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Discussion Starter #1
I want to drill some holes thru the left rear corner and the right rear corner of my Element's roof in order to install footings (Yakima Bolt Toploaders) so I can install Yakima HiRise Towers. Two 5/16" holes are needed at each corner. Does anyone have any experience drilling thru the Element's roof? I'd greatly appriate any advise or instruction you can give me. Many thanks!
 

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I have to ask, but what do you plan on carrying on the roof that you think you need to add a 5th and 6th permanent anchor point? Why not use a foot pad that rests on the roof towards the outer most edge near the plastic cladding? It is fairly solid back there and so long as you're not putting hundreds of pounds on that one spot the roof should not collapse/buckle any more/less than drilling holes and putting in a fish plate setup.



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Discussion Starter #3
Your suggestion is excellent, but I have to make sure that those two foot pads would not slide back and forth. They have to be SOLIDLY ANCHORED to the roof.

I am carrying a 65 lbs, 17'6" kayak.

I'd appreciate any further advise.



I have to ask, but what do you plan on carrying on the roof that you think you need to add a 5th and 6th permanent anchor point? Why not use a foot pad that rests on the roof towards the outer most edge near the plastic cladding? It is fairly solid back there and so long as you're not putting hundreds of pounds on that one spot the roof should not collapse/buckle any more/less than drilling holes and putting in a fish plate setup.
 

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Lots of people carry 2 kayaks on the Elements roof. For the longer kayaks they all seem to use front and rear ropes to lock the kayak down.

I have seen where some people have used a hitch mounted support as an option if the kayak is too long, or if you think it's not stable/safe enough.

I just think drilling holes into the roof would just be asking for trouble (leaks).

I would do some searching and reading on here to see who has put long kayaks on the roof and what solutions they came up with.



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holes in your roof

Do It ....Take pics too. I've always wanted to see how that adding towers project ends up. DO IT, MAN!!
 

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Your suggestion is excellent, but I have to make sure that those two foot pads would not slide back and forth. They have to be SOLIDLY ANCHORED to the roof.

I am carrying a 65 lbs, 17'6" kayak.
I have a 17' and had no problems - just use a bow & stern line ;-)

Used the mako saddle and rollers set-up - one man job - just use a rug so you won't scratch the roof paint
 

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don't think, just do it

Act on it
Do it: Drill holes and while yor up there, cut out a couple sunroofs.
 

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Two members of my surf ski club (a type of racing kayak that is 21 feet long) have Elements and have mounted footings on the rear roof to increase the spread between the bars. They both had them done at a shop in town that specializes in those types of modifications, so I can't help you with any tips on how to do it.

I can report that both of them are very happy with the modification and neither have had any problem with leaks. I decided not to go that route because I didn't like the looks of it. I mean it really looks bad; out of place; weird. Plus with the curvature of the roof, the bars are not at the same height.
 

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Go for it!

You don't have a hair on your arss if you don't "JUST DO IT!" you will be a student and a teacher, take risk to find reward. Take a chance. Go for it!
 

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Unless you intend to use those things to carry something permanently, or at least nearly all year round, I see no reason to do something permanent specially when you can get similar results with temporary setups. There are already a couple of suggestions for alternatives.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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I mounted two sets of those raingutter mounts on the roof a pickup years ago, but didn't have the guts to do so on the Element. A closeup photo of one of the mounts would be nice. What type of bolt and nuts did he use?

The only downside to the mounts that I used years ago was that the excess sealant has yellowed over the years. But the wasn't any leakage.

Back in 2003 there were a few cases of owners mounting tracks on the roof, just inboard from the plastic trim.
 

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drill holes in roof???

Look at a the 180 pages on the SRS in Element factory manual first to see where the side air curtains are mounted before you even think about drilling blind holes in the rear roof quarters
 

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I haven't done this my Element, but did mount those Yakima brackets on a 1988 S10 pickup.

For the front mounts I could slide the ceiling liner just enough out of the way to get at the underside of the roof metal, and use conventional nuts.

In the rear corners, metal braces prevented access to the underside of the roof sheet metal. So I substituted large diameter sheet metal screws.

I never had leaks, though I worried about that, and at one time smeared extra sealant around the brackets - when eventually yellowed with exposure to the sun.

Now if I had to do that kind of thing, I would use the kind of nut that can be installed from outside - plus-nuts, well nuts, or what ever.

Ramblerdan posted an image of the roof seam. There is a multilayer weld line under the plastic trim. The factory rack mounts are spot welled to that line. I think the best extra roof rack bracket would be one that is welded to that seam in the far back - as close to the tailgate as possible. You'd have to remove the plastic trim (garnish is Honda's term), and possibly trim it some after installing the bracket.

But as others are suggesting, it is possible to carry a kayak using the stock rack positions. Judicious use of bow and stern lines would address worries about wind skewing the boat. If you are more concerned with breaking the boat, you could bolt some sort of cradle to the roof rack, and mount the boat supports to that. That could be a simple as a couple of 2x4s, or basket like the Load Warrior. J hooks that support the boat on its side should also reduce worries about bending the boat, since most boats are stiffer in that direction.
 
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