Questions about Beef Bar Issues?

OK, so today I was re-positioning my two beef bars to be more conducive to hauling lumber (for some upcoming home projects) and not just overlanding, and two issues came up. 1) I loosened the 4 bolts holding the flanges to the actual beef bars to get a little more slack in order to slide the bars a little bit down the track, and water came pouring out of the bolt holes on both bars when I did this!! It pretty much was apparent that the entire length of both bars were filled with water. I know that the bars are aluminum and won’t rust like steel, but aluminum can indeed corrode when in constant contact with water, and I’m also not too keen on carrying around 10 or so extra pounds of non-potable & inaccessible water. Anyone know why or how this is happening? 2) When tightening the 4 bolts on one of the flanges holding the beef bars, one of the 4 bolts stripped out. Not sure why this happened, as I’m usually super careful not to over tighten bolts like this. But it did. Do any of you more mechanically gifted folks know how to remedy this? Should I try just a slightly longer Allen bolt, or does the hole need to be tapped for a slightly larger diameter bolt now? thanks!

I noticed water in my beef bars too a while ago. I think any water that gets in the top t-slot has no where to go except to seep down where the end of the beef bar contacts the side plate. I thought about drilling some weep holes on the bottom of the beef bars but for some reason I didn’t. No sure why unless I didn’t think it would work well at the time.

I did end up running some silicone over the joint between beef bar and side plate. Seems to be holding up ok.

I believe those allen bolts are self tapping so you could try to find a longer one to get into some fresh meat. Not a lot of material there to go up a bolt size.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the amount of water in there, couldn’t be more than a cup or two.