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2016 / 17 roof rack removal


Juniornyc

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does anyone have pics of their roof racks removed? I know I've seen pics on the forum of the previous models with them removed and I love the look. does anyone know if they sell a moulding to fill that gap when the rack is removed. Any info or advise that anyone can offer is greatly appreciated.
 


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twobanger

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I want to remove my roof rack. Is there a moulding to fit the empty channel?
 




peterk9

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twobanger

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I should of said I have a 2016.
 




peterk9

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RogueExplorer

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I have a 2017 Explorer XLT. I want to remove the roof rails completely for a cleaner look. I removed the roof rail cover, which then exposed two front bolts, two rear bolts, and back middle bolt. The problem is, there is a another bolt located in the middle of the roof rail which is flipped upside down which shows the threaded end of the bolt coming out from the roof like a stud, which is then secured by a nut that is accessible from the roof.

So I was able to remove the entire roof rail assembly but it left a long threaded bolt coming out from the top of the roof where it secured the rail.. I imagine the only way to remove this is from inside the vehicle under the headliner..... Has anyone removed their rails and have seen this issue????

I had to put the rails back on because I did not want a long bolt coming out from the top of the roof on each side..
 
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peterk9

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^^ Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
Your thread was moved to this one on the same topic. Doesn't look like anyone has tried this yet with the later model Explorer.

Peter
 




RogueExplorer

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^^ Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
Your thread was moved to this one on the same topic. Doesn't look like anyone has tried this yet with the later model Explorer.

Peter
I've been searching everywhere for a write up on how to do it... no luck. I also noticed the 2017+ explorer use hex bolts and not torx bolts. Would really hate to bring it to the dealer and pay some crazy fee to have the rails removed. But I see no other option right now, or if its even worth dealing with the headliner.
 




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I've been searching everywhere for a write up on how to do it... no luck. I also noticed the 2017+ explorer use hex bolts and not torx bolts. Would really hate to bring it to the dealer and pay some crazy fee to have the rails removed. But I see no other option right now, or if its even worth dealing with the headliner.
Did some 'Searching' and found this post; Roof Rack / Rail Removal Not sure if it helps.

Peter
 




RogueExplorer

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Did some 'Searching' and found this post; Roof Rack / Rail Removal Not sure if it helps.

Peter
Thanks, he ran into the same issue but he decided to leave the bolt up there and just cut it in half instead of removing it.. I think the exposed bolt sticking up no matter what length would drive me insane. Still looking for another alternative so it can be completely removed.

Ford.. what a terrible design for this rail!
 




Bobs2018Explorer

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FYI, I just removed the roof siderails on my 2018 XLT, and it also had the one "stud" that sticks up in the middle on each side (as opposed to a threaded bolt hole).

However, if you look at it closely, it has a male Torx head on top of it; all I did was put a female Torx socket on it, and turned it counter-clockwise, and it unscrews easily and comes completely out (same as a bolt). There is NO need to cut it off at the base, as many others have apparently done (as noted in previous threads on this subject)!

Doing it this way also lets you replace it with another 6mm-16 threaded buttoncap screw and sealer, same as the other 6 holes on each side... but also gives you the opportunity to re-use the threaded hole, if you ever wanted to put your siderails back on in the future.
 
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Adrian Gitch

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Is there gonna be an issue with water leaking in? Or does it not go all the way through?
 




Bobs2018Explorer

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There shouldn't be any kind of issue, because I've plugged the holes with new 6mm-16 button cap screws,along with black sealer put into the threaded holes (and on the screws) first; then tightened them real tight. Then, another layer of black sealer overlapping the screwheads and the surrounding indentation in the sheetmetal. After that, there will be a primary layer of 1"-wide 3M automotive-grade double-faced rubber sealing tape (to help smooth it all out), with the final step being putting a 7-foot long (approx.) layer of auto-body shop quality black rubber self-adhesive trim (1" wide) over all that, to "finish" the project.

My total cost will be about $60, versus spending well over $300 for a bunch of plastic clips and two long pieces of plastic trim from Ford, and the finished look should be comparable.

I'll post a couple of pics, once the trim I've ordered comes in and is installed.
 
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Adrian Gitch

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I'd say there's no way that'll leak.
 




Bobs2018Explorer

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I would hope not... as the original bolts (6mm-16) were just hex bolts with a washer attached, along with a poor-quality "squishy" rubber washer underneath (that disinegrated upon first being unscrewed), and then it was loosely covered by the plastic base of the siderail (or, a plastic decorative strip, if you don't already have the siderails on your car)... I wouldn't think it'd be a problem.

The fact that you simply have a threaded opening, which is then being completedly filled with a matching threaded bolt, would likely remove any chance of rainwater or car wash water intruding down inside all those threads. (I mean, it's not like it's hot water under pressure in a cooling line, right?). So, I'm assuming it should be just fine even in a heavy rainfall or car wash.
 








Bobs2018Explorer

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In my case, I simply pulled upwards (with my hands) on the rear area of one of the covers, and it popped off. I then continued to work my way towards the front, doing the same thing, and the entire cover was soon off (and you could then see inside the black base, where all the mounting screws were). Easy-peasy!
 




Bobs2018Explorer

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As promised, here are some details (and photos) of what I did to "fill-in" the trough left by my removal of the OEM siderails that came on my 2018 Explorer XLT (rather than spending over $500 for all of the overpriced factory pieces):

After removing the hardware, I replaced most of the OEM hex-head bolts with button-head screws (6mm-16), first coating the threads with black silicon sealer and tightening them down securely; then putting some more sealer over the screw-heads, allowing time for the sealer to cure.

As you may know (or find out the hard way), the treatment of where the now-missing plastic "hockey-stick" trim pieces used to meet the windshield can be a tricky area to cover up, due to the bend/shape of the trough in that area. While I at first tried to simply put my flexible, self-adhesive 1" trim down into that area, it just didn't look or fit right, so I had to come up with some other way to do it.

I then researched the two hockey-stick pieces that would have originally come with vehicles that had no such siderail, and ended-up purchasing and installing those (to at least resolve the issue with filling that tricky area). While kind of an expensive resolution, it definitely solved the problem for me.

BTW, the part numbers for those two hockey-stick parts are as follows:

DB5Z-7851729-AA ($51.24)
DB5Z-7851728-AA ($52.18)

After applying new sealer to the bolt holes on each side near the windshield, I reinstalled each of the short original factory trim clips back to their original positions. Once the front portions were clipped back on, I then reused the original hex-head bolts (two on each trim piece) to do the final attachment (adding more sealer to the threads first). I realized that this now left the silver-colored bolt heads showing, even though they were down in their mounting holes, so I glued-in some 11/16" black plastic hole plugs (using even more black sealer), to kind of dress it up a bit.

I then chemically cleaned the rest of the trough, and first put down a layer of 3M automotive-grade rubber double-sided tape (to help smooth-out the bumpy screw areas a little). Next, I applied my Cowles Protekto Trim #33-312-01 automotive-grade rubber adhesive finish trim on top of that.

While certainly not a perfect solution, I feel it met my needs and saved me a bucketload of money, when compared to purchasing the other 8 factory clips and the 2 long finish/trim pieces I would have needed to convert it using OEM parts (and, unfortunately, we don't have any local junkyards where I might have been able to obtain those pieces used)...

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15Limited

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Looks great!
 


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Bobs2018Explorer

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Thanks!

While it's really a "poor-man's way" of resolving the issue, it should do the job, especially since you cannot really see any of it in the first place (since it's all up high and on top).

It is the hockey-stick area that is the most visible, since it ends on the front by the windshield glass... so at least that visible area looks OEM.
 




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