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somecatchyphrase

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Hello esteemed member of the forum. Several months ago I made a post exploring the idea of doing a permanent mount roof rack. After having tried the clamp on style and being unsatisfied with them I was looking for other solutions. That post can be found here. https://www.f150gen14.com/forum/threads/has-anyone-drilled-into-their-roof-yet.19422/

To summarize the above thread I decided to pursue a permanent roof rack solution for the following reasons:
  • The clamp on style mounts create more wind noise. More specifically, I found them to create a high pitch whistling that I could not stand. There is no such high pitched wind noise with the permanent tracks. Disclaimer: there is still plenty of wind noise with the crossbars, I think of it as a cool wind tunnel sound vs high pitched whistling offered by the clamp on.
  • I thought the clamp on style took away from the aesthetics of the truck.
  • My entire truck is wrapped in matte PPF and the clamps damaged the material (the wrap shop did a great job fixing the damage after removing the clamp)
  • Permanent mount solutions tend to be stronger than clamp ons. This was important to me because I do load around 200lbs on the roof on certain trips and routinely load ~150lbs
  • Being able to adjust the spacing between the crossbars on the track system has been quite useful.

All products purchased through Rack Attack. They were a good company to do business with and spent plenty of time on the phone with me as I interrogated them about experiences they have with permanent mount solutions. Products used in this setup:
  • Yakima tracks 54in cut to size
    • It seems that the Yakima and Thule permanent mount tracks are identical. The Yakima tracks are cheaper but Thule tracks are easier to find in stock. Rack Attack did a price match.
    • The 54in tracks are a bit too long for the roof and had to be cut back. If I recall the next smallest precut size available was 42in. I gained about 6in of track space by cutting back the larger track. I also think the longer track visually looks better covering most of the length of the roof.
      • I would have been able to gain about 4 more inches of usable track length if I decided to drill my own custom hole through the tracks, though Yakima specifically states not to do this in the install guide. Lame.
  • Yakima HD Bar Extra Large 78in
    • HD bar for the load capacity and the integrated tie downs. Those tie downs on the side cap of the crossbar have been great and very convenient for lighter loads. Though for heavier loads I use HD eye bolts.
    • I needed every inch of the 78 width to fit two large canoes.
    • The HD bars look sweet but alas, they do cause a lot of wind noise. A few observations on wind noise:
      • I am running probably the most obtrusive large/long crossbars available because they fit my needs. It is entirely possible that a shorter HD crossbar, or a completely different crossbar would not produce as much wind noise.
      • Originally the wind noise bothered me and I intended to remove the crossbars after each use. Ultimately I use the rack enough to not warrant removing them so frequently and I have grown accustomed to the wind noise, it just makes me feel like I’m going fast.
  • Yakima Track Tower
    • Originally I had planned to go with Yakima’s Landing Pad 1 which has an awesome quick disconnect for removing crossbars when not in use. I decided on the track tower because of its higher load capacity. Additionally, the track tower is lower profile on the roof and comes in a matte finish which matches my truck. I still think landing pad 1 is a solid choice if I were to do it again just to be able to painlessly remove the crossbars to remove wind noise.
  • Yakima HD Bar SL Adapter
    • Needed for connecting the HD bar to the Track Tower

A few random notes
  • I’ve put about 1000mi on the truck with the crossbars installed and reset the trip odometer. It seems I have lost 1 mpg. This is about a 60/40 city/highway split and ~400 of those miles being with a load on them.
  • I painted the silver tie down bars on the end caps black to better match the crossbars and truck. I used rustoleum matte black paint, though a satin finish may have looked better. The paint is not very durable and does chip sometimes from having tiedowns routinely clamped on them. Very easy to touch up on occasion with a small paintbrush.
    • I am open to recommendations for a better paint option here.
  • I also did a ceramic coat on the tracks and crossbars. The tracks were a chalky/industrial looking black from the factory. The ceramic coating really did add some depth/richness to the otherwise chalky black finish. This was 4 months ago and they still look better than they did from the factory (referencing the appearance of finish specifically, I have put plenty of scratch marks on the crossbars). I’ll have no problem doing another coating as needed.
  • I originally thought that I would be removing the track tower and crossbar combo between uses. If I see a long duration where I will not need the crossbars I may remove them temporarily just for the heck of it. In order to be able to remove the track tower from the roof rack tracks without landing pad 1 you need a way to be able to slide the Tslot bolts from the back of the track. I ended up not using the screw hole to mount the end cap of the rear. Instead I cut off the tab where the screw eyelet is and used outdoor rated double sided foam tape to secure the endcaps against the end of the tracks. Originally I left the rear endcaps off but once I decided that I’m not removing the crossbars for a while I wanted to put them on for aesthetic reasons, but still wanted to be able to easily remove them should I so desire. So far the foam tape solution has been holding up great but I have not tried peeling it back to get the towers off yet.
    • The HD tracks from Yakima (used in certain bed topper applications) have an open ended Tslot to allow for quick slide out of the towers. Unfortunately it seems the HD bars do not bend to the contours of the roof and are only used for completely flat surface applications. It would have been nice to experiment using the HD endcaps on the non HD tracks but the fitment is different. I also suspect having an open T slot on the cab may cause a high pitched whistling noise. No complaints, just an observation.
  • I live in Florida and have been through many many bouts of serious rainfall the past several months. No leaking nor do I ever foresee leaking being an issue. In the unlikely event the silicone seal around the bolts fails, that is an easy fix.

Philosophy of use:
  • I see the cab roof of a truck as a fantastic surface for increasing storage capacity for both recreation and work. It is also useful for hauling longer loads (wood beams, shelving, baseboards, etc) without worrying about excess length sticking out from the bed.
  • I use the bed of my truck for work and did not want any crossbars in the way (though there are admittedly many easy to remove bed rack solutions). It is just nice being able to have things up on the cab out of the way and not need to think about it.
  • I like being able to have a platform to stand on my roof. This has been useful on a few occasions to increase my reach to high places (using a pole saw to get dead branches hanging over a campsite).
  • This is my truck, no intent to resell so I have no problem making permanent modifications to it.
  • As my needs/wants change the permanent mount tracks provide the most flexibility for adaptation.

If anyone has any questions please post them here. Though I am no expert I did go embarrassingly deep into the roof rack world.

Photo bomb:

Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review PXL_20231102_185536442
Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review PXL_20231104_151722479.MP
Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review PXL_20231112_233556494.PORTRAIT
Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review PXL_20231112_233556494.PORTRAIT
Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review PXL_20231118_120815639
Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review PXL_20231119_125905901
Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review PXL_20231125_193224852.PORTRAIT
Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review PXL_20240104_204934875.PORTRAIT.ORIGINAL
Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review PXL_20240124_151600323
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bfastr

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I like the cut of your jib here.

no need for roof racks myself, but I am with you 100% on the permanent mount. looks nice and wont be a concern of coming loose with all that "sail" material up top.

are you saying the mounting rails , front to back dont, follow the contour? because they look to be laying flat on the roof. I see you added caps in a few pix. I really like the roof rails. I would consider adding them just to have the same setup if needed.

thanks for posting this

me personally? I use this method right now

Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review move-mattress-with-your-car-2436329-03-e1e963ff480e48839f7737db78d64c36
 
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The_Auto_Tech

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Cool seeing more rack setups on trucks! I couldn't bring myself to drill into the cab on my 13 Raptor, but the usefulness of he cross bars and basket is really nice.

Ford F-150 Permanent Drill/Bolt On Yakima Roof Rack Installed/Review PXL_20221002_163819615
 

powerboatr

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i missed the part about how many bolts you passed through the roof and what you used for backing inside the truck between the roof metal and the bolts/nuts to pass the stress , or did you just use big flat washers


cool set up
thanks for the write up
 

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Oilberta

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Looks good! But I’ll never admit it, goes against my Thule brand loyalty complimenting a Yakima product. 😅
 

Vin

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Nice Rack.
 
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somecatchyphrase

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i missed the part about how many bolts you passed through the roof and what you used for backing inside the truck between the roof metal and the bolts/nuts to pass the stress , or did you just use big flat washers


cool set up
thanks for the write up

10 holes per track so 20 total in the stock 54in track. They are spaced about every 6 inches. I cut my tracks back a few inches and ended up with 18 holes total. I did not need to drop the headliner because I used rivnuts (threaded inserts) so no backing plate needed to be used.
 
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somecatchyphrase

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I like the cut of your jib here.

no need for roof racks myself, but I am with you 100% on the permanent mount. looks nice and wont be a concern of coming loose with all that "sail" material up top.

are you saying the mounting rails , front to back dont, follow the contour? because they look to be laying flat on the roof. I see you added caps in a few pix. I really like the roof rails. I would consider adding them just to have the same setup if needed.

thanks for posting this

me personally? I use this method right now

move-mattress-with-your-car-2436329-03-e1e963ff480e48839f7737db78d64c36.jpeg
The tracks front to back must be parallel to each other. When viewed from the side the roof ridges have a slight curvature to them that the tracks are able to bend to.
 

TexasTruck

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powerboatr

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10 holes per track so 20 total. They are spaced about every 6 inches. I did not need to drop the headliner because I used rivnuts (threaded inserts) so no backing plate needed to be used.
thank you sir (y)
excellent write up
 

The_Auto_Tech

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10 holes per track so 20 total. They are spaced about every 6 inches. I did not need to drop the headliner because I used rivnuts (threaded inserts) so no backing plate needed to be used.
Did you by chance use any sort of sealant on the rivnuts to seal them to the body?
 

Jeb536

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I like it! What’s the ballpark price\cost, $500?
 
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somecatchyphrase

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thank you sir (y)
excellent write up
Did you by chance use any sort of sealant on the rivnuts to seal them to the body?
I used Loctite marine grade silicone sealant and installed the rivnets wet. I also did a small bead around the hole before inserting the rivnuts. When it came time for the screws I just used basic exterior rated silicone.
 
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somecatchyphrase

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I like it! What’s the ballpark price\cost, $500?
Cost of all the rack components was ~$750. Cost of the install material (rivnut gun, rivnuts, screws, sealants, etc) was ~$125 with most of that being the cost of the rivnut gun.
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