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Old 01-25-2009, 04:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Roof Rack Thread to End All Roof Rack Threads (pics inside)

Feel free to move this to a more specific place or to make a sticky. I want this to be a Q&A thread as well as informative.

So I've started to consider myself a Roof Rack guru as of late. My car (FA5) and my brother's car (R18) are both outfitted with roof racks. We have all the attachments (ski/snowboard, Roof Box Carrier, Kayak, and Bike). As you can see the cars are outfitted for winter mode with painted stocks (R18) and painted RSX Base wheels (FA5).

I am arranging this thread to post all the known information that I know and to show you what things look like. Fell free to shoot me a PM or ask any questions and I'll be more than happy to help.

Everything that I will be discussing will be revolving around the Thule system. Its what I have experience with and I have never had any issues.

To start off I'll go with the R18, and list the parts.

THULE 2172 INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS

You will NEED the following:
Thule 400 foot pack. You can use the old style which can be found on eBay for cheap (what we did) or you can get the new style feet. The new feet are called 400xt or 400xt rapid. They make a rapid load bar and a regular load bar. I personally don't see the benefit of the rapid load bars but you might. The feet are the metal brackets that support the load bars and can be seen below.

The fit kit for the coupe is #2172. These are the rubber bottoms that go on the bottom of the feet and the clamps that hold the feet to the car.

Along with the fit kit you will need the 477 short roof adapter. This allows the rear load bar to be properly spaced from the front which can only be achieved with the short roof adapter (bar parallel to the car).

Then obviously you will need the load bars LB50. These support whatever it is that you choose.



Something that is optional is the front wind fairing. This is model 872xt (large). This greatly reduces the wind noise, to the extent you don't realize that it's on your car from inside. It also adds some style and helps with the MPG by reducing the drag.





Now on to the FA5. For this you will need the same 400 style feet. New or old whatever route you decide to go.

For the FA5 you'll need fit kit 2171. Again these are the rubber bottoms and clamps.

The 4 door uses the same load bars LB50 and the same wind fairing 872xt (large).

INSTALL INSTRTUCTIONS FOR THULE 2171







Now when installing the rack systems be sure to follow the instructions EXACTLY. You want to start with putting the feet on the load bars and spacing them apart to the exact measurements. The fronts are going to be wider than the rears and make sure these measurements are exact. They can be a little primitive and hard to follow but the basic idea is measuring exactly. Then rest the bars and feet on the car and space them from the windshield according to the specs. Make sure the distance is the same on center. Move on to the rear load bars in the same fashion.

Now when tightening the clamps you may be hesitant because one side sits further in on the roof then the other. Tighten the opposite side to draw the other side closer. You want to tighten the clamps evenly and tight enough so that the load bar is slightly bowed. When you see the bar bowed downward you are good.

Again my instructions are a basic idea but I would be more than happy to try and walk someone through the process if needed.

The best advice I can give for roof racks is buy used. They are so damn expensive new and you can always find a good deal on used sets. Look on other car forums because the majority of cars use the 400 style feet.

On to some other pics....






View from my room...



Hope this helps.

-Ray

Last edited by ocdcivic; 02-05-2010 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not much into roof racks, but great post
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Doesn't look bad at all on Rallye Red.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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about how much did the kit run you for the coupe? ive been considering a roof rack for my fg2 but only need it for a ski/board rack
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:11 PM   #5 (permalink)


 
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great info!

I'd be curious to hear about cost as well.
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Very nice roof rack!

I'd be into that but i put a hitch on my 07 last year for my dirtbikes, fishing boat and pulling home the odd appliance and firewood.

It's great as i can just hitch it up and go for the day and take the trailer off when i don't need it. Sure beats the mileage of a pickup in the city.

The only mod i had to do was remove the plastic cover in the rear end. (can't see it anyway.)
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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dang very nice
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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great info!

I'd be curious to hear about cost as well.
Me too . I need one to haul bikes.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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about how much did the kit run you for the coupe? ive been considering a roof rack for my fg2 but only need it for a ski/board rack
Like I said the best way to do this setup is used. We got the old style 400 feet on eBay that were left overs and brand new for $80 shipped. Then the short roof adapter used in good condition from eBay for $40 shipped. Being that our cars are newer it was hard to find a used fit kit so we went new off amazon i belive for roughly $55. We had spare load bars so that didn't cost us anything same with the snowboard carrier.

I find the best places to look are eBay, craigslist, and different car forums. NASIOC.com always has Subie guys selling parts. They use the same 400 feet, just need to swap out the fit kit. Be sure that you're buying the 400 style feet. The racks that the guys with the wagons are selling will NOT fit our cars. The load bars will but the feet are designed for the roof rails on the wagons.

Take your time and piece it together and you'll have a full system in the $250 range.

Last edited by ocdcivic; 01-26-2009 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mike Oxbig View Post
Very nice roof rack!

I'd be into that but i put a hitch on my 07 last year for my dirtbikes, fishing boat and pulling home the odd appliance and firewood.

It's great as i can just hitch it up and go for the day and take the trailer off when i don't need it. Sure beats the mileage of a pickup in the city.

The only mod i had to do was remove the plastic cover in the rear end. (can't see it anyway.)
Hitch huh? Curious to see pics of that. Does it tow the dirt bike well?
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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dang very nice
Thanks man
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Nice write up. I have a Yakima rack from my 2002 civic, but it's just sitting gin the garage. From those of you that are worried about damaging you car, don't be. As long as everything is secured the right way, you will not have problems.

I have the dual trays and the ankelbiter setup, and used it for many years with absolutely no problems. I have drove pretty fast on the highway, and taking corners doing the same with two bikes on the rack and had no problems.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Like I said the best way to do this setup is used. We got the old style 400 feet on eBay that were left overs and brand new for $80 shipped. Then the short roof adapter used in good condition from eBay for $40 shipped. Being that our cars are newer it was hard to find a used fit kit so we went new off amazon i belive for roughly $55. We had spare load bars so that didn't cost us anything same with the snowboard carrier.

I find the best places to look are eBay, craigslist, and different car forums. NASIOC.com always has Subie guys selling parts. They use the same 400 feet, just need to swap out the fit kit. Be sure that you're buying the 400 style feet. The racks that the guys with the wagons are selling will NOT fit our cars. The load bars will but the feet are designed for the roof rails on the wagons.

Take your time and piece it together and you'll have a full system in the $250 range.
Thanks for the info
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Nice write up. I have a Yakima rack from my 2002 civic, but it's just sitting gin the garage. From those of you that are worried about damaging you car, don't be. As long as everything is secured the right way, you will not have problems.

I have the dual trays and the ankelbiter setup, and used it for many years with absolutely no problems. I have drove pretty fast on the highway, and taking corners doing the same with two bikes on the rack and had no problems.
Agreed. The clamps have a plastic type covering that prevents any scratching as well as the rubber feet. Drive with my rack to and from work on the highway and not once have I been worried about it falling off or anything.

MPG is slightly reduced but I don't mind that much.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:51 AM   #15 (permalink)


 
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Can this accommodate a hard plastic case on top of the coupe?
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Can this accommodate a hard plastic case on top of the coupe?
I don't see why not. I run the carrier on my FA5. Give me a day or two and I'll get some pics up with the carrier on both.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:55 AM   #17 (permalink)


 
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Would this make the car top heavy and mess up the balance of the car?
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Would this make the car top heavy and mess up the balance of the car?
Top heavy to the extent that the car feels like it's going to tip around turns like an SUV? No not at all. As I said you won't even notice it's there the majority of the time. The only time I can tell is when on the highway doing 65+ then the parachute effect takes place and you feel the resistance.
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Can I strap my inlaws to the roof rack?
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