RamBar Bolts

Deadhead

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During the installation of a Retrax Pro top, I came across an issue with the way the top bolts and side bolts are attached. Forget about the Retrax for a minute which by the way was very easy to install.

The bolts that fasten the RamBar to the top bed are held in place by a square cage nut that is welded to a flat rectangular strip of metal. The rectangular piece is supposed to distribute holding force by resting on the underside of the bed top sheetmetal. The square cage bolt should be facing down to allow you to put a wrench on it while tightening the top hex bolts.

Every cage bolt / flat metal piece on my TRX was installed upside-down (top image)! I noticed it on the fist bolt because the bar just spun and there was really no what to grab it. I was also a little suspicious because there were metal filing dropping when I grabbed the piece with a pair of vise grips. They were all that way and filings were the result of the cage nut spinning and gouging the sheet metal. Had they been installed correctly they still would have spun a bit but there would not have been damage to the sheet metal.

The 2nd image is looking up from the bed to a correctly install cage nut. You can see that there is a ridge to prevent the flat piece from spinning, assuming it was installed correctly.

Not a safety issue but worth correcting

Top bolt= wrong, Bottom bolt = correct
IMG_3328.jpeg


IMG_3339.jpeg
 

Rasputin

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Good item to add to the visual checklist for sure. I’m not sure if/when the models will start to incorporate the new revision Rambar with the side bolts exclusively replacing the top bolts. It seems the new revision uses a unified rear foot clamp instead of single cage nuts. Still I guess it could be theoretically installed backwards too.

A4628D7C-A1CE-409A-A062-82C969596002.jpeg
 

TReX-RAM

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My RamBar was done correctly.
But elevator bolts work the best with the Retrax.
 

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Deadhead

Deadhead

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My RamBar was done correctly.
But elevator bolts work the best with the Retrax.
There seems to be a few good work-around for side clearance between the top hex bolts and the rails. Rasputin pointed out that the newer versions would not have any top bolts which definitely would solve that problem for most bed covers as well. That's probably the motivation behind Ram doing this because most buyers would want a bed cover.

For the elevator bolts, are you saying that the flat top would be on the top of the RAM Bar and the track on top of that? Most elevator bolts have a square section directly below the flat disk for keying purposes. How did you compensate for that?

Modifying the track with a radius cut by each bolt is also an option and could be done very precisely with a dremel / grinding wheel of the correct diameter.

I'm still on the fence about the best solution and have some round head socket bolts on the way in base on another post I saw.

FYI
8mm Flange Head Hex = 17mm. This is what is used

While you do pick up some clearance with variants, that would assume you choose not to use a washer.
8mm button head socket cap = head = 14mm
8mm Socket head socket cap = head = 13.27 mm
8mm Hex head = 12.7
 
Last edited:

TReX-RAM

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There seems to be a few good work-around for side clearance between the top hex bolts and the rails. Rasputin pointed out that the newer versions would not have any top bolts which definitely would solve that problem for most bed covers as well. That's probably the motivation behind Ram doing this because most buyers would want a bed cover.

For the elevator bolts, are you saying that the flat top would be on the top of the RAM Bar and the track on top of that? Most elevator bolts have a square section directly below the flat disk for keying purposes. How did you compensate for that?

Modifying the track with a radius cut by each bolt is also an option and could be done very precisely with a dremel / grinding wheel of the correct diameter.

I'm still on the fence about the best solution and have some round head socket bolts on the way in base on another post I saw.

FYI
8mm Flange Head Hex = 17mm. This is what is used

While you do pick up some clearance with variants, that would assume you choose not to use a washer.
8mm button head socket cap = head = 14mm
8mm Socket head socket cap = head = 13.27 mm
8mm Hex head = 12.7
I originally switched out the hex bolts with some button heads but they still had too much of a profile. I waited till somebody finally confirmed the powertrax fit good with the RamBar. I had to get a little creative with my solution with the elevator bolts because of the square protrusion beneath. I figured all 8 bolts should be changed.
My hesitation on the Retrax now is my tire carrier in the bed. I thought I would have changed that out back in April but it grew on me.
I will send pics of elevator bolts later.


1637868820950.jpeg
 

stojanowski

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Good item to add to the visual checklist for sure. I’m not sure if/when the models will start to incorporate the new revision Rambar with the side bolts exclusively replacing the top bolts. It seems the new revision uses a unified rear foot clamp instead of single cage nuts. Still I guess it could be theoretically installed backwards too.

View attachment 28075
Got the rest of those install instructions
 
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