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Roof Rack / Rail Removal

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorer Sport Tuning' started by txaggie, February 16, 2013.

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    1. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Have you had the dealer check it out? That should fall under the warranty. Depending on what the actual issue is, are you sure that a replacement won't do the same thing?

      Peter
       
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    3. metroplex

      metroplex Member

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      I kind of want to know why these rail covers are popping at the edges. There seem to be a few points of retention: the gray caps with expandable tabs, and a few gray tabs. But it is the rears that keep popping up. My left side is solid as a rock, but the right side flexes up and side to side so easily that it just pops up with normal driving. I've seen it on only a few other 16-up Explorers so it is possible a manufacturing issue with those covers. I hate dealing with the dealership on these type of warranty issues as they will first blame the customer and then try to be your friend.
       
    4. metroplex

      metroplex Member

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      So I tried a few things. Used some heat to curve it at the back more, used some heat to compress the rear section more, applied extra layers of ABS cement on the holes that interface with the "Expanding" retainer plugs. I managed to break one of the clips that are ridiculously thin, but the ABS cemented welded it back very quickly.

      So it seems the rear cap has this tang that clips into the black molding (the structure that bolts to the roof) that faces the GPS antenna. I believe the roof caps are made either too lose at the rear, or the tang is too short. I've noticed the rear caps pop up on a variety of 2016-up Explorers including this 2017 XLT FWD that I saw in our parking lot. He had the sport appearance package so he had the carbon black roof caps (which look like the ones I'd buy if I wanted to get replacements) which are a matte black. His driver's side rear cap popped up.

      So when I used a bit of heat to squeeze in the rear of the cap, that seemed to make it contact the slot better and secure it. The other stuff I tried didn't do anything really much.

      For others with the same problem, you can spend time at the dealer and have them keep replacing the caps until one fits. Or try using a bit of heat from a heat gun and squeeze the back of the cap (right where that inner tang is located) and let it cool. I applied some layers of ABS cement at the tang to try and thicken it up, but I don't believe that did a whole lot. But when I clipped back on, it made a very loud and sharp SNAP sound that I've never heard during the several times I tried fixing it. I'm not sure if this is the 100% solution, but it's the best I've seen so far.

      Be warned if you remove the cap, there are several clips that are extremely insanely thin that will easily snap/break. But ABS cement will weld them back very easily as the caps are made of ABS as well. ABS is very easy to work with, as I've cracked the factory ABS body work on my Ducati in the past and ABS cement welded it back like new in terms of strength (appearance is another issue altogether).
       
    5. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ^^^ Pictures of this issue would be helpful in seeing exactly what the issue is.

      Peter
       

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