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Old 02-09-2020, 03:22 AM #1
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Sealant for Aftermarket Roof Rack?

Just received my Victory 4x4 roof rack and trying to understand what the best way is to seal the mounting holes to prevent water intrusion. Their instructions were to use a generous amount of black RTV around and in the factory mounting holes. I was planning on going this route, but wondered if there was a cleaner alternative to seal it?

Watching and reading other roof rack install videos seems that the norm is RTV, but the reason I am hesitant with glooping RTV everywhere is because I read that:
  • it's a pain to clean if you want to remove it
  • it needs to eventually be reapplied because of the constant exposure to the sun
  • filling the mounting hole with silicon sounds like a pain to deal with if I wanted to go a different route later on
Found this great post where it was suggested to use butyl tape and silicone washers, which I am leaning towards.

Any insight is appreciated. Also, recommendations on thread sealing for the bolts... thought of pipe dope or teflon tape, but sounds like blue loc-tite would work?
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:50 AM #2
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Rorck recommended me this sealant when I bought the ecotechne roof rack and I must say no issues whatsoever https://amzn.to/30DoFiP
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:40 AM #3
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:02 PM #4
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Sealant for Aftermarket Roof Rack?

I used a small amount of silicone sealant, and sourced some rubber washers in addition. If you look at how the roof rack mounts and the holes, the real risk is water in the rain channels going in between the plastic bolt guides and the roof, not down through the nut and bolt threads.




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Last edited by Brownfaux; 02-10-2020 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:29 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrensan View Post
Rorck recommended me this sealant when I bought the ecotechne roof rack and I must say no issues whatsoever https://amzn.to/30DoFiP
This. Clear RTV has held up great on my Prinsu through 9 months of blizzards, storms and high pressure car washes. Easy to source as well.
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Old 04-17-2020, 09:21 PM #6
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Roof rack that do not require sealant

I am aware that there are a few racks on the market that do not depend on silcone, butyl, RTV, or any other offensive, goopy, sticky, messy stuff.

I know ARB and Sherpa rack are designed in this way with OEM style rubber seals.

Are there any other racks that I could add to my list?

Last edited by jasonlw; 04-18-2020 at 06:43 AM. Reason: Spellcheck
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:17 PM #7
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None that I've seen and I've read a lot on the subject. And the Sherpa racks are on sale 12% off for the next two days, so a good deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonlw View Post
I am aware that there are a few racks on the market that do not depend on silcone, butyl, RTV, or any other offensive, goopy, sticky, messy stuff.

I know ARB and Sherpa rack are designed in this way with OEM style rubber seals.

Are there any other racks that I could add to my list?
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Old 04-20-2020, 11:31 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrensan View Post
Rorck recommended me this sealant when I bought the ecotechne roof rack and I must say no issues whatsoever Amazon.com: Permatex 80050 Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant, 3 oz: Automotive
I used this RTV on when installing Front Runner rack in Nov 2018. I applied it liberally over the bolts and any holes. I haven't had any issues, but I should probably check it's integrity soon.
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Old 04-20-2020, 12:12 PM #9
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I used 3M auto sealant for my install. It rained this weekend and so far no leaks.

3M Clear Super Silicone Seal, 08661, 3 oz Amazon.com: 3M Clear Super Silicone Seal, 08661, 3 oz: Garden & Outdoor
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Old 06-12-2020, 06:09 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrensan View Post
Rorck recommended me this sealant when I bought the ecotechne roof rack and I must say no issues whatsoever Amazon.com: Permatex 80050 Clear RTV Silicone Adhesive Sealant, 3 oz: Automotive
I'm reading that the Permatex Clear RTV Silicone causes corrosion on the paint after it cures?
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Old 06-12-2020, 07:39 AM #11
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Silicone caulks that release acetic acid during the curing would potentially be corrosive to the metal roof or rack. Butyl caulk does not release it.
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Old 06-12-2020, 08:44 AM #12
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There was a recent Roof rack thread where a guy used silicone and over time it contracted and allowed water penetration... his roof had rust holes and was trashed. A member posted that through his extensive research found that butyl rubber sealant, like what is used to affix windshields, is best as it does not contract. Just an FYI. You might search out that thread.
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Old 06-17-2020, 12:01 PM #13
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Here's lots of info.

Non Drill roof rack (no silicone)

I'm building my own spacers for the roof rack to sit on with a combination of 3/4" thick plexiglass (making a big ol rectangular block and drilling 2 holes into it), butyl rubber, and a sheet of 1/8" high temp silicone (Red Silicone Rubber Sheet Roll High Temperature Thick Commercial Grade 8" x 8" x 0.12": Amazon.ca: Tools & Home Improvement)

I'm using cutting some silicone sheet to size to sit between the roof itself and the spacer -i.e. I made a silicone gasket which also helps protect the spacer from damaging the paint on the roof. Butyl on both sides of the silicone to be super safe -not a lot but enough to squeeze and fill into any spaces or gaps. I'm also adding a silicone gasket on top of the spacer where the roof rack bracket sits on top of the spacer (it's hard surface on hard surface so it's not water tight).

Lots of ways to skin this cat.
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:26 AM #14
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My Prinsu rack should be here in couple of days and this I'm planning to do the following from bottom up:
Butyl tape around the factory white washers/holes
Silicone Rubber Sealing Washer McCaster 99604A123
SS Washer
Silicone
Prinsu Washer
Silicone
Rack.

Not planning on putting any silicone in the holes of the roof but will be wrapping the bolts in blue monster pfte tape. Hopefully this will do it.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:24 PM #15
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I'd tell you to use silicone sealant. But it'll be hard to close if something doesn't hold up. It's also possible that the adhesive where the mounting holes are can cause rust on the body (or on the trunk components). So make sure your mounting holes are close to the metal ones first, and then apply some sealant. If not, it's probably best to apply one coat. Make sure you use the suitable sealant in advance SealWithEase.com | The #1 Sealing Resource. Otherwise, there may be problems. If you need to do trunk sealing, also look at the size and shape of the hole.

Last edited by csiszeronas; 10-13-2021 at 05:14 AM.
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