Roof Rack Pads

The paint is done and things are going back on the Squire. One problem I had was finding new rubber pads that go under the stainless roof rack ribs. The old pads were 44 years old and not really rubber anymore, more like dried black crumbly mud.

They are profiled to match the stainless ribs.

I searched for weeks online and over the phone for new pads, no luck. More unobtanium. I checked several gasket and seal manufacturers, all of whom wanted me to order custom tooling and large run volumes...
So, I was picking up some pan head screws at Orchard Supply and noticed a roll of rubber walkway mat. It was the right thickness, ribbed, and looked like it could be easily trimmed into strips.

The mat's profile. The stainless ribs are formed with edges that fit perfectly down into the outside groove on each strip. They look GREAT on the car.

The mat is available in 24" and 36" wide rolls, so I got 6 feet of 24" wide. Enough for about a dozen pads, or plenty to screw up on while figuring out the best way to cut it (I need six pads). First I tried cutting with a pair of scissors, snip, snip, snip. This left clear slice marks for every snip. Then I tried an exacto knife but that was difficult to keep exactly in the center of a groove channel. Finally, I figured out that if I stretched the strip I was cutting off sideways, I could slide the scissors down the groove for a perfect cut.

The rubber thins out at the apex of the "V" when stretched, and is easily cut by pushing the scissors down the groove.

The rack on the car with new pads.


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