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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I cut a (2nd gen) CrewCab rack ~14"shorter to fit the KC and it looks PERFECT.
The bars fit deep into the lugs, so where you cut it is absolutely not visible - it looks factory!

EDITED for clarity Jan 29, 2012....





I imported 3 OEM style racks because I was going to combine them for my LEER cap too. But that was not feasible due to the angle of the feets (see photo). I'll sell the other 2 racks, and one set of four OEM backing plates too. I have them in Seattle. See it in the CF classified . I decided to make a rack for the LEER cap from XTERRA roof rack parts, see that project thread HERE.

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STEPS to fit the CC rack to the KC.
1) Slide the front feet off and CUT the CrewCab side rail tubing 14 1/4 inches shorter.
2) Make a 1/4" wide slot at the end of both tubes (this slot is not critical, can be 1/2" wide or wider too)
3) (China OEM copy---->) Cut one side of each of the 2 crossbars and drill one new hole to narrow the rack one inch
4) Pre-assemble the rack, and set it on the roof
5) Mark the 2 'holes' in the rail underside (one at each of the new cut ends)
6) Drill the hole in the rail underside and epoxy a nut inside (or other method to get threads inside the hole)
7) Reassemble rack for the last time, square it up carefully, ratchet-strap it together & re-check squareness; and mark the 16 holes on the KC roof
8 ) Drill ! the 16 roof holes (11/32")
9) Set the "rivnuts" with your home-made rivnut tool
10) Bolt it on! YOU'RE DONE!

TOOLS etc:
1) Hacksaw w/18T blade or sawz-all with 18T metal-cutting blade
2) 10mm open-end wrench to operate the "home-made rivnut tool"
3) sharpie pen to mark holes
4) Drill motor + drillbits 1/8", 1/4" and 11/32" (= 8.73mm, mfr recommends 9mm drill)
5) small hammer to whack rivnuts into 11/32" roof hole (or round-file, or wobble the drill around to open the hole 1/4 mm)
6) Sealant for setting riv-nuts in the roof
7) 4mm & 5mm hex wrenches
8 ) a straightedge 'stick' to set parallel against the rear window seal
9) Tape
10) Ratcheting tie-down strap

I'll try to edit over the next few days so this first post has all the info. (If you ask a Q and I edit this post instead of answering, I am doing it for the integrity of the post - not to be a jackass). I like info threads with the goods right at the top, so I'm inclined to do it this way.

I used the included "rivnuts" instead of the "Nissan OEM backing plates" for 2 reasons.
1) the extra work required to remove the headliner.
2) The plates are designed for the CrewCab. Of course if you have a crewcab you can do a nice OEM install with the 4 plates. On the KC, the front pair will fit but you still have to use rivnuts at the rear. To install the rear plates on a KC you'll have to cut out a strongbow, eliminating all of your "OEM type install" points.

The pics and instructions below probably won't make a lot of sense unless you have your "rack in hand". Sorry for that, as anyone else who's made how-to threads knows, it is a VERY time-consuming hobby but has its rewards.


I chose to shorten the rack by this amount. The rail ends overhang the cab by about 1 inch.


After cutting 14 1/4 off the roof rail there are two features you have to replicate:
1) The SLOT and its position is not very important. You can eyeball it, and it can be 1/4, 1/2" or 1" wide. It's entire purpose is to prevent you from putting the right-front FOOT on the left side rail (and vice-versa)
2) The HOLE will be located later. After you have the rack placed ontop of the truck, and all centered & squared-up you can mark the location of the hole accurately.


The hole (in photo above) needs threads behind it. I threaded an aluminum bar and glued it into the tube behind the hole. Or you could epoxy (JB-Weld) an m5x.80 nut over the hole (on the inside). Or cut out a 1" square containing the original rivnut, and glue that inside.


(China OEM copy---->) My rack was (surprisingly!) 1 inch too wide for the truck. Not to worry, it's easy to cut the rack's width. Incidentally, the Crew Cab top and the King Cab top are exactly the same width, only the cab length is different.


You will need to disassemble the crossbars and shorten one side of each crossbar.


(China OEM copy---->) In my case, I had to cut 1" off the width, to get my rack feet to leave 3/16" of paint showing at the roof seams. "One inch" is a very convenient amount to cut, because you only have to drill one hole.


The way these racks work. The rear rack is stationary. The location of the front can be adjusted. So the adjustable crossbar can be placed ANYWHERE along the rail, the tubular roof rails (on left and right above the doors) must be PARALLEL. Set the length of the front crossbar equal to the effective length of the rear crossbar. There is almost 1/4" of adjustment available. It makes sense to me, to end up with the rack perfectly square, rails parallel, and the front crossbar in the CENTER of its adjustment.

The FRONT crossbar does not grip the rails very well until the rack is bolted down. Before you mark ANY holes, CONFIRM your rack is all squared up and the front crossbar is fully engaged, gripping the rails. DON'T ASSUME the front rail will grip the two roof rails and hold it all squared up while you're lifting it up and down on the roof. I recommend to secure it tight with tape. A better method is to snug a ratchet-strap around the entire rack (aligned with the front rail) but don't crank it too tight. Do one last check to ensure the rack unit is all squared up at the moment before marking/(+drilling!) your roof holes.


OK this is the place where you locate the first hole you're gonna poke in your truck. This is where I did it. There might be some sense to moving one inch rearward to drill the hole in the center of the strongbow (thus shortening 13 1/4" instead of 14 1/4" - in this case the rail is 1" longer and the rail ends would overhang the cab by 2" ).

It can be nerve-wracking to drill the first hole in your truck, but you do want to be certain that the actual mounting holes are not "half a hole off", or worse, a wrong hole drilled that ends up OUTSIDE the rubber gasket. So, consider this - to positively locate the strongbow, drill a little test hole that is in the MIDDLE of the big square gasket footprint, and feel around with a wire. You can cover it with silicone. Of course you can take down your headliner too.


1/2" back is the location that I chose, for no special reason. (Since then, I've looked at OEM CrewCabs, and they are 1/8" back from the windshield.) I traced circles inside the holes (to drill) directly on the roof paint with a sharpie.
Note that the front feet are not rectangles, the edge won't be parallel to the cab seam.


The moment of reckoning...... After you drill the 1/8" pilot hole, feel around in there with a wire, so you know what's below. Remember that four of the holes are close to a strongbow. Recommended hole size is 9mm. 11/32"=8.73mm. 11/32"=.344" and the rivnut size is .351". You might open the holes just a little by wobbling the drill bit around in a careful, circular motion, but keep in mind that you want the hole TIGHT on the rivnut before you start "setting" the rivnut.


HOMEMADE rivnut tool Here's what I rigged up to "set" the rivnuts. It worked great. Just remember that youhave to keep the 'tool' (and thus the rivnut flange) pressed hard against the rooftop, so that the 'buckling' occurs below the roof, and then the rivnut draws up tight. Grease the threads and the washer.

If you see something that needs to be fixed, or clarified, consider a PM so I can edit and keep it clean.

Well there you have it. I am very happy with how mine turned out, it came out perfect. Best of luck to you all who do this project, and thanks to all who post other FRONTIER tips and info that I benefit from.
 

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Nice job. I wish you did this 3 years ago... Ha.
 

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Outstanding write up! If only instructions that clear came with things we buy.

Clint
 

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Impressive writeup and the truck looks great!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Outstanding write up! If only instructions that clear came with things we buy.

Clint
Instructions were OK, but they are for the CrewCab. It occurred to me that folks might want to see the instructions that come in the box, so here they are.



 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update June 13, 2013, This roof rack makes a lot of noise.

I bet a lot of the sound gets in thru the hard, resonant plastic roof brackets. I wondering if the big plastic roof rack brackets could be backfilled with something sound deadening to reduce the wind noise. They are easy enough to take off, just need the "stuff" to fill them with (and the time).
 

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looks good! now get two rear roof rack assemblies and make an oem looking nissan roof rack for your shell.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
looks good! now get two rear roof rack assemblies and make an oem looking nissan roof rack for your shell.
You da man I like the way you think!

But I already tried that, it doesn't work, the CrewCab rack feet don't fit because of the 'crown' of the Frontier roof (and the shell is flat), the feets are angled up ~1/2 inch.



So I went with XTERRA parts like this:



Build thread HERE
 

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Man the topper rack looks awesome, I wish I would put factory bars on my frontier, I planned on putting a topper on it some day too! That would look great on a crew cab
 

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Any update on if the the rack makes more noise then another roof rack? Did u deaden the noise? Wanting to do it on my King cab. And also, what have u used the roof racks for? And the weight rating?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's a very audible and identifiable whooshing noise the was the first thing I noticed upon getting up to speed. I did NOT do anything to deaden the noise. I don't know what rack might be less noisy.

I put some heavy boards on the rack and it was very visibly overloaded, the big plastic lugs were all distorted. The skinny crossbar is hollow aluminum. It has a vertical rib in the center but it's a small slender unit. You cannot step on the skinny rear crossbar, for example. If you do it will bend down then you have to bend it back up.

It's for lightweight stuff, kayak, smaller lockbox, bikerack etc.
 
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