So, I finally got around to installing the Thule Roof rack after having pieced it together from various places in an effort to save money. Simply put this rack is stupid expensive even with the appreciation for the German engineering (yes, I know it Swedish, I'm joking).
Anyway, thought I would document the install process because the manuals for just awful. Like really bad.
The Thule Roof rack for the premier with the integrated roof rails is made up of 3 parts/kits, 4 if you include the optional locks.
You have in order of installation
Thule 3168 Roof Rack Fit Kit. List $119. This is the part that actually attaches directly to the integrated rail.
Thule 460R Podium Foot Kit. List $199. This is the part that connects the cross bars to the Roof Rack Fit kit and integrated rails
Thule Wingbar Evo 118 (47"). List $219. Cross rails used for mounting other mounts, i.e. bike, kayak, cargo, etc.
Like I said stupid expensive, but I was fortunate enough to grab the 460R from an REI Garage Sale dirt cheap. Used a discount coupon on the Wingbar. The Foot Kit for the bolt was tough to run down. REI doesn't even carry. Ended up catching a short sale at Amazon.
Installing this was far harder than it probably needed to be in no short part to the crappy Thule instructions. Like everything though now that I have done it I could do it in probably a quarter of the time.
The fit kit is two parts assembled together and bolted to the factory holes. The issues with the manual start here because it is not very clear where the screw go and in fact, they combine screws from the fit kit along with the screws from the podium kit. The picture below actually has the screws wrong for this step, but you wouldn’t know it reading the manual
Connecting the fit kit to the podium in this next step proved to be a bit more challenging than it should have been. Here is what I ended up doing. Is it the correct way, who knows but it did work for me?
Here is the podium kit attached to the mounted fit kit. The trick here is twofold. Install the podium kit as shown below only on one side of the Bolt. The other side will be mounted to the cross rail before being installed to the fit kit on the other side. I made the mistake of installing all 4 podiums to the fit kits which proved to be a mistake mounting the cross rails.
Another note of caution. DO NOT tighten the two screws on the podium until after the cross rails are installed. These need to be loose in order for the “catch” to allow the cross rails to slide thru.
Another note of caution. The supplied installation wrenches for all steps are just long enough you will scratch the car if you’re not careful. You can get full range but need to be careful about it.
So as mentioned I installed one of the complete fit and podium kits on the passenger side rails.
The right side I installed the podium kit to the cross bar. Fit kit installed on factory rail.
From here slide the Wingbar onto the passenger side podium kit and secure the driver side cross bar/podium to the fit kit on the driver’s side. Don’t tighten until you check that the overhang is equal on both sides. Once confirmed tighten the Podium screws.
For me I had just a tick over 5” on the rears and 4.5” on the front cross rails. Again, this measurement being the distance the cross rails pass the podium kit.