Monday, December 7, 2009

Mazda CX9 roof rails and roof racks, Sydney

The Mazda CX9 has been a very successful family vehicle in Australia but we have found one draw back with it. The Australian models do not have longitudinal rails fitted to them even though the anchor points are there. I suspect Mazda are keeping these up their sleeve to add later when the model needs a bit of a face-lift. The problem with this is that if you buy the genuine Mazda, Rola, Thule and Rhino roof racks they all attach to the mounting points in the roof that have been put there to attach the rails on overseas models. The problem with this is that the cross bars are over 90cm apart which is ideal if you want to carry long items like kayaks, ladders and surf boards. However, the racks are not much good for carrying bikes and skis and you can not fit a luggage box to them.

We have had several customers try to find a way of fitting a luggage box to their CX9s so we have now started importing the genuine Mazda roof rails for these vehicles. These are  manufactured in Japan which are fitted to oversea models. The vehicle shown in the images was fitted with the new rails to which we added Rhino Sportz cross bars and a Thule Atlantis luggage box. The whole set up looked really smart.

We are offering the rails as a package installed with either Rhino Sportz bars or silver Thule racks . This includes fitting to your vehicle at our Gladesville (Sydney) workshop or delivered Australia wide to install yourself for $999. (luggage box not included)
Call the store on (02) 9817 1475 to book a fitting or to order a set for delivery.    

Postscript: Rhino plus Whispbar roof racks and a Yakima luggage box now available for the Mazda CX9

There is now also another solution which is not as slick as fitting rails but will allow you to fit a luggage box or bike carrier. The Prorack Whispbar or Rhino 2500series now fit the Mazda CX 9 using a strap system which is the typical method for attaching roof racks to a sedan. The brackets used are contoured to follow the roof return into the door opening. By taking this approach the racks can be attached closer together which allows the fitting off a luggage box. These racks can be used with a wide range of Thule, Rhino and Yakima luggage boxes. The rating on these roof racks is 60kg.

Please see our website for latest prices of roof racks.

Rhino 2500 Aero racks

Yakima Luggage Box:

If you have Mazda roof racks attached to the wide spaced mountings on the CX9 then we can now offer the Yakima Skybox Pro 12, 18 or 21 models which when modified can be installed on this roof rack system. This modifcation to the box mounting is simple and has been approved by Yakima so that it will not affect the manufacturers warranty on the luggage box. For more details on the Yakima Skybox Pro range please visit our website.
Yakima Skybox Pro 12 fitted to CX9

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


We are moving from our little shop in Gladesville that we have had for the last 5 years but we are not going far. Just one block down the road to 288 Victoria Rd. We will be closed from Friday 6th November and reopen on Monday 9th at our new premises. This will give us a much larger showroom, much better fitting facilities, lots of storage and forecourt parking. We have been looking for somewhere new for a while now and we think we have found the perfect place for many years to come. We look forward to seeing you in our new store.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pad mount roof rack fitting

Rola pad mount roof rack fitting 1
Today we are fitting a Rola pad mount roof rack which is one of the best solutions for a 2 door vehicle where it can be difficult to attach a clamp style removable rack. First up we stick masking tape on the roof in the location of the roof rack feet.

rola pad mount roof rack fitting 2
After assembling the cross bars we can use them to establish a suitable position on the roof. This is determined by deciding on an appropriate spacing for the loads to be carried and determining which are the strongest parts of the roof.

rola pad mount roof rack fitting 3rola pad mount roof rack fitting, position racks
The position of the rack is careful measured to establish position front to back and side to side then drawn around to mark the position of the mounting pads on the masking tape. The position of the drill holes are then marked using a pad as a guide.

rola pad mount fitting, drilling holes
Set up the drill with a suitable stop to prevent drilling through the roof lining. The marked holes are then centre punched and drill to suit the rivets. The holes are then protected with a suitable anti rust paint and coated with mastic sealant

rola pad mount fitting, riveting pads 1 rola pad mount fitting, riveting pads 2 Finally 3 rivets are inserted into the pads and secured in place with a pneumatic rivet gun.

rola pad mount roof racks, finished 2 Rola pad mount roof racks finished 2

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Towbar Fitting VW Golf V and VI

VW Golf tow bar with lugVW Golf tow bar lug removedVW Golf tow bar fitting

As the VW Golf has exploded in popularity this has become one of our top selling tow bars. The Hayman Reese tow bar we use is rated to 1250kg max trailer and 120kg max down load. The bar is pretty straight forward as it simply slides down the chassis rails and secures with a couple of bolts each side through the rail walls. The trickiest bit is the bumper cut which takes a lot of care to get a neat symmetrical outline.
The trailer lighting plug on this vehicle requires an electronic control box to be fitted to prevent damage to the car's electronics and the trigger sources have to be carefully selected because the Golf has a multiplex wiring system. The multiplex system results in the tail lights and brake lights sharing the same wiring.

NOTE 2011: Hayman Reese have now developed a vehicle specific wiring loom that is able to interpret the multiplex tail/brake signal using an ECU control box which makes this a very neat electrical fitment.

We have fitted the bar to the new Golf VI and it fits fine. The photo below shows the difference in how the bar fits with the bumper, with the lug removed.

Please see our tow bar finder for current fitted pricing

Golf VI tow bar with lug removedGolf VI tow bar with lug removed
lumen tow bar wiring loomTow bar wiring loom

On the Gti Golf the tow bar doesn't line up as nice with the bumper as the models shown above. It looks ok with the tongue fitted and we used a bit of trim to tidy it up but it can look a little bit messy with the tongue removed.

Golf Gti

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Custom roof racks Toyota Estima

This was an interesting job. The customer hires out vans for travellers kitted out with a roof top tent. The Estima is a grey import so there are no roof racks readily available in Australia that will go into the roofrack mounting points that are on the vehicle. Even if they were this would not give sufficient strength to support the weight of two people sleeping in the roof top tent. Additionally the vehicle has a big 'moon roof' in the centre of the roof.

The solution we came up with was to use 30mm sections of heavy duty Rhino track attached with rivets to spread the load at the strongest points of the roof. This was then fitted with Rhino heavy duty track mount legs and cross bars.

Tow Bar Fitting in Sydney - Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester tow bar fitting, 1997 to 2008

(For details of the new 2008 Forester please see below)

Forester hitch reciever tow barForester towbar mounting near sideSubaru Forester towbar mounting off side

This is one of our most popular fittings. A tow bar for Subaru Forester. The one fitted today is a quick release hitch style although a cheaper slightly lighter duty is also available with a bolt on goose neck. I will give a step by step guide as this is a bar well within the capabilities of the DIY fitter. Just one note of warning, if you have access to a rattle gun for undoing bolts don't use it on the bolts going into the chassis rails. These are often over torqued at the factory and you will find them difficult to refit if you rattle them off. If you remove them gently and slowly by hand with a socket you'll be fine.
  1. Remove and discard the bumper support in the centre of the bumper (pic).
  2. Drop the muffler from the 3 rear most rubber mounts.
  3. Remove the shipping hook and muffler mount from passenger side (pic). Remove the rubber mount from its bracket.
  4. Remove 3 nuts securing the charcoal box where fitted and let it hang (pic).
  5. Remove shipping hook (discard) and charcoal support from drivers side.
  6. Lift tow bar into position and fit with 3 bolts on passenger side and the 2 rear most bolts on drivers side.
  7. On the forward most hole on drivers side use the long bolt and spacer tube supplied to refit the charcoal box bracket. Then refit the charcoal box.
  8. Bolt the the rubber muffler mount from step 3 to the tow bar arm in the hole provided for it and refit the muffler (pic).
  9. Fit the tongue on standard tow bar or hitch on quick release and your bar is pretty much done.

Subaru Forester tow barSubaru Forester tow bar

The wiring is a doddle as Subaru have kindly included a socket which can be found tucked in the rear corner of the boot (pic). You can get a loom that plugs into here for about $50 but you will find most fitters will just use a universal loom and make their connections here where everything is provided in one place.

See our towbar finder for the current fitted prices

Please call the store on (02) 9817 1475 to confirm prices and schedule an install

Subaru Forester towbar 2008 onwards

The towbar for the new Subaru Forester is a little bit more involved because it requires the removal of the bumper and a notch cutting in it to accomodate the hitch box. You are left with nice neat unit with towbar frame hidden up behind the bumper.

The bar shown is a Hayman Reese unit which has a rating of 1400kg. . The fitting time is about 2.5hrs.

See our tow bar finder for current fitted prices

Please call the store on (02) 9817 1475 to confirm current pricing and schedule a install.