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Unread 07-30-2013, 10:03 PM   #1
ofcrtj
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ATLANTA, GA
Posts: 110
Harbor Freight Cargo Rack Hack

So I was thinking of a cheap way to gain some storage space and be able to keep my backseat in my TJ. So I had an idea to make/hack a Harbor Freight tow hitch rack.

First I stared with this
harbor_rack.jpg
http://500-lb-capacity-deluxe-steel-cargo-carrier-69623

This rack comes in 5 pieces. Two halves of the basket, and square piece of steel that would slide into the tow hitch. Then the two sides of the basket bolt together through the square piece, and two support pieces that go across the top of the basket for rigidity.
rack1.jpg

So I set the square piece aside and placed the two sides of the basket together. I then got shorter bolts and bolted the two sides of the basket directly together.
rack2.jpg

After the two parts of the basket were bolted together I had to drill more holes for the two support pieces because the ones that were pre-drilled in the basket are to close together since the center square piece is now missing.
rack3.jpg

After the basket was all bolted together I took some old square 1" stock and cut 4 pieces. Now I don't have pictures of this so I will try my best to describe it. I cut the square stock into 4 pieces with two pieces being longer than the other two. I then bolted them together with a pivot point with the longer pieces on the "top" with the shorter pieces "pivoting" towards the bottom. I then bolted the two longer pieces to the bottom of the basket.

I then took four pipe clamps similar to this
clamp.jpg
and put them in the four corners of the rear of the roll bar. I then cut the square stock to length and drilled two holes on the ends of the longer pieces and one hole on the bottom shorter pieces. I then connect the square stock to the clamps with wing nuts for easy off and on.

After all of this I finished with this
rack5.jpg
rack6.jpg

Now please excuse my poor photos and explanations this is my first "write-up". But over all the whole project cost me around $60. If you have any questions please ask.

rack4.jpg

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Unread 07-30-2013, 11:52 PM   #2
686keydragon
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2002 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 298
This is awesome, thanks very much for the write up! This went from being one of those ideas that I have been kicking around to being on my build list.

What size square stock did you use? Aluminum or steel? How did you get this whole setup for $60? HF is showing just the rack at $69.

The mounting system is the most interesting part and could use some photos of the clamping setup and the hinge system. That said, your description was clear enough that I understand what you did and will emulate it when I do mine.

Thanks again!

2002 TJ, 2.5L, 4" lift, 33" dunlop mud rovers, xrc8 winch, aussie locked d30, a-z fabrication ww2ww sliders, mounted mv-50 compressor, SirGcal sub box
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Unread 07-31-2013, 03:25 AM   #3
1222
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2012 JK Wrangler 
 
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Nice project and it came out great. I love seeing what others come up with for their Jeeps. Good write-up by the way.
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Unread 07-31-2013, 08:06 AM   #4
ofcrtj
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Location: ATLANTA, GA
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Thanks mate. It was fun to make.
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Unread 07-31-2013, 04:43 PM   #5
ofcrtj
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ATLANTA, GA
Posts: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by 686keydragon View Post
This is awesome, thanks very much for the write up! This went from being one of those ideas that I have been kicking around to being on my build list.

What size square stock did you use? Aluminum or steel? How did you get this whole setup for $60? HF is showing just the rack at $69.

The mounting system is the most interesting part and could use some photos of the clamping setup and the hinge system. That said, your description was clear enough that I understand what you did and will emulate it when I do mine.

Thanks again!

2002 TJ, 2.5L, 4" lift, 33" dunlop mud rovers, xrc8 winch, aussie locked d30, a-z fabrication ww2ww sliders, mounted mv-50 compressor, SirGcal sub box
Yea I'll try and snag some pics of it. I used steel stock.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 07:00 PM   #6
686keydragon
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2002 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by ofcrtj

Yea I'll try and snag some pics of it. I used steel stock.
Excellent, thank you, seriously great job! This rack is in the harbor freight coupons this month so I may just pull the trigger too.

2002 TJ, 2.5L, 4" lift, 33" dunlop mud rovers, xrc8 winch, aussie locked d30, a-z fabrication ww2ww sliders, mounted mv-50 compressor, SirGcal sub box
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Unread 08-04-2013, 01:11 AM   #7
athos76
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 1,545
I just picked up the same rack today for $45 and plan on building a similar set up next week. I'll post some pics once I'm done.
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cargo , diy , harbor freight , home made , rack

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