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Old 06-29-2018, 04:24 PM #61
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I've had my RTT mounted on my stock rails for months at a time and never had any issues. As long as they are attached to the rails and not the cross bars you should have no issues.
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Old 04-19-2020, 11:45 PM #62
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Extruded Aluminum Flush Mount Rails

Reviving an old thread here, but in the case anyone else comes digging for ideas. This is long (sorry) but mostly pictures.

With aluminum rack options on the rise (Prinsu Designs and Sherpa Equipment Company type racks out there), I wanted to make something similar, but cheaper and not as apocalyptic-looking for my 4Runner (she has this metric she made up called "lady-cool" and things that don't meet it get veto'd). These are both great products and I'm actually running slightly modified Sherpa racks on my Nissan Frontier. Our 4Runner gets less heavy use, but it's nice to be able to switch ski clamps, baskets, etc, or have a nice flat roof, WITHOUT needing special adapters for the factory rails. For a full aero bar setup from the likes of Yakima/Thule/Rhino Rack, you'll be into some big money pretty quickly, and still require some special adapters. Originally we went with a used Yakima rail-grab rack from craigslist (actually had it mounted on my wife's Jeep Liberty before we sold it and got the 4Runner).


So I ran a Yakima rail-grab system for a while with round bars. I liked this because of the simple snap-around clips that Yakima uses. They're super easy, convenient, and versatile. The negatives are the added height (not much, but still) once you get the bars, clamps, etc. I can barely fit out of the garage with a 1" lift and only running 32" tires with skis up there. Plus those dang Yakima round bars always rust out on the ends after a few seasons.


SO, I've been working on a cleaner system for my own, as well as a couple friend's 4Runners (only 4th gens so far, but probably 5th gens coming soon).

I used 80/20 extruded aluminum just like Prinsu/Sherpa use. Designed a few different types, but basically they're way more modular because you can drop carriage bolts or track nuts into the track and not have to buy the expensive aero bar clamps, etc.

This moves the weak point of the OEM rack from the crossbars to the feet where the OEM rails mount to the roof. I'm pretty comfortable with that, even for a larger/heavier load. At a fraction of the cost, I've done a pretty cool flush mount system that I'm super happy with. Check out a few pictures. You can barely see the from the ground/eye level, but they're there. Been messing around with both 1"x1" and 1"x2" bars. Both are pretty useful. They're completely aluminum and stainless steel, so no corrosion or rust. They're also low profile and unobtrusive (meets my wife's "lady-cool" criteria easily). The only downside is that they create a lot of wind noise since they are slotted aluminum. A fairing should help out a lot.









Sorry you have to see that Honda Ridgeline in the background. This was in someone else's garage.

Anyways, that's what I've come up with for mine. Let me know what you think.

Cheers.

Last edited by paulforeman02; 04-29-2020 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 04-22-2020, 08:25 PM #63
KenM KenM is offline
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Nice work!

Enjoyed reading your post. Nice job! Can you share the total cost? I assume you had to dissassemble the rack to install the alumunum rails. They look good with the matching silver rack. Can you describe the install procees, tough?

I posted this thread a many years ago (6?) and still find everyoneís posts interesting. I still have my 2007 4ruunner, same color with differential leaks and all. I donít use my simple yakama/L bracket setup much by find it handy from time to time for bringing home lumber or siding. https://www.toyota-4runner.org/2799836-post40.html

My favorite feature of this vehicle is the automatic rear window.
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Old 04-23-2020, 02:24 AM #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulforeman02 View Post
Anyways, that's what I've come up with for mine. Let me know what you think.
Interested to know your cost for this as well, thanks!
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Old 04-28-2020, 09:42 PM #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM View Post
Enjoyed reading your post. Nice job! Can you share the total cost? I assume you had to dissassemble the rack to install the alumunum rails. They look good with the matching silver rack. Can you describe the install procees, tough?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuron View Post
Interested to know your cost for this as well, thanks!
The install is SUPER simple. When you remove the rear plastic covers of the OEM rails, the factory cross bars slide right out. No disassembly required. To install the ones I built, I just slide them into the back of the OEM rails, just like the factory ones came out.

Material cost per crossbar is roughly $50 including hardware. It varies a bit depending on the type of 80/20 I used, with the silver 1020 being the cheapest. That said, I had access to a machine shop at the time I made them. Making the aluminum end plates wasn't hard, but precision was key to keep them super straight, although they could be done by hand. I used a CNC mill to drill them very precisely.

I also used the CNC mill to add pockets in the rails so that I could drop in carriage bolts instead of track nuts. I don't have access to those machines anymore, but roll-in track nuts work just fine if I ever build more.

If anyone is interested, I was thinking about making a small batch and basically selling them at cost (plus shipping). Not sure when I could get around to it... if someone wanted one, that could be a push to get them going.

Last edited by paulforeman02; 04-29-2020 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Update info, fix typos
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