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Discussion Starter #1
I read all the posts on how to remove the end caps so that I could install my new cross bars. A big THANK YOU to everyone who posted ideas and methods to try. While I was able to remove one very quickly (using the screwdriver method), the other would not budge no matter what I tried (nail, screw driver, dental tools, pliers, or Snyder's pretzl -- I was hungry).

The reason the second cap would not come off easily was that the screw driver just could not depress the metal clip enought to allow the tab on the cap to release from the clip's notch. And the nail tool was just not strong enought to depress the clip. The clips are a very stiff steel.

So I pondered and studied the cap that I was able to remove to come up with a better idea. Hopefully others can benefit from my solution.

Parts Needed:
- 3mm (or close, but not too small) hex key
- Vise-Grips (or suitable locking plier)
- Towels (for paint protection)


1. Fold the towel to create a protection pad and place it directly in front of the end cap hole.

2. Insert the key into the hole and rotate toward the metal retainer clip as shown in the following picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Picture 1: showing the hex key, through the hole and the Vise-Grips locked on the key. Note: the key is colored red to make it easy to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
3. About 2" from the bend in the hex key, lock the plier. You will use this as leverage to continue rotating the hex key in the direction of the metal retainer clip. See picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
4. You can see in the following picture that the hex key depresses the metal clip and will allow the tab on the cap to easily pass. As you rotate the hex key with the pliers the cap will easily slip off.

Celebrate with a margarita!
 

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Nice job, Threadhead!!

I'll know what to do if I ever have to take those off again!!

Thanks! Scott
 

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Awesome. My cross bars are on their way from HondaAcuraWorld. As soon as they come in, I will give this a shot. Just in case, I did order replacement end caps from Tim if I broke them. Can always return the spare caps if this works.
 

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Thanks Threadhead!

It worked and the pics helped alot. Too bad I returned my crossbars to get the running boards :( . If I read your thread before I returned them I would have kept them and waited a month before getting the running boards. I am trying to add stuff once every 1 or 2 months so I might add them later. Take care and thanks for your input.

:2: WJL
 

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Thanks Threadhead!

I installed my cross bars yesterday using your method. The left cap came off slick as could be. I screwed up on the right cap though. I over rotated the allen wrench and got it stuck below the clip. Got it stuck in there so bad, I couldn't get it out. After about 2 hours of trying (and cussing!) I finally said the hell with it. I used the base from the left side as a guide and drilled a hole over the screw holding the clip in place and removed it that way. Found out that I had managed to bend the clip enough that I could not have gotten it off any other way. So be careful to use just enough pressure to release the clip. I put the cap back on, with a bit of black electrical tape over the hole. You can't even see it. I will be ordering a new one though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry to hear you had such trouble with that second cap. I think there must be quite a bit of tolerance in the casting of the base piece. My first cap came off with little trouble using the screwdriver method, but the second would would not budge until I used the hex tool. When I was testing the 'hex tool' method, I tried rotating the key past the metal clip to see if it would get stuck underneath, but it didn't. Your clip must be a little higher than mine.

At least you got it off in one piece ;)
 

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Threadhead, you are the MAN!

:6:
I purchased the cross bar date back to the end of August. However, I can't get the damn cap off the roof base until I saw your post yesterday. Last night, I finally got one front and one end cap open and the cross par were installed in a just a few minutes.

I did see other post and I even tried the hex wrench before I saw your post. However, without knowing where the hole is on the picture, I tried the hex wrench on the wrong place. No wonder I couldn't open it.

I studied your picture and others as well as the clip in my car. It seems to me that the clip is different from car to car. I did stuck my wrench as Jack-D said, but by turning the wrench the opposite way (with a plier of course), I did manage to release the wrench. The angle of the position of wrench is very important. You have to feel the feedback (you should feel some elastic on the other end of wrench) of the wrench to find if it is on the right position.

I can't tell you how happy I was when I finished this, given the fact that there might be a sniper in the place when I was doing it. ( I don't have a garage)

Thank you again Thereadhead! A job well done!

:7:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
aerostar45:
Glad it worked out for you! You are very right about the 'feel' of the clip as it is pressed back. But once you get one off, the next is a piece-of-cake.
 

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I did it!

Total Time: 1 hr 15 minutes

Used the hex key trick. Did not have any by themselves, so I had to buy one from the local hardware store. Errored on the side of 2.5mm and should have bought larger. The length of the short side makes a difference in getting it to reach the clip. Also had the problem of getting it stuck. Had to drill through the plastic to get it loose. Fortunately, I ordered replacement caps from Tim, just in case and used a new one as a replacement. Once I saw what I had to do, the other side was easy. One thing that was not clear from the pictures is that the clip sits higher than the access hole. All the space below of it is open.

Finally, I could not find the marks to line up the cross bars. Did it based upon sight and appearance. There seems to be enough play in the bars that the position does not have to be that exact. If anyone can explain the marks in the attached picture, that would be appreciated.
 

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The mark

Autobahn

The marks are actually holes as large as pinholes. You should see it under sunlight on the other side of the vehicle. So, I assume you can do the installation with the help from one of your friend. For me, my finger just barely feel the position and I did it by my own.

I don't think if you miss a few minimeters it will make a big difference though!

Good luck!
 

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Thanks for the idea and the excellent pics Threadhead! I was finally able to get mine off using your method but I have a suggestion that might help others. First off, for those that don't have metric hex keys I used a 9/64 hex although a 5/32 would probably work as well. The front driver's side came off pretty easily but the passenger side was too hard. So I decided to try the rear passenger side and it came off on the first try! The two caps that I could get off require that the vice grips and the hex key be at the same angle (vice grips towards left parallel to the roof, hex key pointing up, twist clockwise). When I twisted the hex end it seemed to meet the retaining clip just right to easily slip between the retaining clip and the brace. The front passenger side is the opposite (vice grips to the right, hex key up, twist counter-clockwise). When I twisted the hex key the end seemed to bind on the retaining clip, then would make a loud snap as it slipped right past the clip. From my experience I would suggest trying the front driver's side and the rear passenger side first. An added bonus is that you won't have to re-position the hex key in the vise grips. Good luck!
 

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Guys this is really hillarious. So much work and research and wasted time. All you need to do is use any small screw driver (does not have to be a flat head) or even the long side of an allen screw driver, push the tab lightly. Here comes the important part that no one told you about.

All honda documents, all discussion forums tell you to slide the damn end cap out. THat is BULL ****...

You have to beat-push the end cap out. It will take several beat-push with your palm to get it out.

I tried to do as instructed in the pictures above. The end cap would not budge.

I went to the dealer and they di exactly what I explained above. all you need to do is push the tab in with a screw driver and then dont slide the end cap, but beat-push several times. Make sure you have a towel in the direction of your beating the end cap cause when it comes out it may scratch the paint.

If you need to contact me email me at [email protected]. I am even willing to talk with any of you who is frustrated with it.
 
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