I was pricing roof racks for my hard top and discovered something. If they were made of gold, they would be cheaper, because they must be made out of unobtanium.
New Yakima racks are over $300 new, and not much better on craigslist. In fact finding a decent roof rack at all on the cheap is not easy so I looked for an alternative.
My wife has a 95 Grand Cherokee with a factory roof rack. I looked at that and figured it would work good. So I found one on craigslist for $40.
I got it and having previously measuring the length of it, I cut 14 inches from the front end of each rail. The angled end caps slide off and you have to trim the rubber base as well. An air powered cut off wheel worked perfect for this.
The factory torx screws that came with the rack are not long enough to go through the fiberglass hard top, so I went down to the hardware store and bought 10 1/4 x 1" stainless steel allen drive button head screws, 20 1/4 lockwashers, 10 1/4 nuts, and 10 1/4 x 1" flat washers. I also bought a role of putty tape, found in the plumbing section.
I measured and squared up the rack on top of the jeep and drilled 10 1/4" holes. Then I lay down a 5 foot length of putty tape for each rail (The RV industry uses this same exact stuff for sealing in anything bolted or screwed to the exterior rv walls and works great). I then put a lockwasher on each screw and pushed it through the drilled holes. I then put a short piece of putty tape on the back side of each flat washer, then another lock washer and finally the nut. As you tighten each nut it will press the putty into any gaps and also squeeze out from under the washers and the rails, for a great water proof seal.
It was extremely easy, and now all I have to do is find a good cargo basket..... or make one.
Hope this gives you an idea for your rig.
Did the same, got mine off a 95 cherokee or something of the sort. Same deal though. Worked out perfectly.
[COLOR="Red"]Any Jeepers in Edmonton, AB
I am on channel 33.[/COLOR]
I live, I ride, I am JEEP.
I saw a guy use a older Nissan Xterra rack that came out nice. I guess the question is how do you support it underneath? I would not expect the fiberglass roof to like too much pressure on four little points, i'd be concerned about it pulling out at higway speed.
Reno72, The Grand Cherokee rack has rails that lay on the roof, and there are five bolts on each rail about a foot apart for a total of ten bolts. My hard top is off a CJ and is very strong and thick compared to some YJ and later hardtops that I have seen It is at least 3/8" to 7/16" thick, and double layered. I used 1" flat fender washers. It's not going anywhere, and the rails distribute the weight over the whole roof along near the sides where it is thickest and strongest. Other that rolling the jeep, which would probably break the roof anyways, I don't see it coming loose at all. I can grab one of the rails from the side and hoist myself up, and I'm 6'!" and 260lbs.
Ratbastird, I will post some pics up shortly.
I was actually thinking about getting 2 pieces of 1" flat iron about 5' long and bolting them inside to sandwhich the fiberglass, and also to build some over head interior racks for CB/ storage and such, but I don't know yet. It is much, much stronger the way it is than I thought it would be.
I can sit on my hardtop and it doesn't give at all. A friend of mine has a newer YJ and I was looking at his, and it looks like the top was built in sections. You can see seems all over the inside and on the out side between the side window and the door opening. Mine has no seams whatsoever.