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Adding OEM roof rails

1549 Views 3 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  nicedream
I did this mod back around December, but never took the time to write up a proper post. In the end, the rails came out pretty nice, although there was one thing that I did have to sort of jury-rig myself (more on that later).

I'll divide this up into two sections: 1) Attaching the rails to the car, and 2) Installing the molding strips that go along the roof channels.

One thing to know going in: You will definitely have to weld to add the roof rails. Technically, I guess maybe you could drill through the roof and bolt them on somehow, but I wouldn't want to worry about it leaking someday.
I pretty much knew this going in, because I found a thread where someone removed the rails from their Kona. The brackets are welded on from the factory, so he had to cut them off. The Venue rails attach the same way (probably use the same brackets, though I haven't checked).

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Installing the rails/brackets:
I bought the roof rails on eBay, from a salvage yard in Florida. I think they were around $200. Here they are in my living room, where you can see the 4 places that they attach to the roof. The threaded part of the brackets go through the holes (obviously).

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I bought the brackets that will be welded to the roof to hold the rails on from the dealership, because how else are you going to get them? It's not something you can really find on the used market. There are eight of them: 1 each of 67331K2000 & 67341K2000 (a & b in the diagram), which go towards the front (one each on the left and right). And 6 of 67333K2000 (c in the diagram - 3 on each side).
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The ones in the front are kind of "stepped" to match the curve of the roof near the windshield, while the rest are flat.
I didn't take a picture of the stepped one, although you'll see it later in this write-up.
Here is one of the 6 "flat" brackets:
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You'll also need some M6 flange nuts to secure the rails. I used these from Amazon.

When it came to welding these to the roof, I fortunately have a friend who does a lot of work on cars and has a welder.
The most important thing is making sure you get the bolts welded in the exact spot on the roof. This actually wasn't too difficult, because the roof rails have sort of a built-in "lip" where it rests against the contour of the roof. The best photo I have to show what I mean is in this picture I took of a Venue w/ rails from the factory that I took a picture of when I was at the dealership picking up the brackets. You can see how there is sort of a notch where part of it rests on the roof while the rest of it rests in the roof channel:

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So we set the brackets on top of the car, placed the rails on with the bolts going through the holes, and then shifted everything into place by moving the rails exactly where they needed to be. Then we carefully lifted the rails off, leaving the bolts in place where they should be welded. Think of the way you rack billiard balls in the triangle thing and then slowly remove it without letting them shift position on the table. Then we marked the spots for the bolts with a Sharpie (this is all covered up in the end anyways) and got to welding.

When the bolts were welded on, I covered the area with some etching primer. Then over the next few days I added a few more layers of paint from the auto parts store so that I was sure any bare metal was covered and wouldn't rust. Again, this is all covered in the end, so I don't care if it doesn't match.

Before (Clips that hold molding on):
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After (Front and rear pairs of brackets welded and painted):
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Modifying the roof molding:

Assuming your Venue came without rails, you have the 2 black aluminum molding strips that go across the roof channel. These are held on by plastic clips and pop off easily.
The Venues that come with rail pre-installed have similar strips, but they don't go the whole way to the front of the roof and they also have hole where the bolts can fit through.

According to the online parts catalogs I could find, some of the clips were shared between the models with and without rails, and some clips weren't. If your Venue did not come with rails you have the following clips holding the roof molding on:
  1. 87246K2000, 87236K2000 These are the two closest to the front of the car - b in the diagram below (I forget which one is left and which is right).
  2. 87235K2000 These clips hold the rest of the molding on - c in the diagram below (6 on each side).
Don't worry about the end caps at all: The front end caps (a) aren't used with the rails, and the rear end caps (d) are the same on both versions.

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Here's is what the parts catalog says for vehicles that came with roof rails from the factory:
  • 87246K2010, 87236K2010 Again, left and right clips that go at the front of the molding on each side.
  • 87235K2000 Same clips as above (5 on each side).
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They make it kind of confusing because part c in the first diagram is the same as part b in the second diagram. But the bottom line is that if you have a Venue w/o rails, you have 12 of these clips, and the diagram with the rails calls for 10 of them. So you should already have what you need.

Now why am I going into so much detail about the difference in clips between the two? Well I decided to buy the two front clips that I didn't have (b in the second diagram, part numbers 87246K2000, 87236K2000) because that's what the parts guide says. What I eventually found out is that the first "c" clip in the first diagram is really in the same position as the "b" clip in the second diagram. And when I got the clips I noticed that they were VERY similar to the ones I already had. Aside from the little tabs in the center (and the color), they're basically the same. And I don't really think the tabs do anything to be honest. So long story long, you can probably get away with reusing the 12 87235K2000 clips you already have, and you don't have to buy any new ones.

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The molding strips:
If you want to make it easy on yourself, you can buy the molding strips made to be used with rails (part numbers 87240K2000 and 87230K2000), but I wanted to try to see if I could modify the ones I already had. If you go this route, you will have to cut 3 rectangular holes in each where the bottom of the rails fit through. And you will also have to cut off a few inches from the front of the molding because remember - this one has to be shorter because it doesn't go all the way to the windshield. I would recommend using some sort of Dremel tool for this. I tried using metal shears at first, but the ended up deforming the aluminum too much. This is an instance where you want to be cautious with your cuts and do it a little at a time, because if you take off too much then you'll have visible gaps and it will just look bad.

Here's my roof molding with the front part trimmed off and the holes for the 3 brackets:
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Speaking of gaps, this is the part where I had to come up with a sort of inventive hack. After I had the moldings and the rails all attached to the car and I thought I was done, I noticed that there was a bit of a gap between the roof and the front part of the rail assembly. Comparing it to the photo I took at the dealership, I could see that there was a small strip of rubber that I was missing.
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I don't really know for sure where this comes from. It's not listed as a separate part number, so it either has to be part of the moldings made for roof rails, or it's a piece that's supposed to come with the rails themselves and the eBay seller I bought from didn't include it. In any case, I tried a few different shapes of weather stripping from Home Depot to fill the gap, but I couldn't really find anything that could fit the odd shape I needed. I finally settled on cutting off a piece of rubber from a squeegee blade replacement, and gluing it to the bottom of the rail. I didn't like doing a hack like this, but in the end it didn't turn out too bad:

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