Navara is the European name for the Nissan Frontier. The D40 is the crew cab. The Navara D40 can be bought with a roof rack but only if the leather package is installed. This is really odd to me since the roof rack is for doing stuff and the leather package is for telling people that you are rich. Maybe leather is more durable and good for construction workers. Either that or the roof rack is only a decoration. Whatever their reasoning, you cannot get the roof rack without leather. Regardless of the reasoning, I hate leather and need a roof rack.


One of Many Fakes

The parts for the rack can be ordered separately but the cost has to be close to $1000.00! The alternative is to buy some Chinese rack that looks like an exact duplicate. Those Chinese guys are probably building more racks than Nissan orders and then just selling some on the side on their own. I would have to compare them to know for sure.

So on to installation. Note that this is purely research and I have not touched any parts nor taken apart a Navara D40 to confirm anything. Who in their right mind would start taking apart a brand new truck?

imageNut Plate

The parts that do not come with the Chinese racks appear to be the nut plates. A few people who appear a bit ignorant of mechanical stuff suggested on the internet forums that the plates go outside of the truck and under the feet of the rack. These plates have nuts welded on them and go on the inside of the truck. They keep the rack from pulling up off the roof. This is important because the alternative leaves the rack weak and also will eventually lead to bending of the sheet metal where the holes go through the roof.

One person on one forum has pictures of their rack install. They did things right and ordered the inside nut plates from Nissan and used them to install the cheapo fake rack. What they didn’t do was mention curtain airbags!

It appears that the installation will require the following steps that I may or may not take in a few months when winter is winding down and I need a roof rack. This is documented here because I wanted a place where I had links to various information that I have found:

  1. Buy the four nut plates for the stock rack. Here is a link to one of them (seen in the image up above):
  2. Buy one of the many fake racks. These come in a variety of prices from $180.00 plus shipping to $350.00. I have seen higher but a majority of these are at the high end of that price range with just a few lower and a few higher. Here is the cheapest I’ve seen so far:
  3. Assemble rack.
  4. Place rack on roof. Examine a rack on a truck at the dealership or on the side of the road to get the front-to-back position right. This is important since the plates inside are fitted to the roof and there may be no other way to get them just right.
  5. Mark the places to drill the holes using the rack. A bit of masking tap on the roof will allow the roof to be marked with pen.
  6. Confirm the hole positions using the nut plates.
  7. Check the hole positions again. And again. There is no coming back from this.
  8. I’m not sure what order is best here. Remove the headliner CAREFULLY! It won’t come out all of the way. Cover it to catch the metal from drilling the holes.
  9. Check the hole positions again!
  10. Drill!
  11. Put sealant on things and bolt the whole thing on. this should be simple if the holes are in the right spots.
  12. Reassemble the headliner. This is where failure will result in a new defect on the truck. If things go right, the job will be done.

The curtain airbags are a big issue since no one seems to have done this install with them in place. More research is needed.


Pictures of an install that someone else did:



From the original photographer: “These last two shots also show the placement of the rack mounts per factory specs. The rear support borders the rain gutter and the front point should be 1/8 back from the windshield and the rear corner should border the rain gutter. (Mine is a hair too far ahead – you should see 1/8″ of paint between the windshield and rack mount gasket.)”