center support/roof rack leak?

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Mar 15, 2009
Hickory, NC
Took my roof rack off to repaint cross bars this past weekend (super easy thank faq) but noticed that the center supports were full of water. Looks like a design flaw since water can get in between the support bar and the center support, and it's basically a "cup" where the bolt goes from the support into the roof.

The bolts are completly rusted (tops) as I have not tried to remove them and see the damage (if any) under them. My concern is if it has not leaked yet, it will...

I was thinking that I'd just put some liquid gasket, silicone, etc, where the foot meets the rail, originally thought about drilling a drain hole but it looks like that would do more harm than good if ya drill it low enough to make a difference.

Anyone dealt with this?
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I'd just put some silcone in it. The bolts already have a silicone seal around them.
I took off my rack a few days ago and one of the supports was exactly as you describe like a cup full of dark tea. there was so much rust and debris that i had to use a drill and used up 2 spiral screw extractors for the center support bolts and two for the rear. It is all surface rust though because there was a bunch of black factory silicone and there is no way water would get in the hole.

I used aquarium silicone in the hole before i put the new bolts in as well as a bit around the edges of the bolt head just to be safe.
I think the water entered through the top of the the rubber boots but then again it could be as you think to where the boot rests on the rails. It seems like putting a sealer where the foot meets the rail might be okay but am not 100% sure.
regards, m.a.d

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