Hi guys, I’m having a hard time searching through the plethora of confusing search results for a roof rack for my 2002 Ford escort ZX2. The car is naked meaning I have no factory racks for rain gutters. Its just a smooth roof. Mostly all I can find is racks that require all kinds of separately sold “Model specific fit kits” and other gear required to mount the racks properly. The stuff just seems like it would be a miracle if it all fit correctly, and I’m really bad at doing that sort of thing. This is my beat up work/personal car ( I have a family car), So im looking for an easier universal mount I can just drill into my roof. I don’t care if it doesn’t look pretty, I just want it to be secure. The roof racks are for carrying a kayak. I was thinking of maybe going to a junkyard, and just drilling off a set off of a similar car that comes with stock ones like a civic or something of the same size. Any ideas or product suggestions?
“Model-specific fit kits” are what you want. They give you are larger possibility that things will miraculously fit together… Certainly better than “universal/one size fits all”. But since you insist…
Start here: JC Whitney
Step two: go to your local wrecking yard and wander the aisles looking for something suitable. ZX2s were re-bodied Ford Escorts. Consider Escort wagons as a possibilty. Escorts of this vintage were crap and likely few of them exist, but the 1991+ are around in abundance.
Step three: Go to Home Depot and get creative. I guarantee that the raw materials are there somewhere. It won’t be pretty, but you don’t care.
Step four: If you end up with a junkyard/home-made rack, get automotive caliber bolts from the local NAPA auto parts store. Home Depot bolts don’t have enough tensile strength for this type of application and will snap off.
Have you tried to pull the headliner yet to see if you can get to the bolts you intend to put through the roof? You really don’t want exposed bolts pointed at your head, so you want those suckers to be short and capped off.
In addition, the headliner is likely not flush with the roof, so if you drill through it then tighten up, you could create a loose headliner that flaps around and makes noise. If you don’t get the bolts absolutely tight, they’ll rock back and forth from the wind resistance against the kayak. That will rip holes in your roof that will allow rain in until they get big enough to tear the whole rack & kayak off the roof in one shot.
A small lightweight trailer might be easier for towing one or two kayaks. There are even models that fold for storage.
I went through this exact process, to put a cargo pod on the car.
Sadly, as it turns out there is no real substitute I was able to find to having a car-model-specific adaptor kit.
I went to a specialist dealer, they had a whole room filled with various adapters. I got the rack, but it cost me.
Yea, its looking like spending the money on a kit is going to be my only viable option. A trailer was a good suggestion, but I don’t have a hitch, and it would cost close to the amount of the kit to just get a hitch, let alone the cost of a trailer. Nunzio made me realize that drilling on a makeshift rack prolly isn’t a good idea. Well, to search the web to kits I go… thanks gents