Well after going back and forth for almost a year I finally broke down and got a rack. It was between Gobi, Garvin or Rugged Ridge Shepard. I though I liked Gobi till I looked at it on a few different Jeeps and was really turned off I know it is a quality product but not of my liking. The Garvin Expedition rack was another great option, my father had one on his TJ and it was nice but the square tubing just would not look right with the accessories I already have. So I took a chance and got the Rugged Ridge rack, primary reason was I like the windshield mount, the majority of people who had it like it and I want a one of a kind rack no one had any really good option for building one from scratch so I figured buy a sturdy frame and have a custom basket built.
Got a basic design drawn up. Most likely it will change but here is some of what I am looking at building. For weight reduction I am going to try and have this build from aluminum. End goal for the rack is to be primarily for expedition runs.
Over all concept will be a tubular basket frame, same diameter as the rack itself I might go a bit smaller just have to see what is available for materials.
The basket will use the current load bars that is on the rack, plan is for the load bars to run as shown with the floor of the basket attached to them.
The license plate will be counter sank into the frame by about 1/2".
Load bar is at a little bit of an angle, the header bad mount was not welded properly Rugged Ridge is sending me another one.
From Rugged Ridge web site.
Overall I really like the design of this rack, it is a little more sturdy than I expected, I think if I can have the basket built from aluminum it will be fine.