2004 to 2016 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I had a devil of a time removing the little plastic pieces that cover the roof rack mounting screw holes on my 2010 M3 hatchback. I even tried tapping them with a small hammer and chisel to get them to slide, but they wouldn't budge. After completely removing one of the rails, I discovered the problem: the small structures on the bottom of the plastic pieces were pressing directly against the mounting screw holes, i.e. the plastic was obstructed from moving. And the problem was exacerbated by the assumption that I needed to push down on the plastic clips while sliding them.

To get around this issue (which I did on the other rail), I simply lifted up on the rail while sliding the plastic clip. Placing a rag on the roof to protect from scratching, I used a thin object (the Thule rack wrench shown in the picture) to pry the rail upward a few millimeters, then the plastic clip slid without obstruction. After doing this a few times, the rail is now bowed enough that I can slide the clip without having to pry up the rail any more.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I used a flat head wit ha rag on the end.

Put the edge of the flat head on the edge of the cap, give it a tap on the handle from the other hand.

Bam, popped off.
Hi ReD,

Perhaps your rack rails were already bowed upward enough to clear the screw mounts underneath, but what you're describing did NOT work on my car, hence my need to pry the rails upward first. After I got the caps off, I could see that attempting to slide them forcefully had actually damaged some of the plastic structures on the underside of the caps by bashing them into the metal screw mounts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
slid mine right off with my fingers...well not exactly right off..but they came off with just my fingers and a little effort
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
Mine are a bit tough too, but I use the allen wrench to push it at the edge of the cover and it comes right off. I don't think mine contacts the mounting screw holes though.
 

·
zoom freakin' zoom
Joined
·
613 Posts
I used a flat head wit ha rag on the end.

Put the edge of the flat head on the edge of the cap, give it a tap on the handle from the other hand.

Bam, popped off.
I did the same....worked great.

does anybody know if the sedans have the rails too? im currently deployed and cant go to my car..
Yes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Thanks for the post. Good to know just a little prying and nudging is needed as I think my covers are similar to OP. Good to know its as simple as it looks to remove those things. did not want an OS moment...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
Bad engineering design.

Since there is already a place to screw a bolt onto the rail why not use it to secure a cap instead of this slide off piece of plastic that will piss off the owner. It could still be a flush design with both and cap being black.
With the current design, you'll either end up scratching your paint or break the plastic piece rendering it unusable. Some of you will only agree with me when it happens to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Once roof racks are installed can you not put covers back on because my cars wearherstriping is messed up and the covers won't fit
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
??? I don't understand. The roof rails (which hide the roof-to-side of car sheet metal spotweld seam) have removable caps... that is to say IF Mazda trim strips on the recent Gen 3's and the Gen 4's do have the caps on them. The 3rd gen Mazda6's have trim strips w/o the caps. You have to buy new trim strips that DO have the caps... if you want to fit the bolt-on style roof rack. Neat that at least these are available... Much better than b*ggering-up your weatherstripping with the other types of rack with fit-kit "hooks".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
No they have a space for the caps and I have the caps but there's a metal bracket under the weather rail that's been "pulled" up the metal from it comes up above the roof rail strip so the cap won't fit and both rails are very loose now that the roof rack is off and it doesn't make sense to me because it's a mazda roof rack system that was on the car. I'm hoping the limited warranty or the max care plan will cover it though. I'll get a picture of the problem tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
It seems to me, if I understand your description, that someone overtightened (down) the roof racks. The brackets are somewhat weak-minded... and if you crank-down on the roof rack tower attachment bolts, it seems to me that the brackets will be distorted...

See picture of the similar Mazda6 troughs, brackets...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Yeah that little black colored bracket is like the one on my car that is warped upwards to the point of sticking out. It seems like removing the rails and putting some kind of weather sealant could be done over a weekend at home, but are the brackets soft enough that they could be fixed and knocked back to its proper position at home without risking damaging the car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
They are gasketed brackets... so that the through-bolts don't create a roof leak. The sheet metal holes in the roof could be damaged, as (obviously) the brackets are damaged, too.... i.e. distorted.

It is a royal PITA to access the nuts, on the underside. Headliner removal is, I'm sure, not fun. However, if you are to do it right, that is what is required (in my estimation)... as i) the portion of the bracket which is gasketed has to be flat for the gasket to function properly; and ii) the bracket, if it can be restored, should be bent straight (in a vise) and repainted (as the bending causes the paint to spall-off, fail, and if they are not repaired, they'd become a rust issue).

Besides, I suspect that the roof is not strong enough to withstand a person attempting to re-flatten the brackets (with them mounted, and in place) so they do not foul the roof moulding any more.

If the Mazda3's brackets are as light-duty as the ones on the Mazda6 appear to be, it is really pretty disappointing. That means the factory roof rack is for pretty darned light-duty service, at best.

The whole notion of bolt-down towers is great... but the bracketry seems so weak-minded. Boo, Hiss, Mazda ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I got them covered up with repair tape until I can get to the dealer and get them fixed, but where my finger is where the little spot for the mounting post to screw into is sticking out at. It's probably only 2mm or so but it's enough to screw it up. But since the rails are so loose I'm starting to think there might be some more issues under both of my rails 😔
275850


275851


Here's a better picture of the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I'm taking the car in weds so the shop foreman at Hall mazda can see exactly what would need to be done. And by the way I have to say I'm super impressed with the customer service of the mazda dealerships and parts suppliers I've dealt with so far. Idk if it's a Mazda thing or just my local dealership is extra friendly and helpful,but I also wanted to shout out Bryan from Mazda parts connect too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
Am I correct in assuming that is a piece of clear plastic tape over top of the bracket?

Other: I would not be surprised if they quoted you a King's Ransom, by way of $, to rectify the condition... at least I expect so if it does, indeed, entail removal of the headliner to remove and straighten, paint the brackets... or to replace them and the gaskets outright. I think the seats have to come out, and the B pillar trim, A and C pillar trim, too (and possibly the rear deck?) in order to get the headliner out. If you could, in fact, do many of us a favour... if they do change out the brackets, could you photograph, at least, the old ones so we can see them? Please and thanks!

Good luck, BTW.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top