True to their word, ecustomhitch.com had it shipped out right when they said they would. Again, can't brag enough about their customer service. You have to register for an account before you can see the prices and order, but that is free and totally worth it. My email hasn't received a single piece of unwanted advertisement from them.
As for the rack, considering it was $140 shipped (maybe $143, close enough), I am very happy. I've never had experience with a big name like Thule or Yakima to compare it against so it seems top notch to me and I don't know how it would really get any better. Well I guess that's not entirely true, the welds aren't the most beautiful I've ever seen and the powder coat did chip in a very small place when I joined the halves together. Not a big deal.
As everyone has already mentioned, it comes in 2 pieces. They also sell an 18" extension that would fit in the middle.
Having read about the potential of it rusting from the inside out, I put a layer of clear silicone around the "male" section before joining the halves, then ran a bead in the gap after they were together. I had read about this gap from other reviewers and sure enough had the same, which is due to a messy weld. If you do this you'll want to clean it up better than this picture because it looks sloppy with the rtv smeared on the bars like this. I pulled it off and will re-do it.
I also put a dab of rtv in the holes you use to mount the wind screen. I read that without a load shield actually increases wind noise and decreases mpg a couple so I left it off. After driving around I'm now curious about the wind noise claim and might attach it just to see.
If I decide to leave it mounted permanently I would like to do the "Jrogers brackets" that I've already linked to but for now just used the brackets that came with it, which are simple enough. The only issue with them is that the bolts stick up past the floor of the basket, which is not surprising being that this is a universal fit and the WJ crossbars are pretty thin in comparison to something like a Tahoe. I'll just trim them down, maybe with a Dremel. I definitely feel that doing those custom brackets will add to the strength, as well as let you place them exactly where you want them under the bottom tube. Your options are somewhat limited with the factory bars and the Rola brackets because there is really only 1 spacing that will work (2nd gap from the ends, you'll know what I'm talking about when you mount yours)
I'm not a big fan of being a billboard for someone else and this sticker was peeling so that was a simple decision to pull it off. It came right off without having to clean any gummy crud off.
Tadaaaa! All mounted up. I ran to town to get donuts for my sleeping bride since Mother's Day is tomorrow (you didn't forget, did you? )
. Right away I noticed the wind noise was excessive, and that was at just 35mph. After my stop I climbed up and pulled the rack all the way back to the last stop and the noise was greatly
reduced. My trip only brought me up to 45mph and with it pulled to the rear I could still hear it with the radio off although nowhere near as intrusive as before, but with the radio on low I had to listen for it to really notice. Not sure what 55+ will sound like. I'm now curious about that wind screen and might attach it just to try it out. One other thing to consider is that I'm currently riding on the crappy street tires that came under the JK so I have no road noise whatsoever. I'll be going to a good AT soon so it might all balance out.