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Old 01-11-2008, 09:17 AM   #1
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Alternative to roof rack removal

Since I am at present balking about removing the headliner to get the bolts out for my roofrack, I was wondering if there was an alternative.
What if I fill in the interior and exterior with solid panels to prevent the mounts from creating turbulance? I always see on the Bonneville race cars the upright strips that I assume keep the air from spilling down on the side of the car from the roof. Kinda keeping laminar airflow over the roof I guess. Maybe this would act the same?
By the way, my roofrack has no crossbars on it just the rails.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:41 AM   #2
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philp100, I was reviewing the ETKA parts catalog on your Passat wagon. You might not have to drop the headliner afterall. There appear to be studs mounted on brackets that mount inside the roof panel. The roof rails are then fastened down w/nuts from the top. There are 3 removable covers on each rail that cover the mounting nuts. I'm uncertain exactly what type of surface the removed rails would leave behind, however.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:20 PM   #3
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But what do you do with the bolts that are left sticking up? I pulled one of the caps off the frond end of the rail and removed the nut. There is an indent ~1.5x1" with an elongated hole that the bolt comes up thru. The bolts stick up at least an inch.
I think I am becoming lazy and un-creative these days!
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:31 PM   #4
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philp100 -

Quote:
Originally Posted by philp100 View Post
But what do you do with the bolts that are left sticking up? I pulled one of the caps off the frond end of the rail and removed the nut. There is an indent ~1.5x1" with an elongated hole that the bolt comes up thru. The bolts stick up at least an inch.
I think I am becoming lazy and un-creative these days!
Maybe little shark fin style vortex generators? Your goal would be to neutralize the negative-aero effect.

With 6 fins, people would probable think you have 6 antenna !

Orrrrr, maybe the 3 bolts could be used as a mount for a continuous solid aero piece that is more flush than the original roof rails. Maybe experiment with long pieces of styrofoam first?

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Old 05-20-2008, 05:46 AM   #5
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Any progress?

Quote:
Originally Posted by philp100 View Post
Since I am at present balking about removing the headliner to get the bolts out for my roofrack, I was wondering if there was an alternative.
What if I fill in the interior and exterior with solid panels to prevent the mounts from creating turbulance? I always see on the Bonneville race cars the upright strips that I assume keep the air from spilling down on the side of the car from the roof. Kinda keeping laminar airflow over the roof I guess. Maybe this would act the same?
By the way, my roofrack has no crossbars on it just the rails.
Phil, have you tried filling in the spaces of the side rails? this post is a couple of months old... I have a Jetta TDI wagon but occasionally need to mount my Yakama crossbars.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:07 AM   #6
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There are also covers that can help, too, for just this occasion. Talk to the dealer.
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:46 PM   #7
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Sorry to say, I have not even looked at mods to the car for the last several months. Winter seems to have finally loosened it's death grip on the Cascades for the year. I took the snow tires off (in May!) and put the 17" wheels and tires back on for a quick 1mpg drop.
The warmer weather does have me back up to ~27mpg tho.

I have been eyeballing a way to make a rear deflector/boat tail from 1/16" polycarbonate. Also thinking this would be a good material to fill in the gaps on the roof racks. I also have visions of air dams dancing in my head at night. If only I had all the gottahavemdone projects around home done.....

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