Today, on this 2008 Mercury Mariner, we are going to be installing a Thule Rapid Crossroad Roof Rack System, with the AeroBlade Bars. We already have our crossbar assemblies put together, now we are ready to mount them on our vehicle. We will position our crossbars on top of our vehicle. First, we will make sure that the overhang of the crossbars is even from side to side. Then, we will make sure that we have them set at the same spot on either side of the vehicle, so that the bars are running perpendicular to our factory raised side rails. Once we have our crossbar in place, we can begin tightening it down.The rapid crossroad feet use a rubber coated steel band that wraps around our factory side rails. As we tighten the steel band down, the crossroad foot locks onto our side rail and it also secures the bar into place into the crossroad foot. We will move back and forth from the drivers side to the passengers side as we tighten down to make sure the crossbar tightens down evenly.
Once we have the front crossbar into position, we can go ahead and mount and install our rear crossbar. We will place the rear crossbar into position, and like the front, we will check to make sure the overhang on either side is even and we will also measure from the center of our front bar to the center of our rear bar to make sure the bar runs perpendicular to the side rails and it runs parallel with the front bar. Once we have the crossbar into position, we will go ahead and repeat the same tightening procedure that we used with the front bar. Because this roof rack system is designed to attach to your factory side rails, Thule does not offer a specific crossbar spread. You may want to check the instructions for whatever accessories you may be using to see if there is a specific crossbar spread you need to set the bars up at. For this application, Thule recommends the 43 inch long AeroWing Bars. You can use bars that are wider, if you need to carry more, but keep in mind the general rule of thumb is not to exceed the width of your sideview mirrors. And that does it for the Thule Rapid Crossroad system on our 2008 Mercury Mariner.