Installing a Ski Rack
Paradise Garage

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© 2002 Brian F. Schreurs
Even we have a disclaimer.

The "pet" in "pet python" is really contingent on how well-fed it is.
Installing a Subaru-supplied ski rack onto a Subaru-supplied car is ridiculously easy. You don't even need any tools! But hey, in a world wide web that includes dancing hamsters, we think there's room for some guidance on how to install a ski rack, just in case you happen to be truly, completely, and utterly mechanically inept.

Hey, we couldn't nail two flat boards together to make a right angle if it meant our lives, so we know how you feel when it comes to mechanical work. All you need is one Subaru Outback Sport, one Subaru ski attachment kit (#E3610AS790), and one Subaru ski attachment mount set (#E3610AS820). Seriously, you don't need any tools other than your hands.

The mount.
The bolt.
The nut.

First, decide how you'd like the ski rack to sit. Human nature demands that it sit symmetrically down the center, but human nature doesn't have to lean across a scuzzy, salt-encrusted, snowbound car to get at the cargo carried by the ski rack. We decided to install ours as far to the passenger side as we possibly could.

With location in mind, snap the plastic mounts onto the cargo bar. Outback Sports and WRXs come with cargo bars; if your car is a 2.5TS, you have to order them separately (we don't know the part number 'coz ours is an Outback Sport, neener neener). The mounts literally spread apart just from their own flexibility. The bars are aerodynamically shaped, and therefore thickest up front; start the mounts from the rear and work forward. They snap right on.

One installed ski rack.
Set the rack on top of these mounts. Adjust the mounts so that the hole in the mounts lines up with the hole in the rack. Then, take the provided carriage bolts and slide them through the holes from the back forward. Once you reach the head of the bolt, be sure the square lines up properly.

Now open the ski rack and thread the wingnut. The ski rack must be open for this because the top half of the rack acts as the lock for the wingnut, preventing someone from just unscrewing the nuts and taking the entire rack with gear.

Close the rack. Go do the second one, making sure that the two racks line up reasonably well.

You're done! We told you it was easy.

Even though it's a wagon, it's a small one. Throw a couple of suitcases, dogs, and ski boots in there, and suddenly the car seems much smaller than it did mere moments before. Now that you have a ski rack, the rather precious cargo room in the Impreza wagon won't be compromised by skis, ski poles, snowboards, or whatever else you might stick up there (rifles are not a good idea). But be sure to remove the rack when it's not in use, as it presents quite the aerodynamic baffle and will hurt fuel economy somewhat.