Jump to content


Photo

Yakima tracks fastener question

Yakima

  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 meandmydog

meandmydog

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • LocationFarmington, NM

Posted 27 March 2017 - 02:19 PM

I have a question on what is the best way to attach cross bars to Yakima tracks. I am installing 2 100 watt solar panels on the roof of my camper. I've got the tracks installed and I'm using 1" square aluminum tubing for cross bars. The solar panels are through bolted to the 1" square with 1/4" stainless steel bolts with lock washers. That's all good. My big agonizing question is how to attach the 1" square tubing to the Yakima tracks. I bought 1-1/2" and 2" stainless steel bolts and planned on through bolting into the "A" nuts that are designed to run in the track. The 1-1/2" only engage a couple of threads so they're too short. The 2" bottom out in the bottom of the track before tightening up but I could put a 1/4" spacer under the bolt head to take up the slack. My main question is how to make sure the bolts don't vibrate loose going down the road. I planned on using Lock tight thread lock blue or red. I've thought about putting a flat washer and a lock washer under the head of the bolt in addition to the thread lock. I've read on this blog and others where people put bolts in the tracks upside down like elevator bolts or others. I kind of like this idea because then you can put a lock nut on top and don't have to worry about the bolt bottoming out in the bottom of the track and not having a lock nut.

 

So I would like to see what all of the people here have used in the real world. I'm sure there are some great ideas that have been used for thousands of miles. I really need to be certain that my solar panels don't loosen up and come flying off going down the highway. 

 

Here's a picture of my setup. Thanks in advance for all the advise.

IMG_1894.JPG


  • 0

#2 meandmydog

meandmydog

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • LocationFarmington, NM

Posted 27 March 2017 - 02:29 PM

One more quick question I forgot to include in my original post. Does anyone know what the little black plastic/nylon spacers/washers are that come packaged with the "A" nuts and bolts from Yakima. Are they suppose to be some sort of a lock washer? I can't see putting them under the bolt head and tightening down on them. I would think they would just get crushed and then you wouldn't have a tight connection. Any ideas? 


  • 0

#3 BrianG

BrianG

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 196 posts
  • LocationNorthern Nevada

Posted 27 March 2017 - 03:16 PM

I just use tread locker Red 271 and lock washers.
  • 0

2018 Ram 3500 Mega Cab 4x4 Diesel, 2015 Hawk Silver Spur Exterior, Front Dinette


#4 Ronin

Ronin

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 876 posts
  • LocationSeaside, OR

Posted 27 March 2017 - 03:19 PM

You can shorten the bolts with a hacksaw - just thread a nut all the way down before you cutoff to whatever length you want. Removing the nut will re-thread the end of the bolt. It always works for me. Generally locktite is sufficient but I'd tighten the bolts from time to time. Good luck!


  • 0

2019 Tundra 2019 Panther Shell


#5 BobM

BobM

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 724 posts

Posted 27 March 2017 - 05:14 PM

Here's what I used https://www.etrailer...a/Y8890028.html

 

I just added a couple of nuts to the top of the bolt to get a good fix.

 

I just dug up my old photos and created this youtube slide show https://www.youtube...._id=zpgk5YocDyo

 

It starts out zooming in on the bolts


Edited by BobM, 27 March 2017 - 05:32 PM.

  • 0

#6 meandmydog

meandmydog

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • LocationFarmington, NM

Posted 27 March 2017 - 05:19 PM

BobM, That's the fasteners I bought. Did you use the little black plastic washers/spacers or just the metal flat washers? Any loctite or lock washers?


  • 0

#7 meandmydog

meandmydog

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • LocationFarmington, NM

Posted 27 March 2017 - 05:22 PM

BobM, did you add a couple of nuts to the top of the bolt just for spacers between the bolt head and whatever you were attaching to the tracks? did't quite follow you on that.


  • 0

#8 BobM

BobM

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 724 posts

Posted 27 March 2017 - 05:38 PM

I don't think I used the plastic washers and not sure about Loctite.  The nuts on top are double locked and also compensate for the bolt length


  • 0

#9 rilcombs

rilcombs

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 57 posts
  • LocationPortland, OR

Posted 27 March 2017 - 08:43 PM

I would echo Ronin on this one, or just go get some shorter bolts.  Took me a few trips to the hardware store to accomplish the same goal for my MaxTrax.


  • 0

#10 bfh4n

bfh4n

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 233 posts
  • LocationLovingston, Virginia

Posted 27 March 2017 - 11:27 PM

I'm concerned about the possibility of the bolts smashing the square tubing as you tighten them. You didn't mention the thickness of the tube walls. I would put round spacers around the bolts inside the tubing. For example: If the 1" tubing walls are 1/8", get some 1/2" diameter by 3/4" long aluminum spacers (with 1/4" hole). You can buy them from McMaster-Carr.

 

My other concern is how well those square Yakima nuts will grab the track and hold your collectors down in the face of strong wind load or a tree branch. When I built a similar setup for my Fleet, I got some 3/16' thick by 3/4' wide stainless bar stock (McMaster-Carr, again) and made my own "nuts" about 4" long, to spread the load. I had to tap the threaded hole in the middle. I think it would be pretty hard to pull the track off the roof (screwed down avery 6" or so), but I don't know how easily the little OEM nuts could be ripped out of the track. More attachment points could help, too. Maybe another crosspiece or two (my rig has four total).

 

In terms of keeping the bolts tight, the spacers described above will keep the tubing from deforming and prevent the bolts from coming loose for that reason. Loktite is always good. If you use the spacers, you don't need washers to spread the load, just lock washers. Make sure the bolts are tightening against your tubes and not bottoming out in the track, but they also have to go all the way through the nuts. You can saw them off, as described above, to get them just right. Sometimes you have to fiddle around a bit with a file or grinder to fix the first thread after you saw a bolt (or use a die).

 

- Bernard


Edited by bfh4n, 27 March 2017 - 11:30 PM.

  • 0

2014 silver Fleet front-dinette

2007 Tacoma Access Cab 4WD TRD V6 6-speed

 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Yakima

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users