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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old January 7th, 2018, 13:13   #1
TDITim83
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Default B4V Roof Rack Capacity

I am wondering if there is any info on roof rack weight capacity. Any info on that would be great
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Old January 7th, 2018, 15:30   #2
Mongler98
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probably no more than 50? lbs. i have a heavy duty all aluminum rack on my 2004 ford escape and its max limit is 100lbs I could not imaging that it would be more than 75!

I remember seeing that mythbusters episode were they confirmed that a MK3 Jetta could hold that 3,000 lbs of building materials. Im sure it could handle 100 but i would not drive it with that much on it! Have you ever seen the damage from a kayak getting ripped off? i have, saw a car totaled from a $400 kayak on a $50 kayak rack mount on a stock roof rack.
Point is, if you have to ask, the answer is no, you have too much on there!
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Old January 7th, 2018, 17:50   #3
ToddA1
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From the 96 owner's manual, each cross bar can carry 88 lbs., when the load is distributed evenly. Roof load must not exceed 165 lbs.

The roof rails have depressions, where the cross bars should be mounted, avoiding the sunroof, if equipped.

This may have been the first time I ever opened the owner's manual....

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Old January 7th, 2018, 18:15   #4
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Old January 7th, 2018, 20:08   #5
Mongler98
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DAM, 165 lbs? thats nuts, My extra heavy duty ladder rack for my 2 ton work van is only rated at 100 lbs each. No way a 3600 lb MK3 car has a higher rated roof rack vs a 4,800 4x4 SUV. Not saying your wrong but i think thats crazy high for a roof rack for a small car. I would never load more than 100 lbs on that thing if you are going over 20mph.
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Old January 7th, 2018, 20:22   #6
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165lbs??? That's it? SMH wish I had pictures of the stuff I've hauled aloft.
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Old January 7th, 2018, 21:36   #7
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im sure it could hold up 300 or even 500 lbs. the issue is slamming on your brakes, or hitting the gas or cornering. the weight is trying to pull the rack off the car in a shearing force, not a lateral load into the body and suspension. this last summer i had 40 lbs of 2x4x16' on the roof rack of my van. had to SLAM on the brakes and i still bumped into the back of the jackass who was on his phone, even though i had 3" strap ties crossed and around the bundle, the load shifted enough that 4 boards shot out from the middle of the stack and went though the back of the dipsh!ts window. i was loaded properly and i was not cited as at fault by the adjuster but it happened as i was going 55 and had to stop in like 50 feet. The guy hit the person in front of him, he was not texting, he had his phone taped over the airbag and was still playing the movie when the cops got there. i love my 2 ton as NO damage was done to it. Point is, its about what the load will do to the rack, it could just take the rack with it if you where in a situation like i was.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 07:00   #8
TDITim83
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wow, was not aware of the limit. Ok, glad to know. I'm only going to have a small cage up top for trips and maybe a water proof bag for storage.....alot more secure and can hold some more bulky stuff. Family of 4 and the back is not massive
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Old January 8th, 2018, 12:17   #9
Steve Addy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
DAM, 165 lbs? thats nuts, My extra heavy duty ladder rack for my 2 ton work van is only rated at 100 lbs each. No way a 3600 lb MK3 car has a higher rated roof rack vs a 4,800 4x4 SUV. Not saying your wrong but i think thats crazy high for a roof rack for a small car. I would never load more than 100 lbs on that thing if you are going over 20mph.
Post is for B3/4 wagons with factory roof bars, not Mk3.

I think you should go and review your work van ladder rack info, my guess is that it's rated more than that, i don't see how it wouldn't be, 100 lbs (200 total rack both sides) is not that much.

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Old January 8th, 2018, 12:38   #10
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and i well aware of his car make when i commented.

actually the set i got is not rated that way. its all about the roof line.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
After talking with some experts on this, the ideal max load on most aftermarket racks like this is 100 lbs each. They are extended a good bit and sag because i put way to much load on them from time to time but the van is not that fast. It was a 1 ton but i upgraded a few items to get 2 ton capacity out of it (according to the truck guys i helped with)
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Old January 8th, 2018, 13:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
DAM, 165 lbs? thats nuts, My extra heavy duty ladder rack for my 2 ton work van is only rated at 100 lbs each. No way a 3600 lb MK3 car has a higher rated roof rack vs a 4,800 4x4 SUV. Not saying your wrong but i think thats crazy high for a roof rack for a small car. I would never load more than 100 lbs on that thing if you are going over 20mph.
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Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
and i well aware of his car make when i commented.

actually the set i got is not rated that way. its all about the roof line.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
After talking with some experts on this, the ideal max load on most aftermarket racks like this is 100 lbs each. They are extended a good bit and sag because i put way to much load on them from time to time but the van is not that fast. It was a 1 ton but i upgraded a few items to get 2 ton capacity out of it (according to the truck guys i helped with)
I was just clarifying, it appeared, based on your comment, that you thought he was talking about a Mk3 when the title to the thread clearly says "B4V Roof Rack Capacity."

As for the van load bars I queried and picked about the first thing I came to and this is the description:

"Our steel cross support ladder rack will easily support up to 850 lbs. -- distributed evenly on the ladder rack."

And that comes from here which is at American Van dot com. It's also THE cheapest roof rack they have too if that means anything and it's only two uprights not three.

I stand by my claim that 100lbs per load bar for a van rack is pretty weak, IDK who your 'experts' are but that is really a weak load bar unless they're made from bamboo or something similar.

Steve
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Old January 8th, 2018, 17:45   #12
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what part of "Depending on the roof line" dont you get. Also you need to read u p on what i have been saying. im sure i have put over the max load i should have on them, they are beefy. 800 lbs on any rack can easily snap the bolts right off if you were to have a collision.
You could probably put over 1,000 lbs on each point that they mount to the van, but the moment you hit the brakes HARD or bump into the rear end of some other car, any stopping force would be enough to shear the sheet metal off whatever its on.

I have been hauling loads on the top of my van, escape, my 10 foot, and my 25 foot trailer. i have been though a few road hauling safety training courses mandated by a previous employer. I know what im doing when it comes to hauling and making sure a load is as secure as the driver. I am telling you that if i put 850 lbs on the top of that van or ANY rack that was not DESIGNED to carry that in an impact that you are going to kill someone when your load comes flying off when you slam into a car in front of you, or have enough braking and traction to stop fast enough. those 40 lbs of 2x4x16, was only a few of them and the ones in the center FLEW OUT of the stack. i had 3x 3" ratchet straps holding them down properly. ones at the front and back go over and around the bundle compressing it. Roof racks can only get so tight on the straps before they bend or damage the roof. they were plenty secure. there was about 50 pictures that was taken as i have commercial auto and it must be well documented. i was cleared as having them secured in "overkill" as described by the adjuster. Still it flew out from the center and right into and though the back glass of the jerks car in front of me.

its not about weakness, its about a rack that can stop a load from shifting or ripping its self off the car.
The ones i have also are a tube in a tube design and they flex ALLOT.
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Old January 9th, 2018, 01:18   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDIDaveNH View Post
165lbs??? That's it? SMH wish I had pictures of the stuff I've hauled aloft.
Doesn't the Ohio State Police department have pictures?

The B4V rails are through bolted to the car in a few places with reinforcements on the roof line. It's not going anywhere.




I've had 5 bikes on the roof totaling about 150 pounds going for hours up the interstate at 80mph and it never felt flimsy. It did feel like dragging a parachute and resulted in my worst ever fuel mileage, just over 36 mpg.

Even having the crossbars (with or without the wind deflector) decreases my mileage by 3 mpg, and having two bikes up there drops me by 6-8 mpg. Just something to consider. I switched to a hitch rack for that purpose but still use the roof rack to transport more than 2 bikes or the kayaks.
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Old January 9th, 2018, 09:26   #14
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I'm hauled a lot of sh*t on my roof rack...probably well over the "limit"

I have 4 cross bars...a pair of Thules and a set of Subaru bars...

I should probably removed them unless I'm hauling stuff...I wonder how much MPGs I'm losing...
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Old January 15th, 2018, 20:05   #15
TDIL3dad
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Anyone with an OEM Mk3 Votex luggage basket they want to sell?
I have the B4 OEM cross bars 3A9 860 019 and looking for the matching basket.
Cross bars have a channel grove and correct Mk3 basket will have swivel feet, square or rectangular shaped that fit the channel groove.
pls send PM.
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