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Old 03-15-2011, 11:28 PM   #1
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Yakima 78" Bar Install

I'm leaving for a canoe trip with friends on the St Mary's River (between GA & FL) on Friday and just realized that I needed longer roof rack bars. It's tough securing two tandem canoes (36" wide each) on the 66" bars that came on my new-to-me SMB. I tracked down a pair of 78" bars tonight and went to install them in place of the 66" ones. Since this tower type was new to me, I actually looked at the instructions:
http://assets.yakima.com/resource/produ ... structions
http://assets.yakima.com/resource/produ ... structions
Then I went to remove the bars and ARRRRGH! they won't unlatch to remove them! It's dark, everything's wet from the rain earlier and SMB North went home 4 hours ago. Now what?

After some head scratching and looking at things for a while, I figured it out. Yakima has an optional locking system that uses lock cores that plug into a socket on the tower latch and operate a locking mechanism. If the lock cores are not installed, a plastic plug fills the socket but the mechanism can still be operated if the plug is removed. The clever rascals at SMB North had re-installed the bars and set the locking mechanism so the tower latch stayed latched. I wonder if they had a pool going on when I would call?

When you remove the black plug and look in, if the dot on the grey disk is on the right, the latch is locked:


If the dot (really a small hole) is pushed down with something pointy, it unlocks the latch:


The latch can now be snapped down; the allen socket tightens the bar clamp:


The lock is a T-lug that turns in this rectangular hole to secure the latch:


Lock cores with key and smooth installation key; the pin on the core fits in the small hole and operates the lock mechanism:


Once the new bar is tight, the latch can be closed:


Now the lock core can be installed using the smooth key to retract the securing plates:


Once in place, hold the core in with your finger, remove the smooth key and lock with regular key:


The only other installation drama was that the Yakima rails are not parallel to each other although they are parallel to the penthouse sides. This means the tower spacings for the front and rear bars are not the same. The penthouse sides themselves are not parallel and are about 2" narrower in the back.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:29 PM   #2
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Re: What did you do to your SMB today?

This was too valuable to be buried on "What I did to my van today" so I pulled it out and left a link. Have a good trip!
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:58 AM   #3
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Re: What did you do to your SMB today?

I have the same mount and locks on Wilson
mounted attop my Baja Box (pics in gallery)

although plastic, i have about 1500 miles with bikes on
and about 4000 with just the racks on

I like em
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:13 AM   #4
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Re: Yakima 78" Bar Install

When I needed longer or replacement bars for my similar Yakima mounts, I used 1" copper pipe from the plumbing supply store. It is 1-1/8" outside diameter as is the stock Yakima tubes. Cut 'em to the length you need and hit the road.....
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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Re: Yakima 78" Bar Install

When's the last time you priced copper pipe? 12' of 1" copper pipe might be more expensive now than the Yakima parts.
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:05 PM   #6
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Re: Yakima 78" Bar Install

Copper pipe isn't very strong at all is it? Or particularly cheap, although still probably less than what must be plastic coated gold that yakima sells. Mainly though, i just think it would bend right away. How much weight have you put on it Jeff?
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:19 PM   #7
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Re: Yakima 78" Bar Install

It's strong enough. I've had it on my last three vehicles. Two mountain bikes usually, but on my SMB I carried two large steel sand rails probably weighing 75 pounds or more.

If you have a wholesale account (resale) the copper was not more than the Yakima bars. Copper varies from month to month. Compare and make your own decision.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:57 PM   #8
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Re: Yakima 78" Bar Install

Hmm, that's good to know.

I've tried to find a substitute myself as well but have had a little trouble. I did get some pipe that is just a little smaller O.D. than the yakima stuff. Depending on the type of clamp the attachment uses, some work very well and other require shims or spacers and things. Not ideal.

I just feel like i'm getting taken advantage of when I look at paying $80 for a few feet of plastic coated steel pipe. It's nuts.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:25 AM   #9
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Re: Yakima 78" Bar Install

Quote:
Originally Posted by TroySmith80
I just feel like i'm getting taken advantage of when I look at paying $80 for a few feet of plastic coated steel pipe. It's nuts.

Exactly how I felt.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:44 AM   #10
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Re: Yakima 78" Bar Install

ditto! I've considered painting thick dowels black!
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