How to remove & replace roof rack? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to remove & replace roof rack?


March 15, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Ohio City, OH
Year, Model & Trim Level
2010 EB Explorer
I have a EB explorer that came with black roof rack side rails. I bought new rails from ford for a limited that are chrome, but don't know what all is involved to remove the existing ones. I wnat to reuse my original end brackets and center support. Are the end brackets and center bracket bolted to the roof? Are there nuts welded underneath or do you have to remove the headliner? Anyone who has removed the rack or the rails, let me know any tricks to doing it. I will just be replacing the rails. Thanks!

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here's some pic's, the end cap's need to be lifted up just a little then away from rack, the center you just take out the torx screw
heres the little caps i found at lowes to cover screws

Thunderace, Thanks for the help. I did what you said and the end caps came right off easily. Your pics were a great help. Take Care!

Update, I got the original rack off and the new Limited Chrome rack on. It went on without any glitchs and the chrome rails look great with the black end caps and center support. I noticed that some of the EB's from 06-08?? that I see have the roof rack that has rails that look like anodized aluminum. I never really cared for that look, but the 2010 Limited rails are actually chrome plated and look awesome with the 18" factory chrome wheels. I also added the limited's chrome mirror caps. Our 2010 explorer is a Dark Copper EB. Today, I'm putting the magnaflow exhaust on. I can't wait to hear it. Thanks again for the help.

Can the limited's chrome mirror caps easyly be changed with the black ones without any workaround?
Are the chrome caps also made of plastic?
I've also read about aluminium mirror caps. Have you ever seen them anywhrere?

@ Thunderace

Do you have a pic that shows the roof without the black caps?
On the picture it looks as if, when unscrewing the rack, there are nuts that could fall inside the roof.

So where in Lowes did you find those caps? :confused:

Yes, On my 2010 EB, the mirror caps are plastic and painted to match. They just popped off and the Limited's chrome caps are a direct replacement & snap right back on. A couple little clips broke off of my stock caps when I removed them. I don't see how you can get them off without braking them. Just make sure you will like the new ones before you take the stockers off & don't plan on reusing the stockers. As for the roof rack the nuts you see at each end of the rack are "wellnuts" that are crimped into the roof and cannot fall inside the truck. If you have never removed the rack before, just remove the torx screws at each end and then you have to slide the rack towards the rear and then up to release the center support. The center mounts onto 2 studded things sticking out of the roof and the bracket has keyhole shaped slots. Set the center bracket over the studs and slide forwards (that is all that holds the center bracket) and then you are ready to fasten each end.

roof rack removal water leakage

I was curious to know if I remove my roof rack from my 02 xlt, will water be able to leak inside the cabin due to the removal of the roof rack end caps? Thanks!

Just use some silicone adhesive sealant when you reinsert the screws. :thumbsup: