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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > WK2 Grand Cherokee Forum > Bars for Flush Roof Rails

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Unread 12-17-2013, 07:10 PM   #31
Qmulus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArloGuthroJeep View Post
I just installed a Thule setup tonight (KIT4019, 460R, & AeroBlade Load Bars) and found it to connect extremely tightly and would trust mounting any of the standard accessories up top.
By the way, what width AeroBlade bars did you get? The balance of my parts came in today (bars, pedestals, ski rack and three bike trays), but the bars are 60" which unfortunately are too wide for the mounts. Are the correct ones the 47" or 53"?

I just can't win...

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Unread 12-17-2013, 08:04 PM   #32
ArloGuthroJeep
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Not sure, I thought they were the 47" ones but this doesn't specify (link to ones I bought: http://www.heepgarage.org/f12/wk2-th...ack-68023.html - replace heep with jeep)
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Unread 12-18-2013, 08:02 AM   #33
MickinNY
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Originally Posted by onebluemcm View Post
I have found with the RailGrab towers, tower spacing is pretty critical as is tightening them well. Took some fine tuning to get the tower spacing just right. I could go measure the distances between mine, but I think there may be some slight variation in the spacing between the tracks so it's best if it's a custom fit process.

I would say that for them to be very tight and secure, as you tighten the inner jaw, it should draw the tower down on the rail as viewed from the outside. Essentially, as I tighten the inner jaw, I have them spaced so that I have to rather firmly push down on the tower so that the jaw will slip under the inner lip on the roof rail. Then once the jaw is tightened well, just slightly deforming the shape of the inner rail, it's really snug - I can easily rock the vehicle using the bar end and it doesn't wiggle on the roof rail.

There is no doubt, to get the RailGrab tower really snug, it's a finicky process, but it can be done. I still do not think they are as secure as an older gutter mount like on the XJs. It is probably on par with Q-towers and Q-clips, also sometimes pretty finicky to set up.

What we really need is a solution where you pull the original flush rails off completely, something new bolts down to the factory mounting points, and uses a raised fore-to-aft rail system such as is on a Volvo XC70 or that Trailhawk Conecpt. We had this on the XC70 we had a few years back, and the Rail Grabs on that were awesome. That is probably the most secure setup you can get AND be able to easily get the bars off and on the roof quickly. The issue I have with Rock Road system that connects to the factory flush rails is that it's too tall and looks goofy with the cross bars off.
It's a very finicky/frustrating process getting those Rail Grab towers secure.
It's night & day difference from the Low Rider towers on raised rails I've used in the past.
I've spaced the Rail Grab towers as far apart as possible on my Jeep, which I need to do to safely haul a 16' canoe. While it's doable, the spacing comes up far short of being ideal. The flush rails are too short & they just plain blow.
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Unread 12-18-2013, 09:39 AM   #34
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While I don't think the idea of them is bad (I had zero issues connecting my towers to them), I do agree that they are extremely short.
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Unread 12-18-2013, 10:39 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickinNY View Post
It's a very finicky/frustrating process getting those Rail Grab towers secure.
It's night & day difference from the Low Rider towers on raised rails I've used in the past.
I've spaced the Rail Grab towers as far apart as possible on my Jeep, which I need to do to safely haul a 16' canoe. While it's doable, the spacing comes up far short of being ideal. The flush rails are too short & they just plain blow.
Yep, canoe haulers here too. All I can say is once you get the tower spacing correct, I wouldn't change it. I leave the towers clamped to the bars and just undo the rail grabs from the flush rails on the roof. You might already do the same.

That said, since I've gotten the rack fine tuned, I have no problem strapping on my solo 15' canoe, our tandem 17' canoe and a bike and heading down the road. With proper bow and stern ties on the boats, it's solid. But....it definitely, definitely could be much better.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 08:17 AM   #36
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onebluemcm
I'm not sure we're on the same page. Getting the tower spacing correct is the problem. I can't do that because these rails are too short to give me the proper/ideal spacing/width I need. Like I said, it's doable, but not ideal. I measured the roofline front to back & it's a good 66" of usable space for the rail. The usable section (that has the inner lip) on the Jeep's flush rail is only 36". (the black plastic caps/mounts front & back are not a usable part of the rail for towers) Sixty six inches of space front to back & Jeep installs a rail that for all practical purposes is 36"long. That's what I call really lame. Don't get me wrong, I love this vehicle. I just think they could have done a LOT better in that area by simply going longer & using raised rails like they used to. Funny how much I notice that now on pre WK2s. Heck, just going longer with the flush rails would be a big improvement.
You must have some pretty long cross bars to haul 2 boats & a bike at the same time. My cross bars are only 48", so I leave the whole setup on all the time until winter rolls around. I have a 16" solo & tandem & I only haul one or the other. I'm glad you mentioned the proper ties on the bow & stern. Where would those be on the Jeep? I've yet to find any, front or back.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 10:47 AM   #37
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There is an issue of antenna and rear hatch clearance... and then there's style over function. Someone in Jeep's styling department does not like the looks of long rails.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 10:51 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickinNY View Post
onebluemcm
I'm not sure we're on the same page. Getting the tower spacing correct is the problem. I can't do that because these rails are too short to give me the proper/ideal spacing/width I need. Like I said, it's doable, but not ideal. I measured the roofline front to back & it's a good 66" of usable space for the rail. The usable section (that has the inner lip) on the Jeep's flush rail is only 36". (the black plastic caps/mounts front & back are not a usable part of the rail for towers) Sixty six inches of space front to back & Jeep installs a rail that for all practical purposes is 36"long. That's what I call really lame. Don't get me wrong, I love this vehicle. I just think they could have done a LOT better in that area by simply going longer & using raised rails like they used to. Funny how much I notice that now on pre WK2s. Heck, just going longer with the flush rails would be a big improvement.
You must have some pretty long cross bars to haul 2 boats & a bike at the same time. My cross bars are only 48", so I leave the whole setup on all the time until winter rolls around. I have a 16" solo & tandem & I only haul one or the other. I'm glad you mentioned the proper ties on the bow & stern. Where would those be on the Jeep? I've yet to find any, front or back.
Could always use the towers for the integrated rails in the back and the ones that clamp in the door opening for the front. That's probably the furthest spacing you can get.
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Unread 12-21-2013, 11:39 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickinNY View Post
onebluemcm
I'm not sure we're on the same page. Getting the tower spacing correct is the problem. I can't do that because these rails are too short to give me the proper/ideal spacing/width I need. Like I said, it's doable, but not ideal. I measured the roofline front to back & it's a good 66" of usable space for the rail. The usable section (that has the inner lip) on the Jeep's flush rail is only 36". (the black plastic caps/mounts front & back are not a usable part of the rail for towers) Sixty six inches of space front to back & Jeep installs a rail that for all practical purposes is 36"long. That's what I call really lame. Don't get me wrong, I love this vehicle. I just think they could have done a LOT better in that area by simply going longer & using raised rails like they used to. Funny how much I notice that now on pre WK2s. Heck, just going longer with the flush rails would be a big improvement.
You must have some pretty long cross bars to haul 2 boats & a bike at the same time. My cross bars are only 48", so I leave the whole setup on all the time until winter rolls around. I have a 16" solo & tandem & I only haul one or the other. I'm glad you mentioned the proper ties on the bow & stern. Where would those be on the Jeep? I've yet to find any, front or back.
No, we are definitely on the exact same page. The cross bar spacing front to rear is definitely suboptimal for hauling long boats. The best setup I ever had was on my old XJ with the rain gutters, You could have one cross bar way up front, the other at the back by the hatch and it was pretty much ideal for the sea kayaks and canoes. Only downside there was the bike trays weren't long enough.

I think on the WK2 there is probably some cross bar spacing given up as a result of the plastic covers on the flush rails. I'd like to get them off to see how much useable flush rail is there. Ultimately, I'd love to work on developing a raised rail system, as I mentoned earlier, similar to what's on a XC70 or that Trailhawk example, but I have a rather huge honey-do list, and also just other projects of my own that are a priority. I think something cool could be done with flat metal pads of some sort that bolted to factory mounting points, something like 1-1.25" round bar, a large pipe bender and someone good at welding. I was just doodling the other day, it's a really rough sketch, but my rough idea of what I had in mind. If some sort of high density foam or other protective material was used under the metal pads or feet, probably would spare and damage to the paint too. Ah, well, some day...
img_20131221_133544_090.jpg  
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Unread 12-22-2013, 01:42 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by MickinNY View Post
Did you get the adapter kit for the Railgrab towers? Big difference having that kit. Make sure you get that if you don't have it.
I did get the adapter kit. I didn't use it as the "low profile" or the smallest "claws" seemed to work just fine. I'm going to remove the bars for a few months, but I'll try the adapters next time I put the bars on.
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Unread 12-23-2013, 02:04 PM   #41
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This is a bummer. I didn't think much about not having cross rails when I left the lot with my new 2014 GC Overland. But, I am quite surprised at the lack of after-market options available. My 2011 Durango had some nifty ones that fit into the side rails when not in use. Not sure why those didn't make it to the GC.
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Unread 12-23-2013, 04:28 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebluemcm View Post
I think on the WK2 there is probably some cross bar spacing given up as a result of the plastic covers on the flush rails. I'd like to get them off to see how much useable flush rail is there.
In the modification thread (sticky) is a post about removing the plastic roof trim and installing OEM rails. There are photos of what the assembly looks like.
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Unread 12-24-2013, 08:00 AM   #43
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In the modification thread (sticky) is a post about removing the plastic roof trim and installing OEM rails. There are photos of what the assembly looks like.
He already has the OEM chrome rails. He's referring to the plastic front & rear mounts on them. I mentioned that in my previous post, #36.
Unless you're referring to some other OEM rails I'm not aware of.
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Unread 12-24-2013, 09:00 AM   #44
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He already has the OEM chrome rails. He's referring to the plastic front & rear mounts on them. I mentioned that in my previous post, #36.
Unless you're referring to some other OEM rails I'm not aware of.
He was asking a Q about how the OEM rails are constructed and mounted. I was just saying there are photos there of everything pulled apart (both trim and rails and what the roof mounting points look like) for reference.
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Unread 12-28-2013, 02:16 PM   #45
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Well I went to a local (and trusted) Thule/Yakima dealer today and the first words out of his mouth were that Thule discontinued the mounts because they aren't strong enough. He said they recommend using the rain gutter style now

I still stand by my observations that mine feel very secure. I wonder if peoples connections are loosening up over time and that is what is causing them to come off.
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