Subaru Impreza GC8 & RS Forum & Community banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
2004 Impreza 2.5RS BLUE
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When I first bought this car, I intended for it to get 'beaten up' a bit. I surf a lot (sand), live in Los Angeles (horrible drivers), and my parking spot is under the nastiest tree I have ever parked under. That said, I have never wanted to spend the $400+ to buy a Yakima or equivalent roof rack for it. The price to value of those racks just isn't there for me.

For about a year I have been using the "universal roof rack", the one that uses draw strings to clip in around the door frame. The cost like $40 on eBay. These things suck, don't ever buy them. After nearly losing my surfboards on the freeway the other week I decided it was time to pay up for a new rack. Still not wanting to be swindled by the big guys, I ended up finding the Proline Mule Roof Rack, $99.95 plus $12 shipping. I am in no way affiliated with them, just thought I would share my experience. Here is my review/install.

Total time: 30 min.
Difficulty: Easy, as long as you can measure and use a drill
Quality: Pretty good. The holes they drilled in the aluminum are a bit rough and burred but other than that the build is solid. They sent me a size 36"x36", which I initially thought was too small, but ended up being just right. That said, the curve of the rails does not match the roof perfectly. Once drilled down it's not noticeable, but your roof will bend a bit to match them. Also, they did not send me the "center protective roof slats". I will be contacting them regarding those.



A picture of my original, universal roof rack. Rounded bars mean everything you strap to them ends up rotating and sliding all over. Plus, because the feet aren't secured, they scratched my roof pretty bad :(

For starters, take that crap off and put the entire new rack together before you set it up on the car roof. This will ensure that the bars can reach the rails after you have drilled the rails down.



Next, clean the area you will be installing them. They rails have a spongy adhesive strip underneath them that protects your paint, but you need a clean surface for them to stick to.



Then, lay the rack on the roof to measure where you're going to be drilling. Use a measuring tape to be sure it is straight.



It's hard to see in this pic, but mark where the holes will go with some sort of pointed object (I used a hand drill-bit). The directions say to use a marker, but Sharpie on a car always freaks me out a bit. This way, you can make a physical hole that your drill bit can follow to avoid drill slippage.



Once your points are marked, you can drill the roof. Use the recommended 7/64" bit and be sure not to drill through the headliner! The sheet metal on the roof is paper thin, so use extra caution and maybe a drill stopper if you're that worried.



Once your holes are drilled, you're clear to stick the rack on the roof and drill the screws in. A few notes on this process:
1. The rubber on the screws comes off on the burrs of the rail before it can seal the actual hole in your roof. If you clean the burrs off, the rubber makes it all the way down.
2. Set your drill to a mid power setting. You don't want to strip the holes in your roof.
3. Remember to put the triangular end bits in before you screw the rack down. I forgot them on the first side I did and it's a pain to remove the screws and clean the rubber out before you can put them back in.



Overall I am pretty impressed with the rack, it looks nice, it incredibly sturdy, and makes only a minimal wind noise at 45mph (local speed limit here) as opposed to the other ones that were literally hollow tubes, resonating in the wind. The bladed crossbars will also ensure no more mishaps with my surfboard rack.

Let me know if you have any questions or would like to see any pics of something I haven't included.
 

·
Registered
97 arcadia green L
Joined
·
34 Posts
No faring for it? Whats the link you found it? Im wondering if theybhave a bike rack and basket that can fit on this thing
 

·
Baby❤Daddy
98L Wagon
Joined
·
27,848 Posts
i feel like with enough speed, and or over a long enough time, those screws will pull out of the sheet metal. there is nothing to hold them to the roof.
 

·
Baby❤Daddy
98L Wagon
Joined
·
27,848 Posts
not to mention, if enough wind gets under that surf board,..i could see it ripping them out of the roof.
 

·
Registered
The subaru of many acronyms
Joined
·
1,919 Posts
shouldnt be too hard to remove the headliner/roofliner and put some small bolts through it with some good washers backing it. you gotta be real carefull when your talking about stuff that could cause damages to other motorists, i know i wouldnt want to get a surfboard through my windshield.
 

·
Registered
2004 Impreza 2.5RS BLUE
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Just wanted to post an update, I use this rack almost every time I use the car (I bike everywhere I can, so I mostly only drive if I'm surfing) and have still not had any issues with it. The most load I have put on it is taking 3 8' surfboards on the freeway at 70mph. I have done this several times without problem. Perhaps someday the screws will strip through after my roof metal has rusted through, but I do not see that happening for a long time.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top