what's with the factory roof rack?

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Gotta get outta here...
Sep 20, 2003
I read a few blurbs suggesting that some consider the factory roof rack on 80s and/or 100s to be less than desirable (the blurbs were more descriptive than this, actually <G>). Did a search but came up with little specific besides them being rust-prone.
Looking at getting a used 80 or 100 right now.
What, specifically, may I ask is wrong with the thing ? And what needs to be done to it, short of disposing of the blasted thang? Need to remove and reseal somehow?
(Yes, I know, but I don't think I'll need an expedition quality thing for a while, so bear with me, please...)
Do an advanced search selecting only the 80/100 section using the term "rosette". You may have to expand the search dates to 300 from 60.
thanks. Well, had a look. Found only a few messages which basically suggested something along the lines of rust developing where the rack attachment is going through the roof (if that's how it works). Is that the problem? Anything more specific?

Something to worry about for a 98 or '99 100?

Not that a know what a rosette washer is anyway, but I suspect some sort of cupped affair.

I looked up rosette washers...
this is some sort of flower looking bathroom mirror holding thing and you guys are putting this on yar rugged trailmasher????
what's next? painting them pink...?
am in the right forum here?
We probably need a definitive report on the issues with the US "factory" rack for the 80 series. (It was a port installed option.)

The report should include pictures and maybe a before and after. C-Dan has done the repair/repaint but most of us aren't going that route if we can avoid it.

The problem with the factory rack is that the 4 hard plastic feet that comprise the main mounting points, are not riding on a soft material like rubber or felt or some type of grommet. These 4 feet start cutting through the clear coat, cutting through the color coat, and on some trucks, have cut right down to the metal. When you get to bare metal something is going to rust.

Another problem is with the nutserts that are installed in the roof. These were installed by drilling holes into the roof. There holes were not properly protected with paint. Now they are starting to rust.

The final problem (I didn't check mine) being reported is with the long runners attached directly to the roof. It has been reported that these are also digging in through the paint at the tips on each end of the runner.

Everyone that has looked under these pads has found some degree of problem. Some in Rick's rust belt :D have found pretty bad rusting. My truck has lived it's entire life here in Albuquerque with the occassional trip outside of the desert. We have no rain, no humidity, little snow, and no problem with salted roads. There was some light rusting at the nutserts. A couple of the pads had worn completely through the clear coat (note that mine's a late '97 !!).

Since I need a rack and haven't bought a proper expedition rack yet, I decided to do an interim fix. My pads are now riding on a softer plastic material that (hopefully) has stopped the damage from getting any worse. After I get the rack that I want the "factory" rack will be removed and repairs will be done similar to what C-Dan did on his.

Reactivating an older thread to add some pics of the screw/rosette washers I used in my roof when I removed the rack and had the roof refinished. Several members have indicated an interest in seeing this so here it is:
Another close up of the screw heads. The hardware is stainless and has been up there for about 5 years or so.

D- :cheers:
Can you tell us again ('cuz I forgot), is there a rubber washer and/or sealant under there?
...Looks great Dan ! Have a question ... if we go the rosette route , can we do so without refinishing the roof ? And if so , how can we clean up the sites , and how might we seal down the rosettes ??

Thanx ! :cheers:

...And welcome back btw ... hope you're settled a little now . And though it's the opposite of what your wife hopes is the case ... 'I' actually hope you 'did' catch something while you were away .. hehe


I used some generic o-rings that fit snugly inside the "domes" of the washers. They were fat enough to get a bit of a crush when the screws were tightened. I also applied some silicone sealer to the screw threads and a bit of it on the o-rings.

Being able to avoid re-finishing the roof is dependent upon the condition of the roof under the attaching points and what you are willing to put up with. The screws and washers cover up just past where the threaded insert upper mounting lips end so there is not a great deal of "fudge factor".

A worst case would be use this method to seal up the holes and primer the rust spots. In some cases the inserts will be loose or maybe even rotted away. In this event it will be necessary to re-set new ones in the bad postions. I had to re-set about 6 of mine if memory serves. Replacement inserts come in a bag of 20. You do not need to use the OEM ones but I chose to as I had access to the setting tool. Also, if you have a stupid attack in the future you could re-install the rust breeding POS rack. :rolleyes:
I would think you could "tastefully" refinish a small circle around each rosette in black without repainting the whole roof. Maybe use that POR stuff.
think crop circles simon, that woudl be super cool
Nice job Dan. Glad I didn't post pics of mine :-\

Now that I know what the rosette washers look like, I'll try to find some. I'm still waiting for my POR-15 to show up via the UPS man (I think he got lost :banana:).
if you cant find them let me know, I have some in different sizes if you cant find them locally.
I don't think the 100 sereis OEM rack will have the issues that the 80's do, they are mounted differently and I don't think they are screwed into the roof the same way.........but not sure.......havn't really looked.
If anyone has removed their 80 series roof rack and would like to sell some of the parts let me know.

I'm looking for one of the adjustable beams and the two associated adjusment knobs.

Well somebody beat me to the post - I was going to add that I had trouble finding Rosette washers till somebody said "Well, sounds like these 'finish' washers we have". Big thanks to Cdan for coming up with what looks to be a good, cheap, fix. :beer: :beer:
[quote author=Lars link=board=2;threadid=6445;start=msg134503#msg134503 date=1081362894]
If anyone has removed their 80 series roof rack and would like to sell some of the parts let me know.

I'm looking for one of the adjustable beams and the two associated adjusment knobs.


I'll have a look Larry. I can't remember if my rack has made the trip to the dump or not. I'll PM you when I check on the weekend.


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