Homemade roofrack for JLUR

JimL

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Here are a few pics. I have not mounted the sunshade over the windshield, yet. It will go on tomorrow after the paint dries.

The first pic shows the basic layout. This actually fits pretty low over the roof, but no worry about contact. The second pic shows a closer look at front upright. Third pic shows the mount plate. I installed studs in the body and made tubular spacers to hold the mount plate off the body.

Fourth pic shows the left rear lower mount (1/4" cold rolled steel, tempered at the bends). Fifth pic is an underside look at the right rear mount plate, which is carried by the body mount bolt.

There is no contact to the frame, and so there is no road noise transmitted into the cowl.

There were no holes drilled, anywhere, to mount this rack. The rack is built entirely of .120" wall tubing and is very stiff and strong.

When I finish painting the kayak rack "attachment" I will add more pics. This rack has cost almost $200, so far and more work than I imagined.

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JimL

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Here are a couple more pics to show better detail. The sun shade over the windshield can be seen in the first pic. This is nice to not have so much sun on the dash and it actually reduced the rack wind noise. It is really important to use square tubing if you build your own rack. Round tubing is so noisy.....I did that on a rack I built for my wife's xB (back in 2005) and I had to build a big wind deflector to reduce the noise (and it is still noisier than this bigger rack).

The second pic is a little clearer shot than the earlier side views. The third pic shows how tight you must put your rear uprights to prevent interference with the Blind Spot Moniter system. The fourth shot is a look under the front sunshade. This shade is made from 12mm thick, expanded PVC sheet material, painted with Hammerite paint to match the rack finish. You can also see one of my adjustable rubber stoppers, used to keep the rack from vibrating on bumps or gusty wind. These have an internally threaded insert that can move the rubber in or out, and lock in place with a double-nut.

The last pic shows how I prevented antenna contact noise with the front rack post. If the front posts had angled back more, the antenna wouldn't interfere BUT I did not like the look when the front posts don't match the windshield post exactly. That is also why the mount plates change angle at the post connection point. I like to get the little details right so that things look correct to my eye.

I hope this is useful for those building their own rack.

JimL

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Nubby

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Looks awesome homie
 

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Did you powder coat it?

You might want to consider going into production - I think these looks better and probably stronger than a lot of the commercial platforms
 
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JimL

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Did you powder coat it?

You might want to consider going into production - I think these looks better and probably stronger than a lot of the commercial platforms
Thanks for the replies, I don't like powdercoat on most of my projects because I often find a need to add features or make small mods. Powdercoat is to hard to get off when you want to weld stuff and it is pretty tough to match. Hammerite holds up well and can be softened with lacquer thinner even when it is old and sun baked.

There is no way I want to build more of these at my age! This took me over 6 days to build and it is really tiring. My "JD Squared" tubing bender is the hand power model and each of those radiused bends you see is 11 hard pulls on the ratchet bar. That main rail is made from only two pieces, so there are only two weld joints on it (I was working with 20 foot long tubing and having to pull it out and reset after each bend). Calculating the tubing draw, start points, and result width is a dfficult process when you dont want something made out of a bunch butt welds.

The key items to creating your own stuff is the large "welding blanket" to cover the car (a real one, that actually works), and an overhead electrc winch on a roller track (to help you take the project on and off .....many, many times). I encourage folks to take a good look at the JD Squared bender. You can buy your own bender and good MIG welder for less than you would pay for a serious rack.

When you finish your rack, you still own your tools.....and you didnt spend any more money!

I hope you find something useful in all this.

JimL
 

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Great work. Looks good. And it sounds like you put lots of thought into the engineering of it. I hope it serves you well for the life of your Jeep.
 
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JimL

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I forgot to mention....you learn to build your own stuff because anything large and strong.that must be shipped...probably wont get shipped. That is the reality of the market, these days. Anything as big and serious as this rack is either going to be made local to you, or you will build it yourself.

Anything that can ship to your house will be a bunch of "fit together parts" in a box that UPS can deliver. When you have your own tools, many ideas suddenly become possible.

The biggest thing I have built with my welder and bender is my 32 foot long, 15 foot wide, and 14 foot tall RV cover. I used my 1 5/8" tubing dies to bend Schedule 40 galvanized tubing (24 foot sticks) and welded the unit up in the driveway and then juggled it back beside the garage to set in concrete filled post holes.

I used 1 5/8" because I still have the dies from when I built some roll cages for Bonneville Salt Flats cars. Our rule book calls for 1 5/8" DOM. .125" wall mild steel tubing.

Sorry I ramble too long, but the lesson is...... think serious about your own equipment and skills......especially if you are still young enough to have a lifetime of adventures and experiences ahead of you. You are in this hobby because you are NOT just an average guy, and you are the kind of man who can "do for yourself". There is more satisfaction, in such a life, than can be bought with a pile of money!

JimL
 
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JimL

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Heads up news! Do NOT make a sunshade out of the expanded PVC sheet. It expands in the sun on a hot day and buckles out of shape. I had to take it off and will make a new one out of "cold rolled sheet metal".

For those not familiar, you can buy sheet material in hot-rolled or cold-rolled. Hot rolled has a carbon layer on it, which can be removed with phosphoric acid and plenty of work time (I use a disposable paint brush...works fone.). Cold rolled is good clean metal and should definitely be used if you are building metal molds for fiberglass work.....it is really smooth.

If you clean up hot rolled steel with the phsphoric acid, dont do it yourself if there is a history of kidney stones in your family. This aint a joke, friends.

JimL
 

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Thanks for the replies, I don't like powdercoat on most of my projects because I often find a need to add features or make small mods. Powdercoat is to hard to get off when you want to weld stuff and it is pretty tough to match. Hammerite holds up well and can be softened with lacquer thinner even when it is old and sun baked.

There is no way I want to build more of these at my age! This took me over 6 days to build and it is really tiring. My "JD Squared" tubing bender is the hand power model and each of those radiused bends you see is 11 hard pulls on the ratchet bar. That main rail is made from only two pieces, so there are only two weld joints on it (I was working with 20 foot long tubing and having to pull it out and reset after each bend). Calculating the tubing draw, start points, and result width is a dfficult process when you dont want something made out of a bunch butt welds.

The key items to creating your own stuff is the large "welding blanket" to cover the car (a real one, that actually works), and an overhead electrc winch on a roller track (to help you take the project on and off .....many, many times). I encourage folks to take a good look at the JD Squared bender. You can buy your own bender and good MIG welder for less than you would pay for a serious rack.

When you finish your rack, you still own your tools.....and you didnt spend any more money!

I hope you find something useful in all this.

JimL
Very well done Jim!
 

Geronimo

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Heads up news! Do NOT make a sunshade out of the expanded PVC sheet. It expands in the sun on a hot day and buckles out of shape. I had to take it off and will make a new one out of "cold rolled sheet metal".

For those not familiar, you can buy sheet material in hot-rolled or cold-rolled. Hot rolled has a carbon layer on it, which can be removed with phosphoric acid and plenty of work time (I use a disposable paint brush...works fone.). Cold rolled is good clean metal and should definitely be used if you are building metal molds for fiberglass work.....it is really smooth.

If you clean up hot rolled steel with the phsphoric acid, dont do it yourself if there is a history of kidney stones in your family. This aint a joke, friends.

JimL
Had you considered aluminum for the visor material. I only asked because I work with allot of aluminum myself. Your project and building methods are really great.
 
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JimL

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Had you considered aluminum for the visor material. I only asked because I work with allot of aluminum myself. Your project and building methods are really great.
I wound up using a fiberglass layup, which worked out ok. Today I finished mounting the kayak attachment and the boats. This unit comes off the main rack with just four bolts and an overhead 110V winch on the garage ceiling. It makes it super easy to store the boats out of the way, and out of the weather. This rack uses a forward swing-over bar to hold the front of the kayaks in place against aero effects. It is much more solid and easier to use than straps. The rear of the kayaks are secured by a heavy duty cable and padlock (cable loops through tthe Hobie Mirage kayaks and the rack). The bungee cords are simply to prevent rattling on rough roads. The Hobies have some similarities to the Jeeps....they go where they are pointed, against wind and waves that stop a normal kayak or canoe, they protect the operator really well, and are capable of very long distances compared to other kayaks (despite our old age). We have had many wonderful exploration trips, some as long as 14 miles non-stop in only a little over 4 hours.....which is plenty when you are on the other side of 70 years old!

Thanks for the comments and thoughts. Here is a pic.

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OceanBlues

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Beautiful work, great advice, and really appreciate the words of encouragement. Thank you for this!
 

Ethan

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Nice effort there. Looks like it works nicely. I like to see folks actually build stuff on their "Builds".... Mostly what I see here on the JL forum is people installing bolt-on parts. I do a fair bit of that, but build/fabricate half of the stuff that I'm bolting on. I personally love the engineering and fabrication challenge and enjoy testing it even more.

Metal wise, if you don't wan to deal with "Mill Scale" (that carbon layer on Hot Rolled-A36 steel), besides Cold Rolled Steel-1018 Steel, you can buy "Pickled & Oiled" A36, which, has no Mill Scale and is cheaper than 1018.
 
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JimL

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Thank you, folks, for comments and more knowledge. I will try to get a pic tomorrow of the 3rd sunshade. The fiberglass one just didn't look finished enough and I was still not happy with the wind noise. I made a new shade out of 14 gauge cold roll sheet metal that wraps over the sides of the front overhang (closing that open sided V tube area. The result is very pretty (has a nice double-break X on the flat) and the wind noise is gone. Once I get the pics I will explain the two things that really helped this new shade.

Not enough time right now for all my duties....I play some instruments with Oregon Old Time Fiddlers Assoc. and we have many gigs per month. We volunteer and play for seniors in nursing homes, assisted living, Alzheimers units, and occasional public "free stuff". We are all seniors (I am one of the younger ones at 72) .....which is all those places can get for entertainers these days. Younger folks have work, family, and all that day-to-day life that takes their time. The Alzheimers units are the toughest because we must be careful to play simple songs, that come from their life memory, and nothing that is depressing or mentions violence or strong emotional content. That makes for a pretty short song list!

That is why I am always a little behind on keeping up with my posts....but I do appreciate your forum and love to read all the interesting stuff!

JimL
 
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JimL

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Pics and notes about the 3rd sunshade. The most important points are closing the V-shaped openings on the side of the forward extension, and the small kickout (see pic) to bust a little airflow off the sides of the rack. These steps were a happy success.

I did use adhesive felt between the sheet metal and the rack, to prevent possible rattles.

JimL

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