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Roof racks with no roof tracks

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by 03tacobull, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. Aug 27, 2016 at 6:11 PM
    #1
    03tacobull

    03tacobull [OP] Member

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    I've got an 03 Tacoma that does not have any tracks on the roof to install rails/cargo racks. I've been trying to find a kit to install a basket and lights with no luck. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Aug 27, 2016 at 6:17 PM
    #2
    Bennett707

    Bennett707 Station707

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    If you have a double cab you are in luck

    If not

    Drill holes into roof
     
  3. Aug 27, 2016 at 6:43 PM
    #3
    03tacobull

    03tacobull [OP] Member

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    Xtracab…… At one point I found one that required drilling and had rubber flashing nuts. But, I can't remember where I found it.
     
  4. Aug 27, 2016 at 9:06 PM
    #4
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    I just installed a roof rack on my '04 a couple weeks ago, I got the Smittybilt compact Defender rack.

    As you know, there are no rails on our truck's roofs so our only option is to drill.

    I had to drill eight 1/2" holes into the roof of my truck to install the well nuts that hold the rack in place, I was a nervous wreck the whole time.

    Install went great though, and the rack has held up well. Taken it on a few off-roading trips and the only issue I've had is some squeaking from the hinges, which I resolved by spraying some lubricant on them. Oh, and it howls a bit on the freeway...but that's the case for all roof racks.

    Word of advice, if you go this route and drill holes into your roof, make sure you seal the well-nuts with silicone when placing them into the holes. I also put a bead of silicone around the hinges themselves to prevent any water from making it's way in.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2016 at 9:10 PM
    #5
    Bennett707

    Bennett707 Station707

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    you take the headliner out?
     
  6. Aug 27, 2016 at 9:12 PM
    #6
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    You don't have to, you only drill through the sheet metal about a half inch down. Then you place the well nuts into the holes, line up the roof rack and attach it to the well nuts with the provided screws. The screws cause the well nuts to expand in the holes (theyre made of rubber), holding the rack in place.
     
  7. Aug 27, 2016 at 9:41 PM
    #7
    03tacobull

    03tacobull [OP] Member

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    It sounds like you used the same kit I found a while back. I don't suppose you saved the link?
     
  8. Aug 27, 2016 at 9:43 PM
    #8
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    opteron likes this.
  9. Aug 27, 2016 at 9:44 PM
    #9
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    FYI that link doesn't include the mounting hardware, you have to order that separately. I got mine through Summit Racing, was another $80 I believe
     
  10. Aug 29, 2016 at 5:52 AM
    #10
    Voyager

    Voyager Well-Known Member

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    Small screws into sheet metal doesn't sound too strong. Don't overload it.

    I chose to install rails on my ARE cap. Drilled and bolted. Now I can add all sorts of accessories without worrying about the thing ripping off.
     
  11. Sep 4, 2016 at 10:45 AM
    #11
    03tacobull

    03tacobull [OP] Member

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    I think I came up with a pretty creative solution. I'll post some pictures when it's all said and done.
     
  12. Sep 6, 2016 at 12:57 AM
    #12
    SafetyDang

    SafetyDang get your facts straight

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  13. Sep 6, 2016 at 3:01 PM
    #13
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    Kit is holding up great! The rack is sturdy and mounted on there solid, I've been on several trails with it (some that were very rocky) and the rack has held firmly in place. Time will tell how well the silicone seals keep water from seeping into the inside of the roof, but aside from putting silicone around the well nuts/holes, I also put silicone around the brackets themselves where the sit on top of the roof, as a secondary measure (doesn't look very pretty from up close but it does it's job).
     
  14. Sep 6, 2016 at 3:03 PM
    #14
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    The screws go into the well nuts that are a half inch in diameter, and those expand as the screws are tightened and that's what holds the rack in place. It's very sturdy. Definitely not just those little screws themselves that hold it in, if it was just those screws then I wouldn't trust it one bit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  15. Sep 6, 2016 at 3:05 PM
    #15
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    These are what you place into the 8 holes you drill for the compact Defender rack (the full size rack requires more holes), these are what expand underneath the sheet metal and keep the rack mounted firmly to the roof. The compact rack I got is rated to hold up to 150lb

    Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 3.04.10 PM.jpg
     
  16. Sep 7, 2016 at 4:55 AM
    #16
    rngr

    rngr Aix sponsa

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    :worthless:
     
  17. Sep 7, 2016 at 6:22 PM
    #17
    Area51Runner

    Area51Runner Well-Known Member

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    @Bennett707

    i'M new to roof racks, can you explain this? I've wanted to put a roof rack on my 02 DC for a long time now but trying to piece together OEM parts to do is not only time consuming but expensive $$$! Other than just drilling some aftermarket in, what other options are available for DC's.
     
    PROseur likes this.
  18. Sep 9, 2016 at 5:15 PM
    #18
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    Ask and ye shall receive :D
    Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 5.12.23 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 5.12.32 PM.jpg

    Compact Smittybilt Defender roof rack, had to drill eight 1/2" holes in the sheet metal for the well nuts to go in. No need to remove the headliner or do anything from inside the cab, just place the well nuts in the holes, line up the rack and attach it to the well nuts with the provided screws. The screws expand the well nuts inside the holes as they tighten, holding the rack securely in place. I love it, taken it off road on several very rocky trails and have had no issues, except for some squeaking coming from the hinges. Some WD-40 fixed that right up.
     
    ajm, CaptainReverso and rngr like this.
  19. Sep 9, 2016 at 5:19 PM
    #19
    rngr

    rngr Aix sponsa

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    Well done. Thank you. :thumbsup:
     

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