How-to Remove Crossbars from Roof Rack? [Archive] - The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums

: How-to Remove Crossbars from Roof Rack?

Mopar Madness
12-23-2008, 09:36 PM
How does one take the crossbars off the roof rack? I have never used the rack, it is difficult to clean underneath the bars, and the bars make snow/ice removal difficult. thanks.

12-23-2008, 10:35 PM
At the front of the roof rack are plastic covers. They pop off and then you can slide the rails out.

Mopar Madness
12-23-2008, 10:56 PM
Thanks. Should I be concerned with possibly breaking them in the process? Which way do they move upward, forward or other? Should I use something to pry them?

It's going to warm up from freezing to 40F tomorrow (and raining), my first opportunity to get the ice off the roof!

12-24-2008, 01:06 AM

I took mine off because I didn't use them and I figured they just were a bit more weight/drag that I didn't need. Anyway, they were a bit harder to take off than I expected, but not too bad. First, I took off the long rails by unbolting them. The bolts are hiding under the plastic covers that unsnap. I believe they are Torx bolts and if I recall correctly, once the rails were loose, I could unhook the crossbars from them. Then I just bolted the rails back down.

Maybe someone knows an easier way to do this. I thought I could unlatch the crossbars just by fooling with their lock mechanism but I had no luck with that.


12-24-2008, 12:09 PM
On my '92 GV, each end of each crossbar has a flip up mechanism. Just flip up and lift off. On my '05 Caravan, there are knobs on each end of each crossbar. Just turn the knob and lift up. I imagine your '02 will be the same.

12-24-2008, 01:44 PM
With my 05 there is a J shaped metal tab that latches under the bottom of the track. That metal tab is loosened by the knob, and allows adjustment of the crossbars, but will not swing aside far enough to allow the crossbar to lift off. I did try prying the plastic end cap off but there are small plastic tabs that will probably break if forced. There must be a way to compress the plastic end caps that will allow easy (non-destructive) removal but I was unable to find it. I also would like to remove the cross bars for better mileage, less wind noise, easier snow removal, and easier to wash around.

12-24-2008, 03:41 PM
I just used a screw driver and pryed up on the plastic cover. (inserted from the center, rail end)
They unsnap wit a loud crack but I've never broken one. Probably best to warm them up in the frigid cold.
You have to remove them from the front. 2 people works best. If you try to twist them out you will break them because as mentioned they hook into the rail.

Mopar Madness
01-01-2009, 03:47 PM
That worked GREAT! The temperature was up to 47F and I simply slipped my finger under the plastic cover and was able to POP it loose. There was a bunch of debris trapped under the cover and some spiders ran out seeking a new home.

Once the four tabs disengage, there is a secondary retention feature at the front that is keyed and, when properly aligned, allows easy removal.

Thanks again for your advice, and Happy New Year! :biggrin:

De Hill
05-27-2009, 10:08 AM
This morning I removed the top plastic covers at the front of the roof rails by prying them forward with a common screwdriver. (this is covered in the threads above)

I used a 125 torx bit stuck into a 6 point 1/4" socket with a 3 inch extension and a 1/4" ratchet to unscrew the two torx screws on each front side of the roof rails. I could then remove the front plastic pieces. Then I loosened the knobs on each side of the front roof rail and slowly wiggled it forward until it came off. I did the same thing to the back rail and wiggled it off also.

Then I reinstalled the bottom front plastic pieces with the torx screws and snapped on the top plastic pieces. About a 15 minute job.

Now I will stick the roof rails up in the attic and forget about them!

I had to remove the 4 torx screws. There was no other way to remove the crossbars on my 2006 T&C.

05-27-2009, 12:14 PM
Now I will stick the roof rails up in the attic and forget about them!

That's what I did with ours. I saw them up there this weekend. Actually, I don't know if they're from our '07, or from our old '03. :nut:

05-27-2009, 08:55 PM
Cool! I just did it! After reading Car and Driver's Dec '08 issue, I tried to remove my crossbars. They claimed a 4% loss in economy with the crossbars mounted on an Odyssey. Since I didn't know the front cap removal trick, I just slid my bars to the rear of the van, hoping to alleviate some wind noise. I can't wait to see what my mileage is tomorrow on a 150 mile round trip.
I only needed to remove the top covers and the bars slid right off. No torx screw removal needed.

05-28-2009, 02:07 AM
4%??? Thats huge!

05-28-2009, 07:03 AM
4%??? Thats huge!

Maybe 4% is an over statement. From:

A roof rack or carrier provides additional cargo space and may allow you to meet your needs with a smaller car. However, a loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5 percent.

05-28-2009, 03:09 PM
That's what I did with ours. I saw them up there this weekend. Actually, I don't know if they're from our '07, or from our old '03. :nut:

Jason, I vaguely recall that you or someone else at some point noted that the crossbars at some point were no longer standard when you got a roof rack. So I suspect they're from your 03.

Another way of figuring it out is that I believe it was 05 when they changed the design of the device that releases them for sliding. In 03, it was a tab you push from above. After 05, I haven't seen them up close, but I think you twist.

On my '08 Quest, the crossbars were not included. I had to order them, and once they came I installed them right away. They screw into the inboard side of the roof rails. Not as good a design for adjustment as the Dodge and Chrysler, IMO--to adjust them you have to remove it and reinstall it, while protecting the paint on the roof. Also, the front crossbar must be in the frontmost pair of screw holes, so only the rear crossbar is adjustable.

I have mounted my car-top carrier on them once, just last week. I will do so again in July when we go on vacation. Once I put them on, I intended to take them off and store them when not in use, to get better gas mileage, but I have not. Maybe I will after our vacation trip.

05-28-2009, 10:41 PM
Well, I didn't notice much difference in economy or wind noise today. Four percent isn't much; 1mpg difference if you average 25mpg. My AC compressor pulls at least a 5% difference on every vehicle I've owned, and it was close to 90 today.

10-26-2009, 07:55 AM
After reading this forum I tried to get the rails off my 07 Grand Voyager but they wouldn`t come out from the front without removing the torx screws. Not wanting to do this I went to the covers at the rear of the roof rails which came off by hand and both bars slid out easily. I was then able to fit my roof box with the aid of my good lady.

10-29-2009, 05:22 PM
With my 90 GV, I removed the whole assembly and replaced the bolts with nylon screws from Lowes. I didn't notice much better mileage, but it made the cleaning a whole lot easier. The aluminum covers slide forward to remove the screws for the mounting rails.

12-18-2010, 12:56 PM
I just used this info to remove the cross bars on my 05 TC. Not wanted to break anything I just removed the 4 torx screws at the rear and then slide both bars off. Took about 5-10 minutes. Cross bars are now in storage. In 3 years of ownership we have used them a handful of times, but since we are taking a 3000 mile roadtrip I want to see if it will make any difference in economy. Plus we will be in snow country and last time it was a pain to clean the snow and ice out.

Thanks for the tips.

12-19-2010, 09:57 PM
On my 07 the crossbars are removed by sliding to the rear. Remove the plastic cover on the roof rail by pulliing the tab (a screwdriver is helpful) and then the crossbars slide right off. It's a ten minute job. I didn't notice a big difference in wind noise or mileage.

12-19-2010, 10:23 PM
On my 07 the crossbars are removed by sliding to the rear. Remove the plastic cover on the roof rail by pulliing the tab (a screwdriver is helpful) and then the crossbars slide right off. It's a ten minute job. I didn't notice a big difference in wind noise or mileage.

That's interesting. On my '03 if I have both crossbars at the recommended positions (marked by arrows stamped into the rails) I get noticeable wind noise fron the front crossbar. I slid them both to the rearmost positions, and it is a lot quieter. Yes, I did ride in the 2nd and 3rd row to see if it just shifted the noise rearward, which it didn't. I am going to remove them soon as in all my years of having crossbars, I have only used them once.

12-21-2010, 09:48 AM
You are all ignoring one of the advantages of leaving them on: Easier to find the van in a parking lot. More vans don't have them today, so if you leave them on, you can find where you parked at your local Wal-mart. :)

01-10-2011, 12:41 PM
I'm about to attempt removal of my OEM cross-bars so that I can install my Thule fit kit for my car top carrier!

01-10-2011, 08:32 PM
I removed the logitudinal bars as well, to get that slick look. But one of the screws just spins because that nut behind is spinning and they're rusted together.