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I want to get a roof rack and prefer Yakima over Thule. But Yakima only has racks that attach to the Premier roof rails, no "naked roof" option. I saw someone post that it's possible to buy roof rails, but can't find them on the Chevy accessory site. I also don't want to install them myself, so wonder if Chevy dealerships would do that, or where I'd go to get that done. Anyone get this done? Advice & links? Thanks!
 

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I want to get a roof rack and prefer Yakima over Thule. But Yakima only has racks that attach to the Premier roof rails, no "naked roof" option. I saw someone post that it's possible to buy roof rails, but can't find them on the Chevy accessory site. I also don't want to install them myself, so wonder if Chevy dealerships would do that, or where I'd go to get that done. Anyone get this done? Advice & links? Thanks!
Yes, rails are available from the parts department for about $75 for each rail. However they are intended to be replacement parts for the Premier and not a retro fit kit for the LT. Installation on an LT is possible I believe, but it would be a significant project that I don't think most mechanics, or dealerships would take on.

The rails are attached to the roof with screws that come up from underneath. These fasteners are also available at the parts counter. I don't think that locating and drilling the holes would too bad, but in order to put in the fasteners, it looks to me that you would have to remove the entire headliner and that looks like a big job. Maybe Dr. Diesel could tell us what the shop manual says about it if he gets time.

As to getting someone to do it, I think an aftermarket mod shop is your best bet. Most mechanics and dealerships are primarily parts swappers and don't really want to get involved with custom work. Even though you would be putting factory GM parts on to a GM car, it's still sort of a custom job because the LT isn't meant to have the roof rails and due to the requirement to drill holes in the roof where there are none. That would require care and precision with very little room for error. Drill the holes wrong and it gets ugly fast.
 

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Just how brave and how handy are we?

Saab and Thule came up with a neat naked roof system for the 9000 and 9-5. Along the top of each door, under the rubber seal, are a pair of brass bushings set into holes in the body. The rack feet have horizontal posts which fit into the brass bushings. One side of the square bar has an adjustment screw to tighten the feet into the body. Fits tight, doesn't rattle, impossible to steal, no keys required. Should be able to adapt to a Bolt.

FWIW, I saved a pair from one of our Saabs, but we bought a Premier, so would use the roof rails should we ever decide to mount a rack.



jack vines
 

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I came across this video for after market flush roof rails that installs from the top (vs. messing with headliner) I wonder if this is how the original Chevy one installs too?

https://youtu.be/HKdJoJHXAZ8
Good find. I checked the Rack Attack site and they don't seem to have these that will fit the Bolt sadly. Still worth a call to them I suppose. These rails are not the way the factory rails are, but if you could find some of these tracks that are contoured correctly and knew exactly where to put the holes so that the rivet nuts don't interfere with internal structures they would work well. I might even consider them.
 

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Yes, rails are available from the parts department for about $75 for each rail. However they are intended to be replacement parts for the Premier and not a retro fit kit for the LT. Installation on an LT is possible I believe, but it would be a significant project that I don't think most mechanics, or dealerships would take on.

The rails are attached to the roof with screws that come up from underneath. These fasteners are also available at the parts counter. I don't think that locating and drilling the holes would too bad, but in order to put in the fasteners, it looks to me that you would have to remove the entire headliner and that looks like a big job. Maybe Dr. Diesel could tell us what the shop manual says about it if he gets time.

As to getting someone to do it, I think an aftermarket mod shop is your best bet. Most mechanics and dealerships are primarily parts swappers and don't really want to get involved with custom work. Even though you would be putting factory GM parts on to a GM car, it's still sort of a custom job because the LT isn't meant to have the roof rails and due to the requirement to drill holes in the roof where there are none. That would require care and precision with very little room for error. Drill the holes wrong and it gets ugly fast.
Every parts listing I've seen shows the flush roof tracks as being compatible withe the LT as well as the Premier. I can't see any reason why it would be much harder to install them on an LT than to replace them on a Premier. I'm sure you'd have to remove the headliner either way, which isn't something I'd want to do becaise of almost certainly mess it up, but I think that's a very routine process for a competent mechanic and is doable for a DIY owner who is a bit more careful than me.

Unless you're very handy, ask your non-dealer mechanic what he'd charge to install them. It's probably not too bad.
 

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Every parts listing I've seen shows the flush roof tracks as being compatible withe the LT as well as the Premier. I can't see any reason why it would be much harder to install them on an LT than to replace them on a Premier. I'm sure you'd have to remove the headliner either way, which isn't something I'd want to do becaise of almost certainly mess it up, but I think that's a very routine process for a competent mechanic and is doable for a DIY owner who is a bit more careful than me.

Unless you're very handy, ask your non-dealer mechanic what he'd charge to install them. It's probably not too bad.
Probably the hardest thing would be removing the headliner.
Locating the holes properly depends on whether they are blind holes in the rack unit, or you can put in a drill or marker punch through the rack from the top to mark the drill position - then drill from above and insert fasteners from below.
 

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I bought my house in 1984. As of today, I haven't even put any nails in the walls to hang photos.
Can't imagine drilling holes in my Bolt. I DID mount a trailer hitch on the back so that I can tow
a small trailer, usually with my motorcycle on it. Not sure how much traveling you plan, or what
you plan to put on the carrier, but, they have hitch mounts that will hold quite a bit. I believe
that the tongue weight for my hitch is 200 lbs. The Bolt hitch with 200 lb. Tongue Weight is
available from ETrailer for $131. I paid $100 for install. Might be a little more or less if you
drive in to a trailer shop locally and order hitch and have installed from the same place.
If you end up with the hitch mount, don't forget to add it's weight to tongue weight.
Another option would be a small(ish) Teardrop trailer. I didn't have lighting harness
installed when I did hitch but, so far haven't had any issues. Did the same on my
Volt with no lights never had issues from law enforcement with it either.
 

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I bought my house in 1984. As of today, I haven't even put any nails in the walls to hang photos.
Can't imagine drilling holes in my Bolt.
I have that same sort of paranoia about putting any kind of holes in my car/house, too. I bought a Premiere and it has the rails, but outside of the Chevy site, every other roof rack/attachment all comes with suggestions on cutting it to fit, drilling holes, etc. and I have no desire nor knowledge on how to do this myself. I’d love to add some but just don’t like the idea of having to modify stuff myself and risking the aesthetics of the car nor having something still not fit cause I sucked at it.
 

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Someone did it (install flush rails onto an LT):


For reference, pics of the headliner removal for sound deadening material installation:

 

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I've wouldn't personally mess with the headliner. But, I had some hail damage repaired that required the headliner be removed. These dent removal guys do this stuff every day, and have the tools. The guy doing the estimate treated it as a nit and I'm sure that they had never worked on a Bolt before. It was on the itemized bill, but I don't remember the cost. If that's what holding you back you might be able to get dent removal shop to remove/install the headliner. It would probable would take them 5 min. to get it our and a little more to put it back.
 

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The Premier has some differences in the roof panel. At least they are different part numbers in the parts shop. This might be just due to the presence of holes, but it might also be extra reinforcing in the Premier roof. Just drilling holes wouldn't provide any extra reinforcement. It might not be necessary, but maybe it is. Like others have said, removal of the liner is no big deal for shops that deal with this often. Unless you plan on putting long things on top (kayak, lumber, etc) a hitch carrier or a small trailer might be a better option.
 

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I placed generic cross racks on my Leaf that attached to under each door. They were ok, but did not grip as tightly as I would have liked. I did not haul too much and go too far with them. Plus, there was an added noise as I was driving. The built in Bolt rails are much better. Not sure if I would want to mess with the roof if they were not there.
 

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There is no need to install the rails, since both Yakima and Thule offer roof racks for the LT without the rails (using clips around the door frames). The rails only give fixed point mounts, rather than being the more useful kind of raised rails where crossbars can be put anywhere along the rails.

 
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