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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm using the OEM roof rails and a set of Rhino Rack crossbars (see crossbar review in my other posts). When a crossbar is moved towards the center of the roof rails, the cargo 'bounces' sometimes because of all the play and the 'bendiness' in the OEM roof rails. These are not the strongest of OEM roof rails I've ever used, but they were the best fit for my needs on this DS.
I want to share my 'fix' for all the play in the roof rails caused by their flimsiness. I compressed a firm rubber cylinder between the roof and the rail and this has stopped the rails from bending and bouncing on trips!! The crossbars I use only grip the sides of the rails, so the rubber spacers underneath don't interfere.
In the specialty item drawers at Lowes, I found the "Rubber Stopper #4" by Hillman (Item #881324) which is 1" tall and compresses tightly in the roughly 3/4" space between the roof and the rail. Getting it there was a little tricky, but I'll do my best to explain how and with pictures (would be ideal to place them during a new roof-rail install):

1) First, I needed to at least partially fit the spacer under the rail. I moistened the bottom of the spacer to reduce friction and tilted it under the rail, and pushed to just get it there.
2) I got a C-clamp and put one end on the outside of the rail (protected with a pad of paper or a block of rubber) and the other end on the spacer, so that when tightened, it shoved the spacer under the rail as much as possible.

3) To get the spacer to the center of the rail, I got the rubber strap of a strap wrench (or a leather strap will do better) and pulled it towards me from the outside of the car, shimmying it side to side. I also got a wedge to lift up on the bar slightly to get it under there.

4) I then got a plastic trim tool to pick at the top of the spacer to pull out the top of it that had gotten rolled underneath (you'll see what I'm talking about).

This rubber is compressed under there tight enough where the bars won't bounce. I did a long trip carrying canoes and cargo up and down dirt mountain roads and it worked wonderfully! I just wanted to share!

In full disclosure, I did a LITTLE damage getting the spacer under there -- put a little nick on my roof rail (shown in pic) with the C-clamp, and put small dents in the top trim of the car with that wooden wedge I was using. Again, ideal to use do during new install, or with a slower hand. I'll end up beating the top of that car up on my adventures, so I'm not too concerned about it.

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