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DIY Thule fairing

View Poll Results: Keep or Ditch my DIY Fairinf
Looks good, keep it 9 90.00%
Looks cheap and cheesy, buy the Thule made fairing 1 10.00%
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
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DIY Thule fairing

So I found a Thule 400XT Foot pack with 58" load bars on Craigslist for $100. I bought the proper fit kit (2160). I wanted a wind fairing, especially after driving 3 days without one and being SUPER annoyed by the wind noise. I heard that if you wrap paracord (or something similar) around the load bars, with about 1" spacing between the loops, that it eliminates almost all the wind noise. I did that as a temporary fix and it DID WORK!!! But I still wanted a fairing. I'm old school and like the old style Thule 555 fairing over the new "snowboard" style 872XT fairing. I found a DIY article on the net, on an Audi forum of all places, and this is what I made. Let me know what you guys think.

FYI...total cost, not including the stuff I already had in the garage (i.e. spray paint, aluminum strip metal, plastic door trim and EPDM foam weather striping) it cost me about $35 dollars to make. Also, I realize that due to my design that the fairing sits higher then the load bars and restricts any accessories being added on, but that's why I used wing nuts for the mounts. So, I can take it off easily when needed. I'm gonna work on fixing this design flaw over the weekend or 4th of July Holiday. Also, I have a Thule 8"x2" decal on its way in the mail to add to the fairing. I ordered a silver one though, not a white one.

Here's the pics











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Old 06-27-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
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Looks good! The only thing I'd be worried about is dirt and whatnot getting under it and rubbing into the clear coat. But, all in all it looks really good.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deercantseeme View Post
Looks good! The only thing I'd be worried about is dirt and whatnot getting under it and rubbing into the clear coat. But, all in all it looks really good.
Good call, another aspect to take into account when I redesign the brackets this weekend. probably just gonna bend them up a little more so it sits about 3/4 of an inch above the roof and the EPDM foam and plastic door trim run along the bottom will be my backup protection from scratches. Of course, I'm also strongly considering having my roof wrapped in flat black vinyl. So that would eliminate the need for redesign, lol.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:01 PM   #4
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Loadbar Brackets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tactical Tacoma View Post
Good call, another aspect to take into account when I redesign the brackets this weekend. probably just gonna bend them up a little more so it sits about 3/4 of an inch above the roof and the EPDM foam and plastic door trim run along the bottom will be my backup protection from scratches. Of course, I'm also strongly considering having my roof wrapped in flat black vinyl. So that would eliminate the need for redesign, lol.
Find a Thule dealer near you and buy the loadbar brackets and hardware. You invert the brackets to capture the struts under the loadbar. Your design is on par with the old Thule fairing. Take care in tightening the fairing to the struts (I can see some deflection in the photos). We used to include soft foam washers to ensure a good attachment while trying to prevent cracking the polycarb fairing.

Looks pretty good!!
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rackster View Post
Find a Thule dealer near you and buy the loadbar brackets and hardware. You invert the brackets to capture the struts under the loadbar. Your design is on par with the old Thule fairing. Take care in tightening the fairing to the struts (I can see some deflection in the photos). We used to include soft foam washers to ensure a good attachment while trying to prevent cracking the polycarb fairing.

Looks pretty good!!
Thanks for the info!! So as far as hardware, do I need the 555 hardware or the new 872XT hardware?
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tactical Tacoma View Post
So I found a Thule 400XT Foot pack with 58" load bars on Craigslist for $100. I bought the proper fit kit (2160). I wanted a wind fairing, especially after driving 3 days without one and being SUPER annoyed by the wind noise. I heard that if you wrap paracord (or something similar) around the load bars, with about 1" spacing between the loops, that it eliminates almost all the wind noise. I did that as a temporary fix and it DID WORK!!! But I still wanted a fairing. I'm old school and like the old style Thule 555 fairing over the new "snowboard" style 872XT fairing. I found a DIY article on the net, on an Audi forum of all places, and this is what I made. Let me know what you guys think.

FYI...total cost, not including the stuff I already had in the garage (i.e. spray paint, aluminum strip metal, plastic door trim and EPDM foam weather striping) it cost me about $35 dollars to make. Also, I realize that due to my design that the fairing sits higher then the load bars and restricts any accessories being added on, but that's why I used wing nuts for the mounts. So, I can take it off easily when needed. I'm gonna work on fixing this design flaw over the weekend or 4th of July Holiday. Also, I have a Thule 8"x2" decal on its way in the mail to add to the fairing. I ordered a silver one though, not a white one.

Here's the pics





Looks good! My only thought is that the bolt on the lower side of the fairing is rather close to the paint. Could you shorten it up and put a cap on it?
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosgrc View Post
Looks good! My only thought is that the bolt on the lower side of the fairing is rather close to the paint. Could you shorten it up and put a cap on it?
Not as close at it looks, trust me. Eben with me pushing on the fairing it wont touch the roof. None the less, I'm getting shorter bolts this weekend
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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New or old

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tactical Tacoma View Post
Thanks for the info!! So as far as hardware, do I need the 555 hardware or the new 872XT hardware?
Good question: I'm thinking the new hardware. To be honest, it's been a few years since working there. For me, I had access to all the brackets and hardware, so I'm pretty sure that I used the loadbar brackets before they were incorporated into a final design. The loadbar brackets (supertough nylon) were originally developed to replace the metal brackets in the 90s. They are 'super tough' so we used them with most designs where the loads were reasonably low. They were not much good for mounting bike racks as they would yield under load. But for a fairing, plenty to do the job while allowing the owner/operator to add bike/ski accessories above the bars. If you can't find what you need, you can call Thule and buy them direct.

I had a fairing on my Escort GT for years. Quieted the noise of the bar as in some positions, the air that rushes over the ribs of the extruded coating would make the noise. Inverting the bar often times will reduce/eliminate the noise, but the ribs are functional in that they help prevent slippage on the bar. The number one complaint for Yakima bars that are round is that the accessories rotate on the bar, especially when not in use. So, a mixed blessing I suppose.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rackster View Post
Good question: I'm thinking the new hardware. To be honest, it's been a few years since working there. For me, I had access to all the brackets and hardware, so I'm pretty sure that I used the loadbar brackets before they were incorporated into a final design. The loadbar brackets (supertough nylon) were originally developed to replace the metal brackets in the 90s. They are 'super tough' so we used them with most designs where the loads were reasonably low. They were not much good for mounting bike racks as they would yield under load. But for a fairing, plenty to do the job while allowing the owner/operator to add bike/ski accessories above the bars. If you can't find what you need, you can call Thule and buy them direct.

I had a fairing on my Escort GT for years. Quieted the noise of the bar as in some positions, the air that rushes over the ribs of the extruded coating would make the noise. Inverting the bar often times will reduce/eliminate the noise, but the ribs are functional in that they help prevent slippage on the bar. The number one complaint for Yakima bars that are round is that the accessories rotate on the bar, especially when not in use. So, a mixed blessing I suppose.
Cool, I'll look into it
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:38 PM   #11
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you dont need a thule sticker. looks good.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:57 PM   #13
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Logo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tactical Tacoma View Post
Already ordered from eBay, only like $5.
The original logos were silk screened on: came off with a couple of applications of Windex which drove folks crazy. The thing to keep in mind with polycarbonate is that it scratches and cracks very easily...especially when cold. folks would crack an end off when dusting off snow in the winter.

Bottomline: you did it on a budget and solved your noise problem. Enjoy the quiet!!
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rackster View Post
The original logos were silk screened on: came off with a couple of applications of Windex which drove folks crazy. The thing to keep in mind with polycarbonate is that it scratches and cracks very easily...especially when cold. folks would crack an end off when dusting off snow in the winter.

Bottomline: you did it on a budget and solved your noise problem. Enjoy the quiet!!
And, I made it from lexan. So, it's pretty flexible and forgiving as well.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:30 AM   #16
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Personally I don't like it. I am a fan of Thule and prefer to use theirs.

But I say if you like it, use it. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLink View Post
Personally I don't like it. I am a fan of Thule and prefer to use theirs.

But I say if you like it, use it. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks.
Oh most definitely. I'm probably gonna use it for a couple months and then buy the Thule one when I have some extra cash.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:37 AM   #19
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Biased

Well - I could vote, but it wouldn't be impartial or independent.

Here are my thoughts - while working there, Thule went from one of the top aftermarket roofrack manufacturers to arguably the best. Thule's only real competition is Yakima, a solid manufacturer in their own rite.

We'd see many examples of homegrown solutions. Just browse this site and you'll find many more. The thing to consider is this: is your homegrown solution safe? What most folks don't realize are the forces in play atop a vehicle. People tie down a mattress with a few bands of nylon twine and drive down the road with driver and passenger hanging onto the mattress each with one arm. Funny to see/think about but darned risky business. The advantage of buying from aftermarket suppliers are that their designs are tested to confirm intended uses are achieved. At Thule, limits are exceeded to ensure that claims are met. I'd have to think Yakima is similar in this respect. Homegrown solutions are almost never tested under varied conditions and BEFORE they are put into use. Street testing a homegrown solution can put the safety of the creator and other innocent bystanders at risk. I've seen many solutions that would clearly not meet DIN or ISO standards thus making them substandard if not illegal.

I am personally not so worried about your design: fairing are amongst the simplist to reproduce. Rack systems are the larger risk items, particularly how ski/bike racks mount to load bars AND now homegrown load bar and rail/rack systems. Most folks underestimate the attachment of systems to the vehicle. And unfortunately, many owner/operators, regardless of rack system origins, fail to properly secure their payloads. Years ago, I was coaching my wife not to follow folks with ladders on their vehicles. People put way too much faith in bungee cords. This particular ladder was on a truck with the ladder base resting in the base of the bed against the tailgate and the rest angled up and hanging over the cab. Almost on queue, the ladder flew off and tumbled in the slow lane. Luckily for us, I had manuevered into the passing lane a few seconds before. My wife was shocked but the lesson learned. One year ago, a friend of hers lost her husband in a one car accident when he swerved to avoid a ladder and hit the certain median head on.

Overloading racks, failing to tie down payloads securely, and weakness in design (especially for homegrown solutions) create problems on our highways. Most thankfully result in vehicle damage and raised heartrates. Some end up killing folks. Just a reminder to members here that our responsibility goes beyond ourselves. Buying aftermarket solutions and following established guidelines and installation specifications help to ensure the safety of you and others. Just my humble opinion.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:57 AM   #20
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@ RACKSTER -----I like your input, I think exactly the same too, that is why I set out and bought a set of yakima rail grab and fairing, spend less than $300 but save me a lot of troubles
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