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Old 03-26-2006, 05:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DIY Roof Rack Design Plans

I have roof rack envy ... really bad.

And while my cravings persist, I can't see spending that kind of coin on something I'm going to abuse. And so here I am, graph paper taped down on the drafting table, rough sketch in hand.

As I do this, I'm wondering just how many other people have attempted and succeeded ... or failed. Where it went wrong and where it went right. Really I'm just hoping to not repeat any mistakes others have made as I'm a bit of a perfectionist and if I am going to make huge blunders in this endeavour then they shall be mine!

I've looked at a lot of enthusiast sites and am amazed at the lack of knowledge (at least I couldn't find it) and wonder if it isn't because so many have tried and found it to be just as cost and time efficient to just guy one of the damn things and be done with it.

So I'm here pleading with the all-knowing masses at LRO for some advice. Anything would be appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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actually, your in luck...there is a good info thead going on at dweb right now:

http://discoweb.org/forums/showthrea...ight=roof+rack

as for the shape of the rack....thats up to you.....err...and the welding too.

btw, I highly suggest you line-x it...not powerdercoat it. Powerdcoat will allow water to get underneath it and rust on the inside while looking fine on the outside.....you wont be able to tell your rack is rusting away. This stuff is a ton better:

http://www.line-x.com/
http://www.goline-x.com/

this stuff is not just tough.....its bomb resistant: http://www.line-xicd.com/bomb/bomb.shtml
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Being a poor college student I also looked into a do it your self roof rack. This is what i gather.
Atlantic British sells the roof mounts for a RRC $50 for 4 and D1's and 2's for $80 for 4.

If your planning to put anything substantial you'll need 8 mounts. I read somewhere that the drip rails are only rated for 160lbs factory rating. I know people are putting more, but with that in mind weight is the critical issue for anumber of reasons.

It will determine how much you can load it, will help to keep your CG down, and make it easier to take on and off.

Use of aluminum is necessary, i bought part of the steel to do mine and realized it was going to be way too heavy. So you need access to a Tig welder.

Rounded corners, you need access to a tubing bender, like 1" .120 wall to do the perimeter and 1x2 .120 wall rectangular tube for the uprights and across the roof.

Im planning in customizin my rack to have purpose built holders for various things, shovel, jerry cans, spare, etc. So make sure to spacial reference that all out. Keep in mind fluids are heavy so is a large tire and wheel.

A wind deflector seems to be a good idea, my friends roof bike rack minus the wind guard howls horrible but is bearable with the wind deflector.

thats about it i may sit down and do the math to see what yielding strength is over the with of the vehicle with a point load in the center. but other than that its pretty much up to ou and what you want to use it for.
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Old 03-26-2006, 07:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nfrey2
Use of aluminum is necessary, i bought part of the steel to do mine and realized it was going to be way too heavy. So you need access to a Tig welder.
Where did you hear about the 160lbs rating?? That cant be right.....if they make 2 person tents for the racks, then were looking at 300lbs just for the people....minus the gear, tent, and rack. Just a guess....but I would think the rails can hold more in the 400lbs range.

IMO, aluminum is not the ideal material. Its light, yes, but it will be harder to weld, more expensive and unnecessary.

The mainstream racks are all make of bent steel tube....I think thats the way to go. I mean, if you have the skills and cash to make an aluminum rack then go for it.....it wont rust either....another great thing...I just dont think its as practical.
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Old 03-26-2006, 08:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Now that you mention that makes more sense about the loading weight. When I read 160lb figure it seemed low and I assumed people were laoding over that. I believe 160 is what the factory deems as max load...

Aluminum vs Steel they each have their pros and cons I was just analyzing from a weight standpoint.

Just a thought I was tossing the idea around of building one out of aluminum and covering it in aluminum sheet to make a tub. Seal the seams and now you have a boat/raft.
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here is some possible inspiration... The gap in the top bar is for my kayak. I used thin wall steel tubing and MIG welded it. If you make your own, you could use the Surco gutter mounts- they are only $36 for 4. I dont have any pictures at the moment, but on my RRC, I bought some black gutter mount ladder racks off eBay. They were $80 shipped. Then I built my rack and used u-bolts to join them. I used the ladder racks because they are rated for 300lbs.
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nfrey2
Now that you mention that makes more sense about the loading weight. When I read 160lb figure it seemed low and I assumed people were laoding over that. I believe 160 is what the factory deems as max load...

Aluminum vs Steel they each have their pros and cons I was just analyzing from a weight standpoint.

Just a thought I was tossing the idea around of building one out of aluminum and covering it in aluminum sheet to make a tub. Seal the seams and now you have a boat/raft.
The load rating is 160# at one point. With a loaded rack, the load is spread out over several places.
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Old 03-26-2006, 11:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roverX
The load rating is 160# at one point. With a loaded rack, the load is spread out over several places.
I was thinking that...but at what point does it stop working....I mean.....in that case, you could have more points leading down to better spread out the load, but when does it become too much?

ie.

1600lbs/10points= 160lbs

Thats like a VW beetle on your roof with a 10point rack....err....im still thinking around 400lbs.
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Old 03-27-2006, 12:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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ive just built a roof rack within the past 5 days its sitting on the truck right now i would love to take a few pictures rite now nut its about 1 a.m.and i have had a few too many so ill take pictures in the morning.. for the construction.. it cost me about50 bucks to built in all
tools u need...
drill with an assortment of bits
rivetterand rivets
u bolts..

i used the yakima bars that i had from the car top box that i have.. the bed of the roof rack is an old metal bed frame and the sides are made of aluminum plate...which is riveted to the steel bed frame....(made sure it was as simple as possible to make .) all the metal was picked up at an used metal place/metal recycler...
it took me an total of 2 hours to do the whole thing

and the pics will be here in the morning...
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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as promised here are a few pictures of the roof rack that i made.. this involves no welding as i dont have acess to a welder,even though i can weld...
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DIY Roof Rack Design Plans-roof-rack3.jpg   DIY Roof Rack Design Plans-roofrack1.jpg   DIY Roof Rack Design Plans-roofrack2.jpg   DIY Roof Rack Design Plans-roof-rack4.jpg  
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Old 03-27-2006, 03:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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not bad, its looks like your truck has gone through a bit of a transformation, since i last saw it.
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Old 03-27-2006, 04:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I dont like it. A car top carrier can only take so much.

Did you test it with weight before you put it on.

remember it could sag in the middle and begin to oscillate in the wind. It could with enough weight twist itself off from its morings or damage the roof.
Plus a sudden braking effort could lead to a weight shift in the stuff on top leading to a bending effecting on the front bars also breaking the sunroof or roof.

I would test it off the vehicle to see how much weight it can take. I dont like what I see.

Even going off roading and bumping around could lead to a damaged roof. Those bars are supposed to take only so much weight.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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For sleeping bags and duffle bags full of clothes it should be just fine.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene
not bad, its looks like your truck has gone through a bit of a transformation, since i last saw it.
yeah.....tires, rack....and fender cutting

I have to agree with beezel on the sense that you should test it before really loading it up......though, it should be find for stuff like tents, sleeping bags, etc. etc......just maybe not suited for many jerry cans.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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ive tested it various times within the past few days.at the moment i have 6 pallets stacked on top of each other and i have driven about 35 miles around town and the freeway... it holds up just fine...
ill post a picture of the pallets stacked up when i get home... i am at work rite now....i drove 6 kegs to the party over the weekend.. and they were on the top too.
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