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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my problem. I have a 2013 without the rails on top. I want to be able to haul some kayaks when we go on vacation.
I've been studying the parts diagrams and it looks like it would be around $1000 dollars to add the factory rails and cross bars and around $450-500 for Yakima rack. Not crazy about the Yakima look on the car.

My real question is that looking at the factory parts it appears that the rail is just a cosmetic piece and the crosstubes actually attach to a bracket screwed to the roof. Could someone order the brackets and the crosstubes and make that work? I know it wouldn't look great but could it work?

Before you flame me for "rigging" a $50000 car, this would only be used once a year on long trips.

Thanks
 

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No, the attach points are part of the rails.

But if you're looking to do it on the cheap, why not just get some pads and straps. There's instructions on this site:

TopKayaker.Net: Car Topping Kayaks 101
 

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Here's my problem. I have a 2013 without the rails on top. I want to be able to haul some kayaks when we go on vacation.
I've been studying the parts diagrams and it looks like it would be around $1000 dollars to add the factory rails and cross bars and around $450-500 for Yakima rack. Not crazy about the Yakima look on the car.

My real question is that looking at the factory parts it appears that the rail is just a cosmetic piece and the crosstubes actually attach to a bracket screwed to the roof. Could someone order the brackets and the crosstubes and make that work? I know it wouldn't look great but could it work?

Before you flame me for "rigging" a $50000 car, this would only be used once a year on long trips.

Thanks
I agree with Sinecure. The rails provide the structure and strength for the cross members to attach to. Without the rails you would have to drill holes in the roof where no holes were meant to be drilled. Drilling holes into the roof not knowing what is underneath sounds like a heap of trouble.
 

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I agree with Sinecure. The rails provide the structure and strength for the cross members to attach to. Without the rails you would have to drill holes in the roof where no holes were meant to be drilled. Drilling holes into the roof not knowing what is underneath sounds like a heap of trouble.
It can indeed be big trouble especially if you happen to be drilling into a spot weld which could start an issue, among the many other things that can happen.
Always best to use existing holes if any, if not, I wouldn't even both touching it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I stopped today at the local dealer to get a price. They quoted me $450 for the roof rails and $3something for the crosstubes .

Although I believe you guys it sure looks like the rails on the roof are structural but also seem to be just as cosmetic. There are already holes in the roof to accept the metal brackets that the crosstubes attach. It seems as if those brackets and the crosstubes could be attached without the roof rail. Would it look like a pile of $hit. Probably so.

Thanks
 

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I know you think the rails are not structural, but they probably are where the cross tubes attach. Think of it as a large shim. I suspect there is no way the cross bars would be sound without the rails.

You don't like the Yakima solution for the looks but are OK with this looking silly?

If your wish is to save money, get the Yakima rack and deal with mounting it once a year. Or... Think of the Infiniti solution as an investment where you don't have to deal with the hassle.

I use my factory rack twice a year and have never thought it to not be worth it.
 

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I know you don't want to believe me because I'm a salesperson and you're much smarter than me. So go for it. Take your caps off. See? No receiving holes for the cross bars. Believe me now?

It won't look ghetto, it won't work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No need for the attitude I was just asking a question.

So what your saying is that even if I buy the OE rails from infiniti that there going to have to drill holes in the roof? Doubtful. Are they not a bolt on part?

Anyway thanks for everyone's help.
 

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No need for the attitude I was just asking a question.

So what your saying is that even if I buy the OE rails from infiniti that there going to have to drill holes in the roof? Doubtful. Are they not a bolt on part?

Anyway thanks for everyone's help.
It is true that the rail is bolted to the roof with a bracket at a place the engineers provided for.

Take a look at the diagram you posted. In the middle there are two bolts and two brackets that holds the rail to the roof where the cross members go. That same bracket has holes for the cross members to bolt into. So in other words the cross members bolt into the rail bracket not into the roof and the rails are bolted into specific spots on the roof which the cross members would not line up to if you attempted to skip the rails.
 

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I'm in the same boat. I have a large and expensive ski box that is molded fiber glass and adjustability is nil. The distance between the cross members on the QX is to short so looking at the PF rails as an option. I peeled the caps or rails as they are referred to and found the brackets that are bolted into the roof. The holes designed for the cross bar are small pilot type bolts for easy attachment. I'm going to buy some Pathfinder rails to see if they work as I assume they will and report back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Please do. I like the gap between the body and the rail on the PF better personally. Not sure why Infiniti didn't do the same. I've got a friend that runs a collision center, I'm going to see if he can get the rails any cheaper than what the dealer is asking at $450.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pap4785.
Do you have the factory roofs rails now? Do they attach with screws anywhere on the roof other the the two brackets in the picture?
Thanks.
 

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After further inspection it does not look good. After removing the cosmetic plastic rail, it reveals the brackets to which the cross bars are mounted. They look substantial but don't look to be in the same position as the pathfinder mounting points. I've order the PF rails to be sure but looking at PF diagrams and photos they don't seem similar. Weird as I'm sure the Pathfinder and QX are made in the same factory. Why would they engineer two totally different systems?
Heading to REI later today to look at alternative options as well. Worse case is I get something that I use for road trips and then replace the rails for the remainder 99% of the year.
 

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I'm in the same boat. I have a large and expensive ski box that is molded fiber glass and adjustability is nil. The distance between the cross members on the QX is to short so looking at the PF rails as an option. I peeled the caps or rails as they are referred to and found the brackets that are bolted into the roof. The holes designed for the cross bar are small pilot type bolts for easy attachment. I'm going to buy some Pathfinder rails to see if they work as I assume they will and report back.
Why didn't you just check the OEM part number for the crossbars before purchasing them? If they're the same part they typically share the same part number even though it's for a different vehicle
 

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The Pathfinder and the QX have different roof lines, the QX swoops downward at the back. The entire roof structure is different. Something else to consider with the QX is that they put the cross bar attachment points stupidly close together. Of you put a long load on, like a rocket box, kayaks or even bikes, it's pretty svary. You want the contact points to be spread out as far as possible, but are locked in with the cosmetically oriented design.
 
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