Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Interior / Exterior Visual Tech This section contains discussion related to visual modifications of the Toyota FJ Cruiser. Some items might include dash kits, roof rack modifications and other visual modifications.

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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II

OK, A while back I posted up a suggestion to seal your roof rack bolts to prevent leakage into your cab, Well...
Turns out that just sealing the bolt threads is not enough. Next big rain I had wet floorboards and headliner. Today with the help of a local FJ bro(LGTiny) We tore into it to find the real culprit.
Here goes.


Here is a pic of the mounting point with the covers off and rack unbolted. You can see all the dirt and crap that collects in there, The crud was so thick and cement hard, I used carb cleaner and a Q-tip just to clean around the bolt sleeves.



Now some of the area around the sleeves was clean, as it all should be, BUT there was a LOT of areas where the mud was all the way up to the sleeve edges. Herein lies the problem.
Notice the gap around the sleeves. THIS is where the water gets in, not down the bolt threads.
The stock bracket that lays in this channel has some paper thin rubber gaskets on it that for 3 years did a good job of sealing, but after years of desert heat, granular particulates (tiny sand and dirt) combined with flex and vibration finally did these guys in.

Here is the bracket and gasket I'm referring to.

The gasket actually looks thicker in this pic due to the angle, but 7 out of 12 of them were shredded or had holes worn through.


There are spacers that sit on top of this bracket that push it down for a seal with another small rubber gasket that in most cases was also crushed and deteriorating.


After Step 1 which was cleaning the area, came step 2. A big gray blob of roof flashing (there are many types of sealant that would work, this is just what I had laying around) over the sleeves and surrounding surface.



Then pop the bracket back in.



And a top glob just for good measure. Cause I ain't doin this again!



Then re-install the spacer sleeves.


Now do this 5 more times on the roof, and the rack is ready to be re installed. The amount of sealant in the hole of the sleeve should be more than adequate to seal the threads.

So Morale of the story is do it right the first time. and dont trust stock crap, always go the extra mile or you will have trouble down the road

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 01:12 AM
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Re: Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II

Last month, I resealed the footing/mounting leg of my ARB roof rack fit kit and I used a 1/8" thick of Butyl rubber sheet.

Cut a strip about 1" wide and puched a hole a tad smaller than the plastic sleeves.




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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 01:18 AM
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Re: Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II

Mike, aren't you suppose to remove those brackets for the Gobi rack?


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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II

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Mike, aren't you suppose to remove those brackets for the Gobi rack?
I dunno, I dont see why you would need to, If they werent there I dont think there would be a seal. I bought mine used off another truck and thats the way it was on the donor truck.

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II

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Last month, I resealed the footing/mounting leg of my ARB roof rack fit kit and I used a 1/8" thick of Butyl rubber sheet.

Cut a strip about 1" wide and puched a hole a tad smaller than the plastic sleeves.

Thats Ideal, but all I had was a tube of flashing. LOL

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 01:43 AM
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Re: Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II

http://www.gobiracks.com/Toyota/Imag...structions.pdf

Looks different then your setup...

My rack has a mounting plate with foam on the base. I've used silicon around the bolts and it's been fine.


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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II

yeah, looks like there is a wider bracket in the diagram but basically the same thing, I wonder if they just drew it that way for ease of drawing, or if there is actually a different part. But either way they seem to do the same thing.

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-24-2010, 08:53 PM
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Re: Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II

I have a Garvin Adventure Rack, was having a ton of trouble getting it to seal properly. I tried sealing around the bolts and the bolt threads...no luck. I ended up having to pool silicone into the rack bolt wells, drop the rack on, and bolt everything back together...so that should be a ton of fun if I ever decide to lose the rack.

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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-24-2010, 10:01 PM
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Re: Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II

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Mike, aren't you suppose to remove those brackets for the Gobi rack?
You are suppose to reuse the oem bracket. When you tighten the bolts, the edges bend out until they are they same height as the nylon spacers, adding more support. I wished they would have supplied something like you actually see in the picture!

I've been fighting a very minor leak on my Stealth for a bit. Most of the time I wouldn't even know the leak was there unless I pulled off the A-pillar cover in order to see the little bit of water that is getting in.

For this last attempt to kill the leak, I got some of the custom butyl rubber gaskets from Nestor installed and sealed the bolts with silicone.

Looking at the Gobi instructions again, I noticed that I did not use a water proof washer between the oem bracket at the nylon spacer. That could be a point where water could get in. I'll pick up some thin rubber or silicone washers and slip them in.

After all of this, I believe I will have finally won!

Cris
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-24-2010, 10:18 PM
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Re: Seal your roof rack mounting bolts, round II

Mike -

Based on your pics, you forgot to install the metal / rubber washers that need to be removed from the OE bolts, and reinstall them on top of the metal bracket BEFORE you install the nylon spacer and the top plate. THis washer assembly is what gives the original mount it's seal against the nylon tubes extending up from inside the roof, and without them you have a gap that allows water to seep into the headliner, and leak into the vehicle.

The Gobi instructions talk about this, and explain it, as well as provide illustrations to make sure this is done correctly. No sealant should be required to attain a perfect seal - none is used by Toyota, and the Gobi system uses the same washer assembly to mount their hardware.

I've installed over 50 Gobi racks, along with dozens of Garvin and ARB racks, and no leaks...You just have to read the instructions very carefully, and follow them....

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