Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Drives 2009 Santa Fe
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Santa Fe roof rack cross rails
I found my answers here to the cross bar question for the Santa Fe, which saved me at least $150 and a lot of time.
Others have posted that rubber gaskets in the side rails prevent the front cross bar from moving forward sufficiently - to prevent interference with the sun roof. I agree it's a dumb design, but suspect Hyundai wants to keep the number of different parts among Santa Fe trim levels down to about a zillion rather than a zillion and one. So the racks made for those with sun roofs are used on them all.
I removed the stop screws in the rails that prevent the rubber gaskets from sliding backwards. Mine needed a torx (sp?) bit, but that was a dollar at the hardware store (not sure the torx size - they only had one size and it fit). The stop screws are in there quite tightly. Make sure you have the right shape / size bit so you don't strip it. Then with the screws removed and the gaskets slid backwards a tad, pry out the rubber gaskets from the back to the front and you can then slide the cross-bar all the way forward. I suspect when or if I re-install those, it will be tricky.
The cross-bars latch in place with pins that slide into holes on the rails. There aren't holes further forward than those factory-drilled, so you need to drill in a hole, horizontally, into each side rail at the location you want. The factory-drilled holes are done with tapered holes, high-quality machining. If you do this, you'll be drilling into the side of the rail with a straight bit. I read elsewhere the pins were 8.5 mm (have not checked) but if so then expect about a 9 mm hole. I think they're smaller diameter than this.
I can't see why having the front cross-bar further forward is not better and safer. The Thule box I own has mounts too far apart for the stock Santa Fe cross-bars. Thule know the mounts need to be spaced far enough apart for stiffness, stability, and reduced forces. They should tell Hyundai. Moving the bar forward was easy and worked well.
The pins in the cross-bars seem mainly to be for locating the bars longitudinally. The weight of the box travels through the cross-bars into the cross-bar end attachments and into the longitudinal roof rack bars. The pins will see loads from wind, accelerating and decelerating, not so much from weight. An earlier post (2009) questioned the roof rack capacity but the manual is clear that the cross-bars can also take the printed weights. In fact, with cross-bars spaced further apart, the actual force on each will be less during operation than they would be if closer together. It also questioned whether they were 'static or dynamic' force limits. They will refer to weight. There will be much higher dynamic forces (bouncing effects, wind, rocking effects, etc) but they know that and account for that in their factor of safety.
Sorry I don't know the pin diameter. Drilling into metal needs an appropriate bit, and a bit of skill if you want a good job. If you're not too handy, ask someone to help who is.
Don't overload your box or rack. I'd never put lumber on mine, basically my Thule box or other roof-designed sport rack, and that's about it. Measure your height with the rack on. My Santa Fe with a Thule Box is 6'-4". Stay out of underground parking lots. Maybe put a piece of coloured tape or something highly visible on your dashboard when your rack's mounted so you don't forget! Don't want to test those roof racks that way.