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Best Roof Track System to Add Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform to a 2002 Chevy Tahoe Z71

Question:

I have a 2002 Tahoe Z71. I have removed the Z71 rack and only 5 rivet nuts remain on each side. They are for 6mm machine screws and more than one per side are heavily rusted, loose or puckering the roof metal. So they will most likely need replacement. I want to install 60inch tracks from Yakima, Thule, or Rhino. Im having a hard time finding details about the various tracks, such as material and the size of the holes, etc. First, are all 3 tracks aluminum, and if so, powder coated? Which if the 3 do you feel are most rugged or durable? I dont like the idea of using small diameter rivers, which I think the Rhino tracks use? What are the mounting Hale diameters for the various manufacturers? I like the idea of rivet nuts plus nuts. However I want the 60inch tracks and the 60inch Yakima tracks use cap nuts. Can I supply my own rivet nuts and use them to install the 60inch tracks? If so what size screws and rivet nuts would be needed? It doesnt sound like I can reuse the existing rivet nuts in good condition because The 6mm screws may be too big? In the end, I plan to install a Rhino Pioneer platform using the Rhino RLtF legs. Any advise and direction is greatly appreciated.

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Expert Reply:

On the 60 inch long Thule tracks # THTB60 the screws are M5x40mm. But the Thule tracks are designed for use on fiberglass only (like camper shells) and not metal roofs so I cannot recommend them.

You mentioned not wanting to use the cap nut system on the Yakima 60 inch tracks # Y01135 but that works out because there is a special kit needed to install the tracks on a metal roof, # Y8880039, and would require 1/4 inch holes. The tracks are aluminum. But the special feet used for the Yakima tracks are no longer made.

The Rhino-Rack tracks # RTS502 are also aluminum but like you said they use rivets for installation. The mounting holes are 1/4 inch. So you could use alternate hardware but keep in mind the heads of the bolts, if the stick up into the tracks, can interfere with the feet.

There are Pioneer platform racks that actually come with the tracks, legs, and accessories all together such as # JA8657 which includes the bolt-on tracks, legs, and spacer blocks. This all-in-one is your best option for everything.

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