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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How's it going? So I've read a few threads about the rack issues here (not removing it, adding on etc) And I figured I'd join incase anyone else decides they want a little more out of their rack and run into these issues.

It started with a Kayak I wanted to stow on the roof. And I wanted to use Thule or Yakima because they're the best and I can also add ski racks and cargo racks when I need to. They each have an awesome rack product that I want the Thule Hullavator or the EZ-lift...thus the problem.

The Guys at my friendly Rack store first told me that there is no way to put either of those products on my Armada, that I should remove the factory racks because they are "basically for show only" and then I could start by installing a $500 Track system and go from there. This seemed pretty crappy because on top of that I would still have to buy all the racks, gear and lift product I wanted, so I pushed for more options. The rack guys came up with using my tracks in the back and adding a short track in the front...seemed real hoakie, and the front tracks would be lower than the back, no good.

I went to the Dealer for more info. From there (and the armada accessories brochure download, I found online) it seems that Yakima only makes a limited number of accessories for the Armada, fitting anything to the WIDE flat crossbars that we have on top of our Armadas is rare.

I should also note that I've seen this post http://www.clubarmada.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1859&highlight=yakima and it seemed like a great solution at first, but it may be problematic. If you look close at the picture it looks like 2 Yakima mighty mounts are used in conjunction with long bolts. I showed this picture to the Rack guys and they informed me that Yakima would never honor any warranties with the configuration and that it looked "MacGyvered". I love MacGyver and ingenuity, but I have to agree, using a side loader like the Hullavator or EZ-Load on that set up would not make me feel very safe.

I'm considering taking off the factory racks now and just installing tracks,
I do believe this would be more reliable than the factory, taking more weight and with a wider track base for stability of more stuff, but it will be costly. I'm guessing around $1500, plus removing the factory rack and sealing the holes it leaves. I've also read threads here about the funky holes and nuts that are holding the factory rack down, and I hope that wont create a problem with the new tracks.

I'll let everyone know how this progresses, and any input or suggestions would be great, especially if you think of something I missed that would allow me to keep my factory racks and use one of those cool side lifters!

The Boltman-
 

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I wouldn't do that. The "Magiver setup is probably much stronger than any Yakima setup. First off, the roof rack isn't for show. It holds 200 lbs. The "magiver" setup is probably good for well over 10 times that before failure. He did not choose hardware that is aesteticly pleasing, and I actually gave him an idea or two after the fact, but it is sound. If I was to do a similar mod, I would use a piece of brass or steel pipe instead of all the washers. Put a washer on top and below the pipe. I would then use a bolt of the correct length, not too long as is used. I'd use a lock washer (Star kind) between the nut and the Yakima plastic clamp (the clamp is the weakest part of the system) and leave 3/8" extra sticking out from the bottom. I'd also put thread lock on the screw so the nut wouldn't turn off or loosen. The plastic clamps would fail or the roof rack would be ripped off before the "magiver" failed and it would look nice. Wanna make it look nicer? Put a piece of black plastic wire crinkle cover over the pipe or paint the pipe black. Use black hardware and it would look stock. A good substitue for the pipe is a hockey puck. The rack would sit on the puck. It would act as a sound dampener and shock for the rack, and it is much stronger than needed. Just drill a hole through the middle of the puck and thread the bolt through. I have seen entire F250s sitting on body lifts made of 8+ pucks. If a stack of pucks can hold an F250 crew cab, it can hold a Kayak. Pretty cost effective too. ;)

If you plan on holding over 200 lbs, then you may want to go to a roof track. But $1500 is kinda crazy for this and it will actually be more if you consider most people won't want it for trade ins. I wouldn't. But I don't think a couple of Kayaks would weigh more than 200 lbs.

Sorry, but a roof rack isn't rocket science. :rolleyes: And when has a roof rack warranty every been needed? The only thing that can break is the clamps or straps that hold the equipment to the rack. What a joke. If a strap breaks, It would be a Yakima/thule part, not the hardware. Just bring in the strap and get a new one. I think more likely is these guys are used to having people do what they say and want a sale. Nothing more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the response TripleBlack.

I agree, those Yakima plastic clamps are what worry me the most, especially since the strain on them is probably much greater if I'm going to use one of the side loading devices. I don't have any specs on how much pressure they put on the mounts, but I'm sure it multiplies the actual weight of the stuff I put on them while its in motion or hanging over the side of the vehicle.

My next move is to get some of those mighty mounts in my sweaty little hands, and size them up a bit. (look out rack guys!) :D

I have my doubts with plastic clamps, but If all looks good, I'll definitely take some of your advice on parts!

The Boltman-
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
temporary fix

It looks like there is no good way to use one of the side lifters from Thule or Yakima with the Factory racks. The only possibilities for using some of the better equiptment out there, without replacing the factory racks, are unwieldy. the "McGuyver" method would end up stacking a number of pieces together creating a couple of issues: first raising everything to high and second with multiple connections and parts it has a much higher potential of having a weak link.

Oh well, for now I'll just make due with what is made for the factory racks.
 

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Yakima

I quess I just bought my rack because I think it makes the truck look more rugged - I've been on the lookout for something to haul up there - to justify the money spent on it - oh well, now I'm afraid to - thank you for the info
 

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ARMAMA said:
I quess I just bought my rack because I think it makes the truck look more rugged - I've been on the lookout for something to haul up there - to justify the money spent on it - oh well, now I'm afraid to - thank you for the info
I wouldn't be afraid to. The Armada rack system is very sturdy and I used my Thule Evolution pod to haul jacks, books, etc. Stuff I don't want to put in the truck because it might scratch. Think truck bed. No problems whatsover. It is much more sturdy than the Jeep Grand Cherokee one. While it was mounted to the Jeep, I must have had at least 200 lbs of junk, luggage, coconuts, etc. up there driving from NY to VT to FL and back to NY. No problems. ;)
 

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Have you been to this website?
Courtesy Parts

They sell a rack extension that makes it sound like you can use it to add any Yakima accessories you want to your to your Armada. I have been researching this recently to. I want to get a rack for SKIS and Snowboards. I wonder if this rack extension would solve the problem of needing a pipe or stack of washers?
 

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Boltman said:
How's it going? So I've read a few threads about the rack issues here (not removing it, adding on etc) And I figured I'd join incase anyone else decides they want a little more out of their rack and run into these issues.

It started with a Kayak I wanted to stow on the roof. And I wanted to use Thule or Yakima because they're the best and I can also add ski racks and cargo racks when I need to. They each have an awesome rack product that I want the Thule Hullavator or the EZ-lift...thus the problem.

The Guys at my friendly Rack store first told me that there is no way to put either of those products on my Armada, that I should remove the factory racks because they are "basically for show only" and then I could start by installing a $500 Track system and go from there. This seemed pretty crappy because on top of that I would still have to buy all the racks, gear and lift product I wanted, so I pushed for more options. The rack guys came up with using my tracks in the back and adding a short track in the front...seemed real hoakie, and the front tracks would be lower than the back, no good.

I went to the Dealer for more info. From there (and the armada accessories brochure download, I found online) it seems that Yakima only makes a limited number of accessories for the Armada, fitting anything to the WIDE flat crossbars that we have on top of our Armadas is rare.

I should also note that I've seen this post http://www.clubarmada.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1859&highlight=yakima and it seemed like a great solution at first, but it may be problematic. If you look close at the picture it looks like 2 Yakima mighty mounts are used in conjunction with long bolts. I showed this picture to the Rack guys and they informed me that Yakima would never honor any warranties with the configuration and that it looked "MacGyvered". I love MacGyver and ingenuity, but I have to agree, using a side loader like the Hullavator or EZ-Load on that set up would not make me feel very safe.

I'm considering taking off the factory racks now and just installing tracks,
I do believe this would be more reliable than the factory, taking more weight and with a wider track base for stability of more stuff, but it will be costly. I'm guessing around $1500, plus removing the factory rack and sealing the holes it leaves. I've also read threads here about the funky holes and nuts that are holding the factory rack down, and I hope that wont create a problem with the new tracks.

I'll let everyone know how this progresses, and any input or suggestions would be great, especially if you think of something I missed that would allow me to keep my factory racks and use one of those cool side lifters!

The Boltman-
seeing that it is my rack you mentioned i will throw my 2 cents in on it. seeing that i am sort of a McGyver type individual, i decided to fabricate it myself. i used all Yakima parts. i don't care much about warranties seeing that i have had my roof rack for sometime. but if you want to tear your existing roof rack off, and then buy another, that's your peroggative. for me, the only problem was the big flat bars running north to south on the truck. after i got around that, the rest was cake. i put the 65" bars on it because i have 2 bikes i carry plus if i have my daughters they have 2 bikes as well. i'd be real careful before i go and drop $1500 on something that you don't know will work. i would much rather go with what i built. those people who want to sell you a new roof rack could not give a flying f**k as long as they swipe your credit card. i give a damn cause it's my truck. Good luck on it.
 

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Does anyone know how the Roof Rack on the Armada mounts to the roof. I bought a used Armada without a Roof Rack. I see four bolts on each side of the roof rack. I bought the side rails and noticed the bolts are too small for the holes on the rails and also not long enough. They look like the stock bolts (they turn with an allen wrench). The rails have a little plastic part with two clips that clip on the rail feet, but the holes on those are too big for the bolts. Do I need another piece or am I missing something. Thanks guys.
 

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1Lee said:
Does anyone know how the Roof Rack on the Armada mounts to the roof. I bought a used Armada without a Roof Rack. I see four bolts on each side of the roof rack. I bought the side rails and noticed the bolts are too small for the holes on the rails and also not long enough. They look like the stock bolts (they turn with an allen wrench). The rails have a little plastic part with two clips that clip on the rail feet, but the holes on those are too big for the bolts. Do I need another piece or am I missing something. Thanks guys.
No, sorry you don't have the roof rack. If you got it from a dealer, you may want to have them fit it as part of the purchase. If it too late, scr38 has the manuals on CD. Private message him and he can probably get you the pages. I don't want to impose on him but he's been a very helpful guy and I don't think he'd mind. Good luck, and welcome. ;)
 

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92TripleBlack said:
No, sorry you don't have the roof rack. If you got it from a dealer, you may want to have them fit it as part of the purchase. If it too late, scr38 has the manuals on CD. Private message him and he can probably get you the pages. I don't want to impose on him but he's been a very helpful guy and I don't think he'd mind. Good luck, and welcome. ;)
Thanks will ask. Actually bought the Armada from a used car dealer in NJ through Ebay. It was a leased car before and was in great shape. Had decide to go with a new Sequoia but the end the dealer was such a #%%$. I decide not to get a new car. Fortunately, saw the used Mada and got a good deal.
 

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Wow, it's been a long time since I have visited this site. Well, let me get down to business. I ordered a Thule Evolution roof top box for my Armada. When I went into the store, they told me that I would need the setup kit. I went ahead and ordered everything that the manufacturer suggested. I will be going in Thurday the 23 to get it installed. From the looks of things, it looks like the setup is going to still use the original tracks, but will be using the Thule load bars. Well, wish me luck everyone. I will keep you posted.

Arni
 

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!arni! said:
Wow, it's been a long time since I have visited this site. Well, let me get down to business. I ordered a Thule Evolution roof top box for my Armada. When I went into the store, they told me that I would need the setup kit. I went ahead and ordered everything that the manufacturer suggested. I will be going in Thurday the 23 to get it installed. From the looks of things, it looks like the setup is going to still use the original tracks, but will be using the Thule load bars. Well, wish me luck everyone. I will keep you posted.

Arni

I just bought a Yakima box. Installed perfectly fine on my without anything.
 

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Thule

OK, I finally got my Thule Evolution 1800 installed on my Armada. It was a freaken hassle. At first, the Bike shop had ordered all the hardware that was required from the Thule web site. When it came time to install the box, it wasn't fitting properly. There was too much of a space on the roof rack to match up with the holding brackets on the box. I was very upset. I eventually did some research, and found out that Nissan had already thought about this problem a long time ago. The manufacture a roof rack extension bars for this type of problem. I went ahead and bought them. The price for them was $172.00. When installing the extention bars the box fit like a glove. It was just perfect! So, there wasnt any type of jerry-rigging or anything like that. In all the total for the was like $1000.00. BTW im currently moving to Alaska, so the box has been a real big help to me. It will also be used alot once I get there. Well guys, here are some pics of the install. Let me know what you guys think.

Arnold
 

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Looks great

Now I know what to do so I can store all the familes junk when we travel. Mywife and 3 girls bring the whole house withthem when we travel......
 

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Thank you Arni for the nice photos. Can the u-bolts be directly bolted to the factory crossbars w/the extender instead of the Thule crossbars? Also, how easy is it to load and unload? Maybe bolting it offcenter would make it easier. I am trying to decide between a cartop carrier vs. a hitch carrier. Last summer daily packing of the cartop carrier on our vaction was a pain even with a small stepladder.
Thanks.
 

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Boltman said:
How's it going? So I've read a few threads about the rack issues here ..... and any input or suggestions would be great.....
The Boltman-
I would have to agree with previous comments. Factory rack is strong enough for kayaks, skis, boxes, etc. If needed, I would mount bars front-to-back between existing cross bars and just mount a cross bar to those to narrow the spread, and just make it work. Paint it all to match.Good luck. Post some pics when you get all done with what ever route you choose.
 
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