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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
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Hey guys,

One of these days I'll update my 'ups and downs' thread to say that the car is back on the road and MOT'd..... I think I've all the parts I need, I just have to find a solid 2 or 3 days to crack on with it.

In the meantime, assuming I get to that stage one of the things I might want to do is carry an open/canadian canoe. I have a choice of 2 but they're both 16ft boats, and benefit from the bars being as far apart as possible ( fore and aft) on the roof. On the Defender this is easy, with bars that clamp into the guttering wherever you want. On the other hand, they're not that heavy - roughly 25-28kg depending on which one I take.

How does the P38 roof rack system work? I have looked at ebay etc and it does seem like it's a little more resticted, with some of the pictures I've seen showing the cross bars to be fitted relatively close together given the available length of the car.

I can see that there's a 'genuine' rail and crossbar option, but even used it's spendy, so for occasional use I guess I'm more likely to get 'bars and feet' but does that mean I'm restricted to specific points on the car? Could I use the furthest forward and back points to give the maximum spread?

And, any recommendations at all for what to get?

Thanks

(Edit to say I did try to search first, but couldn't find a specific answer)

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I assume you don't have the longitudinal roof rails fitted.

The longitudinal rails bolt down via tapped holes attached to the roof structure. Sliding covers over them. If they have not been moved for years its easy to break the tag so good clean and squirt with your favourite "wonder-spray".

The official Land Rover cross bars can be fitted at any point along the rails. But the longitudinal rails follow the roof curvature so you need to set the cross rails roughly equidistant from front and rear if whatever you have on top is going to ride level.

Longitudinal rails are findable from breakers but not cheap. Official cross rails seem to be hens teeth rare and, usually expensive. Found my cross rails at an affordable price mainly because the seller didn't know what they were and I was feeling lucky that week! Dunno if L322 ones will fit. Design is similar but not sure if the clamp end is different.

Before I went factory i looked into making three QD cross rails picking up on small blocks bolted to the official rail mounting point. Three rails is probably better for a canoe which that sort of system will give but you are pretty much stuck with permanent pimples half inch - inch (ish) high on the roof if the system isn't going to be a right pain to fit. If you don't mind fitting from the top it can be done very neatly.

Thule bars will clamp to the longitudinal rails. Might still even have the set I used before I found the right cross rails lying around somewhere. Her-ladyship half inched them for her L322 roof tent project, then we found some proper Land Rover rails and I can't remember if my Thules ever came back. Roof tent idea died after she drove into a car park height restrictor and knocked it off. L322 died soon after in protest at being looked after by a Defender and Jeep specialist! Of somewhat questionable competence.

Clive

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Clive have been very detailed so there is not much to add :-)

But you need to decide what option you want: original or aftermarket. If the choice is cost or cost/effective driven, go aftermarket, either Thule or Yakima or whatever you can find where you are. I bought the Thule setup because the bar is adaptable also to my Audi, so I can only swap the "feet". You can position them fore and aft for long transport, or mid and aft for general/short loads.
Since I got tired of the swapping, and I was lucky to find the longitudinal bars and cross-bars at a decent price, I went for this solution. Have not mounted them yet, though .... I will sell the Thule "feet" and adapter afterwards, I guess.
But as Clive said, the entire setup is expensive and a fixed feature in the vehicle's roof afterwards. Are they noisy?

There is also another original option, the "Sports Cross bars" STC50252 - look them up in the RRP38 accessories catalogue. They are integral cross bar + mounting "feet", so no extra strange parts around, and can easily be mounted/carried around in the boot when not needed.
From an elegance and practicality perspective are not bad idea. From time to time they pop up for sale, again are two and you can mount them in any of the three positions, or you could get a third one if needed and use all the roof's mounting points.
It was the smartest and more stylish choice, but for now I'll stick with what I've got ...

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The "Sports Cross bars" STC50252 mentioned by leolito are indeed very neat but you are still restricted to using as a pair due to the roof curvature. The catalogue pictures (https://knook-jaguarlandrover.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Accessoires_LR_2000_Range_Rover.pdf) show them used in centre and rear positions. Dunno if one has slightly shorter legs to fit in the centre mount letting the load ride level or if both are the same so the load rides with a slight up tilt.

I'd not care to remove and refit on a regular basis as the sliding cover over the bolt holes seems to go brittle with age and is likely to break when moved. One of mine did!

My DIY plan was to make short adapter blocks to fit on Thule bars (well actually the £20 LIDL knock offs!) which could in turn be affixed to black anodised alloy blocks permanently fitted in the standard mount recesses. Easy fitting requires the blocks to be tall enough to take bolts through the side. I didn't care fore the look of tall pimples on the roof. Bolting from the top lets them be made near enough flush with the roof. But then, like Granny Ogg and her giraffe, you need to stand on a stool to manage things.

As ever its hard work being factory neat. Can't abide obvious DIY.

Clive

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I have the Yakima bars on mine, and I routinely carry a 17' Prospector or 16 1/2 Tripper S, sometimes both at the same time. I also can carry a canoe plus 2 bicycles (for this I use all 3 rack attach points and 3 racks), or a ski rack in winter. They aren't cheap, but I found some stuff on eBay. They also last forever and at least some of the pieces are transferable from car to car. I'm very happy with the Yakima system and don't regret spending the money on them.

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Thanks all,

I was going to load a pic of the canoe on the Defender today, but imgur is playing silly b@ggers. I really don't want the app...!

The canoe sits very happily on two bars. Because it has its own curvature to the gunwales, a third bar is effectively redundant. Like I said above, the further apart they are, the better.

I see that Craddocks have a pair of the "sport bars" new for £217, which isn't ridiculous. Although as Clive says, the pic does show a pair fitted on the rearmost two locations. I'd hope they could be fitted at the front and back?

My car has no rails, and I would be near 100% certain that the covers over the mounting locations have never, ever been touched or moved. Brittle plastic is a near certainty.

Ideally I'd have a system that I could put on/off quickly - which maybe does point to the genuine rails, and then any old crossbars? I don't think I'd mind leaving the rails on permanently.

I'm not familiar with the yakima system, but I'll have a look.

Why bother, when I have the Defender? It's because they might be like a 'tag team' - when one's in the garage, the other stays mobile - and if the Def. had the rooftent on, then a little run out with the P38 would be called for..

Thanks again for the replies though. I'm better informed than I was this morning.

(Edit - just looked more closely at the catalogue link in Clive's post - it says the sports bars can be used in any of the three mounting locations, so that answers that question - but there's still the issue of something that's easily fixed/removed.)

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If you fancy using Thule bars with the standard roof rails, probably the easiest fit as it just buy'n fit, do consider potential height issues.

The tops of the standard Thule bars are almost 2 metres / 78 inches off the deck in standard height setting depending on exactly where your EAS is set. High enough to be a worry with the entry restrictors for car parks round my way. I never actually scraped them but too close for comfort really. Ended up only fitting them when I needed to carry something.

Clive

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There are a set of roof rails and the cross bars on Ebay at the moment. You will have to be quick, it finishes today:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=range+rover+p38+roof+rails&_sacat=0&rt=nc&LH_Auction=1

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The 3 bars are for when I have the canoe, using the most forward and most rearward mount points, and the bike rack at the same time. The bike rack is far too short to reach from the front to back location, so I have the 3rd bar in the middle to accommodate. The Yakima, and I'm sure the Thule as well, goes on or off in seconds.

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dave3d wrote:

There are a set of roof rails and the cross bars on Ebay at the moment. You will have to be quick, it finishes today:

Thanks for that Dave. I was watching a couple of listings on ebay, but I was successful with a 'snipe' on the one you linked to. £235 got it, which isn't cheap, but is a lot less than some are listed for, and it includes the cross bars as well as the rails.

Set against £150/170 odd for a quality set of bars that I'd need to bolt/unbolt each time I wanted to use them, I think it's a good option and it's getting that 'factory' look.

One last question from me on this one: how do the little tabs on the roof channel trim work? I'm always wary of old plastic where it's not immediately obvious which way it's supposed to work. Do they slide, or lever, or hinge or what?

Whatever it is, 20 years of UV exposure won't have helped.

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The tabs slide. Screwdriver in the opening and carefully ease them back under the trim.

Opening is usually OK but closing can be problematical because there is very little meat on that end. I borke one of mine 10 years (and lot of UV) ago. Careful on the first one wasn't careful enough. Very, very careful on the other three was.

Clive

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Don, glad you got a result. The price isn't over the top really. It includes the cross bars and they have got to be worth £75 at least.
I lost the clips for my cross bars and had to buy a new set for £44 + postage. Soon as I got them, I found my old ones! Typical.
I also had to cut out new neoprene gaskets, and respray them at more expense, so if you add that lot up, yours aren't too bad.

Be careful with the roof channels. The cover slides for the rails are thin aluminium and should slide easily backwards and forwards. Don't force them and I would be careful using a screwdriver on them. One of mine started to bend. Press them down and push horizontally and gently. I have not long cleaned mine up. I used a big scrubbing brush and dishwashing liquid to clean the outside of the roof channel.
When they start to move, work them backwards and forwards and hose inside the channel. Mine was full of leaves and muck. Dry off and use a quick spray of WD40.

There are three mounting points each side for the rails. When you get them you will see how they fit. They expand to grip the roof channel.
The gaskets don't do much. Just finishes off the look and stops rattles I guess.

One more thing, you can leave the rails and cross bars on permanently. Mine are OK in underground car parks, with standard tyres and at standard height.
I don't think they do a canoe fitting as such but the accessory catalogue shows a surf board mount, if you can find one that is, or copy one.
Roof rails and bars are rated for 75kg, which is a fair weight.

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Thanks again guys,

I think the rails will definitely stay on more or less permanently; I think I can see myself taking the cross bars on and off, but I'll see how that goes once I'm more familiar with the fitting.

The canoe doesn't really need any mount as such - it just rests upside down on the bars and gets attached with a couple of cam tension straps; and ideally something from the 'bow' to the front of the car. I have some old neoprene/foam things on the Defender bars, and they do minimise and movement, but are simple to get hold of.

Just one last question on this - I promise! - somewhere I've read about a hole which can exist under the roof trim covers and which can leak into the car. I saw a picture, and can remember that this was at the top of the windscreen. I do have evidence of a leak at the top of the windscreen/left hand side. It could be the sunroof, or it could be this 'hole' if it exists.

It seems to me it would be better to check before fixing bars, so does anyone know if it's common to have a hole in this location, and if so, how would I remove the whole trim rail/cover things to check??

Ta

Donald

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Good price indeed!
Don't use a screwdriver to try to pry open or close the tabs ... you will possibly break it!
I did not do it, but watch it happening in front of my eyes!

I am also curious as to how to remove the entire strip, the WM is not very clear on the subject. If anyone has ever done it, to respray the roof or similar (BTW my roof is very dark green and the body is Epson, I have never seen this elsewhere) ... glas to see how it is made. Must be lots of muck there, and corrosion options!

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The rear cross bar could do with a roller fitted to it to get the canoe on and off a bit easier, otherwise it is a two man job.

I cleaned out my roof channels a month or two back. I didn't check the method of construction too close but I was under the impression the channels were stainless steel? and attached to the roof at the factory with welded rivets? anyone know?
The roof leaks are from weld points that have corroded through I guess.

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I don't have rollers on my rear rack, but the Yakima bar is coated with plastic so the canoe slides easily. As Dave says, it's easy to load the canoe by yourself from behind.

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Ironically, I think the RR might be a little more awkward to load the canoe onto than the Defender - because it's lower.

I've got the hang of the lift/knee/twist/technique to get the boat onto my shoulders. With the Def I just walk up to the back of the car; rest the front of the canoe on the rear bar and lower the back of it onto the ground. I then step out from underneath, go to the back of the boat, lift it up and push it forward until the front of the boat rests on the front bar and overhangs the windscreen/bonnet.

More or less the same for the RR I'd expect, except that it's lower, so I'll have to shuffle/crouch out from underneath and maybe, because the rearmost bar won't be right at the back of the car, the canoe won't rest on it so easily, and might sit on the top of the tailgate??

That's a lot harder to explain in words, a pic would be easier, but that would mean having the car mobile and out of the garage.......

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Don, the P38, and the Disco work exactly like you're saying for the Defender. It doesn't sit on the lift gate when loading, though the lift gate won't open fully with the canoe in the way. I think you'll find the P38 is easier to strap on, especially if you have it in access mode.

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Thanks Harv, that's good to know. The rails and bars are 'in the post' just now, and should arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to that.

Now I just need to get the car moving again. Off work tomorrow, so with the extended weekend I'm hoping to make some progress.