is probably what gives you the full 81'' spread. In my case, the first bolt point is over the driver's sun roof which opens and I didn't want to risk interfering with that. I doubt it would be a problem since the towers sit a couple of inches off of the roof, but for my purposes 30 inch spread is sufficient. I think the first bolt is on a slight slope in the roof line while the rest are on a flat line.

Your sales man should be able to pull off the decorate rail cover to expose these attachment points.



I am looking at purchasing a new Flex and am glad I finally found someone who has done what I was hoping to do also.
I have two dig questions since I can't get my dealer to remove the strip...

1) I assume the 4 bolting locations have threaded holes all ready to attach to, but would it be possible to add my own bolting locations in the channel so to give me a different bar span?

2) If you were to remove your rack do you have to worry about water leaking through the holes to the interior or is this channel completely an external piece?

If you have any pictures of the channel with the strip removed, could you please post them.

#7 OFFLINE   _3143

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 06:57 AM

I am looking at purchasing a new Flex and am glad I finally found someone who has done what I was hoping to do also.
I have two dig questions since I can't get my dealer to remove the strip...

1) I assume the 4 bolting locations have threaded holes all ready to attach to, but would it be possible to add my own bolting locations in the channel so to give me a different bar span?

2) If you were to remove your rack do you have to worry about water leaking through the holes to the interior or is this channel completely an external piece?

If you have any pictures of the channel with the strip removed, could you please post them.



I wouldn't drill my own bolting locations, but I suppose it is possible. The 4 pre-drilled locations should give good flexibility for most applications. I recall seeing a post somewhere else on the internet from someone who did custom drilling.

As the Flex comes from the factory, the channel strip is held in place by clipping onto a fastener that is bolted into these same 4 pre-drilled holes. When the control tower is in place, these holes are occuppied by the Yakima bolts. If you were to remove the rack entirely, you would put the original bolts back. I wouldn't worry about a leak because these bolts would be in place and these holes do not go to the interior (unless they were to rust through, etc.). This is one thing I would worry about if drilling your own holes.

I can't get a picture with the strip removed without first removing the Yakima control towers that are now fastened above the strip. The dealer really should be able to remove the channel strip to show the system. It doesn't require any tools and just takes a minute. Try another salesman, dealership or ask at the service department. They have to do it for anyone that opts for the Ford roof rack system. They only offer that on the non-Vista roof option, but the channel system should be the same.

There are certainly educated/informed sales people and those who really know nothing about their product. When I was purchasing we talked to a couple of different ones and only bought after working with someone who could answer our questions including showing this (and for that matter also demonstrating the Ford Sync integrated with an Android phone).

#8 OFFLINE   anaye

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 08:07 PM

I wouldn't drill my own bolting locations, but I suppose it is possible. The 4 pre-drilled locations should give good flexibility for most applications. I recall seeing a post somewhere else on the internet from someone who did custom drilling.

As the Flex comes from the factory, the channel strip is held in place by clipping onto a fastener that is bolted into these same 4 pre-drilled holes. When the control tower is in place, these holes are occuppied by the Yakima bolts. If you were to remove the rack entirely, you would put the original bolts back. I wouldn't worry about a leak because these bolts would be in place and these holes do not go to the interior (unless they were to rust through, etc.). This is one thing I would worry about if drilling your own holes.

I can't get a picture with the strip removed without first removing the Yakima control towers that are now fastened above the strip. The dealer really should be able to remove the channel strip to show the system. It doesn't require any tools and just takes a minute. Try another salesman, dealership or ask at the service department. They have to do it for anyone that opts for the Ford roof rack system. They only offer that on the non-Vista roof option, but the channel system should be the same.

There are certainly educated/informed sales people and those who really know nothing about their product. When I was purchasing we talked to a couple of different ones and only bought after working with someone who could answer our questions including showing this (and for that matter also demonstrating the Ford Sync integrated with an Android phone).


When trying to load 4 bikes the span of the bars makes a real difference, so as not to have interference with the handle bars and the frame or seat post of the adjacent bike. On my Subaru I had a bar spread of 38" and that worked great. I will play around with bar span tomorrow and see if I can't get 30" to work.

The dealer has been real reluctant to remove the strip, saying they would have to remove the head liner etc.
But we are going to a different dealer tomorrow, maybe they will know a little more.

Can you tell me in a little more detail how to remove the strip?

Thanks for the info...

#9 OFFLINE   _3143

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 07:02 AM

When trying to load 4 bikes the span of the bars makes a real difference, so as not to have interference with the handle bars and the frame or seat post of the adjacent bike. On my Subaru I had a bar spread of 38" and that worked great. I will play around with bar span tomorrow and see if I can't get 30" to work.

The dealer has been real reluctant to remove the strip, saying they would have to remove the head liner etc.
But we are going to a different dealer tomorrow, maybe they will know a little more.

Can you tell me in a little more detail how to remove the strip?

Thanks for the info...



I have uploaded a few more pictures to illustrate removing the channel strip.

I am using a 30 inch spread, but you can definitely get more by using the 2nd and 4th bolt holes (about 60 inches).

#10 OFFLINE   speede541

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:50 AM

Terribly sorry for dredging up an old post, but came across this (and this forum) while researching the Flex's maximum crossbar spread.

I'm curious not only about max spread in order to comfortably carry a tandem bike on a custom-built rack, but also need closer spacing for standard bike racks and a cargo box.

My question is, is the Flex's roofline level enough that I can have three crossbars mounted at the same time? With my Subaru, the roof has a slight arch to it, meaning that a mid-mounted crossbar sits a bit high and doesn't allow my tandem rack to lay across the front and back crossbars. This necessitates a lot of crossbar position changes when rearranging which racks I choose to attach.

#11 OFFLINE   Tim in Ottawa

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:22 PM

Just did my racks for my 2010 (new to me) - thanks for the tips!!
(In the photo you can just see the semi-permanent towers without the crossbars...)
:)

Attached Files


Edited by Tim in Ottawa, 14 February 2012 - 01:23 PM.


#12 OFFLINE   dwstucke

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 01:52 PM

Thinking about going with the Yakima Control Towers and drilling holes in the channel strip.    Any long-term follow-ups to using this system?    Would you do this route again? 



#13 OFFLINE   _3143

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 03:18 AM

I haven't had any problems with the roof rack and I would do it again. For bikes, I tend to use a trailer hitch mount more often now as it is easier to get bikes on and off and it is quieter. I use the roof rack for a cargo box, kayak, or additional bikes.






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