Modifying Older Thule Box to fit '06 Subaru
speaking of ultimate ski wagons - a question for the car folks:
i remember but can't find the threads here talking about fitting thule boxes on the newer subaru legacy / outback wagons. i have an old (2000 vintage) thule box that i'm planning to move from its current vehicle to a 2006 subaru outback xt wagon. first try was unsuccessful, there was no clearance at the tailgate - so i need to (a) modify by drilling new holes and mounting the older box more forward, or (b) get a new box.
dont want to start a new thread but if anyone here remembers and can steer my back to prior discussions of this topic, much obliged.
I had to modify my vintage Thule box (Cascade 16 or something close) on my old A4 Avant for the same reason. If your box is one that just has holes for the hardware to go through then you just need mounting holes further back. The problem then is potentially having too much weight forward, and puting too much stress on the front of the box, and potentially too much up tension on the back mounts. I modified mine with some 2 inch wide aluminum strips (about 3/16" or 1/" thick) from Home Depot, and bolted them into the bottom of the box to give it more longitudinal strength. (You could use wood, but then the bolts may not be long enough, and they would take more space.) Thats all it took, just put some high quality tape over the old holes before bolting down the aluminum strips (to reduce water getting into the box) and it worked great for several years before I found a shorter box (Thule Evolution 16) for cheap. I had that on my A4, and now have on my '05 Subaru Outback XT.
There are probably better solutions, but this was a cheap and easy fix for me. A great source for cheap roof boxes is at REI's "Garage Sales". A few times a year most REI stores sell off all of their returned products. They may be damaged, and do not have warrantees, but I have bought decent roof boxes for under $100. Then just an hour or two of work to get them in working condition. You can order keys directly from Thule, or have them made at a lock shop.