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Thread: roof rack question

  1. #1
    Sleeeeepy


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    roof rack question

    hello all,

    I just got a 03 P5 last week and love it to death.

    However, I didn't get one with roof rack and being an outdoor person, I need one for snowboarding, camping, etc.

    What I am wondering is, can those things that hold snowboards be attached to the stock mazda roof rack? If they can, then I was planning to get the roof rack

    Any feedback would be appreciated, as I am a noob at this.

    Thanks!

    EDIT: I won't be needing a stock rack anymore
    Last edited by dacalo; 04-21-2003 at 02:23 AM.
    03 (blackp5)

    Next car: BMW M3

  2. #2
    UCLA p5
    Donated: $6.66

    Big Blue Bus

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    yes you can get stuff on the stock racks.

    for skiis yakima big powderhound with 12v mighty mounts works well.

    I have no clue on the bike racks, but do a search and you will find what you are lookin for.

  3. #3
    Allright, dude this is kind of long...The factory rack sucks ass, it's only there to look cool. It creates more wind noise than other brands and you can't use a fairing to alleviate the noise because the bottom edge of the fairing will be right on top of your moonroof. It's also flimsy and creaks like a mother when you have something up there. My race bike bike cost me over six grand and I didn't trust the factory rack enough to carry the bike up there. An even bigger problem is that the factory load bars sit too far back on the roof to actually be useful. You can mount ski/snowboard attachments directly to the factory load bars but when you open up your hatch the wing is going to hit whatever is on the rack and get all scratched up. Trust me, there are big ass gouges on my wing from this because I did use the factory load bars for a month or two until I figured out a better solution. There are basicly two brands that make racks...Thule and Yakima. The Thule feet aren't compatible because the track that the factory bars run in is in the way of the Thule feet. The Yakima feet are narrower and can fit in the small space between the plastic track thing and the top the doors so they are compatible. You'll need the Yakima Q Towers, load bars and two pairs of 102 clips and locks. Then you can use either Thule or Yakima attachments to carry bikes, boards etc. You didn't mention anything about needing to carry a bike but if you do get the Thule 589 Fork Mount. The Yakima bike carriers suck, but I don't have any experience with their snow sports carriers.

    FYI: I race bikes and snowboard avidly and I work in a bike/snowboard shop and we are Thule dealers so I have experience with this stuff so just ask if you need more help. Here's a pic of my setup and I have more if need them.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by mtnbiker26; 04-20-2003 at 05:43 PM.

  4. #4
    OG, apparently ELEmental59437's Avatar

    2002 P5, 1978 F250

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    you have email.

  5. #5
    Sleeeeepy


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    Thanks mtnbiker26 for the suggestion. I will stay away from the stock rack then.

    How much can I expect to pay for the Yakima racks and Thule attachments?

    Thanks in advance
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  6. #6
    Roof rack parts are all modular so you have to purchase several items to make it all work.

    Yakima Q-Towers $125
    Two pairs of Q102 clips at $24 / pair = $48
    48" load bars $45 / pair
    Set of 6 $50 or 8 $60 locks (One for each foot plus 2 or 4 extra for your attachments. Just buy the extra locks now so they'll all be the same key)

    The above totals $268 or $278 depending on locks which isn't bad at all considering that the factory load bars are $250.

    I'd recommend the fairing for the looks alone, but it also deflects the wind up and over the rack to prevent it from whistling/howling. It also quiets down the moonroof big time. With the moonroof open it's nearly silent up to about 55MPH. Above 55 you start to notice the wind noise and have to turn the radio up to compensate. At 80 MPH I close the moonroof. The new Thule fairing isn't compatible with the round Yakima bars (Thule bars are rectangular) but you should still be able to find the old fairing in stores. It's better anyways. The bottom edge of the old fairing rests on the top of the windshield so it can't really scratch anything. The new fairing rests on the roof and I suspect that it would mar the paint a bit.

    I think the old fairing was called the 555 but don't quote me. That may be the number for the extra wide version.

    It should be $45 or less because some places have it on clearance.

    As far as ski/snowboard attachmants go, you could expect to pay about $100 for a carrier to accomidate 4 boards base to base or six pairs of skis. You'll also need locks for the attachments which I mentioned above.

    I can't recommend a ski/snowboard carrier because I haven't worked the kinks out of mine yet. You definitely don't want the Thule 575 snowboard carrier. I had it and it sucks. It sticks up far and it's ugly plus I had to stand on the door sills to reach it and the sills get all scuffed, if you like to keep your board in a bag when it's on the roof you'll have to fight to get it in the thin groove, and you have to select one of 4 notches to hook the cable in depending on the number and size of boards you're carrying, so you're constantly standing up on the sill freezing your nads off jerking around with the freakin' cable.

    I replaced it with the Thule 725 carrier and it worked great with the rectangular Thule bars, but when I got the round Yakima bars and the adapters the 725 would spin on the bars and rotate back from the wind pushing on it, no matter how much I tightened it. Next season I'm going to check out the Yakima snow carriers because they are obviously designed to work with the round Yakima bars.

    So figure $450 for the setup. Oh, and both brands set the minimum prices so you can't really find a discount store on the net, although most places, retail and online will give you 10% off when you buy a whole package so I guess that would drop the price down to four bills.

    Check out http://www.racksmith.com/
    These guys only sell racks so they know their stuff. They're local for me so that's where I got the Yakima stuff, plus I know them so I got hooked up. The site has lots of info and pricing.

  7. #7
    Oh, one more thing. I see that the domain on your E-mail is UC Davis. My buddy Armond just graduated from there. I actually lived in Sacramento for a year, but I moved back here.

  8. #8
    Riced-out Daihatsu vlad's Avatar


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    mtnbiker thank you for your expert insight. i'm about a week away from getting the p5 (banks take too long!!!) and this is a big concern. i'm big on mountain biking and snowboarding and was thinking the exact same thing. can you please post more pictures of your yakima/thule combo. i really dig the looks of the factory rack but if it's not functional or a pain to work with then it's not worth it. also, i'm probably not going to get the moonroof package, do you think attaching a fairing to the factory rack would be a problem then?

  9. #9
    Hey Vlad, even without the moonroof the factory rack is still super far back on the vehicle so you are limited. If you want to use an upright bike rack it'll bolt right on to the factory load bars and it can be centered on the factory load bars so it'll be more forward. It would definitely be easier to setup and you should be able to get it far enough forward so it won't hit the wing. Now personally I hate upright mounts. They look goofy and they are not as stable. If you drive behind somebody that has an upright you can see that the bike is all wiggly. Plus the part that holds up the bike will rattle and create noise when it's not in use. That's why I went to great lengths to get my 589 fork mounts on my roof. I already had a full Thule setup and I wanted to make use of it so here's a link to another thread from a few months ago where I posted my method of getting my fork mount up there. It still sucked and was a waste of time in my opinion but if you read it you'll gain some insight into the BS I encountered. I've been meaning to put a detailed page together with photos and ask the moderator to make it "sticky" so people can get the info that they need. Maybe this will motivate me.

    http://www.protegemp3.com/vbb225/sho...threadid=13480

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't call the OEM rack "flimsy" by any means - I've had 2 16 foot 2 by 8's up there several times without any "creaking" and I'll bet they outweigh 3 or 4 mountain bikes.

    Don

  11. #11
    Riced-out Daihatsu vlad's Avatar


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    Thanks again. Do you guys think i should just skip out on the factory rack option ($250) and opt for the full thule rack. Which is more practical? I'm mainly envisioning using the rack for biking and boarding but I want a versatile rack just in case (gonna buy a new bed soon ). Also, I've got disk brakes on the bike. Are the fork mounts specially designed for disks worth it or should I go for upright to avoid any possible hassles? I really appreciate the comments.

  12. #12
    Don, The weight limit on the factory bars is only 150 pounds so the coffin style cargo carrier could definitely fit more than 150 pounds of gear, especially if it's wet. As far as bikes go, my heaviest bike is still very light at 21.5 pounds but a big downhill bike can exceed 50 pounds. If you have three bikes on the roof you're above the weight limit. Keep in mind that three high end bikes could total more than $20,000 so creaking tends to make you paranoid, especially at 85 MPH for a 3 - 4 drive to a race. My race bike was almost $7000, so I don't want to see it bouncing down the freeway in my rear view mirror. Also you have to consider the leverage thing. When you turn with bikes up there they exert quite a bit of force on the load bar. They are basicly twisting the bar, pushing down on one side while pulling up on the other. I'm pretty sure the creak comes from the upward pulling force. I'm not knocking you, just my experiences.


    Vlad, I slapped together a page with some photos and stuff. You can't go full Thule because the feet are too wide. You need the Yakima feet. You can however mount a Thule bike tray to the Yakima bars which is what I recommend. Yakima bike carriers are kinda lame. The 589 V2 has a cutout for the caliper and the tray is heavier duty.

    http://home.attbi.com/~gtolley/rack.htm
    Last edited by mtnbiker26; 04-21-2003 at 01:07 AM.

  13. #13
    Riced-out Daihatsu vlad's Avatar


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    Last time I was at the lot I saw a bunch of P5's with no evidence of roof rack what so ever. Nothing, just a plain roof. Not even 'the track that the factory bars run in'. Would the fact of just having a plain roof make the thule feet not fit? Sorry for the constant questioning but this is a pretty big decision for me and I'm glad I found this place and was able to get this insight before my purchase.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by mtnbiker26
    My race bike was almost $7000, so I don't want to see it bouncing down the freeway in my rear view mirror. Also you have to consider the leverage thing. When you turn with bikes up there they exert quite a bit of force on the load bar. They are basicly twisting the bar, pushing down on one side while pulling up on the other. I'm pretty sure the creak comes from the upward pulling force. I'm not knocking you, just my experiences.
    What you say all makes great sense for your particular application, but for someone who wants to carry a snow board, and other general purpose items, or even camping gear, the OEM rack still makes good sense to me - I use mine every week or two, and wouldn't have even considered a P5 as my "general purpose car" if it hadn't been for the rack - Both of my other cars are convertibles.

    The recent addition of a trailer hitch has made it even more "general purpose" and now, I can "carry" my bike!



    Don

  15. #15
    Vlad, if there no rack at all then you can go with a full Thule setup. You would use the 400 feet and I think that the fit kit is #2059 or #2069. I wish mine was that way.

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