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Mitchy

Naked smooth roof- installing roof rails??

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Our Legacy is sleek, is smooth, has great paint, but no way to fit a roof rack unless its the rapidly-disappearing type that hooks over the window rain gutter strip, probably fouling the frameless glass as you open and close doors. 

I hanker for rails, like our old Forester has, and then I can pick and choose from a wealth of roof bars. 

Has anyone done a retro fit of some rails? I am happy to cut down some cheap rails from the scrapyard, but I need a good permanent fit and not buckle/ruin my pristine 22 year old roof. Leaking is not an option...

I realise I must drill to install. So perfect.....

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Thank you for any advice

 

Edited by Mitchy

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 I don’t think that even the SUS (Outback sedan by another name?) had roof rails.

The pictures I have seen of them have a gutter-attached roof rack.

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Mitchy,

Do a Google search under "Subaru roof rack pictures" and then select images.

There are pages of pictures, many with manufacturer's names that might fit the bill for you, even if you had to cut some of them down in length.

Whatever you go with, use the largest base points you can at the points where you are going to use fasteners through the roof. Larger bases will spread the cargo weight out without buckling the roof skin. Seal all drilled holes (paint the raw edges of the metal to prevent rust) with silicone seal to prevent water intrusion, and use large " 4 cm fender washers" on the inside of the roof skin under the nuts to fasten the roof rails. They'll spread out the  stress on the roof skin preventing warping the metal roof. Good Luck!

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@gbhrps

Thank you for the advice, that makes a lot of sense.

I have been researching aplenty over the internet, but I have been quite specific about searching under ‘Legacy’. 

Having seen many OEM roof cross bars for old Outbacks, I am tempted to find and fit similar rails and hope that the width of the Sedan roof and same-age Outback are the same, to use the flush aerodynamic Subaru bars.

After a quick look I see that some Impreza wagons have shorter roof rails than the outback: perhaps these would be suitable without cutting them down, though they are likely too long.FCC98F46-0281-4F81-BC4A-A1B8A94DAE62.jpeg.30badb34fad22ae16dc009701d9b808a.jpeg

I certainly think that it would be more practical  to properly fit some good rails myself, than to fit roof bars that hook over my upper window brow/lip thingy.

I often carry a 13’ kayak on the Forester’s Thule wingbars, and every so often some long lumber, ladders etc. I would like to be able to do the same with the Leg.

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If you hit the yard and drop a headliner on an Outback you will be able to see all of the frame attaching hardware.  The rack is mostly supported from the brackets inside.

I hauled a 20 foot beam 6x10" over 200 miles tied to a 98 Outback roof rack.  No problems.

Stacks of plywood, no problem.  Just have to tie it on well.

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Just noticed your location.  I love Palma.  I was there many times with the Navy back in the 80's.

If you need a good rack from Colorado, and help installing let me know.  

Larry

  • Haha 1

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5 hours ago, lmdew said:

Just noticed your location.  I love Palma.  I was there many times with the Navy back in the 80's.

If you need a good rack from Colorado, and help installing let me know.  

Larry

Haha thanks Larry. I think you’d be surprised at Palma nowadays, but there’s still some island charm left.

Offer accepted, let me know when you are coming!

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5 hours ago, lmdew said:

What year and model do you have?

Legacy BD7 sedan 2.2i 4WD, from 1997

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6 hours ago, lmdew said:

If you hit the yard and drop a headliner on an Outback you will be able to see all of the frame attaching hardware.  The rack is mostly supported from the brackets inside.

I hauled a 20 foot beam 6x10" over 200 miles tied to a 98 Outback roof rack.  No problems.

Stacks of plywood, no problem.  Just have to tie it on well.

I’ll be hard pushed to find another old Subaru on the island, let alone an Outback. They just never took off here. I can find a few in the mainland though.

I am somewhat of a ‘weirdo’ with my Subarus, as most cars here are french, or new Audis. 

I have carried some serious stuff on top of  the Forester!

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18 hours ago, gbhrps said:

Seal all drilled holes (paint the raw edges of the metal to prevent rust) with silicone seal to prevent water intrusion ...

I would suggest that you consider 3M 5200 rather than silicone. 

 

I have Yakima Q-towers on a '96 Legacy, and they have worked well since '97.  No problems in use, and no damage to the roof. 

Edited by nelstomlinson

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1 hour ago, nelstomlinson said:

I would suggest that you consider 3M 5200 rather than silicone. 

 

I have Yakima Q-towers on a '96 Legacy, and they have worked well since '97.  No problems in use, and no damage to the roof. 

Thanks for the tip

Is that a ‘96 sedan? If so I would like to see your rack, if at all possible.

That could be a less painful way to go. So they do not foul glass or damage the window rain lip?

-interesting....

regards

 

Edited by Mitchy

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On a sedan they would be sort.  Trying to think of the mid way brace on the wagon.

Have to take some measurements the next time I'm in the yard.

I don't get there very often these days, so I hope you're not in a rush.

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No rush at all. 

The option of Yakima q towers or equivalent is interesting. I would like to know which Yakima Qclips I should be looking for, as on their website they have zero info for old Subarus.

If I went with OB bars, they would need to be cut somewhere after the mid-way leg.

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Just found this on their website. Very helpful, even if some of it is discontinued.

At least I know what I would need if I went this route:

8B0A41B0-F5B0-40A7-9472-91B556466A53.thumb.jpeg.9c9160097ba5507ccd0f839d08b63f91.jpeg

Unfortunately all the Yakima gear (2nd hand at least) comes from the USA, so it would cost more than double with postage and import duty.

Back to the drawing board....

 

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I have decided not to drill my beautiful roof to experiment with incorrect rails.

Having looked into the Yakima Q-system, I finally opted for a similar and more easily available Thule system.

I have found the correct Legacy II sedan-specific boxed (discontinued) clips and feet, so then I can cherry pick the bars once I have the fixtures.

As soon as it is on I will update.

 

Thanks for all your input, much appreciated.

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