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Homemade Roof Rack


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#1 XJBill

XJBill

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 02:39 PM

I wanted a safari/basket style roof rack but I didn't want to spend $250.00+ on one. So with the help of my friend Don, we welded one up. It really wasn't a bad project but it does take a couple days to do start to finish. Don did the welding and I cut the pieces and painted it. We had it all welded up friday night. I painted it saturday and mounted it sunday.
We used 1" square hollow tube for the 2 bottom supports, 1/2" square hollow tube for the crossmembers and uprights, and 1/2" square solid rod for the top and bottom side rails (they bend easier and are cheaper). I got lucky because Don had the 1" and 1/2" hollow tubes laying around and donated them to the project.
THANKS DON!!  :beerchug:  
All I had to buy was the 4ea 10' pieces of 1/2" solid square rod for $16.00, 3 cans of primer, 3 cans of paint, and 4 u-bolts. All-in-all I have approx. $50.00 into it. Not bad, huh?! It measures 50" wide x  58" long x 5" tall but you can make it whatever size you want when you build it yourself.
I plan on welding brackets to hold 2 offroad lights in the front and 2 in the back in the future using a flat 4 trailer wiring harness so I can unplug it easy if I want to remove it, along with putting my spare tire up there. I also want to get a gutter mount rack instead of using the stock one (more strength). It will come in real handy with camping. Now I can put my wood up there instead of inside the Cherokee.

Here's a pic of the rack with the bottom supports and crossmembers welded together.

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Here it is ready for primer.

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2 coats of primer.

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2 coats of satin black paint.

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Here it is in use.

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GO BIG OR GO HOME!
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#2 XJBill

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Posted 23 June 2003 - 06:58 AM

We welded a small jig together with pins to make the bends all the same. We welded 2" long pieces of 1/2" round rod (pins)  to a 1/4" steel plate in an arch to make the bends. It worked perfect.  :agree:
GO BIG OR GO HOME!
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#3 XJBill

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 12:01 PM

Here are some pics of how I wired the offroad lights to the roof rack.

This first one is showing where I came out the Jeep. The wire runs from the switch under the dash, down the inside of the plastic interior panels and out the rubber body plug. You will notice the "flat four" trailer wireing harness I used so my rack is still easily removeable. You can use other connectors but like I said, I had this laying around.

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This pic shows the wire running up inside the rubber door seal and out the top.

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This pic shows the wire running over the the roof rack. I wraped the wires in black electrical tape so they aren't so noticeable.

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This pic shows it running to the lights. I ran the wire along the inside of the bottom rail on my safari rack holding it in place with plastic zip-ties.

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Hope this helps or gives you some ideas. :thumbup2:
GO BIG OR GO HOME!
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