That might be part of it too, perhaps the torque values were simply hold overs from when plastic bed caps did not exist and in the effort to obtain them it damaged the rail caps, and of course once plastic is damaged like that it's never as strong and the damage was done. GM's instructions on their parts have never been that great. I also notice that if you look at Putco's instructions for say the locker version or the Tec rail that has the same mounting brackets, the installation procedure is similar, but they never mention any torque values, or trying to achieve a specific distance from the front of the box to the "nose" of the bed rail based on vehicle model. That said as I was tightening them I never really felt they got really solid I could still easily tug on the bar and see the mounts shift/twist. I never could find any info on Putco's site for these exact bed rails, they appear to be something made for GM specifically. On a different note how are the Yakima Railgrab towers working out? I originally wanted to use those as I started my research since others had recommended them for bed rails, but they no longer make them and they've been replaced with the Timberline tower, which seems like it might not be as solid on a round bar. The Railgrab tower pulls the bar into the curve right, where the Timberline instructions want you to center the the bar It's basically just a strap that tightens around the bar, but doesn't seem to have any indent or shape that keeps it solidly on the bar itself so if I ever get the rail bars sorted out it will be interesting to see how solid the new Timberline style is.
Yep I did the side bolts first and got those centered and snug, made sure the top of the brackets were fairly level then did the top allen screws. GM instructions said to do 5ft/lbs on the front, then go to 10ft/lbs on the rear making sure the spacing was tight to take any slop out of the bar, and then go back and tighten the front down to 10ft/lbs. The deformation shown is at 60in/lbs or 5 ft/lbs, I could never get the torque wrench to hit 10ft/lbs, it was just squishing the rail caps down more so I stopped. I did notice the caps are pretty soft on mine, I can deflect them just pushing down on them hard with my hand. So perhaps GM went a little too cheap on them recently, or it was just a weak batch.
Here's what's happening. I tried a slightly different install method from the video above so I could better monitor the brackets and make sure they were properly positioned. Interestingly it seems to be worse on the drivers side than passenger. Also this is not even what I'd consider tight, I can still tug a bit on the bar and the two end pieces that are bolted on will shift. I'm sure it would be fine for looks or even using for the occasional tie down of cargo, but it's not solid enough I would not want to mount a yakima style bike rack to it, especially for off road use. Bikes put a lot of side to side torque on a rack when off road. A simple cargo rack would probably be fine since most of its pressure is always downward. One thing I noticed is the seal caps that go on the bottom of the rail bar mounts are very hard and slick. I'd have expected them to be a more grippy high durometer rubber. Tried cleaning them off with acetone along with the top of the bed rail thinking that would add some grip. All in all I think this is a pretty much total fail, unless I decide to buy a couple new bed rail caps and reinforce what's under them so they are solid and won't compress. Even if they were not compressing the plastic cap now, any amount of weight or sideways torque, especially over time off road is going to slowly compress the factory rail covers under the bed rails, and as they compress they the rails will just loosen again. It's just a horrible design to put anything that's going to carry weight on. It makes me wonder how many people that have put larger/heavier tool racks or overland setups etc. are going to have this problem over time since most of those seem to mount in the same manner.
Unfortunately I already took them off, but they were just crushing the plastic bed cap down so it was curving down as it approached the bed rail mount block. 2020 AT4 The picture is horrible, and a different model, but in areas that are green is where the factory installed bed rail cap was being crushed downward by the bed rail mount, and in areas that are red due to it deforming downward in the green areas the edges were flexing away from the body. They did the same type of thing in the front, I'd say overall they were worse in the front than the back. I actually had the same idea, I wanted to use Yakima Timberline towers with cross bars thinking it would be easy/fast to remove if I needed to and I already have yakima bike trays and skinny warrior rack to use. Not sure what I'll do now, the plastic bed caps are actually pretty cheap only about $75, I may order a set and see if I can't use either epoxy or thermoplastic sheeting to build up the area where the bed rail mounts go so it's solid instead of hollow. I thought I could just make a spacer the same height as the plastic bed cap that the bed rail mount would sit on to support it better, but if you look at the bottom of the bed rail mount there's very little material there where the bolt is that tightens them down, so I doubt it would stand up. The only real option is to reinforce the hollow area under the factory installed plastic bed rail cover. Maybe older trucks had solid bed rail caps, or these are just very soft, you can easily flex them, but I don't think the mount tabs would survive removal.
Yeah I've used the rubber block style before on my fathers 07' when we installed a slightly different Putco style that simply expanded inside the metal stake pocket. I think the attachment method is the issue, these have a metal bracket that slides down inside the stake pockets that bolt through the horizontal bed access points inside the bed, and then use a hex bolt to pull downward. As a result all the downward pressure goes onto the plastic bed cap cover itself squashing it. I wonder if they stopped using the rubber expansion block because the plastic top caps now extend into the stake pocket and it would not hold as well. Mine use the same mounting method for their new TEC rails in this video installing into a new Denali and it also shows their installation crushing that plastic top cap.
Has anyone ever installed bed rails on these trucks? I got a set of the putco's because I had hoped to use them for adding cross bars to. However, it doesn't seem like there's any way to install them properly. https://accessories.gmc.com/product/bed-products/short-bed-bed-rail-new-in-black-powder-coat-by-putco-associated-accessories-19418293?year=2020&make=GMC&model=Sierra 1500&modelId=548&body=Crew Cab Pickup&bodyId=22&wheel=Short Box&wheelId=651&trim=AT4&trimId=5102&drive=4WD&driveId=8&engine=6.2L V8 GAS&engineId=5920&bodyNumDoors=5&categoryId=12010 The pictures I've seen show them mounted on top of the plastic bed rail caps but I don't see any way to do this and have them be sturdy. The reason is the plastic bed rail cap, it's not solid under the plastic where it mates to the truck bed metal rail, there's about 1/4" of open space under the plastic cap with just a few ridges to support it so when you try and tighten down the bed rail, it just crushes the plastic bed cap down. The instructions don't mention anything about removing the plastic bed cap, but even tightening the mount bolts to 5ft/lbs (half of the final torque value) it starts to crush the plastic top caps in. You can't remove the plastic bed cap or it leaves tons of ugly holes all down the top of the bed rails. I'll have to try and contact Putco see what they say, but the only option I see is to A) not use them or B) to remove the plastic top cap (which it appears would damage the retention tabs as you can't get to the outermost set) and fill the area under the plastic bed cap with epoxy etc. so it's solid.
It depends, some dealers have a dedicated automotive glass company come in and do window replacements. It kind of sounds what they are doing in this case. Is that good or bad, it really depends, both dealers and glass companies have crappy workmanship and employees that don't care about the quality of work they do. The plus side is that since the dealer is doing it, regardless it will still be covered by the warranty.
The only thing electrical I could see would be if the computer is going to freak out because it can't detect the connections. That said there HAVE been guys that have gone from a slider to a solid rear window, both at dealers and from non-dealer glass companies and I've seen no reports of electrical issues. It's probably simple economics. If a reasonable sealant job gets even 25% of these trucks past 3yr/36,000 for $13 of sealant and $50 in tech labor (If that) if it leaks in another 2, 5, 10 years that will be on the customer's dime and they saved a ton of $. After all it's usually not the dealer's option how they repair things, which is why for most the first step is gobbing sealant on the upper 1/3 of the window seams and hoping it lasts just long enough, instead of replacing the window. Sadly these days the company spending $75 to kick the can down the road for a couple hoping you make it out of warranty when you'll have to spend $1500+ for a new rear window install is "good business". Also say what you want about the Encore (I got one as a loaner) but it's seats were significantly more comfortable than my AT4 seats. In my AT4 you might as well be sliding around on a bench seat, and those vibration alert pads are like having two overstuffed wallets in your pockets after about an hour. It also had a very nice pano roof, much larger/nicer infotainment screen, and better wipers. I'm also pretty sure it had more wheel well clearance for bigger tires and a lift even with 20's!
Yep, first time they try the sealant gimmick, if that doesn't work they evidently replace the rear window, which is what should be done the first time. 2021 owners are reporting the issue as well on the facebook groups, both US and Mexico made trucks. I'm sure it's cheaper for GM to pay a tech $15/hr and $13 for a tube of Kent sealant and hope it works at least long enough that you get beyond 3yr/36,000, then the correct fix is on your dime. Enough guys report that the sealant fix either doesn't work, or only works for awhile that it's clearly a bandaid fix.
Yeah they did remove it, you can see inside on the seatbelt slot panel and all the blue crumbs (headliner insulation maybe?) inside on the back seats they were definitely inside messing around. Thankfully they didn't wreck anything inside. Can't say as I'm impressed overall, with GM either. I had them check out squealing brakes while it was in there. They could reproduce the issue repeatedly at all 4 wheels. The repair order says they called technical assistance and "found they deemed it normal operation"
Picked mine up for the rear window leak fix this evening, there's so much sealant balled up in the gap between the top of the rear window and spoiler, and smeared on the window/spoiler I hope there was still some left to fix the actual leak!. Talk about piss poor workmanship.
For guys that are putting cross rails over their beds with a tonneau cover, what are you using? I know a couple of the tonneau covers have rails built in stuff can be mounted onto. GM also has a "Tiered Storage Cross Rail Bracket" but there doesn't seem to be instructions to show how it's mounted, and I don't see any pics of anyone that's tried it. https://accessories.gmc.com/product/tiered-storage-cross-rail-brackets-84753982?year=2020&make=GMC&model=Sierra 1500&modelId=548&body=Crew Cab Pickup&bodyId=22&wheel=Short Box&wheelId=651&trim=AT4&trimId=5102&drive=4WD&driveId=8&engine=6.2L V8 GAS&engineId=5920&bodyNumDoors=5 Seems like all the other options block using a tonneau cover by clamping to the inside rails etc. GMC accessory is:
My guess is they are all significantly improved over the stock ones, unfortunately without riding in them all it's hard to say and kind of a crap shoot. One man's "board stiff" is another man's "plush" I was also looking at the Fox 2.0's that some say are a bit softer than the 5100's. I'd also guess it matters if you do both the front and rear or just the rears too.
I really want a set of these, they are one of the best looking options, but we've seen a few reports of guys denting the rocker panels on facebook, evidently it's extremely thin/weak on these trucks, and the high and tight running board encourages shoes/boots to hit it harder/more often Couple guys installed the Bushwacker rocker panel covers to help with the issue.
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