Mounting Roof Rack on channel or not?

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D40-4Life

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I got a front runner roof rack that I had mounted by the pros 2 years ago and I only just realized that they mounted it not on the channel of my D40 but a bit further in towards the middle of the roof. About 20mm away from the channel that runs along the outside each of the roof of my D40.

I was lead to believe that the strongest point for mounting anything to the roof is the channel which is much thicker there than anywhere else. That channel is where you should be drilling holes to tap into.

Can someone please give me some insight. Am I at risk of failure if I take this roof off road and / or load it up?

What has brought this up was all the controversy lately of rhino racks being mounted on car roofs using rivets and failing. Mine has not been rivereted but screwed. ie. The rail is screwed into the roof and then the feet of the rack is installed on that. The feet hold up the rack.
 

OldManBeard

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The channel is indeed the strongest area but mounting in the channel, as I did, presents a bit of a problem. The channels are mostly filled with some kind of softish body filler, no doubt to hide the joints between the roof and side panels of the bodywork. I used closed-end stainless steel nutserts (AKA rivnuts) to mount my rack but, due to the depth of that filler, it was rather difficult to get the head of the tool in there to set the nutserts. Once they were set I packed the space between the top of the rivnuts and the surface of the filler with stainless steel washers so that the clamping pressure would in fact be on the rivnuts, not the filler.

If I was doing the job again I'd put my mounts just beside the channels. That way you still benefit from the strength of the channels, without the woes.
 

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