Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,140 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anyone find a good way to get the roof rack ends off?

Thought I had found a secret, but it only worked on one side. :confused:

I put a small screwdriver blade between the rail and the cap on the top inside edge. This applied a small amount of tension to the cap, so as I pushed on the release clip it would move forward, but not slip back.
It worked great on the left side. The cap cam off nice and slow without shooting across the roof, or having to push so hard as to risk slipping and damaging anything.
Well happy as a clam, I headed to the right side.
Tried the same trick with no luck. I could not get the cap to budge at all.
I am wondering of the rear caps are attached the same?
If so, it might be worth trying to remove a back cap before taking extreme measures to remove a front cap. Anyone with any knowlege on this?
Maybe I will wait till the Helms manual shows up to look at how the back caps work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Sortof

I finally got mine off...and they both came off in less that a few mins each. Would I recommend this procedure.....not sure....probably. Forget about sticking the screwdriver in that hole to depress the clip, it just doesn't help at all. Even though it would appear the clip would lock the cap in place if not depressed, in the end...it just makes the cap hard to move without actually locking it in place. I took a medium-large flatheaded screwdriver and inserted it between the cap and the plastic bushing attached to the rails. The idea here is to get behind the cap and "push" it off. By twisting the screwdriver, it forced the cap forward...and off it came....I was amazed. Neither one shot across the hood, but I did have towels up there just in case. I did mangle the thin plastic bushing a little bit. It's not that I had to put tons of pressure on it, I really didn't use much force....it's just that the bushing appears to be made from a soft plastic. However, after the cap goes back on, you don't really notice it...especially if you do it on the inside (towards the top of the vehicle). I didn't really look close enough to see if maybe the bushings could be replaced....they appeared to be part of the rail itself. Wouldn't it be a pisser if the bushings were a separate part that Honda had in stock all along. Then this might be the best solution to this annoying problem. Push the cap off....replace the bushings....and you're done.

Another thing you might try first is using the hole on the side as your point of leverage. Insert a phillips head in there...one that fills the hole as much as possible. Don't push it so far that you're pushing the clip....the idea here would be to use the hole as your leverage point. Squeeze the hell out of the driver so it doesn't twist out of your hand, and move it in the forward direction to force the caps forward. I'm guessing even if this works, it'll stress the hole somewhat. But it'd probably be even less noticable than the stress I put on the plastic bushings. This is more in line with some of the other solutions people came up with. Although most of them seemed to be using the screwdriver to still push on the clip at a different angle. Whatever you try....forget about "depressing" the clip. It just doesn't help at all, and in the end is totally unnecessary. When you get that cap off, you'll see that the clip would have probably worked beautifully if Honda hadn't put a "stop" in the metal bracket that prevents the clip from being depressed the necessary amount. In the end, you need to move that cap forward in a way that causes the least amount of damage to the plastic...whether that plastice be the cap itself....or the bushing.

Now....IF Honda wasn't backordered on the caps, I would have simply ripped the old ones of....not caring how much damage was done to the caps....and replaced them with brand new ones. You won't damage the metal on the bracket, the plastic clips on the cap will break well before you damage the bracket. This would have totally prevented me from mangling the plastic bushing on the rails.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Ooopsss....

Guess I didn't read your post closely enough. You were basically already doing what I was suggesting.

Well, try the Honda dealer again. The original backorder on the caps (or actually I think it was just the left cap that was backordered) was the end of August. Maybe that's changed. I still say that's the best solution. So you have to spend $10 on caps, you'll also get a perfect install.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
I decided to buy the crossbars from Tim at www.hondacuraworld.com, and I've arranged for the dealer to pop off the caps during the prep checklist. Then, if they get cracked, its not my fault! Gosh, and it looks so easy in the instructions!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,140 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
One note

The hole to press the clip is on the part that does not move, so using it as a leverage point will break something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
leverage

I did the same thing WNYPilotguy did with mixed results. One came off very well, the other one snapped the black tab off the cap.

The good news is that I put some plastic epoxy on it and it really is holding well. I was not able to even "jiggle" the tab the next morning after I glued it.

Took the cap and slid it back into place and I've been great ever since.

I hear that they are only $7 from Tim so I may order one as a back-up in case it pops off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Oooopss...

I'm not looking at it right now, but I think N_Jay is right. No wonder I didn't try to use the hole as leverage....LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,140 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Got mine off

OK, here is the trick (or collection of tricks, as it may be)

1. The screwdriver trick
Use the screw driver blade between the rail and the cap.
There is a plastic piece on the end of the rail. you want to go between that piece and the cap. You do not need a big screwdriver. The 1/8" tip on the littlest in the set is fine. You only have to put it in a bit, but as it gets loose you push it in further.
put it in from the inside pointing out at the top edge of the rail.

Now you are ready for;

2. The bent nail trick
Bend a large nail a bit less than 90deg. The end should be about 1/2' long. Feed that in the hole with the bent part pointing up.
Turn the nail so the point is starting to point back. About 45deg is the most you should need, maybe a bit less. Now push the nail in as far as it will go. You will be pushing on the clip, just like the way they show to do it. Once you find a good spot on the clip to push you lift up on the nail. This uses the hole as a leverage pointand presses the bent end of the nail against the top of the clip with several times the force you apply (the wonders of a lever).

Watch for the scewdriver in step 1 to get a bit loose, and push it in a bit further. If all goes well the cap will be off in just one or two tries.

I put a bit of grease on the clip so next time it woudl slip off easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I checked with my dealer, they want just $18 to put this on. I will take it to them, once, I receive my cross racks from Tim.

KE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
$18!

For $18 I'd have them do it in a heart-beat.

I would have even paid them $20 just to take the caps off and install the rails myself!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,140 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
As long as the dealer does not screw it up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
I used the bent nail trick to get the caps off and it worked. What were the Honda engineers thinking when they designed that? I did mangle one of the plastic bushings though. Will have to order another one. Thanks for the tip N_Jay:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Just installed Xbars myself. Pushing a screw driver in the hole does not work since there is a rib on the base that prevent the unlatching. A bended nail is the best way. A crude illustration:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
I must have had just the right sized screwdriver, because as soon as I realized that the front caps slide forward to remove, they both came off easily and with no damage. It is silly the instructions don't say that, since it's too easy to assume they should pry up to come off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Re: Sortof

WNYPilotGuy said:
I took a medium-large flatheaded screwdriver and inserted it between the cap and the plastic bushing attached to the rails. The idea here is to get behind the cap and "push" it off. By twisting the screwdriver, it forced the cap forward...and off it came....I was amazed.
This post from 2002 is an 'oldie but goodie'... I recently got the cross bars for my 2004 Pilot. After several unsuccessful attemtps at removing the end caps using the Honda instructions, I came back to the forum and found this post - literally I had the end caps off in under 10 seconds each. A putty knife would probably work as well as it would be easier to insert it between the plastic bushing and the end cap - you really don't need much pressure to get the cap moving forward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
I just did this the other day to install my crossbars. I found that the caps come off pretty easily if you push the small screwdriver in the hole as directed, then "thump" down on the top of the cap with the heel of your hand, pushing forward as you strike it. They both popped right off for me using this method.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I installed the cross bars this weekend - use the above
method to remove the caps. Took all of 2 secs to get them off.
The key point is that you want to slide them forward to
remove them as you're pressing in the tab with the screwdriver tip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Does this work for the rear end caps as well?
I am in the process of placing some ham antennas on the left and right racks and want to take the small coax cable and place it underneath the caps for protection from the elements and the car wash. I see the hole openings and figured I might be able to push in at that point and somehow get them to slide off, just towards the back of the pilot...
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top