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Old 10-11-2021, 09:46 AM #1
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2002 Roof side rails

Does anyone have any experience making their own side rails ?
not to be confused with cross bars.

for some reason my 2002 4R had its rails and everything removed from the roof and I am trying to install a basket, but I will first need to install side rails and crossbars.

After a bit of searching, ive found used OEM on ebay for about $200 in rough condition or aftermarket for around $300+ eg:
1984 - 2002 Toyota 4Runner DynaSport-SportQuest Complete Roof Rack and Roof Rack Accessories from CustomAutoTrim.Com

should I bite the bullet and get a new set ?
is it worth it to try and make my own ?
and does anyone have any schematics of how the original rails screwed into the roof ? (will i have to be removing the headliner ? >_<)

Any advice is appreciated,
thanks
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Old 10-11-2021, 05:13 PM #2
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Do you have any pictures of your roof/lack of roof rails? Some 4Runners came without roof rails entirely.
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Old 10-11-2021, 05:39 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpelletier View Post
should I bite the bullet and get a new set ?
is it worth it to try and make my own ?
and does anyone have any schematics of how the original rails screwed into the roof ? (will i have to be removing the headliner ? >_<)

Any advice is appreciated,
thanks
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Plenty on there for under $100, you won't be able to beat that making your own. Just make SURE to get the fasteners and all trim pieces for the price.

You don't have to remove the headliner, the fasteners all screw in from the top/outside. Even the 4runners without racks installed have the mounting spots, they just came with a plastic trim piece that filled the holes (SAVE THAT if you have it, these are nearly unobtainum and plenty of people want to remove the silly OEM roof racks).

All of that said, I'd be willing to make my own side rails. If I were to do it, I'd use 80:20 extruded aluminum, bolted down in the factor spots and probably another place or two that would require headliner removal. The half-height (just a slot on the top) stuff is flexible enough to fit the curve of the roof which would allow for a full-length rail. Silicone the thing down and there's no water issues. Perhaps add some internal structure to support more load... would leave a cleaner look when everything but the side rails are removed (99% of the time), but give MUCH more option for mounting whatever it is you'd want up there.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:06 PM #4
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When I had mine powder coated I grabbed a set from junkyard for like 20 bucks. Power coating made them new again. One or two thoughts - posted this before but the rails have a washer/gasket between the rail and roof for the bolts. No longer available so I grabbed small rubber washers at Lowe's. Also the end cap need to be treated carefully. I broke one removing it and it was not cheap to get a new one.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:25 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpelletier View Post
Does anyone have any experience making their own side rails ?
not to be confused with cross bars.

for some reason my 2002 4R had its rails and everything removed from the roof and I am trying to install a basket, but I will first need to install side rails and crossbars.

After a bit of searching, ive found used OEM on ebay for about $200 in rough condition or aftermarket for around $300+ eg:
1984 - 2002 Toyota 4Runner DynaSport-SportQuest Complete Roof Rack and Roof Rack Accessories from CustomAutoTrim.Com

should I bite the bullet and get a new set ?
is it worth it to try and make my own ?
and does anyone have any schematics of how the original rails screwed into the roof ? (will i have to be removing the headliner ? >_<)

Any advice is appreciated,
thanks
Can't beat these from e trailer great price.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:47 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
Can't beat these from e trailer great price.
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Watch it with the Rhino RTC track - it is designed for use with a canopy, not sheetmetal.
It requires access to the interior surface to fasten the hardware.

I would suggest OEM track, or Thule Top Track with properly installed/sealed rivnuts.
Careful using some sort of "heavy duty" extrusion, as the track
should be the "fuse" in the system so that the roof doesn't get torn apart
if you snag something on a crossbar or a similar-type situation.
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Old 10-11-2021, 07:02 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostRing View Post
Watch it with the Rhino RTC track - it is designed for use with a canopy, not sheetmetal.
It requires access to the interior surface to fasten the hardware.

I would suggest OEM track, or Thule Top Track with properly installed/sealed rivnuts.
Careful using some sort of "heavy duty" extrusion, as the track
should be the "fuse" in the system so that the roof doesn't get torn apart
if you snag something on a crossbar or a similar-type situation.
As per the etrailer site, " These tracks mount directly to your naked-roof vehicle to create strong, low-profile attachment points for Rhino-Rack roof-rack legs. Each track has dual C-channels so that you can mount the tracks to your roof and mount legs to the tracks."
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Old 10-11-2021, 08:21 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
As per the etrailer site, " These tracks mount directly to your naked-roof vehicle to create strong, low-profile attachment points for Rhino-Rack roof-rack legs. Each track has dual C-channels so that you can mount the tracks to your roof and mount legs to the tracks."
As per me installing both Rhino Rack RTC and RTV professionally on a regular basis, do whatever you want, but you're likely making more work for yourself...
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Old 10-11-2021, 09:12 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostRing View Post
As per me installing both Rhino Rack RTC and RTV professionally on a regular basis, do whatever you want, but you're likely making more work for yourself...
Since you are a pro. I will defer to your better judgment.
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Old 10-11-2021, 09:19 PM #10
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If you're considering the factory rails, get in touch with me. I have a set with the three smaller load bearing bars.
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:14 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
Since you are a pro. I will defer to your better judgment.
It's all good!
The product you linked is actually freakin' awesome for its intended use.
I just don't want you, OP, or anyone else struggling to find viable solutions.
It's hard to un-drill holes...
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:44 PM #12
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I made my own roof rack out of unistrut. Pretty cheap, and lots of options for mounting.

Only downside is it's galvanized, so it's a bit of a process if you want to paint it a different color.

I used the existing side rails, to create a taller side rail. Then attached cross bars out of unistrut to those side rails.

I don't see a reason you couldn't just use the unistrut as side rails and mount them directly to your roof. I'd use rubber washers in between your roof and the unistrut so water can move freely.
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Old 10-12-2021, 10:49 AM #13
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Wow thanks so much for all the advice, information and resources !

Im opting for aftermarket side rails/crossbars since the OEM rack is rated pretty low (75lb) weight and I plan to put 150lb+ on a large basket.

Thank god I dont have to take down the headliner.

car-part.com is a GOLDMINE.. ive been looking to replace my cloth seats with leather seats from ebay forever.

Seriously thanks yall, ill be posting pics of the roof when she's back from getting aligned, and when i start the installation.
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Old 10-18-2021, 12:25 PM #14
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So it definitely looks like it had a rack and was removed and holes filled with somekinda rubber.. any idea why ?
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2002 Roof side rails-whatsapp-image-2021-10-18-12-12-18-pm-1-jpg  2002 Roof side rails-whatsapp-image-2021-10-18-12-12-17-pm-jpeg  2002 Roof side rails-whatsapp-image-2021-10-18-12-12-18-pm-2-jpg 
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Old 10-18-2021, 12:30 PM #15
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Factory rivnuts filled with RTV. Someone hated you.
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