Roof rail installation trouble

Justin Allen

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Hey guys. So I had read all the stories and watched the videos before I began installing the extended roof rails on my LR4. Well, all the plastic rivets came out easily enough except for the front passenger side one. That snapped off. Well, as I began to drill it out, my cheapo drill bit snapped off into it as well. So now it's like a double whammy. I've managed to get most of the plastic rivet out, but the drill bit got a little mangled in the process and that's proving to be a bit of an issue. Suggestions?

I'm tempted to just take it to my local indy and let them handle the whole mess for $120.
 

allegro

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Where did you land on this one?

I had a similar situation, and after making a mess with drill bits, blades, needle nose vice grips, etc, I finally got the factory mounting hole relatively clearcover plastic and metal debris.

The threads, however, were a mess at that point… and so as several folks have suggested in other threads, I ran a thread tapper through the hole and all has been well since.

Just be careful of the rooftop glass as you get deeper into this unexpected “project” - I had a near miss on mine as more and more tools got involved, and that’d be just the perfect icing on this particular cake.
 

Justin Allen

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Where did you land on this one?

I had a similar situation, and after making a mess with drill bits, blades, needle nose vice grips, etc, I finally got the factory mounting hole relatively clearcover plastic and metal debris.

The threads, however, were a mess at that point… and so as several folks have suggested in other threads, I ran a thread tapper through the hole and all has been well since.

Just be careful of the rooftop glass as you get deeper into this unexpected “project” - I had a near miss on mine as more and more tools got involved, and that’d be just the perfect icing on this particular cake.
I haven't come back to it yet. Have had a few other things get in front of it. I'm still torn on whether to spend more time fighting with it or just take it to a shop and say here ya go, finish it. I'm so tired of working on this truck and not getting to drive it I just want things done. It hasn't left my garage in 5 months.

Glass isn't a concern at this spot. It's the very front hole just overtop the passenger door. No glass near.

I seem to have gotten the plastic out, but the stuck piece of drill bit got mangled in the process and seems to have almost glued itself to the inside of the hole. I'm kind of stuck from here on where to go next. I'm afraid to try to drill the bit out for fear of breaking another bit.
 

mm3846

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I remember all my inserts being threaded plastic. I just spun them out with a set of pliers.
 

BMullensNH

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So I put a set of roof rails on 2015 LR4 a year ago. I ran into some problems that I thought I’d share with you. BTW, there are some good YouTube videos, but they don’t highlight any of the troubles that come when dealing with less than ideal situations.

I didn’t have trouble with the plastic inserts, but did snap off the mounting bolts for the rails due to corrosion in the threads on the roof mount studs. The bolts used to hold the roof rack on are designed to break away easily in the event that you run into your garage with something mounted to the rack. As a result, if the mounting studs (female) are corroded, the mounting bolts can snap off easily. Fortunately, the mounting studs can be replaced. You’ll need to scrape off and replace the sealant after replacing the mounting studs(s) that have the broken bolts in them.

Good luck!
 

spawnywhippet

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I’ve done this job 4 times. I would consider myself a very competent DIY mechanic doing everything up to transmission overhauls and timing chains.
However all 4 of these turned into a saga with broken bolts, broken thread cleaners, cracked roof glass or drill bits stuck in the holes. I’d be very reluctant to tackle another. I have no idea why I struggle so much with this totally straightforward job yet a replacement water pump takes me only an hour or so.
 

Justin Allen

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I’ve done this job 4 times. I would consider myself a very competent DIY mechanic doing everything up to transmission overhauls and timing chains.
However all 4 of these turned into a saga with broken bolts, broken thread cleaners, cracked roof glass or drill bits stuck in the holes. I’d be very reluctant to tackle another. I have no idea why I struggle so much with this totally straightforward job yet a replacement water pump takes me only an hour or so.
Lol! Thanks for making me feel better. I did manage to finish up the job today after some patient picking and scraping of the bolt hole. Most things were straight forward except for the very rear bolt on the passenger side was getting very very tight before the rail was fully seated. I worried a few more turns and it would be done. So the passenger rail has an ever so slight amount of vertical play at the rear which I’m not pleased with. But you have to tug on it good to make it do it so hopefully in normal use I’ll be fine. Additionally the fitment could be touch better for factory rails. Granted, mine are a used set off eBay but just small things like gaps, slightly odd fitment etc. I’ve got the extended rails and the small foot piece that meets the roof **** doesn’t seat all the way down on one side. I’m trying to not let my OCD get the better of me on it.
 
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spawnywhippet

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You should be fine. One of my LR4s only had 3 bolts holding both sides and I used it with a ski box for an entire winter, commuting 250 miles each way every weekend. I was nervous at first but it was rock solid. The following summer I welded a bolt to the broken off bolt and managed to get it out in the end and put the remaining bolt in.
 

SimpleVT

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I experienced the many of the same challenges with the plastic covers, stuck bolts, etc. Ended up taking it to my local indy shop and they cleaned up my mess for $120. Worth it. Should not have been this hard, but I guess on a 2013 some things get stuck more than one would think.
 

M32H32IS

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Ran into similar issues, not sure why these jobs are SUCH a PITA as they should be a quick remove / replace.

But hey, LR life ‍♂️

Anyway for those of you who tackle this in the future go ahead and order some of these upfront and save yourself a massive headache and possible cracked pano-panel.
 

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