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#1 2010-07-18 18:19:42

kornfeld
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Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

I installed Impreza roof rails on my car last week, and figured I'd do a quick write up with a compilation of tips I got from other sources and some things I learned.

1.  I followed the instructions here for taking the interior apart, and just followed them in reverse to put it back together:  http://www.egansworld.com/oldsite/RoofRails.html .  Nothing really to add to those, they go into pretty good detail.  This thread has a bunch of info as well.

2.  Once you have the headliner out, you'll find three pairs of bolts along the side edges of the roof on the inside of the car.  The front most and rear most pairs of bolts are the ones that are the ones you need to remove.  These are the plugs that cover the holes the new roof rails will go into.  The middle pair of bolts are right above the back of the rear door windows, and they don't need to be removed.  I don't know what those holes are there for.  If you happen to be missing the nuts that hold these bolts in place, they're 6 mm x 1.0.  The original nuts are flanged, but a nut and washer should work just fine (that last bit of info was taken from here: https://saab92x.com/viewtopic.php?pid=144907#p144907 )

3.  The very front end of the trim pieces on our cars are held in place by a plastic pin.  Marty posted a video, and at about 0:17, you can see how far back the pin is from the windshield:



To pop those out, you just need a flat screwdriver to pry the front end of the trim piece up.  However, when the trim piece is actually installed on your car, there is one of those sliding plastic clips about an inch or so behind that pin, so when you pry the pin up you're very likely to break that clip.  So press down on the trim piece right behind where that pin is at so you're only pulling the pin out but not putting any upward pressure on that clip. Once you have the pin up, then you can start detaching those clips from the roof.

4.  I don't have much to add to Marty's video from the previous step, because it shows those clips well.  Someone else on this forum came up with the idea of using a credit card to slide those clips off of the nubs that they attach to on the roof, and that's a great tip.  (I'd recommend using a grocery store saver's card or something else though instead of your actual credit card, so you don't actually chew up your credit card.)  When using the credit card, you're going to slide the credit card from the front of the car to the back of the car on the driver's side.  Just pop the pin out as described in step 3, and then slowly slide the card back under the trim piece without lifting up on the trim piece much.  Each clip should come off pretty easily.  Remember the extra pair of bolts I described in step 2?  There's a little metal bracket that is on top of the roof and attached to those bolts.  Your credit card will probably run into that bracket, but it isn't holding the trim piece in place so just move past it and keep removing clips.

5.  When you remove the clips from the passenger side trim piece, you slide your credit card from the back of the car to the front (this is the opposite of the driver side).  I did it by popping the front pin out first, and then doing each clip one at a time starting with the front most clip.  First you locate the clip with the credit card, then put the credit card behind it and slide it forward.  Then find the next clip back, put the credit card behind it, and slide it forward.  I don't know if you can just start removing them from the back of the car first, and doing the pin last.

6. Here's how to swap the clips from one trim piece to another:



7.  Someone else on this forum mentioned that when you reinstall the new trim pieces, instead of putting the plastic clips into the trim piece and then sliding them onto the roof, you can just attach the clips to the roof and then snap the trim pieces into place on top of them:



8.  And in case anyone was curious, here's why the plastic clips slide in different directions on the passenger and driver side:



9.  There is one more clip on each side of the 9-2x trim pieces than are needed to completely install the Impreza roof rails (two clips total).  I don't remember the total number.

10.  After you get the rails installed and the roof put back together, you'll probably be in the mood to go relax and grab a beer.  If you're in San Francisco, you can go up Bernal Hill and drink a few there as you look out at the city:



Good luck!

Last edited by kornfeld (2011-12-08 16:04:14)


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#2 2010-07-19 01:23:02

Out to lunch
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From: Burlington, ON
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

kornfeld wrote:

I don't know if you can just start removing them from the back of the car first, and doing the pin last.
Good luck!

This is what I did, and it would have worked out fine if I'd known about sliding the clips instead of prying them off.  Where were your videos a week ago!!

Question:  I have three of these brackets in the roof gutter already  arrow-down  Does this mean I'm good to go for installing roof rails at some point in the future?  i.e. not having to remove the headliner

http://i752.photobucket.com/albums/xx166/happyending/P1020694.jpg

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#3 2010-07-19 01:36:45

kornfeld
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

Sadly....no. 99% of the job is pulling the interior apart to get the headliner out. You have to get the headliner out to remove the nuts holding those plugs in place, and then bolt the rails in their place. Then the headliner goes back in.


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#4 2010-07-19 01:46:29

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From: Burlington, ON
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

Dammit. 

I was hoping the rails bolt up to those brackets.  What the heck are they for, then?  They look strong enough...

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#5 2010-07-19 09:23:12

Scargo
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From: Hancock, NY
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

arrow-up  They cover the holes that the rack bolts to, i.e. they're replacements for the rack brackets that are on the rack itself.  You end up removing the two a the ends of the rails. The center one can (and should, unless you want it to rain inside) stay put.


1995.5 Audi //S6, Black/Ecru; MRC Stage 2, Eibach/Bilstein, RS2 BBK, HID's, Eurotails
2005 Saab 9-2X Aero Satin Grey; Cobb STX tune/Cobb 25 mm FSB, 22mm solid adj RSB/H6 upgrade/Noltec Camber Plates/STI Pinks, Koni Inserts/Whiteline Rear Stress Bar/Izixhood/Stromung DP, Crucial HF Kitty, STi catback, Hella MicroDE fogs, color keyed/polished roof rails.

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#6 2010-07-19 15:58:17

Mica32J
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

I just went through the rail install over a couple of evenings last week.  No issues at all except for one.  So here's one more tip for anyone wanting to install the rails.

To gain access to the nuts at the front you have to remove the sheet metal mounts for the handholds.  Be careful reinstalling this as the bolts holding this are easily sheared off.  You think you need to tighten them up really snug as this is what supports the grab handle, but don't over tighten.  Guess how I know.

If you happen to do this, a fix around is to drill a couple of self tapping sheet metal screws on either side of the broken nut.  I used a #10-16 x 3/4" long with no issues.


05 Midnight Black Mica  92x Aero
5MT, Fully Loaded, Stage2, Cobb DP / Sti Catt back
Modified Ixiz§hift - Short Shifter, C-124 Stereo w Aux, (+40 other mods including Rubber inserts for Cup Holder biggrin)

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#7 2010-07-19 17:17:34

SaabRX
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

Good post  Phil... So pictures??  eek  biggrin

Marty  embeer cool


2002 WRB Bugeye  5MT Turbo
2005 Black Saabaru 5MT Turbo NEVER SHOULD OF SOLD IT! If I only knew ...
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#8 2010-07-20 12:00:58

kornfeld
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

Oh yeah....I posted pictures in another thread o' mine: https://saab92x.com/viewtopic.php?pid=519133#p519133


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#9 2010-07-20 15:07:47

vomfass
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

I'm about to do this, so thanks for the extra hints and tips.  In reading through some of the removal threads, they use rubber expansion nuts and silicon sealant to make it weather tight.  Did you see a need for anything like that to use where the roof rails bolt into the roof?  I'm not sure what lies under those brackets in the pics, but it would seem that it might need something...  Not so much the rubber expansion nuts for filling holes, but maybe the silicon or some other rubberized sealant.

If you did not do this, and you were to do it again, would you take the extra step, and what would you recommend? 

Thanks.

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#10 2010-07-20 15:27:56

kornfeld
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

Good call...I did use gasket maker around the bolts. The expansion nuts are if you're removing rails. Definitely a good idea to use something. Scargo mentioned in another thread that you should be careful about making sure that whatever you use doesn't produce acetic acid as it cures, and I haven't yet verified one way or the other if the stuff I used is safe or not. I was thinking about putting a glob of it in a Ziploc bag to see if it smells like vinegar.


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#11 2010-07-20 21:00:02

Scargo
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

arrow-up  BTW, I meant to compliment you on this post. Nice write up.  Should be stickied.


1995.5 Audi //S6, Black/Ecru; MRC Stage 2, Eibach/Bilstein, RS2 BBK, HID's, Eurotails
2005 Saab 9-2X Aero Satin Grey; Cobb STX tune/Cobb 25 mm FSB, 22mm solid adj RSB/H6 upgrade/Noltec Camber Plates/STI Pinks, Koni Inserts/Whiteline Rear Stress Bar/Izixhood/Stromung DP, Crucial HF Kitty, STi catback, Hella MicroDE fogs, color keyed/polished roof rails.

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#12 2010-07-22 08:15:43

Leethal
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From: Middleville, MI
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

Excellent write-up kornfeld.  I did the swap 2 weeks ago, and the plastic clips were the one thing I struggled with. 

I followed the same link posted, also lots of good step-by-step info here:

http://www.scoobymods.com/removed-wagon … readid=321

Note: You do NOT have to remove both portions of the B-pillar.  The bottom piece is a bitch to get out, leave it in place and just pop the top of the top piece out and leave the bottom attached.  The headliner will slide out (and back in) above the trim.  Helps to have some extra hands to help guide the headliner over the trim when removing and replacing.  B-Pillar top trim pieces look like this when popped out at the top:

http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv225/leethalpic/rack1.jpg

I also sheared off a bolt head when replacing the metal mount for a handhold.  Tighten firmly but go easy with the socket. I was able to remove the broken piece with an extractor, and rode my bike to town for a new bolt.  Added 1.5 hours to the job.  banghead

Here's the finished product.  Very happy with it!  banana

http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv225/leethalpic/rack3.jpg


'05 Silver Aero 5MT   

My other car is also a Subaru...

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#13 2010-07-22 08:19:35

Scargo
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

arrow-up  If doing the non-removed, just "relaxed" B-pillar trim technique, be very careful not to scratch the headliner on the protruding B-pillar trim.  THIS is why the extra hands will help. AMHIK  facepalm although it's surprisingly easy to fluff up the liner to make the scratches "disappear".


1995.5 Audi //S6, Black/Ecru; MRC Stage 2, Eibach/Bilstein, RS2 BBK, HID's, Eurotails
2005 Saab 9-2X Aero Satin Grey; Cobb STX tune/Cobb 25 mm FSB, 22mm solid adj RSB/H6 upgrade/Noltec Camber Plates/STI Pinks, Koni Inserts/Whiteline Rear Stress Bar/Izixhood/Stromung DP, Crucial HF Kitty, STi catback, Hella MicroDE fogs, color keyed/polished roof rails.

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#14 2010-07-24 13:28:25

vomfass
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

So about to undertake this. And forgive me for beating this topic to death, but I have no garage, so can't really afford to mess it up. 

Just as a paranoid precaution, I wanted to check and see what exactly I needed in terms of parts.  The rails that I got don't have any hardware - just the rails and weather stripping.  Are there nuts/washers already attached to the underside of the brackets that I can use for the rails?  or do I need to buy 8 extras?

List o' parts:
- 6 extra clips (assuming moderate level of clumsy)
- Rubber/silicon sealant

Anything else?

Last edited by vomfass (2010-07-24 14:00:33)

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#15 2010-07-24 13:49:55

lizzardo
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

You can (will) use the nuts from the small brackets you'll remove to fit the rails.  I'd recommend some Dynamat or Raammat for the roof panel while you're in there.

See here https://saab92x.com/viewtopic.php?id=3608 for more details.


A Real Saab and a LeMONS Saab - 1978 99 Turbo and 1979 900 Turbo
A non-SAAB - MV F4 312R - Once, the most mental bike ever made
Jaguar F-Type V6s w/6MT - commuter | 1991 Miata w/Hard top - toy
2005 9-2X Linear --> sold | Volvo C30 R-Design 6MT --> sold

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#16 2010-07-24 19:41:46

kornfeld
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

What Lizzardo said.  And if you have six extra clips, you should be totally fine.  Just make sure you plan for 4 or 5 hours to do it so you aren't stressed and rushing to get it back together at the end, right when you're putting together all of the things that need to not get scratched (like the headliner and all of the trim pieces).

And if the plastic clips on your car are anything like mine, you won't break any.  They're easy to get off as long as you take your time.  Just make sure that when you pop that front pin out, you have your hand pressing down right behind the pin so you don't snap that front most clip.

Last edited by kornfeld (2010-07-24 19:43:30)


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#17 2010-08-23 10:00:53

vomfass
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

Just completed this install last night!  Thanks for all of the helpful instructional posts and vids!  I had two friends helping and it took us 4 hours to do everything start to finish.  The only hiccup was that I first took one of the middle roof brackets off instead of the back one because the very back bolt is kind of hidden from view.  So that had to be reinstalled with sealant. 

Personally, I can't really tell a difference in noise level due to the additional RAAMAT during regular driving.  You can tell it's a different sound when you rap your knuckles directly on the roof, so in the rain it should be a bit quieter.  I also think that once I use the rest of the material for the trunk, and maybe the doors, it should be noticeably quieter.

The racks look like TOTAL SEX!!!!  Esp on a black aero.  Can't wait to strap on the roof rack and test it. Now to sell these deletes... Step 3: Profit! biggrin

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#18 2010-08-23 10:29:45

lizzardo
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

Use the extra RAAMAT on the doors first, especially around the speakers.  You'll get better sound out of them.


A Real Saab and a LeMONS Saab - 1978 99 Turbo and 1979 900 Turbo
A non-SAAB - MV F4 312R - Once, the most mental bike ever made
Jaguar F-Type V6s w/6MT - commuter | 1991 Miata w/Hard top - toy
2005 9-2X Linear --> sold | Volvo C30 R-Design 6MT --> sold

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#19 2010-12-19 18:57:03

UWBadger55
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Registered: 2010-12-11
User Number: 5057
Posts: 2

Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

Thanks for all of the tips and hints on doing the install, I did it over this past weekend. 

One thing I will add is that I was able to do it without pulling the headliner completely out of the car (I have an 05 Linear that I bought a couple of months ago).  Once the C-D pillar was off, the rear bolts were accessible.  Once I had the A and B pillars off, I could gently pull the liner back enough to get to the bolts that hold the metal mount for the hand rails with a ratchet and then the front bolts for the roof rail were accessible.  It saved me a lot of time and headaches considering I could not figure out how to the the headliner away from the sun roof.

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#20 2010-12-21 15:56:57

92x_dude
I don't know what I'm talking about
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From: Kitchener, ON
Registered: 2009-09-20
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Posts: 1331

Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

UWBadger55 wrote:

Thanks for all of the tips and hints on doing the install, I did it over this past weekend. 

One thing I will add is that I was able to do it without pulling the headliner completely out of the car (I have an 05 Linear that I bought a couple of months ago).  Once the C-D pillar was off, the rear bolts were accessible.  Once I had the A and B pillars off, I could gently pull the liner back enough to get to the bolts that hold the metal mount for the hand rails with a ratchet and then the front bolts for the roof rail were accessible.  It saved me a lot of time and headaches considering I could not figure out how to the the headliner away from the sun roof.

take the rubber trim out and headliner will follow gravity! that's the only think that keeps the liner in! don't forget about the dome light behind!

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#21 2011-01-03 20:36:29

wmrra13
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Registered: 2009-03-23
User Number: 3598
Posts: 3

Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

http://i752.photobucket.com/albums/xx166/happyending/P1020694.jpg

Hey guys;

If you knew the exact location of the treadled holes in the photo above, would it be possible to drill through the "delete" and use them to attach some form of bracket? Are the holes filled with anything? Seems like it would be easy if you knew where to drill.

Thanks,
Tyler

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#22 2011-01-03 21:20:21

lizzardo
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

wmrra13 wrote:

If you knew the exact location of the treadled holes in the photo above, would it be possible to drill through the "delete" and use them to attach some form of bracket? Are the holes filled with anything? Seems like it would be easy if you knew where to drill.

As I recall, those holes in the brackets are threaded inserts.  I'm not sure what their intended purpose is, but if you drilled through the delete moulding and mounted something there, you're be usign the deletes as washers/spacers between the bracket and whatever you bolted up.  I think the plastic would crush and eventually things would loosen up.


A Real Saab and a LeMONS Saab - 1978 99 Turbo and 1979 900 Turbo
A non-SAAB - MV F4 312R - Once, the most mental bike ever made
Jaguar F-Type V6s w/6MT - commuter | 1991 Miata w/Hard top - toy
2005 9-2X Linear --> sold | Volvo C30 R-Design 6MT --> sold

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#23 2011-01-04 06:15:09

thymighty
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From: Indianapolis, IN
Registered: 2010-08-06
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

arrow-up  Plus you'd still have to take out the interior to to attach your fabricated bracket to the car....  That's just more work.

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#24 2011-01-04 10:31:12

lizzardo
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From: SF Bay Area, CA.
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Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

thymighty wrote:

arrow-up  Plus you'd still have to take out the interior to to attach your fabricated bracket to the car....  That's just more work.

I think he's asking about attaching brackets to the brackets in the picture.  It'd be possible to do that all from the outside, but I don't think it'd be a great idea.


A Real Saab and a LeMONS Saab - 1978 99 Turbo and 1979 900 Turbo
A non-SAAB - MV F4 312R - Once, the most mental bike ever made
Jaguar F-Type V6s w/6MT - commuter | 1991 Miata w/Hard top - toy
2005 9-2X Linear --> sold | Volvo C30 R-Design 6MT --> sold

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#25 2011-01-04 11:58:57

wmrra13
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Registered: 2009-03-23
User Number: 3598
Posts: 3

Re: Impreza Roof Rails Install Tips

Thanks for the info gents!

I think I might do this. I'm not too worried about "using the deletes as washers" because I can drill the holes about the same ID as the the threaded insert and use a small spacer as a stand-off. Tearing out the interior seems like a real PITA but it might be easier than trying to figure out where to drill and sourcing the brackets....

Cheers,
Tyler

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