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My 1998 has a flimsy plastic roof rack that is mounted on some sort of a track system. I'm wondering if it's possible to mount a more substantial rack in it's place using the same track system built into the roof. It doesn't look like a a rack using clips will work well
 

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My 97 has the same rack. It is only designed for 100 lbs evenly distributed. That weight limit is calculated based on how the rails mount to the roof, so changing the parts after the rails won't enhance the ability of the rack at all. You could (in theory) brace and stiffen the rack mounting locations and change the rack but I can't say that it would make a tangible difference. You could buy a gutter rail mount system like Yakima racks sells but I think their weight limit is pretty low too.

With all that said, people overload roof racks on a daily basis. If your load is properly secured, you'll have little issue using the rack. I use mine as a mount for my warning lights for work and to haul long boards or plywood for projects, it holds up fairly well.


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I had a sofa on top of my old wagon. Twice.
 

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I hauled home an 18' telephone pole, with just a couple of 2 by 4's under the lateral bars to spread the load. Using a pair of walmart tie downs, we had it strapped down with clove hitches, to the front wheel well arches, and in back to the brackets they use to hold the car onto the car-delivery-trailers. Since we couldnt lift the pole that high, the lumberyard hoisted it up using a forklift. We stayed off the interstate.
 

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My 97 has the same rack. It is only designed for 100 lbs evenly distributed. That weight limit is calculated based on how the rails mount to the roof, so changing the parts after the rails won't enhance the ability of the rack at all. You could (in theory) brace and stiffen the rack mounting locations and change the rack but I can't say that it would make a tangible difference. You could buy a gutter rail mount system like Yakima racks sells but I think their weight limit is pretty low too.

With all that said, people overload roof racks on a daily basis. If your load is properly secured, you'll have little issue using the rack. I use mine as a mount for my warning lights for work and to haul long boards or plywood for projects, it holds up fairly well.


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I've loaded more than 100lbs on to my rack without any issue so I would guess the limit is more but you are correct. The base is what determines the max load. My guess is it can hold quite a bit since it runs parallel with the A/B/C pillar that help in supporting the load.

What the OP could do is acquire a set of smooth roof rails that came with non-rack equipped wagons and mount the base of whatever system he wants to use through it. If he wants raise the max load he could weld a boxed cross member across the roof and tie it into the pillars for added load capacity but I wonder if the puny 1.9 would be able to maneuver with that much load on top of the wagon.

John
 

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I hauled home an 18' telephone pole, with just a couple of 2 by 4's under the lateral bars to spread the load. Using a pair of walmart tie downs, we had it strapped down with clove hitches, to the front wheel well arches, and in back to the brackets they use to hold the car onto the car-delivery-trailers. Since we couldnt lift the pole that high, the lumberyard hoisted it up using a forklift. We stayed off the interstate.
What, no pictures?

I got my first escort after my wife's ex screwed heavy duty door hinges to the roof, and then mounted a "bathtub" (lower cargo clamshell), and welded himself a tow hitch, to go San Antonio to Beaumont, repeatedly, for hurricaine repair contracting. Mary was ok with the car, but I had to lose the bathtub...if I could phonetically spell teeth-grinding, here's where it would go. We "won" it for back child-support.
 
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