Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 20 of 285 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm a little worried about the utility of the factor roof rack. The rails are almost completely smooth and therefore lack any edge for a third party foot attachment. The factory cross bars are screwed at set points which doesn't allow for any flexibility in spacing. I often use wide thule bars on my current '07 and throw a box plus a small ski or bike rack up top. I don't see his that could be possible with the factory bars.

Are there viable third party roof rails that would allow a thule bar system?

The rails also get closer together as they move toward the back which necessitates the fixed anchor point.

I was very close to buying one but I'm afraid this would be a deal breaker.

-Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Not sure I'd have "Corky" drill holes in the top of my car by for cosmetics only. Different if I needed them or they were done at the factory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
Purchasing the proper OEM attachments is an option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Not sure I'd have "Corky" drill holes in the top of my car by for cosmetics only. Different if I needed them or they were done at the factory.
Car is definitely pre-manufactured for rails, it's just a question of installing aftermarket crossbars and attachments on the OEM rails.

My concern is low profile - what accessories will work, because some may touch the roof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Car is definitely pre-manufactured for rails, it's just a question of installing aftermarket crossbars and attachments on the OEM rails.

My concern is low profile - what accessories will work, because some may touch the roof.
Pre drilled with factory punch outs then I can trust Corky to perhaps do it right.

I have Yakima feet and round bars I used on the Ody which has a similar rail and they worked great for a cargo box. It seems you might need to do some test fitting of your attachments which is impossible if ordering online.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
460 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Does anyone, with the factory rack, think at a third party rack manufacturer will be able to make an attachment foot that will hold onto the rail at various points along the rails? Yakima makes the rail grab, Roof Rack Systems | Yakima, but it looks like it needs an edge on the inside of the rail and I don't recall seeing one on the MDX advanced. It is a real deal breaker for me because I put a bunch of stuff on top of my current MDX, skis, box, bikes, surfboard, and even a small sailboat! I really need the flexibility of moving the crossbars front to back to change the spacing and also, I need the extra width afforded by having the cross bars extend out past the rails. So, is there any sort of edge on the rail to grab? Or is it completely smooth? Thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info on the rack installation. I should have explained that I'm looking at the Advanced model, so it already has the rack installed. But if you can only use the fixed point cross bars, then it is of little use to me. And it might in fact block a Yakima/Thule foot. But Yakima specifically makes one cleverly designed to grab onto to the flush rails but it does need some sort of lip or edge on the interior side of the rail to grab.

So, anyone who has a factory rack, could the just run their hand on the inside side, to see if there is anything for the Yakima rack to grab hold? My Acura dealer is 40 min away and I don't want to waste my time just to see if this is possible. A photo of the inside of the rail would be awesome if anyone has one.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Thanks for the info on the rack installation. I should have explained that I'm looking at the Advanced model, so it already has the rack installed. But if you can only use the fixed point cross bars, then it is of little use to me. And it might in fact block a Yakima/Thule foot. But Yakima specifically makes one cleverly designed to grab onto to the flush rails but it does need some sort of lip or edge on the interior side of the rail to grab.

So, anyone who has a factory rack, could the just run their hand on the inside side, to see if there is anything for the Yakima rack to grab hold? My Acura dealer is 40 min away and I don't want to waste my time just to see if this is possible. A photo of the inside of the rail would be awesome if anyone has one.

Thanks!
Guess what, I just encountered this and I am very very sad to report factory installed racks and crossbars from Acura SUCK SUCK SUCK, DO NOT GET THEM! you can not use any of your Yakima stuff unless it is shorter than the 14 version. i am so disappointed by this. the Acura crossbars and racks ARE FIXED! What a BOZO design!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Yes they do suck, but according to the Yakima fitment guide, you can just put Q-towers over the acura rack, or better yet don't get the Acura rack at all and use yakima towers & bars. They'll be much stronger and more versatile anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,107 Posts
I just installed the OEM roof rails and crossbars on my 2014 myself (see my thread detailing the install). Some pertinent points -

- The roof rail channels, i.e. where either the trim strip or the roof rail are installed, are not parallel - they taper inward toward the rear.

- Because of the non-parallel rails, the crossbars are different sizes with the front one being longer than the rear one and because of this there's only one spot each along the tapering inwards rails where each crossbar can fit hence they're each in a fixed location. I've never had a vehicle that had non-parallel rails and non-adjustable crossbars. I definitely like the adjustable kind better. Acura could have solved this by having the rail channels parallel with each other rather than parallel with the side edges of the roof (which aren't parallel with each other). They must have thought that would look weird and went for the look over the utility.

- Because the rails are solid to the roof as opposed to having some 'air' between pedestals like many rack roof rails, there are no tie points on the rails to keep cargo from slipping side to side.

- To compound the lack of using the rails as a tie point, the crossbars have no tie-down points on them at the mounting bracket or elsewhere so there's no side to side tie-down points on the crossbars either.

- Given the lack of side to side tie-down points I plan to jury rig some way to do it that's not too invasive.

- Acura offers a number of accessories that can mount to the crossbars and most likely other vendors will as well so with any of these there's no question that the roof rack offers some utility - it does, but it has its limitations. I have a cargo rooftop bag (by 'Keeper') I want to use sometimes but I won't be comfortable having it up there without some side to side tie-down points.

- The roof rails are chrome and to the casual observer may appear to be stainless steel, chrome steel, or another solid metal piece but they aren't. Each side of the roof rail is in two pieces - a thick solid plastic piece that mounts to the roof rail channel in the roof, and a thin plastic chrome 'cap' that snaps into the solidly mounted piece. This means that anything you might consider to mount or clamp to that will be mounting/clamping to the thin plastic cover which I wouldn't trust to have anything mounted/clamped to.

I installed the factory rack anyway after considering the options. I'm sure I can manage to get some utility and use out of it. I didn't want the tower types from the aftermarket vendors due to the way they clamp to the roof - I didn't want to potentially mess up the finish of the roof and the door weatherstrips. Maybe there are other good alternatives available or will be available as this model is out a bit longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
mdxstang, thanks for the detailed info on the roof rack. I'd love to meet the idiot that came up with the flush roof rail design! It isn't just Acura, as a number of other manufacturers seem to be doing it as we'll. It completely reduces the utility of the rack as you have noted.

I was hopefully that the Yakima railgrab foot would work, but when I looked at the advanced model, it was completely smooth with out any edge to hold the foot. Now that you have described the chrome shell on the plastic rail, I now know that isn't going to ever be an option. Very disappointing indeed! I put a lot of stuff on the top of my current '07 dealer rails with thule cross bars... Sailboats, kayaks, skis, bikes, cargo box... Most of that will now be difficult to impossible with the factory rack.

The Yakima and thule tall feet designed to go over factory racks is the only option. That sucks! The is a very high chance for scratching the paint and screwing up the door seals. And they look silly.

At this point, I'm going to hold onto my '07 because this is a deal breaker for us... We need an SUV with utility. I love my '07 with 150k miles, but I was really looking forward to the '14. Maybe, they will come to their senses next year and switch back to the standard non-flush rails. Or maybe an enterprising company will see a need for non-flush roof rails for all these manufacturers going this ridiculous direct.

-Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
I was hopefully that the Yakima railgrab foot would work, but when I looked at the advanced model, it was completely smooth with out any edge to hold the foot. Now that you have described the chrome shell on the plastic rail, I now know that isn't going to ever be an option. Very disappointing indeed! I put a lot of stuff on the top of my current '07 dealer rails with thule cross bars... Sailboats, kayaks, skis, bikes, cargo box... Most of that will now be difficult to impossible with the factory rack.

The Yakima and thule tall feet designed to go over factory racks is the only option. That sucks! The is a very high chance for scratching the paint and screwing up the door seals. And they look silly.
I'm sort of stunned at this lack of utility of the rails and cross-bars. As of now, Acura itself does not have a cargo box, and it does not appear that there are any 3rd party options other than the Yakima and thule tall feet designs.

Has anyone on this forum tried to mount a cargo box atop the 2014 MDX?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,255 Posts
mdxstang, thanks for the detailed info on the roof rack. I'd love to meet the idiot that came up with the flush roof rail design! It isn't just Acura, as a number of other manufacturers seem to be doing it as we'll. It completely reduces the utility of the rack as you have noted.
Blame complaints of wind noise with the sunroof open, for that one. You just can't engineer aerodynamic perfection into something totally useful. Most of the people that get them, only install them for looks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I'm sort of stunned at this lack of utility of the rails and cross-bars. As of now, Acura itself does not have a cargo box, and it does not appear that there are any 3rd party options other than the Yakima and thule tall feet designs.

Has anyone on this forum tried to mount a cargo box atop the 2014 MDX?
I'm personally in a holding pattern on the MDX at this point. My problems are pretty specific and possibly unusual... I use crossbars that are wider than the rails and extend wider than the top of the car... but not past the width of the MDX. In doing so, I can fit my thule box and either a ski rack or 2 bike racks. Very useful! The extra width also allows me to occasionally throw a small sailboat up top.

I realize I'm probably exceeding the weight limits but it seems pretty darn stable to me and I'm sure there is a pretty wide allowance in the weight limit. I also try to load bulky yet light items in the box and we have a couple of very light road bikes.

So for my specific needs, the crossbars need to extend past the rails and to move front to back. The factory rack doesn't work.

But if you just need a cargo box up top, I think the factory rails with the factory crossbars would work perfectly well. I just need more than the box up top.

I'm now looking at hitch option for the skis and bikes. I don't like the idea of using a hitch which would interfere with the back hatch opening. I'm also not thrilled with stuff hanging off the back of the MDX. And I would need to figure out another option for the sailboat. There are feet that attach to the factory crossbars so that might be an option as well but the lack of front to back movement of the crossbars is yet another limitation.

As for the aerodynamics, I think that is probably a reasonable reason for the flush mount design. But Acura chose to make it super smooth with no edge to catch. I think you could add a small edge without sacrificing the aerodynamic benefits. But the rail would need to be a single piece of metal... Not a chrome cover that could snap off. And they also taper the rails closer together as they go backward which doesn't allow for variable crossbars locations, like my current MDX.

-Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
But if you just need a cargo box up top, I think the factory rails with the factory crossbars would work perfectly well. I just need more than the box up top.

-Matt
Thanks Matt. Calms my fears somewhat. I haven't seen one in person with a rack and cross-bars yet, and the cross-bars seem so thin and small from the photos from this thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,107 Posts
I haven't seen one in person with a rack and cross-bars yet, and the cross-bars seem so thin and small from the photos from this thread.
I don't think the cross-bars are particularly thin or small in comparison to other crossbars I've used on other SUVs. I don't see a problem with the crossbars other than the fact that they're in fixed locations rather than adjustable. The size of the crossbars seems to be within the range needed for roof box mounts, etc. (I checked either Thule or Yakima or both - I can't remember which).

The utility of them just depends on what you end up wanting to use them for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Has anyone tried to fit the roof rail for previous gen on the 2014 model? It would solve all the problems (if it does fit).
 
1 - 20 of 285 Posts
Top