Today I installed new roof rails from Rocky Road Outfitters. Final pics are below but I didn't take any during the process. The jeep is a bit dirty but I think that's ok here ;-) I wanted the rails because there's nothing on the root that protects it from a load and the only thing Mopar offers are various crossbar kits. I have to admit I also wanted them for the look - the tubes match up with the rock rails and I think it looks great.
The rails arrived in very secure and protective packaging but when I took them out and inspected them I did find a few small nicks in the powder coat. They were far too small to justify sending them back so I shot some paint on them before installation. The rails are VERY sturdy - far stronger than the attachment points. So while the rails are probably strong enough to lift the jeep the roof isn't!!
After I took the stock bolts out I slipped the tracks off the roof and found a lot of dirt and some debris under the plastic. I washed the roof to take it off but I know it will build back up over time. Anyway, the installation went very smoothly. The holes lined up, the stainless bolts provided by RRO were the right size and length, and while the tracks needed a tiny bit of flexing for the feet to slip in they were the right size and had the proper rocker to match the roofline.
I will share something I did that may or may not be of interest. I wanted to provide some sealant between the rail and the mounting points. The stock screws cap the nuts and somewhat protect them but there was still rust/corrosion under them. I also wanted to make sure I didn't get any vibration/rattle if the fit wasn't perfect. I'm a boater so I had some butyl tape. I got mine here
but there's other places on the net. This is an extremely good sealer and bedding compound but the best part it isn't 'goopy' like caulk from a tube. You lay it down, it stays there, you bolt it up. Highly recommended.
Anyway, I'm happy with the install. I'll see if I continue to like the new look. The great part is that if I decide I don't like them they are four screws each to take off - no permanent changes to the vehicle.