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Roof Rail Removal/Replacement

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I had been searching for a DIY on how to remove the roof rails on the allroad. I was not able to find one that gave me a good step by step I figured I would do a writeup on how to replace/remove the roof rails.

*Warning* - You will be working around the side curtain airbag. Take extra precaution. Disconnect battery to be safe.
Here are the tools you will need

T25 Torx
T30 Torx
10mm 1/4" socket
1/4" ratchet with extension
3/8" ratchet with extension
Flat blade and Phillips screwdriver

I am documenting the passenger side, but both sides should be the same, minus the extra connector you need to release for the visor on the driver's side.

Remove the Phillips screw holding the visor to the headliner. There may be a plastic plug over the screw. Once the screw is removed, pull down and push towards the front of the car. There will be 1 or 2 connectors to release, depending on the side of the car.

Pull down the handles and use the flat blade screw driver to pry at the bottom of the screw covers. Once popped up, use the ¼" ratchet with extension and T25 Torx to loosen both screws.

Here is what things should look like.

Move to the back seat. Use the 3/8" ratchet with extension and T30 torx to remove the larger screw from the pet net hook area behind the front seat. You will only need to remove the large one.

Proceed to remove the handle in the backseat in similar fashion to the front seat.

Open the back hatch. Behind the back seat you will need to use the 3/8" ratchet with extension and T30 torx to remove the larger screw from the pet net hook area.

Remove the Phillips screw holding the trim near the rear gate.

At this point, start pulling on the trim around the rear most side window. Try pulling from the top area. Everything is held in with metal clips. Once you have accomplished this, things should look like this. The trim is also held by a woven strap. The trim should slip out of this.

With the rear most trim removed you will notice one more screw to remove with T25 torx. Here is the woven strap you need to slim the trim out of.

With that last screw remove, start pulling the trim from the back and front seat. Again, the trim is held in by metal clips and will pop out. Some force will be needed. This will reveal the side impact airbag. From here, proceed to remove the following torx screws with the T25.

Front seat

Procced to move back through the car removing these screws, allowing the airbag to drop down. There will be several of these.

Remove the 2 Torx screws holding the airbag inflation cartridge. Then pull towards the center of the car to release the unit. This will allow for the airbag to hand freely. I did not disconnect the cartridge. I did not want to mess with it. Disconnect at your own risk.

This is what it should look like, when released (note this is a shot of the driver's side)

Once you have the airbag moved out of the way, you may now proceed to start removing the bolts that secure the roof rail. Use the ¼" ratchet with extension and 10mm socket.

Here is the location of the rear most

And closeup

The bolt for the middle of the rail is hiding behind this drain line

A closeup

And finally, the front 2 bolts are hiding here.

Once you have all these removed, congratulations! You can now remove the roof rail. Do the reverse of these steps to put things back together. Putting the trim back on was a bit of a pain, but it will go back together. Use the same steps to do the driver's side.

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 October 2012 21:39