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Unread 08-15-2010, 03:04 PM   #1
jscherb
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2006 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Elmira, NY
Posts: 8,247
Budget XJ roof rack basket

I wanted to try out a roof rack cargo basket on top of my custom Wrangler hardtop project (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/sa...roject-952157/), but didn't want to pay huge bucks for one, and also was having trouble finding one that was the perfect size. So I came up with an idea for a budget roof rack basket using two inexpensive Harbor Freight ATV Cargo Carriers. Since this is designed to fit on a factory XJ roof rack, I thought I'd share it in the XJ forum in case any of you are looking for a budget roof basket solution.

Here's the basic idea:



Here's a rough drawing/photo simulation of what the rack would look like on the XJ rack that's on top of my custom hardtop:



I finished building the rack basket today, all it needs now is priming the new parts and painting. The bottom photo shows a close-up of how it attaches to the XJ rack bars, after it's painted I'll put some rubber on the clamp surfaces to cushion it a bit.

Here's a photo of the rack mounted on my roof panel:



One thing I like about this basket is how the "fence" doesn't go all the way around and leaves a "valley" down the center - this will make it easier to carry long items like 2x4's on the rack.

All this took besides two Harbor Freight $32 racks ($39.99 regular price - 20% off coupon) was:

- 1 48" piece of 1/8" x 1" steel (to bolt the center together)
- 2 48" pieces of 1" square steel tubing (to strengthen the sides/form the mounts)
- 8 3/8-16 x 1" bolts/washers/nuts to bolt the baskets together in the center
- 24" of 5/16" x 1" steel strip to form the bottom of the clamps

All of the original bolts/nuts/washers supplied with the HF baskets were also used.

Total cost of the project was about $75.

The only modifications required to the HF racks were drilling holes to mount the side stiffening/mounting rails.

The light brackets (you can see one in the photo above) were made from 8" of 2" square tubing split lengthwise into a 1" channel, and will be attached with 8 1/4-20 x 1 1/2" bolts/washers/nuts. I'll drill the holes in the basket for the light brackets when I decide to mount lights on it.

The full build of this rack is in the Wrangler forum, it starts at post 2001.

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Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
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Unread 08-15-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
oneirishpollack
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Outstanding!
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Unread 09-11-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
motorsports3
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Sweet, I cant find that item on the site though
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Unread 09-11-2010, 11:25 PM   #4
7urtle
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interesting
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hit it with a hammer
[URL="[url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/wanted-xj-875786/#post10031031[/url]"][url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/wanted-xj-875786/#post10031031[/url][/URL] -[FONT="Arial Black"][B][I][U][SIZE="3"][COLOR="Green"]1UMF[/COLOR][/SIZE][/U][/I][/B][/FONT] a really slow build. bruised and never left the street
[COLOR="SeaGreen"]WTB: rear bumper/tire carrier,31" tires,armor[/COLOR]
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Unread 09-12-2010, 04:36 AM   #5
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motorsports3 View Post
Sweet, I cant find that item on the site though
It is only on the Harbor Freight USA website, I have no idea why: http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...bCategoryName=

Here's what it looks finished (the rack, not the hardtop - the hardtop is still in primer in these photos):









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"Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
  • Retro Wrangler pickup
  • Gaucho CJ pickup
  • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
  • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit
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Unread 09-12-2010, 05:53 AM   #6
ChEaPsK87
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the rack and your hard top look great! the top looks like an old toyota land cruiser top.
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Unread 09-12-2010, 06:38 AM   #7
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChEaPsK87 View Post
the rack and your hard top look great! the top looks like an old toyota land cruiser top.
Thanks! The 70's Land Cruiser hardtops were one of the many design examples I drew on when I was designing this hardtop. Others include the 60's CJ2/CJ3 hardtops, the Jeep factory "World Cab" export hardtops of the 80's, and the Land Rover 110/Defender hardtops. Elements of all of them provided inspiration for my design - I was trying to invoke the "retro" styling of all of those tops while at the same time coming up with something that integrates well with the TJ/LJ styling.
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"Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
  • Retro Wrangler pickup
  • Gaucho CJ pickup
  • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
  • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit
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Unread 09-12-2010, 08:06 AM   #8
ChEaPsK87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
and the Land Rover 110/Defender hardtops.
i can see the LR in it too. looks awesome! and i might end up stealing your idea later for roof racks on my XJ with my own touches. something about collapsable and expandable maybe for us station wagon peeps.
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Unread 09-12-2010, 08:18 AM   #9
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChEaPsK87 View Post
i can see the LR in it too. looks awesome! and i might end up stealing your idea later for roof racks on my XJ with my own touches. something about collapsable and expandable maybe for us station wagon peeps.
That's why I posted it over here in the XJ forum - I thought maybe someone would find the idea useful. If you build a rack using these ideas, post pics!
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"Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
  • Retro Wrangler pickup
  • Gaucho CJ pickup
  • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
  • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit
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Unread 09-12-2010, 09:01 AM   #10
JEEPSFORUS
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well id ont know how much this cost, but if you want a cheap roof rack. then try discountramps.com thats where i got mine, love it.
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Unread 09-12-2010, 10:21 AM   #11
irs009
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Jeepsforus, He said it cost about $75, you're link is broken, and it definitely doesn't look like a 'cheap rack'.
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Unread 09-12-2010, 11:07 AM   #12
ChEaPsK87
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yeah $75 is hard to beat for a strong rack!
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Unread 09-12-2010, 11:25 AM   #13
DoctorTim
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i say just make your own. all u would need is a powersaw and a welder. best part is you can make it any way you want. and it could cost less than 50.
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Unread 09-12-2010, 11:49 AM   #14
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddey View Post
i say just make your own. all u would need is a powersaw and a welder. best part is you can make it any way you want. and it could cost less than 50.
I suppose it could cost less than $50 if you have a source of free or very inexpensive metal stock. I calculated that the amount of square steel tubing in the two HF racks would cost about $86 at metalsdepot.com, before shipping charges. Considering the amount of work it would be to cut and weld everything together, plus the effort of painting it and the cost of paint, made the HF route very attractive.
__________________
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"Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
  • Retro Wrangler pickup
  • Gaucho CJ pickup
  • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
  • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit
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Unread 09-13-2010, 02:59 PM   #15
JEEPSFORUS
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Car Roof Rack at DiscountRamps.Com sorry about the link. this isnt too much more. maybe like 3 dollars. just another idea is all. this site also has some other ones. they are cheap in price but it holds alot and i havent had it bend on me yet
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