Pre 97 / Post 97 Roof Rack Rail Differences? - JeepForum.com
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Unread 01-31-2006, 03:18 PM   #1
viator
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Pre 97 / Post 97 Roof Rack Rail Differences?

Looking through all the pics, it looks like the pre 97 XJ's that came with roof racks had rails that went much farther up the roof than those on post 97 XJ's. On the pre 97 (and some 97's I see as well) the rails go almost to the A pillar. On the post 97's, mine included, the rails end above the B pillar...

Well, I carry kayaks on top of my XJ using Yakima Rail Riders. And it would be nice to have that extra crossbar spread. So I was wondering, is there is a reason the post 97 XJ's have shorter roof rack rails? If I can find some of the longer rails, will I be able to fit them on top of my 2000 4dr XJ without problem? Do they just bolt on (sheet metal screws, bolts, etc?), what kind of complications (headliner, etc) are involved? Are the roof profiles pre/post 97 the same, or would I have to somehow tweak the rails to fit my 2000? And would the Yakima Rail Riders I have right now still fit? And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, will the rails be as strong? (I can't see why longer rails with more fasteners would be weaker, but I thought I'd better ask just in case.)

That's a whole slew of questions! Any insight will be appreciated.

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Unread 01-31-2006, 04:35 PM   #2
dynamite44
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the longer roof rack swap has been done before.
i don't know what the fasteneres are, but i bet its just torx bit sheetmetal screws.
they did away with the full-length roof rack in either 1998 or 1999. by 2000 and 2001, they all had the abbreviated roof rack.
the long roof rack was in use something like 1993 up, maybe 1994.
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Unread 01-31-2006, 04:45 PM   #3
viator
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Interesting, I'd love to hear from somebody who has done the swap. I wonder if the current holes will line up with the longer rails. To add strength, I may run a bead of Lexel or 3M 5200 or something.

Does anyone know if there is still a source around for OEM full length rails? Or will I have to haunt the junkyards?
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Unread 01-31-2006, 04:55 PM   #4
LEAD_NOT_FOLLOW
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viator you have a PM.
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Unread 02-01-2006, 02:38 PM   #5
cyberbackpacker
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If lead not follow doesn't have longer rails for you, I do. Just pm me if you are interested.
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