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Tighten up Roof Rail

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My factory installed roof rail is loosen up toward the rear. I tried to take the rack off to tighten up the rail but can seem to unscrew the torx screws, it's very tight and I'm afraid to strip the torx head. Is there any trick?


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Hi ManMN:

I installed factory roof rails last year (purchased from Sunset Imports, great Renntech.org deal) on my '04 Cayenne S.

First I installed one side and then as I began the other side I noticed the mount that's flush on the roof -- what's on every Cayenne, roof rails or not -- was loose. This mount is the metal piece that is attached directly to the roof on every 9PA and 9PA1 Cayenne. A few Torx screws hold it directly to the roof. If you look down down on a "naked" Cayenne roof ("naked" meaning no roof rails or other attachments are affixed to the roof) you'll see what I mean. I have a silver Cayenne and the mounts are a black alloy on mine.

So, when I noticed the mount was loose I was not happy with myself because I did not check them on the side where I had just completely mounted the rail. I should have checked the mount before I attached the rail. So I immediately took off the entire rail I had just attached -- the Lock-Tite (or similar Porsche blue stuff) on the screws had not fully set. It was tough but I was able to remove the rail. I applied more Lock-Tite on the screws and reattached the rail after tightening the mounts. It was good I checked because they were loose.

So when you say the roof rail is loose keep in mind it could be (on either or both sides):

  • The roof rail is loose attached to the mounts.
  • The roof rail is tight to the mount but the mount is loose (what I note above).
  • Both the roof rail is loose and the mount is loose.

No matter what, you'll need to pull out the rubber plugs on the rail, access the Torx heads and remove the rails. And to your point you do not want to strip the Torx head. I suggest you find an "L" shaped Torx tool or ratchet with the proper Torx adapter. Then stand up on a stable ladder/platform so you can really see what you are doing and are comfortable, then make sure the Torx tool is perfectly set into the Torx head and with the proper force and leverage/pressure unscrew. Take off the entire rail, check to be sure the mounts are tight to the vehicle roof and then reinstall the rail (perhaps re-apply Lock-Tite) and be sure everything is tight. Loren has the Porsche roof rail install instructions posted in the TSB's I think -- there is an order to how to install/tighten.

Hope this makes sense.

I wish I had taken pictures of my install.

Quick follow-up note: I kneeled with half my body weight (I weigh 185lbs) above each mount spot on my rails when installing them -- depressing the rails with my weight helped to keep the Torx holes clear and the rails are slightly "sprung" based on the curve of the rail and the curve of the Cayenne roof. I kneeled on them when removing the one rail as well. Seemed to help. Basically I kept one leg on the ladder and one leg (knee) on the rail. I used a rolled-up towel for knee support and moved the ladder around for the proper placement to install each rail.

Edited by odix
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