Calling all roof rack ninjas.
September 29, 2006 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Help me quickly disassemble a set of Yakima racks.

I'm finally getting my racks back from my ex wife. She said I can drop by and pick them up. She lives with her folks and I don't want to spend a whole afternoon there trying to figure out how to get them off the car. In fact, I want to be out of there very, very quickly.

Maybe they come apart super easy and it'll be obvious once I start, but I just wanted either some assurance that that's the case, or some tips on how to get them apart with as little hassle as possible.

I bought them around 2001, I'd say, and they've been installed since then. 4 towers, two cross bars, 2 steelhead fork mounts, 1 fairing. My trunk is little so I'll have to break it down completely. (i.e. I can't throw the cross bars and fork mounts into the trunk as a single unit, if that's even possible.)

I'll have a decent complement of tools and a can of WD-40 with me. And anything else within reason that's recommended here.

I have the key to the fork locks. If I remember right, that's the same key to the towers. If not it'll be a quick and entirely unsuccessful trip I assume.

Any pointers?
posted by mragreeable to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
My advice would be to bring something (a small pipe or the appropriate wrench) to give you some extra torque when pulling the screws out from the wraparounds. I always have trouble with the ones on my kayak rack.

I would also want something to help pry open the latch with the jaws...maybe a screwdriver. The screwdriver will also help you unscrew the towers.
posted by nekton at 8:15 AM on September 29, 2006

Oh,'s not going to be that tough. I don't think they corrode horribly. I've doused mine in saltwater on a regular basis and everything still turns.
posted by nekton at 8:16 AM on September 29, 2006

I assume the assembly won't fit on the roof of your car?

If they don't, you will need to get the towers that fit, or are you going to sell the rack?

Where I'm going with this- buy the towers that you need, loosen the old ones and twist them out of the way on the round cross bars; put your towers on and drive the whole thing home, to deconstruct at your leisure.

Otherwise I guess you will have to take it apart the old fashioned way.
posted by pgoes at 8:22 AM on September 29, 2006

Response by poster: pgoes - I was all excited about the idea of just lifting it right off her car and installing it on mine, but I checked the Yakima web site and apparently the Q Clips are different between the two cars. Hopefully I can find a bike shop locally with the ones I need in stock, and hopefully they still fit models from five years ago.

Apparently the towers themselves are compatible. I hadn't even considered that they might not be until you mentioned it.
posted by mragreeable at 9:44 AM on September 29, 2006

Q-Towers are pretty standard, as far as I know. I have SRTs, so your milage may vary, but as far as I know, the main thing is the q-clips (y-clips, depending on vintage). The good news is, Yakima was making q-clips as of last fall -- y-clips will now involve (most likely) an e-bay adventure.

I can't speak for Q-towers, but with the SRTs, if you want them off in a hurry, just open all your doors, and crank the T-handles counter-clockwise until you can lift the clips out and away, then lift the rack up and away.. then if you have a suitably large vehicle (SUV/truck), just shove the whole mess in the back. Otherwise.. well, I don't actually have any attachments for my SRTs -- I just bungee-cord my skiis on top -- so someone else will have to help you there.
posted by Alterscape at 12:26 PM on September 29, 2006

I actually have Thule racks. But if you get the parts you need to have the Yakima's fit your car, you may also have to adjust the length/width position of the towers and bars to fit the dimensions of your roof. Even that should be easier than disassembling the rails though.
posted by pgoes at 5:25 PM on September 29, 2006

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