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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Like some others I haves seen on the FJ Cruiser forum I use the Yakima Bowdown system for securing my kayak. I have Yakima crossbars mounted to my OEM roofrack, with the Bowdown system mounted to those.

The Problem
While the Yakima Bowdown was a must for me since it folds up, and perhaps most importantly has a built in bottle opener; it was still a pain in the behind because of the Yakima's grip system's almost complete failure on the round cross bars.

I found that as I slide a kayak by myself onto one of the Bowdown arms, the weight of my 14ft wilderness systems kayak would actually spin the Bowdown around the round bar, causing the kayak to slide off and nail me in the head. NOT FUN!

I tried tightening them down more, all that I could accomplish was to strip right through the plastic cover on the Yakima cross bars and the spinning continued.

Additionally after some experimentation I determined that the "whistling" that Bowdowns are sometimes known for is all but eliminated when the Bowdown's are kept perfectly level.

I played around with a couple ideas... and this is what I came up with.

My Solution

Parts List:
  • Yakima BowDown
  • 36" Zinc Plated Steel Rod Threaded M10x1.5 (lowes) $2
  • 36" long 1/2" Aluminum Tube (lowes) $8
  • 2x Washers M10x1.5 (lowes) $0.68
  • 2x Locking Washers M10x1.5 (lowes) $0.68
  • 2x Wingnuts M10x1.5 (lowes) $1.02
  • Dremel with Cutting Wheel
  • Blue Loctite (lowes)
  • 3/8" Drill Bit
  • Tape Measure

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Use your tape measure to find the distance between Bowdowns on your car. In my case my crossbars are about 32" apart, but the bolt needs to be 30.5" to pass through half of each Bowdown without getting in the way of its up down operation.
  2. Next drill one hole in each Bowdown as shown in the pictures below. This can be done anywhere on the Bowdown, but the two Bowdowns' holes must be mirror images of one another. Higher up on the Bowdown arms like the holes I drilled will give a more stable configuration.
  3. Use your Dremel or other cutting tool to cut your threaded steel rod to length. Attach the Bowdowns with the steel rod to get at test fit, inside each Bowdown loop put a washer, locking washer, and wing-nut. Test fit on car.

  4. While still on car tighten down the Bowdowns, they should have very little forward/backward wiggle now. In mine of my drill holes is off so the Bowdown sits a couple of degrees off center, shouldn't be a problem for the kayak.
  5. While its still on the car, measure for the length of the aluminum cover for the steel rod, cut the aluminum rod to length, disassemble the setup, slide the aluminum tube onto the steel rod, and test fit again.
  6. If fit is appropriate add blue loctite underneath the wing-nuts, and paint the bar with an aluminum paint.
  7. Now enjoy trying to rotate the Yakima Bowdown on your round cross bars. Notice it doesn't rotate in the least. Congratulations your done!

Finished Product

I hope this helps someone out!

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