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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Finally got around to installing the roof rails and crossbars I bought back in January. I found the instructions to be adequate, but thought I'd enhance them here with my experience. Sorry - no pics, but they're not really necessary. I followed the instructions available here. The instructions are numbered sequentially; I'll list the step number and follow with my attempt at enhancing the instructions. Hopefully it'll help you with the install.

First, grab a cold beverage! You'll need it. Now, proceed.

1. Measure rearward from the windshield molding, and mark the left roof molding as shown.

No need to be precise or get each side perfectly even because when installed the roof rail will cover and hold down the molding. Just measure 4 inches back from the top of the windshield.

2. Using a plastic trim tool, pry up on the left roof molding cover to release one retaining tab.

This step confounded me for a good twenty minutes. I have a set of plastic trim tools, but I could not insert any of them through the hinge hole as the illustration depicted. I tried using a flat blade screwdriver, which I could insert but the molding cover would not release and I was afraid to break it. After twenty minutes and getting frustrated, I just put the flat blade screwdriver through the hinge hole and pried up on the molding cover until it popped loose. The retaining clip was broken in the process. I was concerned that I would need to purchase a new molding cover, but found out later that the roof rail fits over the molding cover and will hold it in place without the need for the retaining clip. If you are able to remove the molding cover without breaking the clip, you're a better installer than I am. Pull up on the back of the molding cover to slide the two tabs up between the rear lift gate and the roof to remove the molding cover. Also, at this point the molding cover detached from the molding strip without any effort - sort of just slipped out without me even trying, so I was able to skip step 12.

3. Pull the left roof molding toward the outside of the vehicle to release the locking tabs, and then press the locking tabs toward the inside of the vehicle, and release the left roof molding from the vehicle. When releasing the left roof molding, start from the rear of the vehicle and work toward the front.

I stood on a low work platform and, as instructed, started from the back of the vehicle. There are four short clips (illustrated in step 10) and four long clips (illustrated in step 11). The short clips popped off the studs they are mounted on without too much trouble. The long clips don't mount to studs, and so you'll need to lift the lip of the molding strip closest to you to get your thumbs under it, then lift the molding up out of the channel about a half inch, then push the molding away from you to release the "arms" of the clip from the slot in the molding frame. All in all quite a PITA, but after you have done a couple you get the hang of it. Be extra careful with the last long clip under the mark you made in step one, because it is easy to deform the molding and any deformities an inch or two in front of the mark will be visible after the rails are installed. For this reason, I skipped step four and left those clips attached, as I was able to lift the molding enough to cut it without removing the two clips on the A (windshield) pillar.

4. While pulling up the left roof molding, remove two clips...

I skipped this step because I didn't want to remove the clips and risk deforming the molding. I was able to cut the molding without removing these two clips.

Time for another cold beverage!

6. Place an empty cardboard box (approx. 120 mm height) under the left roof molding near the mark.

I had an assistant hold the molding a couple inches back from the cut line (wearing leather gloves), about three inches higher than the roof. This stabilized the molding and provided more than enough clearance under the cut line to make the cut in step 7.

7. While wearing eye protection, use an air saw to cut the left roof molding at the mark. Do not use a cutting wheel or shears to cut the left roof molding; that can damage the left roof molding. With the help of an assistant, hold the rear edge while cutting. Remove any burrs.

Not having an air saw, I used a hack saw. The molding has a steel frame under the black plastic and will take a bit of sawing to get through it. It's not imperative that the cut is straight or square as it will be covered by the roof rail. Be careful when starting the cut to not damage the molding to the front of the cut line if the blade should slip, and when finishing the cut not to scrape the roof. Make sure to have a blanket or some protective cloth on the roof under the cut.

10. Insert two flat-tip screwdrivers alternately between four clips and four stud bolts as shown. While pulling on the clips, release the locking tabs on the clips from the groove on the stud bolts notch by notch, and remove the clips.

These clips slid right off the studs when I was lifting the molding up in step 3. I just left them attached to the molding when I discarded it.

11. Remove four clips from the roof.

Ha! I loved this instruction. It would help if they added one minor detail - how to remove them! On the left (drivers side in the USA) side, put a flat blade screwdriver on the front of the clip and give it a bump toward the rear of the vehicle. Once the clip slides back an eighth of an inch or so, it is released from the tab holding it and should lift straight up. When removing the clips from the other side, you'll need to bump them toward the front of the vehicle.

13. Install the left roof molding cover in its original position on the roof with one retaining tab.

This is where you'll see that the retaining clip you (likely) broke in step 2 is not needed. Just make sure to slide the round sleeve over the stud when installing the molding.

14. Install the left roof rail to the vehicle with six TORX nuts. Torque the six TORX nuts to 10 N·m (7.4 lb·ft).

Because I own a Triumph motorcycle, I happened to have the T-30 Torx bit. I also had a 3/8 inch drive torque wrench from Harbor Freight. 7.4 lb-ft is way too light of a torque setting for a low-precision HF torque wrench and a semi-idiot like me, especially after some cold beverages. Bad combination. You can see this coming, right? Yes, I over torqued the nut and sheared off the stud. See below for my fix if you make the same mistake, but be warned it is not too hard to do. I recommend two things:
1. Use blue (removable) thread locker so that the nuts never vibrate loose and
2. Seat the nuts snugly by hand while pushing down on the roof rail, then tighten a quarter turn with an allen wrench (if you don't have the T-30). Skip the torque wrench unless you have a high-precision one.

Make sure the nut is seated, as the paint on the stud can bind it up a bit and make it seem like it is seated when it actually isn't. Wiggle the roof rail and if it moves freely the nut isn't seated yet.

Install the covers and you're done with the rails. Install the crossbars (the front bar is longer than the rear bar) and you are done. Celebrate with a cold beverage!

So, if you happen to shear off the stud, now what? Well, after a bit of cursing, I drilled the rest of the stud out of the hole in the steel strip that is welded to the roof. I then went to the hardware store and bought a stainless screw (M6 X 100mm socket button screw), measured the length needed to match the height of the other studs, and cut the bolt to the length I needed with a hack saw and a vise. I then mixed up some JB Weld epoxy (I love that stuff), carefully filled inside the hole as much as possible, and then inserted the length of stud until it seated snug in the epoxy. With a toothpick I put epoxy around the base of the stud where it entered the hole, being careful not to get epoxy on the stud threads. The next day I mixed some more JB Weld and put it in the corner of a sandwich baggie, cut off the tip of the baggie corner and stuck the cut-off tip under the steel strip holding the stud and squeezed in as much epoxy as it would hold. The next day, after that had cured, I (finally) installed the roof rail. Then I celebrated with a cold beverage!
 

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I just installed 2017 Honda cross bars on the dealer installed roof rails. Given that the roof rail covers were removed prior to installation, is there supposed to be an exposed gap on the rail open to the air?
 

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Never mind - I realized the covers on the roof rail need to stay on. The dealer must not have reinserted the interior screw covers.
 

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I hope to install these eventually. Hate how expressive they are and that the crossbars are sold separately.
 

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Just FYI for anyone following, 7.4 lb-ft = 10 nm

This is a decent little torque wrench which handles the 10 nm range just fine. Available on Amazon. Not the best money can buy, but for the average person, a good quality/price compromise.

TEKTON TRQ21101

https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-TRQ21101-4-Inch-Dual-Direction-1-1-16-9/dp/B01M12284X/ref=sr_1_57?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1497668968&sr=1-57&keywords=torque+wrench



Thank you for the write up.
Harbor Freight also has a 1/4" torque wrench, and on sale they are only $9-11. They are on sale for $10 w/ coupon thru 3/20/18. http://www.hfqpdb.com/coupons/78_ITEM_TORQUE_WRENCHES_1514495735.952.png (I have all three sizes, and they work fine, although the "click" for the 1/4" is more of "feeling the handle deflect"; it's actually not much of a click.)
 

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I did it my self and it's a pain or at least for me it was. Also very important when making the cut in the front be careful not to lift the trim too high it's easy to bend. Or if you could just remove the trim like it says in the instructions and don't be lazy like me and cut it on the car haha.
 

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Uh, I think I'm just gonna pay the dealership to install the rails I got from Bernardi. I can deal with the crossbars myself when I get them.
 

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I did it my self and it's a pain or at least for me it was. Also very important when making the cut in the front be careful not to lift the trim too high it's easy to bend. Or if you could just remove the trim like it says in the instructions and don't be lazy like me and cut it on the car haha.
what did u use to cut it?
 

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Great write up!! Thanks!

All, is there a big difference between original roof rails and aftermarket ones? These things are expensive. I was going with the naked roof option, but it doesn't seem too difficult to install. CR-V 2014

What are your thoughts on aftermarket options?

Will this tool work for the cuts? It works well for metal.

Capture.jpg

Thanks,

F
 

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Personally, I'd just use a manual fine-toothed hacksaw for the cuts; it's just plastic. But if you want to use a power tool, the Harbor Freight "Chicago Electric" oscillating tool (not cordless) is ~$20. Unless you are really wanting cordless, I'd say it's a better choice than a $50 Ryobi.
 

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I really appreciate the post as I am sitting with rails here now and wanting to get them on.

The rear mounding cover removal also has me stumped. I’d love to not break the clips, but figured I’d ask first:

Do you think the broken clip is really a non-issue? Holding up the rail to the car looks like it may be almost completely covered after install, this is promising.

Otherwise, did you take any pictures of the clips after the covers were removed, or end up with any better tips to get them out unbroken (sort of lessons learned after-the-fact)?

Thanks again, maybe I’ll just screwdriver pry, I just wish I knew what I was trying to poke or pry at... or if it is on the side or centered In that slot.
 

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Seeing no replies I eventually kept trying to remove the trim pieces and also broke the clips. I even ordered the trim tool mentioned in the instructions from College Hills Honda, but it is also too wide to fit in the slot.

Once removed (with broken clips) I wonder how anyone can get it out without breaking the clips. It seems the clips come down from the top and engage a vertical piece of the hinge metal. It seems like you would need to separate the clips side-to-side, yet the window to insert your trim tool (or screwdriver) is very narrow and doesn't seem like it would support this action.

I installed my rails and things went well in the end. The rail holds the trim piece down without any concerns of the broken clips, although if one wanted (or somehow needed to) order new trim pieces, the part numbers are molded into the parts on the back: Right side is 74835-TLA-A01 and Left side is 74885-TLA-A01.

I will try to attach some pictures of the hinge with the trim piece removed and the trim piece (with one side of my clip broken) in case anyone wants to see what they are working with for this step.
 

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Many Thanks

These are awesome instructions. Well written, and confidence building. Thanks to you I will now do this job myself. Two questions: 1. I will buy the rails on eBay where the whole set is less than $200 versus the Honda cost of more than double that. What's your opinion on this decision? Anything wrong with non-OEM rails? Do you recommend any particular vendor on eBay? 2. We both own a CR-V and a Triumph motorcycle. Mine's a T100 Bonnie. What's yours? Thanks again!
 

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I got a quote of $253 for dealer installation of the roof rails and cross-bars. Is it worth letting them handle or better to DIY? thanks
Chris
2018 CRV EX AWD
 

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I had the dealer do the rails, because there's cutting involved. I installed the crossbars on my own later. I don't know what the relative labor charges are for the two jobs though.

The crosspieces are easy to do. Ask about the charges, and then ask yourself if the savings are worth the time.

I got a quote of $253 for dealer installation of the roof rails and cross-bars. Is it worth letting them handle or better to DIY? thanks
Chris
2018 CRV EX AWD
 

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I had the dealer do the rails, because there's cutting involved. I installed the crossbars on my own later. I don't know what the relative labor charges are for the two jobs though.

The crosspieces are easy to do. Ask about the charges, and then ask yourself if the savings are worth the time.
Does anyone have advice to offer on pro/con of the OEM roof rack versus a Thule/Yakima or other system, either installed or clamp on? I'm considering the Honda parts vs. prob a Thule Kit. Thanks!
 

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I got a quote of $253 for dealer installation of the roof rails and cross-bars. Is it worth letting them handle or better to DIY? thanks
Chris
2018 CRV EX AWD
I opted to do the install myself. It was remarkably easy to do and took about 30 minutes.
 
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