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We've had our 2014 Tech about a year. One of the first additions/modifications I made was to add roof cargo carrying capability.

I had several criteria:
  • accommodate a 91" long box we already had - Thule Cascade 678XT
  • allow adjustability in crossbar positioning
  • provide additional tie down points other than the crossbars themselves
  • no new holes through the roof
  • not look too freakish

Several criteria eliminated the factory rails and crossbars, most specifically the limitation on crossbar location. I was intrigued by PDXsailor's solution [I can't link yet so search for "Roof Racks - A Better Option (IMHO)"] and was gathering parts to go that route, but was looking to modify it to allow more mounting locations. I was also intrigued by Rhino's RTS-547 tracks designed to sit flush to the roof replacing the ditch trim.

My project combined those two concepts - a track that replaces a section of the roof trim and attaches to the existing threaded studs similar to the factory rails.

The track is an aluminum extrusion sold as L-Track or Airline Track. It is essentially a T-track with a continuous machined hole pattern to receive repositionable anchors. I found that narrow Yakima landing pads could attach at any point along the rails and would bear only on the top of the rail. The track comes in various section profiles and I chose a heavy duty version to allow mounting my crossbars anywhere along the rail in between the roof studs.
I made a template in light gauge aluminum to transfer the position of the threaded studs and other obstructions on the roof to the track. The passenger side was slightly different, but close enough that one template could be made to work for both sides.

I marked and drilled the holes in the track with a small drill press and did enough crude grinding/machining with a dremel to allow the rails to sit in the recess without touching the sides and without binding on any of the studs or clip anchors in the recess.

The tracks run from the forward-most stud (near the rear of the front door) to the last stud a couple inches in front of the rear triangle trim piece. The downside of the stiff heavy duty track is that it resists bending to follow the curve of the roof. Tightening the 6 nuts does pull it into a smooth curve flush with the roof, but if doing this again I might try a lighter duty version of the L-track.

parts list:
  • L-track - US Cargo Control - AT12FTAL
  • Yakima Skyline Control Towers
  • Yakima Landing Pads - LP#5
  • Yakima 58" round bars
  • Extra tie down points - US Cargo Control - 1559-DS
  • Stainless nuts (for the track) and allen socket cap screws (for the landing pads)

Other notes:

I still haven't cut my original roof molding to reinstall the piece forward of the track that meets the windshield. I am lazily looking for a spare set to cut so that I could still go back to the stock look if me or my wife gets tired of this installation.
One year in the silver track is holding up fine to the elements but there is a hint of rust on a couple of the threaded roof studs. I avoided treating them with a preventative because I wanted a clean metal surface for the loc-tite, which I used with low-profile nuts and no lock washers. This is also a factor related to the heavy-duty track - the thickness leaves only enough of the threaded stud exposed to receive a thin nut and no washer. The rusty nuts in the photos are the first set of black nuts that I tried. They matched the studs, but they rusted so I've switched to stainless nuts.
The track definitely has sharp edges where the slot and holes are machined - worth mentioning to workers at car-washes that hand dry to avoid sliced hands.
The landing pads come with stainless steel slugs that fit a bit snug in the track slot. I ground them down and rounded the corners just a bit to make it easier to reposition the landing pads.

In conclusion, the home-brew adjustable track is not as refined as the factory option, but it suits our needs well and has proven to be durable. I use the additional tie-down points for lumber and more irregular-shaped items that I throw on the bars. I haven't adjusted the bars much, but they are set about 35" apart and the 91" cargo box fits without any tailgate or antenna interference.

Joe
 

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