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Installing Thule Roof Rack without Fit kit 225
Installing Thule Roof Rack without Fit kit 225
Piece Together Kits 145 and 2178
Published by blndweasel
Default Installing Thule Roof Rack without Fit kit 225

Hey Folks,

After months of poring over posts about discontinued 225 fit kits, and possible suggestions of piecing together the necessary parts from other fit kits, I have successfully mounted a Thule roof rack on my ti.

Basically, you start with fit kit 145 (E36 Sedan) and fit kit 2178 (Dodge Magnum). Fit kit 145 includes (4) of the front brackets you will need. Fit kit 2178 includes the #100 rear brackets you need.

If you look at the documentation for the 225 kit, you should use this for the measurements for the front and rear bar width, as well as the 700mm bar spacing (length wise on the vehicle).

Now the 225 kit shows a special rubber mount pad for the rear, which has this little protrusion to fit into the roof channel. This pad is completely unnecessary, from my experience. Use the flat pads included in the 145 kit, and they work fine. See photo for mounting example:

Alternatively, you could use the pads included in the 2178 kit, and just shave off the excess piece that is designed for the dodge magnum roof channel, leaving you with a flat pad nearly identical to the ones in kit #145.

On the front brackets, be sure to go with the measurements from the 225 kit. I noticed a discrepancy between the instructions for the ti and the E36 sedan (which is ridiculous of course), so go with the ti measurements. They are slightly narrower, keeping the mount pad up on the roof panel, and not overlapping with the roof channel. Also, if you use the measurements from the E36 sedan, the clips won't properly engage. So again, go with the 225instructions. just google Thule Fit kit 225. Perhaps we should grab a set of the PDFs to have on hand, in case Thule pulls those papers from the web, seeing as the kit is discontinued.

Front bracket:

Lastly, I decided to mount a Peloton bike rack. The problem is that it is too long for the ti, if you open your back hatch, it will hit the rack. So you have to cut off about 3-4" of the rear section of aluminum channel. I taped off a line with blue painters tape, then hacked it off with a fine-tooth hack saw. I then re-drilled the retention hole for the rear cap. See clearances below:

So there you have it. The best looking roof rack for the ti, purchased from rackattack.com, and with the savings I got from buying it there, it made up for the extra $60 I had to spend on a second fit kit. Total cost was just a hair over $600.

I have extra parts left over. Namely, a second set of front brackets, and the extra set of brackets from the dodge magnum. Not sure if these can be used for anything, but it looks like modification is possible. I'm going to play with that next.

In the mean time, if anyone is interested in doing this, and wants my front brackets from the 145 kit, I'll sell them for $30 including the pads from the magnum which can be modified for the ti. This will split the difference with someone for the added cost of piecing together the two fit kits.

The rack is great, mounts sturdy, only makes a little bit of whistling noise with the front spoiler installed, and just looks cool. I can't wait to go hit some muddy single tracks now.

If you have any questions, let me know and I will follow up.


the blonde weasel
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By budget76 on 02-09-2010, 01:09 AM

Sweet writeup. This is gonna help out alot of guys on here, and I'd be doing it if I didn't already have the 225 fit kit

what size is your wind deflector? Been wanting to pick one up, but haven't figured out what size I wanted.

Also, as a FWIW, I've noticed a 1-2mpg decrease with the rack on and nothing loaded, just the bars. With snowboards on top I lose 3-4mpg Highway obviously
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By tiFreak on 02-09-2010, 03:53 AM

wtf, so they still make the parts but they won't sell them as a kit??
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By budget76 on 02-09-2010, 06:44 AM

Not quite Pauly, the rear rubber is supposed to have an extra chunk that protrudes down into the roof where you pull off a little rubber piece. IIRC the front's always been available, but not the rear.
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By tiFreak on 02-09-2010, 06:50 AM

oh, so the parts are similar enough to work but not identical? got it
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By blndweasel on 02-09-2010, 06:35 PM

Yeah, the original rubber pads for the rear had a small section that fit into where you remove the 4" strip in the roof channel. By leaving this piece in there, you can just use the flat pads included in the 145 fit kit. Or, like I mentioned, use the pads from the 2178 kit and just shave them flat.

I have already noticed my "sweet spot" on the FWY has decreased from 79 MPH to about 75 MPH. Just a natural position of the gas pedal in relation to aerodynamics, where the car feels like it's settled into a groove.

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By blndweasel on 02-09-2010, 06:38 PM

The fairing is the 871XT.
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