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Can a any type of roof rack carrying system be installed on a 2020 Explorer with a panoramic sunroof? I believe the dealership said the side support structure on the roof would collapse if installed. Just want to verify.

Thanks.
 

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I have a 2021 with the moon roof and in the owner's manual it said that the roof load was reduced by 1/2. Normal roof load is 150, with the glass roof it's 75 pounds. I bought the cross rails from the Ford Dealer and when I installed them I found that the side rails are not parallel their full length. The furtherst forward that I could install a cross rail was about even with the middle joint in the glass roof. The rear cross bar is about even with the back of the roof glass. 30" between the front and rear cross rails. My previous Explorer (2013) did not have a moon roof and I know that I had 300 pound of drywall on it at least once. I think these numbers are a CYA by Ford, but if you break the glass, that would suck.
 

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2016 Explorer Platinum 3.5L, Black on Black, TwinTurbo, 73K mi. Other car: Tesla 2014 Model S 85.
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RenaissanceMan, yesterday and today I worked installing the two crossbars and a safari cage I need to carry something. The crossbars are rated 150lbs. The safari cage is also rated for 150lbs. (should I add both to get 300lbs even?)
Crossbars easy install (20 minutes, one drop of sweat. But the safari cage is taking me 2+ hours (too tight a fit). Will continue tomorrow and post a pic of the finished install (or an axed and destroyed safari cage, if it keeps getting me 😡 mad).

BTW, this install in on a panorama roof.
 

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Regardless of what the cross bars can carry, the roof is only rated at 75 pounds per the owner's manual. On my 2013 I know that I had at least 300 pounds at least once. However, if you screw up and break the glass roof, Ford is not going to replace it. Your insurance company might.

Did you measure between the cross bars along the full length to see if the distance gets tighter? In the attached picture I show the maximum spread that I can get on the cross bars. It does not seem right to me.
Tire Car Wheel Vehicle Automotive lighting
Tire Car Wheel Vehicle Automotive lighting

Rich
 

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2016 Explorer Platinum 3.5L, Black on Black, TwinTurbo, 73K mi. Other car: Tesla 2014 Model S 85.
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The rear most bar is shorter but as opposed to the front bar, it seems to have two possible positions. One more “south” than the other.

On your photo, it looks like the rear bar ought to be further back, right?

Pictures and measures coming tomorrow (all dark outside now).
 

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I just made a measurement at the front bar. Between the rails, it is 47 5/8", at the rear bar it is 47". I would like to move the rear bar further to the rear. 16" further back it measures 46". The rear bar is 5/8" shorter than the front bar. It appears that the bar itself is just an aluminum extrusion with fitted ends mounted and held on with a screw. I think I'll just remove one of the ends and whack off an inch and put it back together.
 

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They used tamper resistant torx screws to put it together. I looked and Harbor freight has a set of tamper resistant bits for only $6.49. What a deal.
Well, I removed the rear cross bar and took the end off of it and then cut 7/8" of an inch off of the cross bar. I had to press out a threaded insert and then drill a new hole for it after I cut it off. I pressed it back in using my vice. The whole project was only 15 minutes.
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Plant Window Motor vehicle Vehicle Hood
 

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2016 Explorer Platinum 3.5L, Black on Black, TwinTurbo, 73K mi. Other car: Tesla 2014 Model S 85.
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Safari basket installed, after attaching the two horizontal rungs to the side rails. The front horizontal rung is longer that the rear one. Makes you wonder if the 2016 Platinum Explorer sports narrow hips when compared to her shoulders (I politely mention the analogy drawing from my partial authority on the subject, had a cousin like that, and no, Gwendolyn, I’m not referring to you).
However, the safari basket did fit just fine and looks aligned on both the front-to-back and side-to-side axis.
Final visual inspection: the whole contraption looks very strongly attached, without any sign of rattle or other red flags.
Upon riding on the highway at progressively faster speeds (30, 60, 80mph), the safari basket stayed well put, no apparent vibration, sounds or noise. Only mod to the suggested installation manual: switched the (provided) regular washers for good compression washers.
Looks all fine and safe to me. Autopsy may show I was wrong, of course.
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Looks like it well secured for fore and aft, but what about side to side movement? When loaded, the load will obey Newton's 1st law of motion. You have to resist that by properly anchoring the rack to the vehicle. Vibration is also your enemy, your fasteners could get loose. Check them after an hour or so of driving. I have a friend that has one of the racks that mount on the trailer hitch. I think that has a load limit of 500 pounds, but it's smaller. It also rides out of the air stream, so maybe less effect on mileage.
 

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Can a any type of roof rack carrying system be installed on a 2020 Explorer with a panoramic sunroof? I believe the dealership said the side support structure on the roof would collapse if installed. Just want to verify.

Thanks.
You'd need a different width in the front than you do in the back.
It took me a while or figure it out but ended up buying two different sizes from Thule that worked perfectly.
Currently selling a complete set Incl conversion kit/brackets, locks/keys etc on eBay - just search for item # 203947299873

(Thule AeroBlade Edge - fits 2016-2021 Ford Explorer | eBay)

You'll be able to see it all listed there.
 
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