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Old 09-08-2016, 10:32 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 5
Manual penthouse & roof rack mounting

Hi all, I have read through a number of the manual vs electric penthouse, how much weight should/should not go on the manual roof and the roof rail vs. permanent mounting but have a pending question in my head that I wasn't able to find. We have a manual penthouse roof and are going to be installing the side-mount Yakima Wide Body brackets (permanent mount). We are planning on putting a Thule cargo box with very little/only lightweight items and a very light flexible 100W solar panel.

My question is does anyone have experience with the location (front to back) of where to install this. My obvious initial reaction is just to center the bars/towers front-to-back. However, in thinking about the raising mechanism and the "push point" is located towards the front, I wondered if there is some lean towards the front. I know the mechanism is meant to distribute that push point evenly with the support at the same point in the back of the roof but I wondered if there is any small benefit to putting the roof bars, etc. slightly towards the front. I figure maybe lean 6" or so at the most towards the front but wanted to get anyone else's views or experience.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-08-2016, 11:03 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 181
My 2002 manual top came from SB without anything on top. I installed a 100w panel and roof rails but even with an empty box up top its really hard to open the top. There is a great thread on how to adjust tension on the top but I just haven't had the time to do it yet. I'm sure after tensioning the springs, via link removal, I would have very little issue pushing the top up even with a panel and a 50ish pound roof box.

As for location I would just error on the side of keeping the weight distributed pretty evenly. It's also worth noting how big of a pain in the ass it is to get stuff out of the roof box unless you have a side ladder or are willing to crawl up top.

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Old 09-08-2016, 11:54 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Renton, Wa
Posts: 349
Not sure about front to back. I wouldn't think it's critical. But side to side should be even. I put my box to the left side once so I could get on the roof to access the box and it made lowering the top tricky with that side closing quicker and having to hold it up as the right side could even out.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:47 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal
Posts: 3,147
....not really answering your front-to-back question, but.....

I have a set of Yakima rails and crossbars on my manual SMB PH and have added solar panels in stages. Each time I adjusted both the main extension springs and the helper springs to make raising and lowering the roof managable.

I suspect I'm pretty much out of adjustment with the springs at this point (4 links tighter on the main springs and about 5" of preload on the helper springs) with about 60 lbs of solar panels on the roof.

If your roof comes down easier than it goes up consider adjusting your springs.
2008 E350 RB passenger 4WD SMB penthouse
2013 KTM 350 EXC
2008 KTM 250 XCF-W
2000 KTM 200 EXC
2003 Honda Element
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