I don't like the luggage rack cross bars.
It's a matter of personal preference. There are some who believe the cross bars adds necessary functionality, the ability to carry a 4x8 sheet of plywood for instance.
I am not one of those people so I decided to remove them.
This project starts by removing the Allen screws that secures the aluminum covers. There are two on each side. (photographed below)
Protect the roof with appropriate towels and remove both Allen screws.
Once the cover is removed, you can see the Allen screw that secures the bar directly to the side rail.
Remove screw, using the same size Allen wrench.
Separate the cross bar from the side rail. Duplicated the process where the cross bar is attached to the other side rail and remove the front cross bar from the vehicle.
The bracket that physically bolts to the side rail is secured by two Allen screws. Remove the screws and brackets from both side rails.
The rear cross bar has two Allen screws per side. The screws closest to the side rail secures the cross bar to an intermediary attachment component which allows the rear cross bar to be adjusted forward and or backward.
Remove Allen screw closest to the side rail adjustment component.
This screw secures a "tab" underneath the cross bar. (red arrow) This tab locates the rear cross bar in one of three notches, allowing the rear bar to be adjusted to pre-set locations.
With both screws removed the rear cross bar can be detached from the rails.
The rear adjustment bracket is secured to the side rail by three Allen screws each side. Remove adjustment bracket.
Once the cross bars were removed; the remaining issues were the screw holes in the side rails. The easy solution would be to just screw the original Allen screws back in. The problem was the original Allen screw heads were too long and would protruded too far out from the side rails, making them noticeable.
I trip to a decent bolts store was in order. I purchased 10 cap head Allen screws that would be used for this project. Comparison of the original (red arrow) and new screws (blue arrow) are photographed below.
Screw in and tighten the Allen cap screws into the side rails.
When completed the bolts are just barely noticeable when viewed from a slight angle.
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