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whynotthinkwhynot 03-11-2006 01:41 PM

Replacing the Ugly wagon Roof Rack
For any Wagoneers out there who want to get rid of that unsightly noisemaker that Ford put on the roof, check A-1 Autoracks (accessories) scroll down and you'll find permanent mount roof rack end tracks for $35 that will accept expensive heavy duty Thule or Yakima pedestals. I think fitting a different design factory rack like I did is harder, and maybe doesn't look as good. The ends on the tracks don't exactly fit perfectly flush- even after I tried my best to conform the track to the roof. If anyone has any ideas about how to trim up the edges- I'd appreciate the ideas [:D] The issue is visible in the close up pic of the new rack.

Ok, since the day I picked my car up, I hated the factory roof rack. Not only does the 05+ model NOT come with cross bars, but the darn thing makes noise in cross winds. I finally went down to the Ford only junkyard here in town and picked up a Windstar rack because I'd seen the same tracks as the Focus uses on Windstars, so I figured it might come close to being the same- wrong! Only one hole per rack lined up- and I was thankful for that. I had to drill the new racks, and find new screws because the head design of the screws on my old rack wouldn't allow the cross bars to be moved on the new rack. I had to figure out how to seal the darn thing up too unless I wanted water to get in through the roof rack fasteners. Ford uses a foam rubber sealant.

I removed the old rack, eyeballed the new racks, and then waxed the edge crud from the old rack off the roof. To line up the holes on the new rack with the fasteners in the roof I used masking tape and marked the center of the holes I needed to drill. Then I transferred the masking tape to the new rack, lined up the one hole that worked, and drilled the other holes. I discovered that the head of the screw would fit nearly flush if I cut a 5/16 hole.

To prepare the new roof rack tracks, I had to wet sand, paint, bow & twist to fit the roof, and apply grease to the old plastic parts after drilling the holes. For those who want to use old junkyard parts on new cars and don't like grey plastic: a tiny dab of grease rubbed in with a rag makes most greyed plastic look new again. I used rubber washers to go around the factory roof fasteners, rubber washers between the fastener and the new rack around the screw, and grommets in the old screw holes I didn't use. I figured water was going to get under the rack anyway, so why not let it breathe in the middle.

Here's the pics, and later tonight I'll be cutting down the cross bars to fit the new roof size, and I'll take pics of that process as well as the finished product if anyone is interested. [thumb]

Old roof rack

Roof rack track factory fasteners in roof

Marking tape

New Rack

New Rack close-up

I have half a mind to pull these back off, wet sand more, then use Tru-Chrome and chrome trim tape to make them chrome except the plastic ends, but I'll have to check the fashion police first. I seem to have no idea what looks cool..[8]

2000focusSE 03-11-2006 09:22 PM

looks good...a lot less ubtle and less noticeable than the old mammoth rack[thumb]...and if your ever headed up I-40 east bust an exit in Hickman Co.[;)] [thumb]

(P.S. keep the black it goes good with the rest of the car and window trim IMO)

StealthGray 03-11-2006 09:29 PM

Personally I'd say keep the black, but I'm not a big chrome fan and I've had the fashion police after me more than once [:)]
Your mod looks good!

whynotthinkwhynot 03-13-2006 12:04 AM

Wow... I can't believe anyone replied to this.. there's so few wagoneers out there. I haven't had a chance to cut up the cross bars yet, but I will take some time to do that tomorrow. I'm also planning on some rock guards/mudflaps whatever ya wanna call them sometime soon. The fronts are easiest, and the backs are going to need some supports built from what I can see. If anyone knows if Ford supplies mounting hardware with their Focus rock guard kits- please let me know. I'm thinking there must be something that bolts up to the front pinch weld & inner fender plastic fastener hole under the fender. At least that's what I've been planning on building. There's simply not enough lip on the inside of the fender for a self tapping screw.

Thanks for the replies [thankyou]

cassa 03-13-2006 12:04 AM

looks good alex![thumb] and i agree with hudson and 2000...i think the black looks good. nice job guy!

focusonthefocus 03-13-2006 12:25 AM


whynotthinkwhynot 03-21-2006 04:31 PM

Here's the pics of the crossbars. I only had one on the car the other was in the trunk. Cutting down this bar design is easy. You can only make a cut from one side because the other side is notched. Just take out the two screws, take off the cut side, put the other pieces on one side, slide the foot in, and make a measurement. I actually made a mark on the outside of the foot on the bar, measured the depth of the bar in the foot, then made a cut measurement to the outside of the foot, and added the foot depth measurement from earlier- but everybody knows how to do that which is why I didn't take any pics.

Here's the underside of the crossbar foot showing the two screws.

2000focusSE 03-21-2006 08:05 PM

looks good...very clean and evrything goes good together

FocusDog 03-21-2006 08:32 PM

That looks great! I wish my 00 wagon had a different kind of roof rack -- you've given me something to think about.

Stick with the black !

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