Installing roof side rails -
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post #1 of 3 Old 02-23-2013, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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2012 FSJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: alpharetta
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Installing roof side rails

Looking for assistance regarding installing roof rack side rails on my 2012 JGC. Vehicle came with black trim rails that are strictly cosmetic and I need to get the chrome production roof side rails installed that work with most cross bar systems (Mopar, Thule etc.) However I'm having a hard time getting good info from Jeep or dealers. The only comments I've seen on the forum is that it is a tricky job and could mess with side air bags. The post said that you have to drill out the rivnuts that hold the black trim side rails that came on the vehicle and I dont understand why that would be the case. Seems like the existing rivnuts should just screw out and you would simply install the "production" side rails. Any light you can shed on this issue would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 3 Old 02-24-2013, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 3 Old 02-24-2013, 05:21 PM
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I think there was a post here about this topic a few weeks ago.

To install the rails as they do in the factory is a PITA. A clever guy, however, recently found that when you don't screw the existing end cap screws all the way in, leaving just enough that the cap will slide between the screw head and body with a bit of friction, it works out well. That and the rail screws clamping everything down is enough to hold the end caps in place, which are not load bearing anyway. There is no need to drill.

Once the end caps are slid into place and onto the ends of the rails, the rails can be tighten down with the provided hardware and everything is held securely in place. No fuss, about 30 minutes to an hour job. You may have to do this kind of thing yourself as it is not per Jeeps official instruction, although you may find an independent shop willing. Oh... some say to put some silicon around the screw holes to prevent leaks.

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