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Old 31-08-2016   #1
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Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

I don't have the longitudinal bars on my car (front to back) but have the four holes (black circles with a cross holes). Was going to buy the FIAT Roof bars (left to right) and attach a roof box.

Anyway, after looking at some boxes on Amazon - its states maximum distance is 85cm which is too small to fit on as the gap between the holes is over 100cm. I think it may be better to purchase bars that you fit yourself (with allen key) that grip under the sill top of the door.

That way I can position the bars with the correct distance.

1) Is this correct?
2) What purpose do the official bars serve as most things, racks, boxes, folding boxes and canvas bags need maximum distance of 60cm-85cm so spending 80 for the roof rack bars when nothing is large enough to reach both bars?
3) Is the large gap because they are over the window struts to provide more strength and therefore will moving these single bars closer cause problems.



Many thanks
HVR
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Old 31-08-2016   #2
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

A lot depends on what you're going to carry on the roof.

My Panda has the Fiat roof rails, and I regularly carry a sailing kayak - that is, a kayak along with mast, boom, rudder, sails and rigging. All this kit is tied to the roof rails, and sits on two crossbars.

The point I am making is this - the crossbars were normal cheapies, part of a shop-bought roof rack that clamped on to the rails, and one day the whole lot shifted when I had to do a panic stop. So I cut them down, and bolted them through the Fiat rails, making them a permanent fixture. They are now 100% secure and will never move.

I also learned NOT to tie any load to the roof rack itself, but ALWAYS to the Fiat roof rails. The danger with a roof rack that is fixed to the 'guttering' (or door returns) of a car is as I've described - the whole lot can come adrift in an emergency.

I always keep well away from any car travelling with stuff on the roof if it's tied to a removable roof rack now!
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Old 31-08-2016   #3
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

Not being helpful or answering your question but thought I'd chip in and say that my panda has chrome rails I fitted (which I keep on as they don't seem to affect MPG and look good!). I brought super cheap locking bars and a thule ranger soft folding roof bag for when we're away on holiday - it fits on and off in seconds.


I've been really impressed how purple panda has been able to cope with me, three 9-13yr old children, a medium sized dog and roof bag up the hills of Devon. Whizzed along the motorway too with no movement from up top.


Great versatile family car (especially with our 5 seatbelts!) Not bad for 30 tax a year! A big


Hope you manage to sort out your roof luggage options
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Old 01-09-2016   #4
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

Thanks for the reply. I think you maybe talking about longitudinal roof bars that run the side of the car – back wheel to front wheel. I've seen some of those on eBay (white colour) for 99 but they don't fit my vehicle model.

Let me show you the holes in my car:

SEE RED PHOTOS BELOW



So I was looking to order these bars:

SEE YELLOW PHOTO BELOW

They are around 60 - not too expensive and of course they cover/hide the holes in the roof when fitted

I would like to put a roof box, foldable roof box or waterproof canvas bag on there. But all size specification is maximum 85cm.

Now I have took a tape measure and the distance between those black holes on the roof (front to back) is 110cm.

So without ordering the bars and fitting them they look too far apart, however if anyone has fitted these – THEY MAY angle inwards by 15cm meaning the gap at the point of the bars is 70cm, but on the photo they do appear to sit vertical.

Can anyone shed any light on this – what is the distance when these bars are fitted?
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Last edited by hvanrooj; 01-09-2016 at 08:05.
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Old 01-09-2016   #5
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

What about getting some Panda roof bars from a car breakers?

Then you can simply fit some Tule or Halfords cross rails. To stop the cross rails slipping, wrap PVC tape around the roof bar to go under your rails.
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Old 02-09-2016   #6
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

I've had a look on some National breakers websites, so let's see if they have any in stock. On eBay, there's genuine ones for my car but they are 230. Too much, as I would then also have to buy the cross bars: 100 and the roof box.

This is the second post to mention the low grip when using these bars so it's not really a good selling point! However, I have registered my interest and maybe a breaking yard will contact me – upto 85 seems fair.

I have also visited a 'roof-box website' and seen some Thule crossbars that fit the pre-existing holes in my roof. At the top is a red box stating "These bars are not compatible with a roof box because of the distance between the bars."

So that is that option out – the holes are too far apart and not worth buying.

So that leaves me with
1) a vague hope that I can find some 2nd hand ones
2) Crossbars that fit the side roof and sill

I've seen some that are billed as "shaped to fit the Panda, not generic ones – that are called "Nodrive Steel bars" and cost 116. They fit on the roof slope and under the sill, you also get a rubber strip that sits in the door to keep water out.

Has anyone had any experience with these type of crossbars?


Just to mention, that this box is for when I go camping – its mainly for the bulky items (not heavy) to leave more room in my boot. So it would be a roof box, folded box or canvas bag, that will have inside it sleeping bags, pillows, clothes, tent poles and the tent.


Many thanks
HVR
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Last edited by hvanrooj; 02-09-2016 at 08:01.
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Old 02-09-2016   #7
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Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

On the bypass near High Wycombe I watched a lightly loaded clamp on roof rack ripped from the car and scattered across the road.

I was following and it scared me. Hence my warning above. I've seen it happen three times since. Maybe I've just been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I always keep well clear of any cars with loaded roof racks now.

Why not keep trying for the Fiat roof rails? Strong and a solid fix. Peace of mind for you. There was a poster a few months back offering his for sale - hopefully there are others out there.
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Last edited by Sweetsixteen; 02-09-2016 at 08:28.
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Old 02-09-2016   #8
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

Second hand roof bars will be available but its possible the breakers don't remove them. Ring around to all breakers selling parts for 169 Panda.
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Old 02-09-2016   #9
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

Thanks Sweetsixteen, I've been reading up on the cross bar clamps, and there's obviously things I need to be aware of - you can't drive faster than 70mph and also the problem of very cheap eBay clamps. The ones I am looking at are shaped to the FIATs profile and costs 116 - but you can buy generic ones on ebay for 20!

But what you said got me thinking of the possibility of buying the FIAT cross bars that screw into the holes AND the clamp on bars that would sit closer together, buy a canvas carry bag instead of a solid box and strap it using 4 straps: two secured across passenger/driver through the clamp bars and two front to back using the fixed bars. That would give the security of holding onto the bars, but using the clamp bars to lift the bag off the roof. That might work.

FIAT Cross Bars 60
Clamp Bars 116
Canvas bag 60

The force of the wind on the front of the bag (in effect trying to lift the clamp bars, would be tempered by the bag being secured at the front, tied to the fixed bar) if you know what I mean?


DaveMcT

I've registered an interest on a breakers nationwide website group (like reverse eBay - where the yard emails you with a price) so fingers crossed there might be a set to buy.
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Old 02-09-2016   #10
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

Don't hold your breath on that breakers registration scheme working for you. I also registered but never heard a peep.

Keep watching eBay. As soon as you see a Panda with roof bars selling for parts call the breaker concerned.
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Old 02-09-2016   #11
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Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

I have sold my Panda but still have the genuine fiat bars depicted above. I used them with a halfords box to go camping with a few friends. I will root around in the garage and dig them out and measure them up for you.
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Old 05-09-2016   #12
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

DaveMcT
Yeah, I'm going to keep trying to find these bars - but obviously the cross bars that fit the holes – would be a back up plan.

Maggie
Do you mean the ones in the ones on the lime green car? it would be interesting to know what they are like before I have to buy them - let me know what you find.
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Last edited by hvanrooj; 05-09-2016 at 19:59.
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Old 06-09-2016   #13
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

Quote Originally Posted by hvanrooj View Post
DaveMcT
Maggie
Do you mean the ones in the ones on the lime green car? it would be interesting to know what they are like before I have to buy them - let me know what you find.
They can be painted. If new roof seal pads are needed stick masking tape to car roof, bent the bars in windscreen sealant then peel off the tape before sealant dries.
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 06-09-2016 at 08:15.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Re: Panda Roof Bars and Boxes

Did you have any luck with finding an appropriate roof box to go with the ebay bars?
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