Most helpful positive review
98 of 98 people found the following review helpful
Nice rack, awful instructions
on May 14, 2013
I have a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee with factory-installed brightside roof rails, and this rack does fit it (I just installed mine). This appears to be the same roof rack as the mopar rack. One detail that I wanted to know: their construction. The foot/base on each side is plastic, but the locking mechanism (the inside stuff that hooks to the rails on your roof) and the cross bar (that your kayak, etc. will hook to/rest on) are metal. Overall, the rack seems well constructed. It takes some effort to put it up, though, given the less than perfect instructions. Here's what I learned:
1. First, I followed the other reviews and put the small edge of each cross bar facing toward the back of the vehicle--like an airplane wing.
2. The slightly shorter bar fits the rails at the BACK of my jeep. Others said front, but the feet don't have the reach for the bar's width up there. I was left with one bar that didn't seem to fit anywhere. I breathed a sigh of relief once I took the keyed end part off and slid the top plastic strip out of the rail to expose the screws and saw one screw which (if loosened) allows the feet to be moved closer or farther apart. I still could only get the shorter rail to fit the back of my roof (then only with both screws on each foot loosened a lot--after you get the fit, tightening them up makes it snug to the roof); the longer one easily fit the front part.
3. Something the instructions don't tell you--one of those two screws above each foot controls the "jaws" of the locking mechanism (what pulls the cross bar/rail tight to the car roof). I had to loosen that screw (the one toward the OUTSIDE of the bar, on each end of it) almost all the way. I'm talking look at the end of that screw sticking through the nut on the bottom of the foot and unscrew it(from the top) until the bottom end is even with the nut (I didn't need to unscrew it all the way, though). That loosening allows the "jaws" of the roof rail to come out enough so you can hook it into the rail installed on your car roof. Loosen each side, place it in the rail on your roof, then start tightening each screw. After some tightening, you can slide these cross bars around to get the spread you want. They shouldn't come up off the roof rail, though, as they're locked in now.
4. After you screw these down tightly (watch out not to strip out the allen screws), shake your car with them and make sure they're attached firmly. I don't think I'll be taking these on and off--they look nice (all black), and taking them on and off would be a bit of effort. Now, slide the black rubber strip you pulled off the top in from the side (leave the keyed end piece off), little by little. I was able to do this pretty efficiently, but I could see where others had some issues trying to push it in from the top. I think sliding it in from the side is key here. Then, lock the end piece back into place, store the keys and allen wrench in your car, and you're good to go. By the way, the keyed part is only to prevent (it seems) someone from unscrewing this. It is not a quickly release function.
UPDATE (June 2013): The rack rails seemed to work great in heavy use--I drove 300+ miles at highway speeds with 2 kayaks on them (around 100 lbs of boat up there on my malone seawing brackets), and the rack held it all. Rain, coastal wind, high speeds, and reduced aerodynamics didn't seem to phase these rails.
UPDATE (Oct 2014): The rack rails have transported my kayaks on the malone brackets many times, and haven't loosened up or had any problems. I even made a short drive (out of necessity) with three kayaks mounted/tied to the rack rails, and no problems. Also, no fading or rust. Still very pleased with this purchase.