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Old 11-11-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
straight6pwr
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*DIY* Yakima roof rack for e34 Touring

I've written a handful how-tos for custom work on my e30s, but this is my first contribution to the e34 world. I found that info for roof rack options for the e34 touring was slim, and most of the options are NLA or hard to find (OEM, Osiris rack, Yakima Railrider 1)

I already have a full setup of Yakima stuff from my e30 so I didnt want to have to buy all new crap, so I knew I needed to get some Yakima towers to work.

First of all, the Yakima A1 raingutter style mounts DO work. For an e34 sedan, they'd be just peachy, but they don't let you utilize the entire roof of the touring, nor the extra load capacity of the roof rails, and they risk scratching your paint.

It is reported that Yakima Railrider 1 towers do work, but I couldn't find any for sale at the time of my build. There were, however, many Railrider 2 sets available for great prices (I payed $45). After studying the pictures and diagrams I decided that with a little work, they could be used, so I bought a set.

Heres what I did to make them work:

1)Purchase Yakima Railrider 2 part #0209

2)Modify landing pads. The stock roof rails have a small raised portion next to the slots that interferes with the pads. If you place the pads on the rails flat, you'll see that the holes wont line up with the slots. All you have to do is sand the outside edge of the pads to reduce the size. I did this on a belt sander, but a file or dremel would work too if you dont have access to big shop tools. The rear pads will need a little more plastic taken off than the fronts. I also took some material off the bottom of the pads to make threading the screw easier.

Here is the modified pad on the left, and the original one on the right:


This picture shows how the modified pad lines up with the slot correctly:


3)Modify the clips that slide into the slot. I don't know if all Railrider 2 part #0209 come with the same clips, but mine came with ones that didnt work for the e34. The manual shows that there is a clip from Yakima that will work for the e34 touring 'type b', but since I had these clips already, i just decided to make them work instead of tracking down and ordering more parts that might be NLA anyways. Its a simple change, as the clip just has to be a rectangle small enough to fit into the opening at the end of the roof rail slot.

All i did was put the clips in a vise and used a Milwaukee Saw-zall to cut them to size. 6" 18tooth bi-metal blades did a clean job.

This picture shows the original clips on the right, and the modified clips on the left.


4)Slide your clips in, align the holes in the pads and use the long screws to connect them.

Here are the back pads connected:


Here are the front pads connected:



5)Now just slide on the towers and assemble the rest of your rack system:


Enjoy, and always wear eye protection when using a saw-zall, those bastards are crazy. :cool

and here's some proper touring and roof rack usage. built and hauled a 8'x4'x5' kayak rack:



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Old 06-06-2015, 09:12 AM   #2
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Thank you thank you thank you so much. This is gold
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:26 PM   #3
straight6pwr
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no problem. there is an even newer style yakima tower, the 'control tower', which is a better design if you take your rack on and off alot (which i do).

on the towers i used in the DIY, you have to slide the towers into the pads for intalling and removing. doable with two people, but impossible by yourself. with the newer style, you just set the towers on the top, which lets you leave the whole bar, bike rack, baskets, etc all together when you take it off. it also comes with caps that cover the landing pads when the tower is not in use. i'm not sure which 'landing pad' would be needed, but you'd follow the same concept as above for triming them to fit.

newer style control towers: http://www.prolineracks.com/item/Yak...t-set-of-4-362
matching landing pads: http://www.prolineracks.com/yakima-landing-pads.html
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:09 PM   #4
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Good stuff here, thank you. I just picked up a Touring and may try to put a rack on it eventually
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:05 PM   #5
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its good to have one. makes the touring virtually a work truck. i've thrown a big pile (30) of 8' 2x4s on the rack, or a pair of tandem bicycles, or a couch. big roof!
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:13 PM   #6
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Any recommended suspension options for hauling stuff? I was actually surprised to find that my Touring did not come with SLS. I know it's all a PITA... especially on a 20 year old car, but I was kind of hoping it would have it so I could make use of it.

How are Bilstein HDs for load capacity and keeping the back end from sagging?
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:47 PM   #7
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you'd be cursing the SLS for not working if you had it.

the rear squatting under loading won't make a bit of difference unless you plan on long road trips that way. unless you are pulling a trailer, I can't imagine the need to even consider upgrading suspension for that reason. most 'heavy loads' that you'll put in the car won't weigh more than having 4 adult passengers.
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:14 PM   #8
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Got the rest of my roof rack stuff today. I went with the newer style Control Towers, they seem to fit really nice after the mods. The 48" bars fit nicely too. She's got plenty o' room to haul stuff now







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Old 01-29-2016, 02:54 PM   #9
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Does anybody knows is there is an option to put the flat crossbar just like the OEM?
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:06 AM   #10
arams325
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are you talking about the square thule bars? it just confusing as you can run oem roof racks using the oem flat bars. thule racks will not work with this.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:07 AM   #11
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I also have a set of the correct feet if anyone is looking to get a roof rack set up for their touring
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:40 AM   #12
noypi2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arams325 View Post
are you talking about the square thule bars? it just confusing as you can run oem roof racks using the oem flat bars. thule racks will not work with this.
Thinking about the thule 460R with aerobar.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:42 AM   #13
noypi2
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Originally Posted by arams325 View Post
I also have a set of the correct feet if anyone is looking to get a roof rack set up for their touring
might be interested. can you post some photos. what do I need to complete the rack? How much?
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:01 PM   #14
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Thanks a lot for refreshing the pics!!
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:15 PM   #15
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I just did this myself using the newer Yakima skyline towers and jet stream bars. I'm pretty impressed with what Yakima has done here. It makes it very easy to take the bars on and off.

You will need to shave down the sides of the landing pad 1 to fit on the moulding that sits upon the track. As mentioned before a belt sander will work fine, however I used a sanding wheel.

As for the metal clips that slide down into the tracks you will need to go at them with a bench grinder on both sides of the threaded hole to shorten them. Even more so on the front tracks.

After that its pretty straight forward.
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