roof rack cross bar positioning [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: roof rack cross bar positioning

02-07-2007, 09:36 AM
quick question if anyone can help...

i just got the cross bars for the roof rack...and reading the instructions it says to place the rear bar AHEAD of the middle support of the roof rack...but the picture on the front of the instructions and the other pictures from bmw of the racks have it placed BEHIND the middle support..

anyone know where the rear bar should be? ahead, behind, or does it even matter? i just want to make sure i don't have a collapsing roof because i positioned the bars wrong



02-19-2007, 02:26 PM
Note that the second photo showing the crossbars behind the center support is of an X5, not an X3. Regardless, it doesn***8217;t matter as long as you don***8217;t overload them. The roof rails themselves are tubular aluminum and would likely support over 200lbs each, which is far more than the ***8220;official***8221; rating of the entire roof rack system.

By the way, I keep my crossbars on all the time. I***8217;d rather put up with a little wind noise and a small loss of MPG in order to know that if I stop by Home Depot on a whim, I can carry ***8220;long stuff***8221;. IO have found that placing the rear crossbar as far back as possible (which would be behind the center support) and then placing the front crossbar right over the ***8220;split***8221; in the two glass sunroof section gives me the least wind noise. Of course I move them around to a better position when carrying ***8220;stuff***8221;.

02-19-2007, 07:46 PM
The rear bar should be AHEAD of the middle support. In fact, you might notice that the two crossbars are two different lengths since there is a slight taper from the front to the rear of the car - the rear crossbar may not even fit properly if you try to position it behind the middle support.

02-20-2007, 12:22 AM
thanks rudeney and chief...since my post 2 weeks ago with no replies i ended up putting ahead of the middle bar haha...

interesting about the positing giving you less noise rudeney..

i noticed it was crazy noisy with my yakima attachment + 4 snowboards on top...are there any type of fairings out there that will fit factory bars?

like the yakima fairings

02-21-2007, 11:44 AM
I have found that even with the Yakima set-up, you can't use a fairing, because the Sunroof is too large. They do make a product called a "windjammer" that acts like a fairing for the front bar; I have two and it quieted the rack considerably. I also pushed my rack back as far as it would go (ie. the back tire of my longest wheelbase bike[MTB] didn't touch the rear gate when it was lifted). Start there, and it should help. Good luck!