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Discussion Starter #1
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 :D
 

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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.

 

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

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Discussion Starter #4
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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Discussion Starter #5
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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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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! :clap:
 

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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....:cheers:
 

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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 used the original washers, as Gobi suggests. However, I also cut narrow strips of butyl rubber tape, formed the strips into an O-ring shape, and added these above and below the original seals.

The advantage gained is that the butyl rubber flows nicely and seals into the bolt threads and any gaps.
 

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On my ARB, the mounting is simple. Using the 1/8" Butyl rubber as the gasket (the holes were punched slightly smaller that the plastic sleeves so they will be tightly wrapped with the butyl rubber), stainless washer big enough to cover the holes on the fit kit legs and the 8mmx1.25mmx35mm bolts.



Never had a leak and did not use silicone in the area or on the bolt threads.
 

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One of the problems I see with the Gobi instructions is that they assume you don't have an OEM rack already installed. The metal/rubber washers you are suppose to remove and reuse from the OE bolts are no longer available. These bolts are removed and discarded and replaced with the FJ rack fit kit bolts.

I don't know what the OE metal/rubber washers look like, but if they add a little bit extra height too, that would be welcomed, as the cover plate "E" sits a bit lower than I like. It has already chipped some of my paint in one spot. It really is too big to fit in the channel, because if it shifts any, it will chip your paint. Cover plate "E" should be positioned just above the channel to prevent any possibility of paint chipping.

Does someone have a picture of the OE metal/rubber washers that are suppose to be reused? I'll see if I can order some at the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
yeah I had the metal cup washers, but the rubber was crushed and they were still leaking. As for instructions, well didnt have any, Just drove up to LA and swapped it with the guy I bought it from.
Good news is this fix worked 100%. I let the hose run on top of the truck for a good 30 minutes and not a drop.

I don't know why but I know 3 others personally who have had this issue with the gobi. I know mine was fine for almost 3 years then one day it just decided to start leaking. My theory is the rubber gaskets and washers just get brittle after time, heat and vibration, but only a theory.
 

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I recently took my stock rack off to mount aux reverse lights. I the process I had a difficult time getting the old bolts out. I began to strip out the torx heads (yes I used the right size) and I am sure that I cross threaded a couple of them upon reinstallation. I replaced 2 bolts, one I had to drill the head off to get out, but I am afraid to back out the remaining bolts and strip the heads or cross thread the inserts even more. Can I just place some caulk around the outside of the feet and on top of the bolt heads?
 

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That is a much cleaner mount than the Gobi. I wish Gobi would not have reused the OE bracket and supplied a suitable replacement instead. The reuse of the OE bracket with spacers was just a way to cut costs. A rubber gasket(like Nestor's), then a solid one-piece spacer, and then the Gobi bracket would have worked much better IMO.

On my ARB, the mounting is simple. Using the 1/8" Butyl rubber as the gasket (the holes were punched slightly smaller that the plastic sleeves so they will be tightly wrapped with the butyl rubber), stainless washer big enough to cover the holes on the fit kit legs and the 8mmx1.25mmx35mm bolts.



Never had a leak and did not use silicone in the area or on the bolt threads.
 

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When I took my stock roof rack off to wire the lights I noticed there was butyl sealing "tape" both under the bracket, around the inserts and under the very wide bolt heads.

When I put it back together fortunately I had a roll of butyl and replaced it under the bolt heads and around the inserts.

That was almost 4 years now and I have not had any leaking issues. I'm sure your silicone job is going to do the trick but the butyl tape makes it easier to pull the bolts out if that ever become necessary.

I think the issue with any aftermarket rack is the absence of the wide headed bolts. They give that much more protection against leaks. The standard hex head doesn't cover any where near the same surface area.
 

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fka 50merc
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When I took my stock roof rack off to wire the lights I noticed there was butyl sealing "tape" both under the bracket, around the inserts and under the very wide bolt heads.

When I put it back together fortunatly I had a roll of butyl and replaced it under the bolt heads and around the inserts.

That was almost 4 years now and I have not had any leaking issues. I'm sure your silicone job is going to do the trick but the butyl tape makes it easier to pull the bolts out if that ever become necessary.
Not sure if you were responding to my ? but I can't think of another way to do it without drilling the old bolts out and using new inserts. I haven't noticed a leak yet but...
 

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Sounds like the bolts were over tightened when the OEM rack was installed.

You can get a complete FJ Rack Installation Kit with new bolts and gaskets for around $30 from the dealer. Unfortunately, this won't fix any damage that might have been done to the receiving nuts under the headliner.

If you want some replacement bolts, I have a mess of new bolts from the FJ rack installation kit that you can have. I just don't have all of the replacement washers and gaskets that came in the kit any more.

I recently took my stock rack off to mount aux reverse lights. I the process I had a difficult time getting the old bolts out. I began to strip out the torx heads (yes I used the right size) and I am sure that I cross threaded a couple of them upon reinstallation. I replaced 2 bolts, one I had to drill the head off to get out, but I am afraid to back out the remaining bolts and strip the heads or cross thread the inserts even more. Can I just place some caulk around the outside of the feet and on top of the bolt heads?
 

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Not sure if you were responding to my ? but I can't think of another way to do it without drilling the old bolts out and using new inserts. I haven't noticed a leak yet but...
No but it is sort of the same issue. When I took mine off I noticed the very easy potential of stripping the torx head. If it starts to strip the best thing to do is slow down and apply more downward pressure. Not saying you did but many people, especially with power tools, tend to spin the bit and its all over.

Fortunately I have a battery powered impact wrench so that helps a lot. I was able to get them all out and back in without stripping any. Now that was pretty much brand new, may not be the same story if I have to do it again.

The good news is you can get replacement hardware if not from the dealer try Toyotapartscheap.com
 
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