DIY No hole Roof Rails

RussJeep1

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Those who've read my posts know I have no loss of words. And this post by comparison is going to be wordy: there's lots to cover.

But I've separated it into 2 sections: the first some background you need not read if you want to get to the business of how the rack was built, and the second the build.

First, lets take a look at the most basic of designs so you can decide if you want to read on. Is it as snazzy as the Gobi or anything soon to be released?: no way.

IMG_2380.JPG


IMG_2379.JPG



Thoughts on roof racks not related to the build

I love my JL. It's loads of fun. But if I had one wish—and I knew this with my eyes wide open when I purchased it—I'd wish the aftermarket had more products out faster than they do, particularly roof racks.

This is not to be confused with my blaming the aftermarket. Nor is it to say that I haven't already spent money on a lot on stuff which is available. The aftermarket may have not been given the heads up by FCA on the JL's specs prior to release, especially since FCA probably wanted to aid sales of their MOPAR accessories exclusively available at launch. Still more, it takes time for MOPAR or the aftermarket to develop product, and get it right upon first release, including testing and filing patent applications.

As for me. I wanted a roof rack, but I didn't want to break the bank, nor did I want one that would drill into my rig/hard top, nor require a hard top. I think the Gobi rack is awesome, but at $1795 preordered, I just couldn't justify that for my lifestyle. I can though see how others completely can. And as for the MOPAR hard top roof rails: their attachment into the rain gutters makes them very limited in supporting weight.

And sure, other companies (will) have their racks out (soon,) and hopefully prices will become more competitive as a result and drop a bit, but I need a rack for dropping kids and their stuff off at college soon. And yeah, I could put the hard top back on and use the MOPAR roof rails, but the challenge of a project "gets me going."

I asked Gobi if they'd sell me just the hardware of their JL roof rack that interfaces with the windshield. I didn't hear back and I don't blame them. They want to sell the full thing I suspect. I'll bet it took a lot (of money) for them to be first to market with such an amazing product and they want to recoup their labors.

So, off to the box stores I went, combing the aisles for ideas when in Lowes I hit the plumbing aisle, as planned, and got inspired. It wasn't reusing conventional steel natural gas pipe that got me interested. I'd have to buy a pipe threader to make that work, like this builder features, with all those threaded pipe segments:

threadedgaspipetable.png

Rather, it was structural pipe, the stuff used to create things like towel holders, without threaded ends, not the kind that normally supplies cooking/heating gas as shown above, that got me interested.

You know. This kind of stuff: https://tinyurl.com/ydf7zkxa

Begin reading here if you want to dive into the build.

Lowes carries the Steel-Tek line of structural fittings. They hold pipe with enormous force by torquing with an Allen wrench a bolt inside the various pipe fittings available within the brand. If the store was out of a fitting, Lowes web presence wasn't. And extra non special order online purchased product like this that normally lines a store's shelves, that if I (or you) over order, can be returned to the store for refund.

http://www.steel-tek.com/products/

Although Steel-Tek's hardware is designed for two sizes of their threadless pipe: 3/4" based and 1 1/4” based, I went with the smaller. All I need to do is carry a cargo box or two up top. No tents and people for me. This isn't to say that the 3/4” pipe I used won't hold such weight, but the 1 1/4” pipe might fit your needs for say heavier weights, hard top or not. More on this below

(Note: the Steel-Tek fittings for 1 1/4” pipe appear to in large part not only duplicate, but exceed what's available for 3/4” pipe.)

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Lowes or Steel-Tek. By no means is the latter the only vendor in this structural steel product space, just the only one I could find with a large retail presence.

In its essence a cargo rack needs connection points in front and rear. I'm no welder, so building the hardware to attach to the bolts on the hood was out of the question. The need to line up a welded solution with the JL's hood bolt configuration is only the first battle. The second is making these holes on such a fabrication “funnel shaped” to fit into the depressions in the JL's body, surrounding these bolts.

As for the rear of the roof rack the Darby Extend-A-Truck hitch mount came to the rescue.

http://www.darbyindustries.com/

Accordingly, this build requires a rear 2” hitch to connect this Extend-A-Truck product to.

The kayak and hang gliding world, not to mentions carpenters, love this gear for hauling long stuff, sometimes on relatively short rigs. Some people stick one on their front hitch too. And if I wanted to keep this simple--as I have a front hitch as well--I could have bought 4 of these Double Tab Offset Flanges, rather than just 2, used a second Darby Extend-A-Truck in front,

http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/679804806HC.pdf

and vertically drilled into the horizontal portion of the “T” this Extend-A-Truck device includes, at each end of the “T”, bolted this hardware on to 2 Extend-A-Trucks with 3" x 5/16" (or 3/8") bolts, and strung the pipe that is part of this kit (sold separately in 10' lengths,) between the two Extend-A-Trucks in front and back, with 2 straight couplings and a hack saw http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/674904906HC.pdf to cut the 2nd shorter length of pipe down, and called it a day.

If this is confusing, look below at the kayac picture and imagine the kayac is replaced with pipe on either side of the rig, front to back.

(By the way, this drilling is best done with a drill press to drill as close as perpendicular into the “T” section of the Darby Extend-A-Truck so the drilled holes line up on either side. If using a hand drill it may be best for alignment sake to premark the holes on each side of the “T” with a punch https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-6-in-Automatic-Center-Punch-70079H/302880581, and drill them from each side.)

Drill bits for drilling steel are recommended.

Here's a picture of one side of the top "T" portion of the Darby Extend-A-Truck. The other side mirrors this.

IMG_2376.JPG


Envision this, only with pipe, not a kayak, extending between the two Extend-A-Trucks.

kayac.png

But I thought that was ugly/overkill , (at least if your not moving kayaks) would maybe compromise the weight barring abilities of the 3/4” pipe at that long a distance, or maybe that I'd use the front hitch instead for a cargo basket when hauling kids college stuff. Notice the importance of roping down the Extend-A-Truck.

So I did this setup with an Extend-A-Truck in the rear only, with a 12” hitch extender to clear the spare tire and camera, like this

https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-hitch-extender-69882.html.

I actually regret using only a 12" long hitch extender but it allowed me to span the entire distance from the Extend-A-Truck to the front connection points in one 10' pipe segment--the maximum length Steel Tek sells pipe in.

IMG_2373.JPG

In my next version I'll use a longer hitch extender so I can get the tailgate open at least somewhat without having to disassemble the device. Interestingly enough though, reasonable visibility through the rear camera was still achieved given its panoramic view.

This will require the use of the aforementioned couplers and additional pipe segments. Also note that the longer the hitch entender, the less weight you can put on the hitch. Follow hitch extender manufacturer instructions here regarding tongue weight.

But what should I attach the front of the roof rack too? As mentioned I'd love to use the hood bolts but they're recessed and I'm no fabricator. If one of you wants to design this, patents notwithstanding, I'd love that.

Here was my "move."

IMG_2363.JPG



Ugly? It's not the prettiest of solutions, but that said, I reasoned that if I bought 4 of these flanges http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/673104106HC.pdf
I might be able to pass the four JL door bolts of the 2 front doors through one of the holes in this fixture from the underside, and screw it back into the door. These flanges could then hold the vertical risers of my rack, as shown, on each side of the JL, in the front, even letting the windshield come down without any rack disassembly (not that this is something I regularly do, but you might.)

Unfortunately, the holes on this flange weren't big enough for the door bolt, so I drilled one of the holes a little bigger (7/16”) to just accommodate the door bolt. It doesn't matter which hole, but it's best to follow my picture of using the hole shown (compare it in distance from the flange fixture's tightening nut or the "Pac Man" like cut in the flange---see below), because we'll be cutting a notch out of these 4 flange fixtures as described below. Here's an upside down view of the bottom flange on the driver's side, which connects to the bolt on the bottom hinge. Notice the cut into the flange and the expanded size hole. I'll cover that shortly.

The flange above this one, that connects to the (same door's) top door hinge is oriented with the same hole expanded in size and cut pattern. The assembly on the passenger's side is the mirror image of the driver's side. Notice how the pipe cannot protrude through the bottom of the flange, even if its tightening bolt were loose.

IMG_2368.JPG



This flange is merely painted. I would suggest you Plasti Dip all four flanges to prevent scratching your rig's body, although I had no problems. It's on my to do list.

But once drilled and installed on to the door, these flanges neither stayed horizontal, nor allowed the 2 front doors much play to open.

So (and that's why) I took a notch out of the flanges as shown that allowed me to not only get the 2 front doors to open, but for the flanges to sit horizontal.

One final obstacle existed with the flanges. As shown in the picture above they don't let pipe slide through, just in. This would be a problem for the upper door hinge flanges on either side of the rig. So using the larger of these two of these step bits https://www.harborfreight.com/2-pie...oated-high-speed-steel-step-drills-96275.html I made these upper flanges wider inside, so pipe could pass through them. This is not necessary with the two flanges on either side that sit closer to the ground and probably discouraged, much as the flanges tightening nut, fully torque, provides enormous holding strength (more than a roof rack is ever suppose to carry, including tents, people in tents, heavy gear etc. Here is an example of the strength of a torqued tightening screw, albeit a competitor's brand: )


I then cut the Steel Tek (3/4") pipe into 2 equal lengths of 27.5” with a hack saw and stuck them each into the 2 flanges on each side of the rig, one on each door hinge, to a length where I could then form an angle with more 3/4” pipe, that approximated the slope of the windshield, using 2 of these Single Swivel Socket fixtures:

http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/677304306HC.pdf

You'll notice in pictures that the slope of the pipe that heads up the windshield doesn't match the windshield's slope. This is a product of pure laziness I'll get to in "release 2" of the rack. I just need to nip the 2 lengths of pipe that run from the front to the back of the rig a bit in front, and turn upwards the two "T" connectors that sit on the cross member on the top front of the rig a tad to decrease the slope along the windshield pipe to match the windshield's slope. Then again I may not do this so as to not block the soft top from opening once I widen the distance between the longest segments of pipe (read below).

The flanges are, no surprise 12 7/16” apart, as are the door hinges. And obviously, shorter front to back pipe spans would be indicated for 2 door rigs.

As referred to above, the other end of the pipe, on either side of the JL, that travels up the windshield slope line where it ends at the top of the JL, is connected to the cross member at the front top of the rig, of length 40" by two 90 degree elbows http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/672504506HC.pdf . This cross member sits at the same height as the Darby Extend-A-Truck in the back, when two empty pin holes remain at the top of the Extend-A-Truck's connection point with its two members: the top "T", and the bottom "L" shaped vertical riser that connects to the hitch.

Along this cross section of pipe sit two Single Socket Tees http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/670104106HC.pdf , which send pipe to the back of the rig, where they insert into the two Double Tab Offset Flanges on the Darby Extend-A-Truck.

Of course the device needs cross members to not only help keep it square, but to attach roof gear on to.

I have two, the same length as the aforementioned cross member in front. This obviously involves 4 more Single Socket Tees, linked above.

How many cross members you chose to have, and the grid like pattern you form within them with Single Socket Tees, if any, I leave up to you and your specific needs. Still more, nothing precludes the use of this setup in addition to a front Darby Extend-A-Truck and front receiver hitch, to add support to the pipe that runs the length of the rig.

There are only 6 open ends of pipe. 4 reside at the bottom and top of the pipe on the door hinges on either side of the JL, that I left as is, (I will eventually cap the tops) and two where pipe interfaces with the Double Tab Offset Flanges bolted on to the Darby Extend-A-Truck in back. The pipe is galvanized so the painting I did is cosmetic more than done for inhibiting rust.

For those open ends at the Darby Extend-A-Truck I used the end plugs http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/678404406HC.pdf and a hammer to push them in.

Remember, all flanges, fittings and pipe are the 3/4" version, not the 1 1/4" version.

Because this end plug fitting creates a wider diameter (than the pipe) that will not pass though a fitting, I ground them down to be no larger in diameter than the size of the outer dimension of the pipe. This makes disassembly of the device easier, as the longest pipe doesn't have to be pulled completely through the Double Offset Flanges on the Darby Extend-A-Truck when assembling/disassembling the device.

When not in use, the device can be separated into as little as 3 pieces that take up very little garage side room, the vertical risers with their 2 flanges each, and the top. More disassembly of the device would have it take up even less garage space. Construction/deconstruction is done with a basic Allen wrench. I don't know Steel-Tec's rating on how much to torque the adjustment screw. With a standard size Allen wrench for the screw, I torque as hard as the wrench would let me. I'm pretty sure such degrees of tightness on the adjustment screw weren't necessary. For regular disassembly consider getting the right size hex(not Jeep star bit, but hex) bit that attaches to a ratchet wrench.

Again, make sure to use Cobalt drill bits (e.g.) https://www.harborfreight.com/135-split-point-cobalt-drill-bit-set-29-pc-61885.html (or similar bits capable of drilling through steel) when drilling into the steel of the Darby Extend-A-Truck, or have a lot of same size (7/16") drill bits on hand, in addition to a bit sharpener. I also, as mentioned, painted everything black.

As mentioned, the Darby Extend-A-Truck is set here with a height such that there are 2 open holes above where the hitch pin connects the “T” portion of this device to its vertical riser attached to the hitch. Also as mentioned, make sure to anchor the Extend-A-Truck down with strapping/rope. You can make the roof rack higher by raising the set height of the Darby Extend-A-Truck, and lengthing the pipe segments that travel the windshield slope a tad, but I would not recommend making the device lower than my setting. As mentioned, I may even make the windshield slope steeper in a new version to facilitate opening the rig's top (hard or soft) for at least the front seat.

I hope this write up benefits others. I hope they improve upon it: like devise one that facilitates taking the soft top down, or Freedom Panels out, etc, or fabricate for sale a method of connecting to the hood bolts.

In phase two I am going to have the pipe that rides the length of the vehicle ride just outside the confines of the top (but under 4") so that I at least can put the soft top in sunrider position or take out the Freedom Panels with the hard top installed. A couple of elbow fittings should allow the pipe to turn back towards the center line of the rig to interface with the flanges on the Darby Extend-A-Truck in back. I'll probably raise the Darby Extend-A-Truck 1 notch. Most states limit you to 4" on either side that you may extend beyond the sides of your vehicle without special permissions. And as the Darby Extend-A-Truck, at least in the configuration it is assembled in for this build (there is a second configuration of the Darby Extend-A-Truck for pickup trucks and cargo area extensions that lengthens the cargo area's storage capacity) doesn't come anywhere close to 4' from the back of the rig, even with long and/or multiple hitch extenders most States don't require you to mark with a red flag or illuminate this extension.

Additional mods might include vertical risers on the rear doors of a 4 door as well, creating a integrated ladder, and/or doing this in 1 1/4" pipe and fittings, which brings me to the issue of how weight barring it is. This would not be to add to its weight barring capabilities but to reduce the springiness of the longest segments of pipe.

If I attempt to lift myself up by the arms (i.e. Chest Dips in the gym) halfway of the length of the pipe, the pipe will bend slightly (1/4"?) and then stop giving. After that, I believe hundreds of pounds could be added without issue. This springy nature might not make it comfortable for those putting a tent above, or it may make their mattress seem springier. ;) Some may wish to raise the Extend-A-Truck's height by a notch or two to make sure this "give" in the pipe still has it ride higher than the top of the rig.

Thoughts, suggestions, questions, improvements? A wind deflector solution would be awesome. I'm trying to get that to work with at least two of the (Single) Offset Flanges http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/679904906HC.pdf attached to the front cross member, then bolted on to a wind deflector.

This was just a "discovery" build....a solution perhaps for those of you who consider your rig naked without a roof system, or need one until the price of professional ones come down.

More pictures:

The slope below appears more architecturally pleasing but its angle was made steeper when I added the roof rack to it. Then again, I'll settle for less pleasing if it allows me to get the soft top into Sunrider position or a hard top's Freedom panels off.

IMG_2369.JPG

Below are the 90 degree elbow and single socket tee on passenger's side at the front cross member. That single socket tee's receptacle seems to be pointing down into the soft top. Not for long though, and not because it will be adjusted (although it easily can be) but because the angle of the pipe over the windshield is about to become steeper when I add the top of the device, which one person can easily install. I'd like to add an air deflector in front that doesn't block opening of the front of the hard or soft tops. We'll see. :)

IMG_2371.JPG IMG_2375.JPG

As for access to the roof, door hinge steps I have will serve that need, or even the step ladder that there's now room for in the rig, that gets sent to college, or the aforementioned design of a ladder with these fittings, integrated into the build.

I'm probably going to put end plugs on the top of the vertical riser here and on the other side, strictly for architectural sake.

IMG_2370.JPG


Happy Jeeping!

 
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I’ve used the structural tubing to make a dining room table base. Was a fun project but that pipe and those fittings add up quick. What do you figure this setup cost you so far?
 
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$276.56 … I attached a spreadsheet in a deliberately old Excel format (so it's unlikely not saved in a more advanced version of Excel than anyone has access to). It includes prices and links to the materials

But there's of course the cost of your time, and the assumption that you have

* a hack saw
* a rear 2" receiver hitch
* a hitch pin and mechanism to lock the pin (e.g. cotter pin)
* a hitch extender
* a step wise drill bit
* a drill and steel drilling bits
* an appropriately sized Allen wrench
* rope
* tax
* some of the components I had to order from Lowes because my local store didn't have them, but the choice to have them shipped to me and not picked up at the store, for convenience, was mine.

2 - 3/8" X 3" bolts, washers and nuts to attach the Double Offset Flanges to the Darby Extend-A-Truck

(I noticed that Steel-Tek makes some components in black color but they weren't in my store.)

I've probably forgotten something.
 

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Since this original design I've made a bunch of changes: I hope for the better, that I will share.

IMG_2462.JPG


1) The rails that travel the length of the vehicle experienced increased width from each other so the soft top could be opened to at least "first position," or hard top Freedom panels could be removed.

2) I ran the wood wind foil's bottom through a table saw whose blade was at an angle, so the bottom of the wind foil, I hope at least, better cuts through wind.

3) Spray paint is not strong enough to adhere to this permanently. When my nearby powder coater told me that pieces could not exceed 5' I decided to apply Herculiner Bed Liner to it, with what I think will prove much greater durability than my original spray paint https://www.amazon.com/Herculiner-H...TF8&qid=1532442565&sr=8-1&keywords=Herculiner . This was also much cheaper than the powder coating estimate I got, but thicker, making the placement of the couplers after painting more work. I sanded down the pipe and fixtures first.

4) I purchased an angle grinder https://www.harborfreight.com/4-12-in-43-amp-angle-grinder-69645.html and grinder wheels https://www.harborfreight.com/4-1-2-half-inch-grinding-wheel-39677.html to cut pipe to stock.

5) On each side of the rig, in the vertical riser on the front door hinges are two double swivel sockets: http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/Double_Swivel_Socket.pdf . Using the angle grider I cut off their rivets and replaced them with a nut and bolt, and washers to take up any play in their movement. This play was making noise.

6) I cut the 8 flanges (2 on each door) http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/Flange.pdf that connect to the hinges, so only 1 of its 4 holes remains. It makes for a cleaner look I think.

7) I distanced the second cross member of the roof, near the back of the rig, but otherwise 2nd closest to the front (the wind foil's being the first) back far enough to make sure a soft top could be open to "first position."

IMG_2460.JPG


8) I built this extension rod (top, same as the bottom, cut off in picture) to replace the rear of the roof section, behind the couplers http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/Coupling.pdf on either side in the back, just behind the ladder's attachment points on top, to allow things to be attached to the roof that extend out less than 4' (most States maximum distance before a flag must be used) and still allow the first position of the soft top to be achieved.

9) Excellent product that it is, I did away with use of the Extend-A-Truck on the hitch, and instead put a Standard Rail Flange http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/Standard_Rail_Flange.pdf on top of the rear bumper, on each side, held in place by the two rails on top that span the rig's length, on each side, and a cross member behind the rear window. This allows me to open the tailgate and use the hitch for other things.

IMG_2461.JPG


10) I built a ladder that sits in front of the rear most, passenger's side window. I put rubber chair covers and felt tips on the bottom where the device nears the side of the rig by the passenger's side rear quarter panel.

11) I took the hardware from a Kargo Master door step and put it on the passenger's side rear door vertical riser. These vertical risers that sit on the rear door hinges are new. They decrease any sagging with the top pipe that runs then length of the rig, which is further stabilized by the pipe segment a few inches below, that also serves to keep the vertical risers on the rear bumper (which are not attached to the bumper) stable, front to back. The new pipe segment behind the tailgate keeps the rear bumper's vertical risers stable in the driver's to passenger's side dimension. This cross member neither interferes with the rear window, camera, or tailgate, unlike the initial product.

12) I added end plugs http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/End_Plug.pdf to the four places where pipe was exposed from above: which was the two pipes on each side connected to the front door hinges and wind foil.
 
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The cross member in the last picture in the prior post was moved above the height of the soft top.

When hard top season arises we want to be able to open the hard top's window. (the configuration in the picture doesn't get in the way of the soft top rear window or tailgate.)

Also, just to prevent some bouncing, the risers that sit on either side of the rear bumper are now being held down by one of these huge zip ties on either side.

They're not required, especially with weight on the top.

https://www.harborfreight.com/24-in-heavy-duty-cable-ties-10-pk-62720.html
 


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If you look at the first picture of my prior post you can see that the *installed* cross members reside towards the back of the roof.

I've since added hardware to put on additional ones, but in such cases, I have to put those cross members on before I leave home, and with the tradeoff of not being able to open the soft top to first (Sunrider) position, or when the hard top is re-installed for the colder months, take the Freedom Panels out on warmer days.

The forward most cross member permanently installed (not counting the one forward of the windshield) is as forward as it can be and still allow the soft top to open to Sunrider position. That's not much distance from the cross member at the back of the rig, to carry long things on the roof.

So how can I have a cross member that collapses when I don't need it, that I take with me?

The cross member installed.

IMG_2514.JPG


Tucked away:

IMG_2512.JPG


Tucked away view from other side:


IMG_2513.JPG





Lets start with 4 eyebolts, 2 on each side (passenger's and driver's) of the rig.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-3-8-in-x-4-in-Zinc-Plated-Eye-Bolt-with-Nut-807206/204273498

These have an inside diameter at around 1", and the pipe the go on in the pictures has an outside diameter that is slightly larger, especially given the additional width of the Herculiner Bed Liner I painted on the roof rack.

So I open the size of the hole in the eye bolts with the larger of the two step bits shown here:

https://www.harborfreight.com/2-pie...oated-high-speed-steel-step-drills-96275.html

The Steel-Tek fixture used is this one, the Swivel Base (3/4") (two of them, one on each side, passenger's and driver's):

http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/Swivel_Base.pdf

I cut off the rivets on them with an angle grinder and replaced the rivets with 1/4" bolts and nuts, and a bunch of washers to make them angle only with significant force (i.e. they won't rattle when the rig is in motion).

Then there were two lengths of Steel Tek Galvanized pipe (3/4")

http://www.steel-tek.com/sites/551/uploaded/files/Galvanized_Pipe.pdf

(Were I to do this project all over again I would have ordered the Steel Tek powder coated black products. But they are not stock in my nearby Lowes (not all Lowes carry Steel-Tek products))

At least for me, I had to go Lowes online to order some of the Steel Tek product my store was out of stock on. Lowes sent them to me with free shipping, that I can return to the store for a full refund if I overbuy.

I chose bedliner paint because my local Powder Coat guy was limited to the length of pipe segment he could powder coat (not to mention the cost.) I love the bedliner paint, but it adds thickness to the pipe that I would have preferred to do without. The added fixtures of this fold away cross member project were, as evidenced by the pictures, coated in this bedliner as well.

Finally, to keep the two pipe segments connected in the middle of the rig (middle driver's side to passenger's side) I used a Steel-Tek coupler. It seems to be omitted at Steel Tek's website but it is basically a short piece of thicker pipe with two adjustment screws and a bigger inside and outside diameters, that accepts pipe at either end.

Here it is on Lowes' website (3/4"):

https://www.lowes.com/pd/SteelTek-3...el-Structural-Pipe-Fitting-Coupling/999931018

Those eyebolt's nuts are torqued tight and the excess thread cut off. This extra torqueness allows the eyelit to twist somewhat, a good thing, keeping the Swivel Base in place and rattle free.
 
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InvertedLogic

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Neat idea. If I were to do it I would probably build it out of either 1" or 1.5" 80/20 aluminum extrusion to keep the weight down though. That stuff is super easy to work with and is incredibly strong in the right geometries.
 
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RussJeep1

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Neat idea. If I were to do it I would probably build it out of either 1" or 1.5" 80/20 aluminum extrusion to keep the weight down though. That stuff is super easy to work with and is incredibly strong in the right geometries.
No argument @InvertedLogic : as sure as it sounds like your metal fabrication skills, not to mention equipment, have probably left you "forgetting more than I know or can do" in this subject space.

I'm a competent woodworker but a metal design newbie. It's why I so like the Steel-Tek line of pipe and fixtures. To me they, while providing enormous (albeit not weld) strength are the metaphorical bicycle training wheels of metal fabrication.

 

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