Retrofitting OEM Alustyle Bars - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 02-23-2019
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Retrofitting OEM Alustyle Bars

Hey all, posting here since I haven't seen anybody go through with a full retrofit of the OEM Alustyle roof bars. In fact there seem to be virtually zero photos of these things in the wild, so here's hoping I can enlighten everyone

Managed to get my hands on a set of the actual bars which arrived yesterday. First up, they're super-high quality- much more solid-feeling than anything I've bought from Thule, Yakima, e.t.c for other cars. Having said that, they do weigh 9kg so I guess you pay for it. As mentioned in other posts the part number is B67812108. Evidential photo while I'm waiting on other parts:



Interestingly, despite apparently being invisible in North American markets, the operators' manual has this:



...and this:



...everything about these things is shrouded in mystery

I have the new A-pillar covers ordered, hopefully they'll come next week. Rear-end retrofit seems simple enough. Still not sure about the front: the top of my A-pillars seems to have something which looks suspiciously like the baseplate mentioned in AR65.00-P-1000V surrounded with sealant and some sort of rubber grommet in the hole where the bolt should go:



According to the manual the applicable WIS for retrofitting for my VIN is AN77.50-P-1000V, if anybody knows where I can get hold of that I'd be a happy man- I'm determined to get this done
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#2 Old 02-23-2019
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#3 Old 02-23-2019
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And that WIS for retrofitting also mentions removal of the trunk lid seal and installing a new one.........


Here's the WIS for that
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1r1...e0-bq72HliP7CM

I hope for you it's not really necessary....
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#4 Old 02-23-2019
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@Sneaky Pete is there on that mentions the A pillars?
I think (not know) that the A pillar is also different.

I may be confusing options, but would rather ask so it isn't missed.

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#5 Old 02-23-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avel Du View Post
@Sneaky Pete is there on that mentions the A pillars?
I think (not know) that the A pillar is also different.

I may be confusing options, but would rather ask so it isn't missed.

I believe the A-pillars themselve are the same, Myk. Only the covers are different. They have a hole covered by a clip for the rack mounting. Clips get lost easily, had 3 of them lying around from my previous R171 that were of no use to me anymore. Made 2 other members happy with them. Never had the rack mounted though, so can't be of much help there.
If what the WIS docs say is true it might be quite a job I'm afraid....
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#6 Old 02-23-2019
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Thanks @Sneaky Pete, @Avel Du you have to pick the right A-pillar cover variant (mine's a 'K' FWIW) but I guess the rack doesn't care how long the pillar is, just that the anchor point is the same.

The rear retrofit doesn't bother me too much; instructions are a bit convoluted but clear enough. The front is bothering me more, especially what to replace that rubber grommet with (there's no mention of rivet nuts on the A-pillar). The bars themselves are anchored at the front by a pretty long & beefy M8 bolt while the rear is a comparatively tiny M6 so I assume the A pillars bear a higher proportionate load. AR65.00-P-1000V applies to such a small subset of VINs that I'm guessing it's only for early '04 models which hit showrooms before the bars came to market. But I could also be totally wrong as usual
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#7 Old 02-24-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmowforth View Post
Thanks @Sneaky Pete, @Avel Du you have to pick the right A-pillar cover variant (mine's a 'K' FWIW) but I guess the rack doesn't care how long the pillar is, just that the anchor point is the same.

The rear retrofit doesn't bother me too much; instructions are a bit convoluted but clear enough. The front is bothering me more, especially what to replace that rubber grommet with (there's no mention of rivet nuts on the A-pillar). The bars themselves are anchored at the front by a pretty long & beefy M8 bolt while the rear is a comparatively tiny M6 so I assume the A pillars bear a higher proportionate load. AR65.00-P-1000V applies to such a small subset of VINs that I'm guessing it's only for early '04 models which hit showrooms before the bars came to market. But I could also be totally wrong as usual

I think you're right there. After VIN 009766 the baseplates were already fitted. If I read AR65.00-P-1000V correctly the bolt that goes were the rubber grommet is, is only used to keep the baseplate correct positioned in place. After it is fixed with 4 blind rivets the last step for the A-pillar baseplates retrofit is removal of that bolt. There is no mention of it afterwards in the retrofitting description. Maybe it is just a matter of removing the rubber grommets after which the rack can be fitted with a bolt on the A-pillar? As said, never had the rack so can't tell. Sorry.
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#8 Old 02-24-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneaky Pete View Post
I think you're right there. After VIN 009766 the baseplates were already fitted. If I read AR65.00-P-1000V correctly the bolt that goes were the rubber grommet is, is only used to keep the baseplate correct positioned in place. After it is fixed with 4 blind rivets the last step for the A-pillar baseplates retrofit is removal of that bolt. There is no mention of it afterwards in the retrofitting description. Maybe it is just a matter of removing the rubber grommets after which the rack can be fitted with a bolt on the A-pillar? As said, never had the rack so can't tell. Sorry.
Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to just remove that grommet when I next have the covers off. It seems quite stubbornly wedged in there, maybe I can pull it back from inside (there's a green plastic stopper underneath the internal trim which is pretty close to it) or maybe I'll just go for broke, push it out and see what's left

That green plastic stopper thing:



If I can make any headway with that then I can at least try and mate the front end of the bars to the A-pillar while I'm waiting for other bits & pieces.
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#9 Old 02-24-2019
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I think the green item is the clip that holds the A pillar panel (interior) in place.
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#10 Old 02-24-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efair View Post
I think the green item is the clip that holds the A pillar panel (interior) in place.
Ok I guess pulling out through the top is plan-A then... I'll let y'all know what remains in the remaining void
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#11 Old 03-02-2019
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So the German dealer who claimed to have the A-pillar retrofit kit now say they don't have it in stock (they did give me a full refund) and it's been raining constantly here so the rails didn't get any closer to getting on the car this week. I did order a blind rivet tool and some M6 nuts- I pulled out the rubber plug from the designated hole in the back and was surprised to see it's hexagonal:



At ~9mm across, I think it's going to be very tight getting the rivet in. Also tried tugging at the seals around there... my original plan to just bend the lip back without removing any seals might not be tenable- that thing is solid. This is going to be interesting...
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#12 Old 03-02-2019
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There are hexagonal blind rivets available. Here's one if it's of any help:

https://www.far.bo.it/en/products/bl...-open-end.html


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#13 Old 03-02-2019
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That said, I think fully removing the trunk lid seal is overkill. Looking at this video (https://youtu.be/Q0Z-EVP0NYA) you can see the rivet nut already installed clear as day (at 1:07 onwards). Pulling it from the rear window to the corner of the trunk and removing the drain hole cover should be enough.

Still hopeful
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#14 Old 03-02-2019
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Out of interest, what are You planning to carry on Your SLK Roof Rack.??

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonardoDaBenz View Post
There are hexagonal blind rivets available. Here's one if it's of any help: https://www.far.bo.it/en/products/bl...-open-end.html
Those Hexagonal blind rivet bolts are a neat bit of engineering
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#15 Old 03-02-2019
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Originally Posted by LeonardoDaBenz View Post
There are hexagonal blind rivets available. Here's one if it's of any help:

https://www.far.bo.it/en/products/bl...-open-end.html
Finding a b2c retailer for rivnuts wasn't so easy- if I wanted to buy 50,000 of 'em it'd be fine, but I only need 2 I didn't want to buy some garbage off eBay so I settled on these guys: https://www.accu.co.uk/en/flat-hexag...HRN-M6-15-5-A2

They're exactly 9mm outer diameter (was looking at a lot of 8.9s) so I think it'll be a very snug fit indeed. Fingers crossed. Also bought some M6 nylon grub screws to plug the threads while I'm not using the bars. The WIS document on rear retrofit just says "Rubber cover is no longer required", but I don't feel comfortable leaving an open hole there.
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#16 Old 03-02-2019
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Ya 50,000 units, I hear you.

I had posted in another thread about some seller wanting $1,000 + additional cost for the privilege of shipping them to you for a pack of 6 bolts.

It's unfortunate though that a lot of times, the only way to get what you need is online and not through a local merchant.


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#17 Old 03-02-2019
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Originally Posted by Trev5 View Post
Out of interest, what are You planning to carry on Your SLK Roof Rack.??
Mostly road bikes- have a Saris Bones rack right now, which kinda works but myself + the wife do 5 to 10 sportives a year and current setup has its flaws. Am planning a couple of road trips to the alps & southern Spain so want something more solid to haul them. Will be nice to finally be able to carry skis too. I will definitely post a pic if I ever get that far
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#18 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Ok, made a bit of progress on the back- it's fiddly but not that hard to be honest. Most of the bits & pieces arrived and for the first time in about a month it was sunny here so I had a stab at getting one side done.

Feeling stupid? Let's go put rivets in an SLK

The goal is to press one of these guys into the hole next to the drain below the C-pillar (rivnut details are in a previous reply):



This is a roof-down, trunk-open job. I didn't bother putting the trunk lid into assembly mode, but for the left-side I will; the working space was pretty tight and much cursing ensued. First, prize off the plastic leaf-guard with a trim tool or flat-bladed screwdriver. Then gently lift the parcel shelf up as far as it'll go with the trunk lid up. Pull the end of the lower trunk lid seal from the top, towards the back of the car:



You'll have to (gently) pull a bit harder when you get as far as the extended flat lump of rubber that goes over the drain hole since it's held on with adhesive. This video https://youtu.be/Q0Z-EVP0NYA shows the process fully but you only need to remove the seal as far as the plastic side-stopper for the trunk lid. I found 10 years of dirt ingress under the seal when I did that- yikes!



I cleaned the area, first with water + household detergent and then wiped down and dried with isopropyl alcohol. You'll also want to remove the rubber stopper from the hole where the rivet goes:



Now we get destructive- the WIS doc says to bend back the sheet metal lip holding the seal. I don't think there's a clean way of doing this, especially on a curved surface. I used some mole-grips with some microfiber fabric over them to avoid damaging the paint:



Bend the bare minimum necessary for your rivet tool to have a clear working area around the hole.

The yellow residue in the picture is leftover adhesive from the seal, not dirt. I'm going to order an entire new seal having seen the mess underneath, but that's a job for another day.

I already had a rivet-nut gizmo at home- a Sealey short-arm hand tool, which gives more control over force exerted but does require more space than an electric one. Whatever you use, take your time- the flange on the nut should be seated absolutely parallel with the paint surface and these things are a total pain to re-pull. Pic in action:



To reassemble, perform the above steps in reverse. Clean the leaf guard before replacing- it has a bevelled edge which needs to face down:



...and the final result with everything back in place:



Phew, one side down, one to go!
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#19 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Oh, and the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed I had to remove the top stopper for the trunk lid since it was in the way of the tool arm- don't forget to put that back
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Almost there... after another sunny morning, I got the left rear side riveted and I also had the courage to pull out the rubber plugs from the A-pillar holes. They look rather incriminating...



...aherm... anyway, underneath the stopper is the thread ready for the M8 bolt from the rack kit. Both stoppers were pretty perished so the threads were filthy. I put some WD-40 down there for an hour to let it soak in and then gave them a quick clean but will have to give the whole area a thorough scrub before the new A-pillar covers go on.



I'm waiting on the left A-pillar cover and the two little blanking plates for the holes, plus I have to get the whole lot painted so I reckon it'll be another couple of weeks before this is complete. Nonetheless curiosity got the better of me so I mounted the left bar just to get an idea (roof will be up when hauling bikes, obviously )

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