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Base Rack Installation

2047 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  AcuraMDX2002
This is sort of a repeat from a general interest posting, but my Premium SS is finally in and I was debating whether or not I should install the base rack myself or have the dealer do it for me? I am already going to install the running boards, splash guards and BSM myself, but I don't know if I should mess with the roof. Has anyone else installed the base rack themselves?
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I installed one about a month ago... If you know how to use a hacksaw, do it yourself... TOO EASY!

As I recall, 8 cuts and 8 screws. The hardest part is figuring out how to remove the first plastic clipping on the screws... Needlenose pliers and pull like the diagram states.

By the way, Tim at hondacuraworld is the man.
Proskunetes is right... its easy.

Actually easier than installing side steps, or rotating the tires(i did this over the weekends and that will be the last time I'll do it):(

Make sure when removing the black roof molding don't pull it up, slide it forward or backward first I can't remember. So you don't have a bent molding to replace.

When cutting the black molding to insert between the racks, cut it from the last cut to spare you from a lot of measurements and gets extra in case you get a bent one from prying it out.

Took me 40mins of quality time.
cutting the trim at the top

help! how did you all cut the trim/moulding? I see that I need to make 8 cuts and the lengths are clearly spelled out in the pdf file on Tim's site.

1) But how do you hold down the moulding to make the cut? do you use two vises?

I was going to let me dealer do it, but they wanted 3 hours of labor to do it. They told me that if the trims are not cut correctly, they will whistle while I drive.

2) Also, they are rubber or plastic, right? I thought they were metal.

3) Do I need a special blade? or just any home depot type hacksaw. Now a hacksaw is the one that looks like a C with a blade to make it a D, right? (hey, I'm serious here, really somewhat lacking in the "what's this tool" dept. I did the sidesteps last week and is ready for more!)

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I installed the base rack about 3 weeks ago. It was pretty easy. Just be very careful. The pdf file on Tim's site is for 2001 MDX's. The measurements are not correct for the 2002's. Luckily I checked my markings against the mounting points for the rack and realized that the measurements were off.

Once you pop off the moulding you will see the rack mounting bolts clearly. Just hold up the moulding next to the channel and you should be able to tell where you should cut the moulding. The moulding is actually metal with a thin rubberized coating. I used an angle grinder with a thin blade attached, but you should be able to use a hacksaw to cut it. I also used two clamps to hold the moulding down to a workmate bench, but any table or work bench should do.

It sounds a little complicated but it really isn't. It took me about 1 hour, and it only took me that long because I went back and remeasured and found out the original measurements (per the pdf file) were wrong.

My dealer wanted to charge me $200 to install the rack and it was definately not that hard to do. Good Luck.
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Double/Triple Check before cutting

It is VERY EASY. Just make sure you TRIPLE check before cutting the roof molding. I think Tim's web site has the 2001 instructions. This is different than the 2002's because of the NEW positioning of the rack (front rack is further back). The middle piece molding should be shorter and the front ones should be longer than those for the 2001 instruction. AGAIN, TRIPLE CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE CUTTING. I think I ended up with 100 mm shorter for the middle pieces and 100 mm longer for the front pieces (give or take). Good Luck!!!
2002 measurements...

kenny213 and NaNaLi,

thanks for pointing out the 2001 and 2002 difference... I have a 2002 and would have been in trouble! Did the box from Tim come with measurements for the 2002?

do you think it would work to use a dremel to cut it instead? thanks!

There were no instructions in the box. I have never used a dremel before, but if it has a thin metal or abrasive blade then it might work.
I just installed the roof rack on my 2002 SS. It was not easy at all. I bended the molding a lot when I cut it. - but that is ok. The big problem is that I think the racks from Tim (I just ordered a week ago) are for 2001 model. The length of the rack is not correct. Anybody noticed this? Especially the front one, it is bit too long. I managed to put the rear one by pushing it hard. But for the front one, after I put on the screw/bolt on one side, I couldn't put the bolt in on the other side. I used the sand paper/file to thin the bolt (which has thread inside) and finaly forced them (two of them) in. Now I am worried that the cotact between the roof and the roof rack having a big stress all the time. Will this hurt the roof or the paint?
I thought about this after all the trouble. The 2002 model pushed the roof rack backward, the roof rack should have different length (maybe only 2 or 3 mm difference) then those of 2001 model.
(Tim, if you are there, can you comment on this? )

Am interested in Tim's reply to Sam's post.

I have a build date of 3/25 with delivery around 4/10.

Ordered base rack yesterday.

The acknowledgement of order from acuraworld shows part # same as on 2001 instructions.

Hope it fits?
I installed the base rack from Tim on my 2002 and I had no trouble other than his instructions were for 2001 and the measurements for cutting the mouldings were incorrect. The rack was a little snug but it only made the rack fit tighter. There did not seem to be any stress on the roof or the rack.
Wind noise increase due to roof rack

This question goes out to both 2001 and 2002 owners who installed or had installed the roof rack....

Did you notice a significant increase in wind noise as a result?

I did. But I don't recall to well to what degree the wind noise existed before the installation. If I play the stereo at full blast, I can still here the wind noise.

Resurrecting an old thread ...

I just installed my base rack - they look great! I have a couple of thoughts and warnings for those who will follow in my footsteps. REMEMBER, I HAVE A 2002 BASE MODEL AND WHAT I'M SAYING MIGHT NOT APPLY TO ANY OTHER YEAR OR MODEL.

First, the instructions that you can download from Tim's site are not very good. The resolution is poor which makes it difficult to see the dimensions to cut the roof molding. Two of us thought the first piece, closest to the windshield, was supposed to be 870mm, but if you measure the channel on the roof from the windshield to the first set of bolts it is easy to see that the actual length must be 670mm - be careful. I was cautious and was saved!

Next, the holes might not line-up perfectly when you first place the racks on the roof. I found that if you tighten one side and then go to the other side and push firmly on the end of the rack while lining up the bolts and the holes you can get them on without too much trouble. If you're lucky, you won't need to push, but I was not so lucky!

Also, the instructions don't clearly indicate whether the base of the racks 'point' forward or backward. Each rack is labeled with 'FR->' which means nothing to me! The racks fit either way, but it seems to me that there is a 'right' way - I have mine pointing forward and hope I'm not wrong - but it's not too hard to reverse them! The instructions say to make sure you don't mix up the front and back and left and right but they don't tell you which is which! There's a poor drawing of the racks with one labeled front and the other rear, but they don't tell you that one of them is a few mm shorter than the other. It's pretty obvious once you put them on the roof that one will only fit in the front and the other in the rear, but it's not as clear which is left and which is right!

I spent exactly two hours installing these things, but most of that time was spent on measuring, re-measuring, and re-re-measuring to make sure I cut the roof moldings to the correct length. I also spent about 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour trying to figure out if the racks point forward or backward and trying to get the bolts and holes to line-up without forcing them. If I were to do it again, it would only take about 30 to 45 minutes total.
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