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Roof Rack on a Limited w/Vista Roof


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42 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   nightporter

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 11:57 AM

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to order a Limited with the Vista Roof and Roof Rack Side Rails? I'm sure they do not advise loading on top of the skylights but I would love to have them for possible bike/boat rack options or light weight cargo.

#2 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 04:11 AM

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to order a Limited with the Vista Roof and Roof Rack Side Rails? I'm sure they do not advise loading on top of the skylights but I would love to have them for possible bike/boat rack options or light weight cargo.


Nope you can't order the rails with the Vista roof for exactly the reason you mention. But I think it's fairly easy to put them on yourself.

Edited by Waldo, 24 October 2008 - 04:12 AM.


#3 OFFLINE   Flexible

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 11:12 AM

Nope you can't order the rails with the Vista roof for exactly the reason you mention. But I think it's fairly easy to put them on yourself.


You know, on GM's crossovers (Acadia/Outlook/Enclave/Traverse), you can order their equivalent of the Vista Roof and still get a roof rack with crossbars. Same set-up - both the Flex and GM's crossovers' glass roofs are crafted from tempered glass (ie, not laminated safety glass like you'd find in a windshield). I don't know the technical reason why Ford won't offer this combination, but I'm sure there's a good reason. Perhaps someone's worried about a customer loading up their glass roof with a huge, heavy travel bag instead of mounting a carrier on proper cross bars.

In any case, according to my dealer, the attachment points for the Flex's roof rack side rails are in the body sides, which means that even Vista Roof-equipped vehicles have the attachments. They are underneath the roof drip molding. Which means that, in theory, one could add factory roof rack side rails to a Vista Roof Flex. However, my dealer also advises that this is a complicated task and involves some special service tools. Oh yeah, and they won't install it, for liability reasons. They strongly discouraged me from installing one. :banghead:

Edited by Flexible, 27 October 2008 - 11:13 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 12:01 PM

You know, on GM's crossovers (Acadia/Outlook/Enclave/Traverse), you can order their equivalent of the Vista Roof and still get a roof rack with crossbars. Same set-up - both the Flex and GM's crossovers' glass roofs are crafted from tempered glass (ie, not laminated safety glass like you'd find in a windshield). I don't know the technical reason why Ford won't offer this combination, but I'm sure there's a good reason. Perhaps someone's worried about a customer loading up their glass roof with a huge, heavy travel bag instead of mounting a carrier on proper cross bars.


Maybe GM just figures they won't be around long enough to have to deal with the lawsuits!

Also keep in mind the Vista roof already adds a bunch of weight up high, loading up cargo on the roof will make the car even more tipsy.

#5 OFFLINE   nightporter

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:22 PM

I have one dealer who told me they would install rails to a Flex w/ a Vista Roof for approx $850 and another dealer who said they would do it for $525. Neither one of them seems to know for sure why Ford will not let you order one that way. I assume it will not void the warranty if they do it. I drove a really nice Saturn Outlook with the double skylights and roof rails - go figure ...

#6 OFFLINE   Flexible

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 07:05 AM

I have one dealer who told me they would install rails to a Flex w/ a Vista Roof for approx $850 and another dealer who said they would do it for $525. Neither one of them seems to know for sure why Ford will not let you order one that way. I assume it will not void the warranty if they do it. I drove a really nice Saturn Outlook with the double skylights and roof rails - go figure ...



The impression I'm getting from my dealer is just because it's possible to install the roof rack rails doesn't mean you should...

$850? OUCH. It's a $100 option from the factory. Anyone price out just the parts yet?

As for the warranty - be careful. You would be adding a part to the vehicle in a combination the manufacturer never intended.

Waldo makes a good point about vehicle stability. Glass is HEAVY. Adding a cargo carrier will increase the vehicle's center of gravity. Will it make it unsafe? I would think no...can't be any worse than our old Chrysler Town & Country with a cargo carrier - what a miserable driving experience that was!

BTW, Nissan also has a glass roof option with a roof rack on the Quest.

#7 OFFLINE   Flexible

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 07:50 AM

Okay - I priced out the roof rack side rail parts.

For just the side rails: $255 EACH. $510 for the pair. That does include the replacement drip rail molding parts. But that doesn't include all the fasteners needed, not does it include the side rail end caps or installation costs. So that $850 doesn't sound wrong to me anymore.

BTW - these prices are for the chrome side rails with a White Suede roof...suspect pricing would be less for black rails.

I think it's easier to just order with the side rails and skip the Vista Roof...

However, for those with side rails, some pretty nice Thule crossbars are now available as a licensed Ford accessory.

#8 OFFLINE   jvoelk

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 03:51 PM

I just called my Ford Dealer and they said they would not install the factory roof rack on the Flex w/Vista Roof.

Has anyone installed custom Yakima or Thule towers on their Flex with Vista roof?

The other option is to use a cargo bag on the roof. I usually chose to place a rubber mat directly on the roof for protection AND so the cargo doesn't slip around. The only option is to use gutter clips that clip either in the rain gutter OR in the door frame area.

Has anyone tried using a cargo bag with gutter clips on their Flex?

I really like my Flex but need cargo options. I do have the factory trailer hitch option but we often use a hitch-mount bike rack and take our bikes on family vacations. With a family of 6 with need more cargo options. I might just decide to buy a folding or Thule trailer and put the bikes and cargo in their.

#9 OFFLINE   MDGT

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:54 AM

The other option is to use a cargo bag on the roof. I usually chose to place a rubber mat directly on the roof for protection AND so the cargo doesn't slip around. The only option is to use gutter clips that clip either in the rain gutter OR in the door frame area.

Has anyone tried using a cargo bag with gutter clips on their Flex?


I would not suggest putting this on the roof. It's not safe to have objects laying on the vista roof.

#10 OFFLINE   jvoelk

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 04:47 PM

I would not suggest putting this on the roof. It's not safe to have objects laying on the vista roof.


Thanks for the advice.

I'm giving up on that idea. Instead I am looking at cargo trays. They are probably more wind resistant too. I also have a trailer hitch mount bike rack so I purchased a dual receiver which effectively turns 1 receiver into 2. So the bike rack goes on top and the cargo tray goes underneath. If this doesn't prove to give me much cargo space then I will look into cargo trailers. Thule makes a really cargo trailer but it isn't cheap. I'll try to post a picture with my final solution.

#11 OFFLINE   dmarkjohn

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 06:50 PM

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to order a Limited with the Vista Roof and Roof Rack Side Rails? I'm sure they do not advise loading on top of the skylights but I would love to have them for possible bike/boat rack options or light weight cargo.



It is possible to put them on aftermarket because I have them on my Flex with Vista roof. I negotiated it as part of the deal when I bought the car. They put the stock black ones on that look real sharp. My intention is to haul skis up there. I have no idea why they won't let you order a rack with the vista roof as none of the weight will be on the glass.

#12 OFFLINE   rmc523

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:37 PM

It is possible to put them on aftermarket because I have them on my Flex with Vista roof. I negotiated it as part of the deal when I bought the car. They put the stock black ones on that look real sharp. My intention is to haul skis up there. I have no idea why they won't let you order a rack with the vista roof as none of the weight will be on the glass.


Perhaps they think if stuff somehow falls, it'll damage/break the glass?

You didn't get the ones with the chrome accents on them, or are those the one's you're talking about?

#13 OFFLINE   Florida Flexer

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 02:59 PM

I am told by a friend who is a service manager that it is because Ford is worried about warranty claims for the vista roof due to accidental damage from carrying cargo on the roof rack. There is no structural or safety reason. It is mearly a concern for liability and profitability. I am going to order the parts and do it myself.

#14 OFFLINE   rmc523

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 05:48 PM

I am told by a friend who is a service manager that it is because Ford is worried about warranty claims for the vista roof due to accidental damage from carrying cargo on the roof rack. There is no structural or safety reason. It is mearly a concern for liability and profitability. I am going to order the parts and do it myself.


Welcome Florida Flexer, may I ask what part of Florida you're in?

#15 OFFLINE   dmarkjohn

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 07:24 PM

Perhaps they think if stuff somehow falls, it'll damage/break the glass?

You didn't get the ones with the chrome accents on them, or are those the one's you're talking about?



I got the solid black ones. I actually think they look better then chrome on my red Flex. Here are some photos. I plan to be very careful using the rack so as not to damage the glass roof.


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#16 OFFLINE   rmc523

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 09:46 AM

I got the solid black ones. I actually think they look better then chrome on my red Flex. Here are some photos. I plan to be very careful using the rack so as not to damage the glass roof.


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Attached File  IMG_9967_1.jpg   43.33KB   669 downloads
Attached File  IMG_9965_1.jpg   48.1KB   556 downloads


Hmm, the rain channel strip is not painted on yours? Maybe that's part of the white/silver colored roof? Or were they changed because of the roof rack?

You can kinda see it here:
Posted Image

Edited by rmc523, 22 April 2009 - 09:48 AM.


#17 OFFLINE   dmarkjohn

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:43 PM

Hmm, the rain channel strip is not painted on yours? Maybe that's part of the white/silver colored roof? Or were they changed because of the roof rack?

You can kinda see it here:
Posted Image


The stock rain channel was painted but the one that came with the roof rail kit was not. I was disappointed at first but not that big of a deal as all the other trim on mine is black. I am just glad to have the rails!

#18 OFFLINE   rmc523

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 07:10 PM

The stock rain channel was painted but the one that came with the roof rail kit was not. I was disappointed at first but not that big of a deal as all the other trim on mine is black. I am just glad to have the rails!


I figured as much.

#19 OFFLINE   madlock

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:45 PM

With the proviso that it won't invalidate any aspect of the vehicle warranty and a Ford dealer would be willing to install it, I'm VERY likely to add them to my Vista-roofed Limited. Before doing so, however, I intend to investigate and determine the options for obtaining white rain channels or more likely having them painted to match the white roof.

I don't intend to haul anything that would risk contact with the Vista roof, even though its being tempered would likely make it strong enough to bear some weight load itself. Even so, it's obvious that the engineers never intended any glass surface on Flex to bear any load, so I would only use it in conjunction with a shell carrier and/or tray.

Thanks for all the info posted.

#20 OFFLINE   jrmgkia

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 01:36 PM

I got the solid black ones. I actually think they look better then chrome on my red Flex. Here are some photos. I plan to be very careful using the rack so as not to damage the glass roof.


Could you post a few more details about your roof rails? How much did they cost you? Did you have dealer do the install or did you install them yourself? Thanks

Edited by jrmgkia, 27 May 2009 - 01:37 PM.







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