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Unread 08-12-2012, 04:15 AM   #1
deitzberg
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: saylorsburg, PA
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98 XJ Roof rack build.

I was working at a facility that reclaimed hazardous waste containers and after seeing one of the 300 gallon I.B.C. I had an idea for a roof rack. If you are not sure what they are Google it and I posted a pic below of what I started with.






I started off by chopping it in half and than again. I did this because the rails on the one side were not spaced the same as the other. So I placed the two identical halves together.







Now this is where I have paused to get some input from some other people on how to proceed.


Option #1 Fix mount the other end caps or maybe make it so I could pull them off if necessary for hauling something long.



Option #2 Make it so that the front and back fold out. This would give me a kind of cage so that I wouldn't worry when on a long road trip. I could lock up the cage and people could just cut a ratchet strap and walk off with my luggage. Also I would allow to open up to carry bigger items that may not fit in when closed up.





Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated. It is aluminum so I cant weld on it. I just dont have the skill or proper equipment.

Deminsions:

Middle rack: 48.5" wide
Long:
Option #1 69"
Option #2 Folded up ~48"
Option #2 Folded out ~90"

It started out:
47" wide side with 6 cross bars
39.25" wide side with 4 cross bars
49" Tall.

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Unread 08-12-2012, 04:25 AM   #2
deitzberg
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additional photos

Here is a link to photo bucket where I have some additional photos of what I am working with.

http://s1259.photobucket.com/albums/ii542/Deitzbergiii/
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Unread 08-12-2012, 10:36 AM   #3
Camfam07
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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I like the option 2 to be able to close and lock it up or open it and have a huge carrier on top, pretty sweet idea, but I say option 2, I have no input on how to put it all togethter though, as I have no idea how to work with alum either.. looks good though
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Unread 08-12-2012, 11:46 AM   #4
deitzberg
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thanks. i am in the garage playing around with it so i will post some more pics as i progress. One nice aspect so far i can lift it up by myself, so the extra cage weight wont make me too top heavy.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 11:21 PM   #5
deitzberg
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I fitted the middle portion on the jeep just to get a preview. The part above the second rail will be cut off but I needed an idea.



I got the middle together so now I have to make the final decision on folding or not.

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Unread 08-14-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
deitzberg
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Can anyone give me some advice on how to secure the rack to the jeep?

I am considering using the existing rack rails with a set of brackets that can fit over the rail and secure in the holes that are drilled on the outside of the rail. I think they are for tie downs but not sure.
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Unread 08-15-2012, 07:20 AM   #7
CRider74
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If it were me...I'd get rid of the factory rack altogether, seal the holes, and use rain-gutter mounts for the basket you're building. At least, that's what I'm hoping to do on mine
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Unread 08-15-2012, 08:32 AM   #8
deitzberg
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Will they support the weight with no issues? Mine seem to be in good structural condition but I just don't completely trust it.
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Unread 08-15-2012, 08:51 AM   #9
CRider74
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From everything I've read, they'll support more weight than the factory roof rack. I'm planning on using 6 (3 spaced out on each side) to distribute the weight.

Edited to add - my comments & opinions are based solely on research at this point, as I'm hoping to build my roof basket this fall/winter.
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Unread 08-15-2012, 01:24 PM   #10
CharlieCherokee
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yes absolutely go with the rain gutters but your factory rails should last you a while.

in regards to your design, i like a low profile roof rack so i would rather have it be real low versus tall and cagey like, just my opinion.

In regards to mounting it to your roof rails, id just get some u-bolts and plates and fasten 'er up
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Unread 08-15-2012, 06:11 PM   #11
jeepster383
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Here's how mines mounted

image-990482324.jpg
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Unread 08-17-2012, 04:58 PM   #12
deitzberg
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I am actually looking at securing it to the rails that those cross bars ride on. I would run a piece of channel across the roof to the other side so that the weight would be spread out.
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Unread 08-17-2012, 07:00 PM   #13
cherokee_94
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I fastened mine the same way. Just take some eye bolts an cut them to be a hook and fit them in the holes in the inside of the rails. Works great!
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Unread 08-17-2012, 07:32 PM   #14
QXj97
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nice that gives me a couple ideas.
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Unread 08-17-2012, 11:18 PM   #15
deitzberg
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What did the rack rest on? Was it the roof or did you keep the factory cross bars on?
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98 xj , cherokee , roof rack , xj

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