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Old 11-10-2019, 05:24 PM #1
HiluxSurfBC HiluxSurfBC is offline
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Mounting rails to a 2nd gen with no factory roof system

Hey there guys, i have a 2nd gen, and am planning a roof rack install. My plan is to open up the headliner and either mount rails, or crossbars right away. I have a sunroof so my plan is to install a basket from the back of the sunroof all the way to the back. Has anyone done this themself? Have any advice for me?
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:24 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiluxSurfBC View Post
Hey there guys, i have a 2nd gen, and am planning a roof rack install. My plan is to open up the headliner and either mount rails, or crossbars right away. I have a sunroof so my plan is to install a basket from the back of the sunroof all the way to the back. Has anyone done this themself? Have any advice for me?

So I didn't start from scratch, but I did extend the factory rails which is almost the same thing. You could acquire roof rails from a junkyard super easy and cheap. And then the scary part... Drilling holes and using rivnuts of the right size. Basically it's all done from the outside of the roof. And it's terrifying. But saves you from pulling down the headliner which sucks. And the factory roof rails are installed with rivnuts anyhow. So you could snag main rails and cross rails and then sort of assemble it all and then center it and that's where it lies.

Regardless of how you attach it, only drill one hole at a time. Then fasten down the rail with a screw temporarily and mark and drill next hole and so forth. Reason why you don't make and drill all holes at once is in case it shifts on you or something during marking. My method insures all holes will be accurate. And use a good high quality sealant. I used Adseal. It's made for RV roofs. If using rivnuts, apply sealant on outside knurled part and then also on the thread of the little bolts.

Other hard part will be finding rivnuts of the right size. I didn't take notes of which size I used. Factory screws are tiny so you'll be fine with something like 8-32 or so. And you gotta big a rivnut tool as well.

That's my opinion.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:14 PM #3
HiluxSurfBC HiluxSurfBC is offline
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Rivnuts are strong enough to hold the racks down? In my mind i was thinking of removing the headliner and bolting it down.

I have no idea what is in my roof either, i have a sunroof and some lights and don't want to accidentally mess up any of that stuff.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:48 PM #4
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@HiluxSurfBC I worked at RackNRoad in Seattle and we did riv-nut installs all the time!

We did 2 types of "custom" racks. 1st is using tracks (Most flexibility), and "hard point".

The nice thing about tracks is you can run them all the way front to back almost as far as you'd like.

Here's a link to Yakima (my prefered) tracks; 60” Tracks w/ CapNut Hardware

Step 1: Clean the roof (don't wax or anything)
Step 2: Lay down tape UNDER the where you want the tracks. Lay out the tracks how you want them (I went Parallel so that I can move the bars without adjusting the feet)
Step 3: Measure
Step 4: Tape the tracks in place on top of the tape.
Step 5: Measure them again
Step 6: Mark the holes (Tracks have holes every 6" - you don't need every single one - The first two, the last two and every other)
Step 7: Measure! (Make sure nothing has moved and the holes line up)
Step 8:COMMIT
Step 9: Center punch where you're going to drill.
Step 10: Get the propper drill bit and make sure it's sharp as hell! Also add a "limiter"- We used wine corks so that the drill bit can't go more than about 1/4 of an inch.

Warning: Be Prepared: the roof has bars in it and there's a good chance that you might hit one: if that happens the drill bit can RUN: go slow.

If that happens do not panic: there are alternatives to RIV nuts (name escapes me).

After you have all the holes drilled get your riv nuts ready and I also recommend some RTV sealant in each hole and stainless steel hardware. If you can, use a proper riv-nut tool.

Step 11: Riv-Nut time! Peel all the tape off the roof-line and go to town
Sealant to protect the edge of the drilled hole from corrosion
Riv-nut

Step 12: sealant in the rivnut
Step 13: lay the track on top
Step 14: LOSELY put the hardware in each riv-nut and then gradually tighten them all down to about 2-3nm.

Don't forget to add track hardware for the feet and don't forget to mount the end caps.

That's coming off the top of my head.

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:20 PM #5
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That helps a lot! If anything it just makes me a bit more nervous about this whole undertaking haha. Thanks for spending time to write that out for me!
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:58 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinout View Post
@HiluxSurfBC
...Here's a link to Yakima (my prefered) tracks; 60” Tracks w/ CapNut Hardware...
Step 5: Measure them again
... Also add a "limiter"- We used wine corks so that the drill bit can't go more than about 1/4 of an inch.
...
Great tips, and that is a nice, versatile rack system! ^^^

Quote:
Don't forget to add track hardware for the feet and don't forget to mount the end caps....
Could the "Capnuts" on that^^^ system be added AFTER install (no photo on website)? If not, T-nuts might help.

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Old 11-14-2019, 05:10 PM #7
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@HiluxSurfBC you're welcome and it's okay to be nervous about doing the install. It's better to be nervous than to dig in and get part way in and regret it. Honestly the first few cars I did it on was scary as hell - because they were paying customers!

Imagine drilling into the top of a Tesla - YEAH!

@RAD4Runner the "capnuts" that Yakima's website shows would be something you would use instead of rivnuts. They'd be used for single layer roofs such as camper shells over a pickup (I don't know the structure of 1st gen roofs). The capnuts won't work well on 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th gen 4runners because of all the layers.

The hardware I was referring too is the plates that go inside the track.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....RL._SY355_.jpg
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Old 11-14-2019, 05:13 PM #8
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@RAD4Runner I missed the second part: I'm not familiar with that t-nut you sent but that's a great option. I like the A plates better because they are much larger but if you don't put them in when sealing up the track you'd have to break the seal, put them in, reseal, etc.

So it's a great alternative/solution.
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Old 11-14-2019, 05:19 PM #9
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And because I can't send just 1 post>

Here's a capnut in action: So you need access to the underside:

https://www.rackwarehouse.com/images...s-tracks-2.jpg

Oh, I found the rivnut alternative: It's called a plus-nut and expands much bigger but needs more space behind the sheet metal.

Also, quick bonus: Rivnuts are what is used on bicycles for accessories such as water-bottle cages.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:43 PM #10
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Re: Capnuts

If one's committed, the through-hole bolt-nut combo would be the most robust:


On fiberglas camper shell I'd use a backing plate. Someone on Yotatech or here used a backing plate for double duty; as mounting/tiedown points inside the vehicle.
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Old 11-25-2019, 03:44 PM #11
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I did this a year ago for our RTT. Still going strong...

Check my thread:DIY roof rails Maybe you'll find some answers there also.
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Last edited by Arild; 11-25-2019 at 03:46 PM.
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