All You Need to Know About Subaru Outback Roof Rack Replacement


One of the things that can carry around 165 lbs. with no effort in your Subaru Outback is the roof rack. And yes, it stays expose on the head of the truck, close to the top roof that’s able to store bikes, kayaks, and other items too. 

But, due to its continuous usage, a lot of drivers find it problematic and frustrating to deal with at one point.  And then, the only fix to go for is Subaru Outback roof rack replacement to bring back the nice performance. If that’s the case you are also facing, then prepare for replacement. 

All you need is some tools, strength, and the brand-new rack to continue the process. In this guide, we are about to show you the right way to replace the Subaru roof rack. Let’s get Into That!

Subaru Outback Roof Rack Replacement – Step-by-step Guide To Follow!

Imagine the scene. You’ve planed for a long time to go on the beach and use a kayak or maybe ride a bike but suddenly your roof rack cracked. What will you do? That’s the right time for you to replace the Subaru Outback roof bars, rails, nuts, and other parts too.

According to Kayamping,

Installation on an Outback is easier than your average car because of the raised roof rails. The space between roof and rail allows for crossbars to grab the bar all the way around. Installation for these types of connections is often much easier than other crossbar connection methods.

We are about to go in detail with the only method that works to replace the roof rack of Outback. Note the items you’ll need during the procedure and follow the instructions rightly.

Get Started!

So, what exactly do you need for replacing it? From the rack to rails, you’ll require a lot of stuff to start the process. For that, we have given some tools you’ll need for replacement:

  1. Roof Rack Kit that includes bolts, rails, and other parts
  2. Normal Wrench
  3. L-shape Wrench
  4. Ratchet Socket
  5. Clean Brush

Unbolt The Bottom Brackets

Place your Subaru Outback in a quiet and clean place like a garage before starting anything. And also, place the truck in P(park) mode. 

Now, you want to take out all the hex bolts from the bottom brackets. Take a ratchet socket to simply take out the hex bolts smooth like butter. You’ll also need to detach flat washers and Nyloc nuts.

Diagram of Bottom & Top Brackets in Roof Rack

Be sure to have store bolts and other parts in a secure place. And then, remove the top brackets from the bottom brackets. 

Next, you want to unplug the wind deflector if it is installed. And also, be sure to detach all the accessories that are near the roof rack. From the map to the dome, remove all the connectors that might cause trouble during the replacement procedure.

Detach The 4 Mounting Plates To Remove The Old Rack

After that, check if your Outback has crossbars or not. If not, then skip to the next step. And, in case your truck has them, then take out the bolts using the ratchet socket and L-shape wrench.

Now, locate the 4 tie-down plates that are the reason why the roof rack is attached tightly. Once you have checked everything, take out the plates by taking out the bolts with a normal wrench. Also, be sure to do the same thing on the other side too.  

Next, pull down the seatbacks and take out the door opening trim. Then, it’s time to take out the old rack. If possible, get help from your friend to do the process faster. Plus, take a clean cloth and wipe out dust before inserting a new rack.

Fitment Of RH & LH Foot Tops Of New Rack

And then, place the left-hand and right-hand foot tops into the combined slat. Also, don’t forget to insert the hex bolts, flat washers, and Nyloc nuts. Be sure to tighten them loosely using your hand.

Plus, you want to do the same process to the other side of the new rack too. Since you have removed the crossbars and 4 tie-down plates, try to secure the foot bottom on both sides.

Ensure to put the hex bolts, nuts, SS spring washers, and SS flat washers inside the holes. You want to keep on doing the same thing on 4 tie-down mounting points.

Tips: Try to attach the wind deflector in the bottom area close to the forward slat before heading to the next step.

Adjust The Bottom Brackets

With your best friend’s help, turn over the new roof rack and lower it so that you can tune up the bottom brackets. Be sure to insert the top brackets inside the bottom brackets rightly.

And also, insert the hex bolts, flat washers, and Nyloc nuts inside the top brackets while fitting inside the bottom part. For that, be sure to get a ratchet wrench to tighten it down rightly.

As you are too close to complete inserting the rack to Outback, ensure to attach the wind deflector on its place. Besides, don’t forget to attach all the connectors you’ve detached during the removable procedure.   

Align The New Rack To Fit Rightly

If you have successfully done all the above steps, center the rack in the right position. In case you are confused to decide the proper alignment, just insert it into the pre-drilled mounting areas which you previously used.

After that, tighten them rightly. To do that, take the caps in the nuts to secure the rack in Subaru Outback. Excellent work! You have now done installing the new rack.

Warning: Be sure to check the Subaru Outback roof rack capacity of load beforehand as it may cause trouble mounting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do all Subaru Outbacks have roof racks?

If looking into all Outback trucks in the latest models, the company designed a cool feature which we know as a standard roof rack. From 2009 to 2021 Subaru Outback roof rack, all look different looks and load capacity based on generations.

Can you add a roof rack to a Subaru?

Yes, you are able to install a roof rack to your Subaru. If you want a better performance along with a cool look, then an aerodynamic roof rack would be a great option. As most trucks have pre-drilled mounting points, you only need to get a right-sized rack for Subaru.   

Are roof rails the same as roof racks?

No, both of them are different. The main variation between roof racks and rails is the mounting direction. To make it sound easier, the rails are attached in a north-south way while racks are inserted in the east-west position.

Overall Thoughts 

Now we have come to the end of the guide about Subaru Outback roof rack replacement. Still, finding it confusing to follow? Hopefully not. 

Basically, replacing the roof rack in your Outback is not a big task if you are familiar with the parts. It’s true that you’ll need a good torque tool to deal with bolts and nuts.

No matter what is your reason to replace the roof rack in your truck, just follow the instructions rightly and trust the result by working hard. Also, the replacement work will require only 30 minutes.

If you don’t feel confident to do it yourself, why not get help from a professional mechanic who knows how to replace the rack in your Outback? Surely, it will need extra costs and patience while doing the replacement work but the result will be sweet. Best Wishes!

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