So, can I add a roof rack to my base MDX? It sounds like the rail molding comes out and the Acura rack fits in. What about putting an aftermarket rack (Yakima) in the slots? Any ideas? Price for the Acrua rack? thanks.
If I were you, I would go for the yakima or thule roof rack. Once you have
their basic Q-towers and crossbars, adding on bike/ski/canoe racks is very
convenient. Plus, these can be reused for your future cars and also you will
get a wider choice when selecting roof racks (2/4/6 ski rack...) The only
thing I am unaware of is the price issue - not sure what will be cheaper.
yakima Q-towers/crossbars will cost around $150 bucks. Then you can
add bike/ski racks - ski racks are around $90 or so.
BTW, FYI, if you do install MDX factory racks, you will HAVE to buy
Acura ski/bike rack unless you want to wait for a 6months to a year
till yakima/thule makes the MDX specific attachments...
Thanks. Already have 13 years of Yakima racks and accessories. Very satisfied. Do you know if / when Yakima has the adapters yet? I have old adapter that fit Ford Explorer tracks - would assume the MDX would have a similar adaptor??
Good question!!! Me and a bunch of other folks on this site have been trying to call
yakima re: the adapters. Initially they said that they are working on it, now they say
that they will never make those (one of their excuses was that they could never get hold of any mdx's to take measurements)... so anyway, dont expect them to make the adapters
In your case, you should just go with yakima q-towers and crossbars - screw the acura factory
racks! as far as any other adapters fitting mdx -mdx racks (crossbars) are very wide -
almost twice that of lexus rx300... not sure how the ford exp xbars are... i am planning on
doing experiments now - will let you know if anything works...
Here is the latest on Yakima fits for the MDX. A Q clip is in the works, and should be out this Summer. The factory rack may not get in the way, but I don't know for certain.
MightyMounts are still out of the picture. Sounds like the cost of producing a custom clip may out pace demand, but again I'm not certain that this is the reason.
The LoadWarrior is a confirmed fit right out of the box. It's a big basket, and the front and rear frame members are the same size as the Yakima cross bars, so Yakima bike, ski and boat mounts will fit right on to it.
Another idea / question. While I don't have the MDX yet - when it comes in I will peak under the exisiting roof molding. I'm hoping there will be a slot, similar to an Explorer I had 6 years ago. If that's the case, all that will be necessary are four galvanized plates, cut to fit the slot, and threaded center holes to which the rack mounts will attach. Now it there are not any slots on the roof, I'll have to scratch my head some more and figure out another approach. If this works, it's a $10 and under solution. For some reason, I'm assuming it will be a bit harder than this!!??
Any current owners peaked under the rubber strip on their roof and can give me an idea of what's underneath??
I have been waiting for my MDX (base model without racks) since February, and have been waiting for the development of aftermarket roof racks, hoping for a better, more standardized solution. Now the MDX is due next week and I am debating whether or not to order the factory racks.
The Q Towers recently developed by Yakima would work - but I frankly don't like the idea of these towers extending clear down into the door opening. Seems like it would look fairly industrial. I don't want it to look safari-esque, if you know what I mean.
Curious if anyone has tried these yet, and opinions of fit and function vs the factory racks.
Do a search for roof rack or bike rack on this site. I am interested in this issue also. One of the old threads indicated that the Thule load bars (square) will fit onto the factory rack (maybe not the best looking solution) then you can add any Thule racks on the load bars. That is my solution for now. I don't take delivery for another 3 mo. (est) so things may change.
The MDX factory rack will look the best, but the availability of accessories is an issue. The bars are an odd shape, and Yakima is not going to produce adapters.
The Q towers are not going to look as "factory", but they hardly look industrial. The only time you see the clips are when the doors are open, and then it's just a black strip. Some people have been known to trim the cross bars for a more custom look, and all it takes is a hack saw. The end caps cover up the cuts, so no one would know. The only real down side is that you need to take off the rack before you go into a car wash, but with the attendants help, I can put mine back on in about 3 min.
Other brands may be about the same story, but I can't say for sure. The aesthetics are, of course, subjective.
Ardvarkus, unless I expect to put the cargo carrier on and then sit still in the driveway, I need some way to actually attach the cargo carrier to the top of the car so it doesn't blow off! If not "dumb ass" brackets, then what would you suggest? I want to avoid strapping it to the top of the car (i.e., on the paint) with straps. Awaiting your wisdom...........
I assume you haven't searched the site for the 30 or so posts on the topic.
But briefly, there is a channel in the top of the rack. When you look at it you'll see a weatherstrip in it. To remove it you pop off the side trim piece and slide out the weatherstrip. (Use a stepladder to look closely at the roof rack brackets- a screwdriver on the inside of the bracket, un der the cross bar, is needed to release these. Once you do one it will be easy.)
This channel will accept a square head bolt. Thule sells a "kit" with these in it. THULE DOESN'T "know" that they do- if you ask them they won't know. Just order "VWADAPT". If you're adventurous, weld up some out of stainless steel.
Now you will have a 1/4"x20 threaded bolt sticking up that can go into whatever you are mounting. If it is the 599xt or the 724/725/726 it should pop right on. Carriers might need a hole drilled. Nice thing with the carrier is the threaded fastener is now inside and secure.
Plus, you are using the rack like it was designed. Nice and tidy.
PS I did like the image of the car fully loaded, and the wife asking why you were going to drive out the driveway...
If you are going to attach your X-Cargo using the square headed bolts suggested by ardvarkus, you'll need some kind of reinforcing plate on the inside of the carrier around each bolt. Try two strips of 1/4" plywood running across or front to back over each pair of bolts, which if done right would be incredibly secure.
The MDX crossbars are 3.5" wide, and they are spaced approximately 31.5" apart, and, of course, they're not adjustable.
I don't know about the xCargo mounting, but my Thule Classic roof box is designed to mount with clamps, rather than the bolts that advarkus identifies. As obeejr describes, on the Thule you'd need to put reinforcing plates on the inside to diffuse the stresses from the bolts (the clamps already have such plates, and use two bolts per fix point, rather than one).
Also, if you don't use clamps, I think the bolt holes would need to be placed precisely at the spacing of the MDX cross bars. The clamps are wide enought to allow some flexibility with regard to spacing. For the Classic, I had to drill two new mounting holes outboard of the existing holes, because the box did not allow the clamps to be spaced at the 31.5" that the MDX requires.
Also, note that the cross bars are bowed, rather than flat, which may affect how your box is mounted.
I'm posting from total ignorance, so excuse me if this doesn't work.
It sounds like the clamps have two bolts, 'fore and aft' if you will.
Why not turn the upper part of the clamp 90 degrees. Then two sq head bolts would hold it to the bar, and they'd go up into the box- the existing reinforcing plate could then be used in the box. (I envision a 'half clamp' on the outside between the box and the bar, and the reinforcing plate inside.)
This might also give a bit more clearance (if needed) due to the curve of the bar. You'd need 8 square head bolts total, which should be nice and secure.
You might be able to eliminate the half clamp, and just hold the box down to the bar. Then just use a reinforceing plate.
I'd stay away from wood at least on the outside, it will swell and shrink as it gets wet and drys out, which will lead to fatigue and loosening. Even on the inside it will be affected by the damp. Aluminum plate or polymer (HDPE) would be better and are pretty easy to find.
I don't have a need for the cargo box, but probably should scope it out next time I'm in REI.
Hey, thanks for the replies. Very helpful information. I haven't set my hands on the roof rack yet so I had no idea that the roof rack could be fitted with square head bolts. Not quite sure what to do about the fact that the roof rack bars are not flat, when the bottom of the carrier is flat. Oh well. I'll figure something out.