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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" lift on 33's
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35,903 Posts
I've sourced 'em from a few different places over the years. I'd try to find some locally, so you can verify they'll have the space for expansion you want and they're quality rubber. I was always worried about a cheap set having the threaded metal separate from the rubber but I've been able to avoid that by being picky.
 

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Registered
'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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2,146 Posts
I used these rubber nuts when I was fabricating the hard fiberglass saddlebags on my softail. not only do they seal the holes up really well... the also isolated the fiberglass against all the vibration, so the holes are less likely to crack or spread over time. Been running 'em in that configuration for decades and they've worked perfectly.
I considered going that route but decided against it for a few reasons:

1) Requires drilling a bigger hole, like you mentioned.

2) The thin fiberglass layer would only account for a small portion of the rubber expansion, so it might actually create more pressure.

3) I figure the sealant gooped up on the bolt threads provides similar protection against their sharp edges.

4) Being a vertical mount (as opposed to the Yakima side mounts some people have done), there should be very little horizontal tension.

5) It still requires a solution to the curved underside of the roof, for them to pull up evenly.
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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2,146 Posts
not my circus or my monkeys. just sharing what's worked for me. :shrug
I'm not saying it's a bad suggestion, just listing the reasons I decided against it.

That picture is interesting, though. Did they come angled like that? It doesn't look DIY-ish.
 

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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" lift on 33's
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35,903 Posts
not sure what you mean by "angled like that". I put together the smooth, screw-head bolts, metal washers, rubber washers and lock nuts pictured to get the maximum moisture seal and vibration isolating effect for my application. :shrug
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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12,004 Posts
Anyone considered using a nutsert?
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, 5.8L, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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3,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #47
Anyone considered using a nutsert?

Can you elaborate? I though of it but didn’t know how I would attach the nutsert to the fiberglass top, other than use some fiberglass resin and fabric.
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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12,004 Posts
Can you elaborate? I though of it but didn’t know how I would attach the nutsert to the fiberglass top, other than use some fiberglass resin and fabric.
Drill a hole and insert the nutsert. It's just like a rivet. The rivet style gun pulls the bottom of the nutsert up, and mushrooms it against the surface, locking it in place. I'd probably want to use a thin washer under the fiberglass still though.
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, 5.8L, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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3,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #49
Drill a hole and insert the nutsert. It's just like a rivet. The rivet style gun pulls the bottom of the nutsert up, and mushrooms it against the surface, locking it in place. I'd probably want to use a thin washer under the fiberglass still though.


Ah, ok - I see what you’re saying. Definitely a washer or two to spread out the stress. :thumbup
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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12,004 Posts
Another consideration would be the loctite adhesive they show in that commercial where they pull a train with it. Take a couple flat straps of steel (maybe 3" wide and 1/4" thick) and weld a bolt to them where you want to mount the racks. Glue them suckers down and mount the rack directly to the now glued on metal straps.

Always remember to radius all corners of the steel so they don't create a stress point from sharp corners.
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, 5.8L, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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3,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #51
@BigBlue 94, I think you grossly overestimate my metal working/fab/welding ability lol. I don’t even know how to weld :brownbag but I wanna learn. I love the idea though.

I think for now I’m gonna stick to the rubber washer idea, but I found these - rubber feet for the bottom of a guitar amp. One side is hollow rubber and the other side is faced with what amounts to a built in fender washer. They’re only $5 for the 8 of them.
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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12,004 Posts
Ain't nothing to it! I know a moron that can lay some serious beads, and does so for a living. (Not saying you or anyone is a moron)

If you are simply bolting the rack through the topper, your "fastener stack" should be as follows: bolt, fender washer, and stick it through the bottom of the topper, then fender washer, rubber spacer, fender washer, and then the rack, followed by a washer, lock washer, and nut. No rails required. But that's only if you have mounting tabs on the rack (since you can't weld them on).

Always silicone the piss out of any hole you create. If it's on a painted surface, use an elastomeric without silicone as the silicone contaminates paint, and cannot itself be painted.
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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2,146 Posts
not sure what you mean by "angled like that". I put together the smooth, screw-head bolts, metal washers, rubber washers and lock nuts pictured to get the maximum moisture seal and vibration isolating effect for my application. :shrug
Your first pic was of a rubber bushing with a flat flange. That doesn't address the GM roof racks lining up with the curved underside of the roof (my objection #5).

Your second pic looks to be the same type of bushing, but between that flat flange (might be using the wrong term) and the fender washer is an angled piece that looks to be part of the bushing, but it might be a sleeve that goes over it? That would mostly address the need to follow the roof's curve, with the angle being much more even pressure distribution than just a horizontal washer. It would still need a small wedge, but the angle would hold the wedge in place nicely.
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, 5.8L, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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3,310 Posts
Discussion Starter #54
If you are simply bolting the rack through the topper, your "fastener stack" should be as follows: bolt, fender washer, and stick it through the bottom of the topper, then fender washer, rubber spacer, fender washer, and then the rack, followed by a washer, lock washer, and nut.

On these rails, the bolts have a nice little “seat” in the rail feet for them to go down from the top. That’s why I’m trying to do the nut on the inside of the topper. I was thinking this order, from the top down: bolt, silicone, foot, more silicone, topper, rubber washer, fender washer (or the rubber/metal guitar amp feet pictured above), nylock nut.

Either way, I think it’ll be a helluva lot better this time than the time I did this on my old 88 with just a fender washer and a nut. :toothless
 

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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" lift on 33's
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35,903 Posts
Your first pic was of a rubber bushing with a flat flange. That doesn't address the GM roof racks lining up with the curved underside of the roof (my objection #5).

Your second pic looks to be the same type of bushing, but between that flat flange (might be using the wrong term) and the fender washer is an angled piece that looks to be part of the bushing, but it might be a sleeve that goes over it? That would mostly address the need to follow the roof's curve, with the angle being much more even pressure distribution than just a horizontal washer. It would still need a small wedge, but the angle would hold the wedge in place nicely.
ah... no. you're just seeing a flat, rubber washer with a large enough center to wrap around the rubber-nut. I was going into a mostly flat surface.
I had a very small rib consideration but nothing the rubber didn't easily eat up.


he's got his plan now. look forward to seeing how it comes out. :popc1:
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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2,146 Posts
Our historic dry spell gave way to torrential downpours yesterday, and not a drip was to be found anywhere with the holes I drilled for the rack. Granted, that's with the vehicle stationary...still need to confirm it holds up to road vibrations.
 

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MidlifeCrisisUndrWay
1994 Ford Bronco XL 5.0L
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Subscribed! :popc1:
 
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