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Unread 11-22-2009, 06:08 AM   #61
Boundless
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I want to add a note, when installing the Exporer roof rack on a 05 LJ hard top, the width of the rack is equal to the outer two ribs sticking up on the hard top. I had to cut 3.25" off the cross bars to fit the rack just inside those outer two ribs. If you want yours outside the ribs, get the Jeep rack cause they are wider.

I like the Explorer rack I found because it has release tabs at the end of the rails so I can remove the cross bars easily, leaving only the rails mounted on the roof.

So consider what you want out of your rack before going to pick one out at the yard.

Also the hard part was not finding a good rack, but finding one that the screws would come out was.

Hey thanks to the OP and the others for the great info, This rack is handy.

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2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) 6cyl, 4spd auto, dana 30/44 3.73, rear trac-loc, hard top, BFG KM2 35/12.5 x 15 on rattle can black stock Ravine wheels & 1.5" spacers, trimmed flares, budget PA 1" BL & RC 1" MML, Ford Explorer roof rack, Hella e-code headlight housings, 55 watt DDM HID Hi/Lo 6000k, EBC Yellow Stuff front brake pads, Platinum P4 battery, Rusty's 3" 305s front and 303s rear springs, RC rear track bar bracket and Hella 500FFs with DDM's 55watt 6000k H3 HIDs on windshield hinge brackets. Currie's front upper and lower control arms. Hummm whats next? Building a Dana HP30 with 4.88 and ? locker
http://www.canddautocenter.com/
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Unread 11-22-2009, 01:46 PM   #62
Unlimited04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoundlessBinder View Post
I like the Explorer rack I found because it has release tabs at the end of the rails so I can remove the cross bars easily, leaving only the rails mounted on the roof.
I noticed that once I got my new-to-me XJ rack home from the junkyard and started mocking it up. I'm going with the explorer rack instead. I really want to be able to remove the entire crossbar, otherwise it won't work with my hardtop hoist. And I have a hard enough time fitting in parking structures as it is, let alone with a snowboard rack on top.

Those who have done either XJ or Explorer racks, what length bolt did you use to go through the hard top? How thick is the hardtop? I want a bolt long enough...but I've got a roll cage I can't create interference with.
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Unread 11-22-2009, 05:06 PM   #63
Boundless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited04 View Post
I noticed that once I got my new-to-me XJ rack home from the junkyard and started mocking it up. I'm going with the explorer rack instead. I really want to be able to remove the entire crossbar, otherwise it won't work with my hardtop hoist. And I have a hard enough time fitting in parking structures as it is, let alone with a snowboard rack on top.

Those who have done either XJ or Explorer racks, what length bolt did you use to go through the hard top? How thick is the hardtop? I want a bolt long enough...but I've got a roll cage I can't create interference with.

if you mount it inside the outer two ribs, .75" (what I used) is too long and .5 may be right if you use counter sunk screws.
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Satellite Bch, FL
2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) 6cyl, 4spd auto, dana 30/44 3.73, rear trac-loc, hard top, BFG KM2 35/12.5 x 15 on rattle can black stock Ravine wheels & 1.5" spacers, trimmed flares, budget PA 1" BL & RC 1" MML, Ford Explorer roof rack, Hella e-code headlight housings, 55 watt DDM HID Hi/Lo 6000k, EBC Yellow Stuff front brake pads, Platinum P4 battery, Rusty's 3" 305s front and 303s rear springs, RC rear track bar bracket and Hella 500FFs with DDM's 55watt 6000k H3 HIDs on windshield hinge brackets. Currie's front upper and lower control arms. Hummm whats next? Building a Dana HP30 with 4.88 and ? locker
http://www.canddautocenter.com/

Last edited by Boundless; 01-05-2010 at 04:14 AM.. Reason: typo
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Unread 11-22-2009, 11:51 PM   #64
mJUSTINm
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um.. the rack i got is from an 89 xj. the cross bars are removable. i saw 2 different types of racks on XJs in the junkyard. the one i got has little black knobs that you twist to loosen/remove the crossbars.

i put the rack just outside of the 2 furthest out ribs and used 1 1/4 inch bolts. i ran it through the rails then used a washer, lock washer, and a nut on the bottom side.
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Unread 11-29-2009, 12:44 PM   #65
rpiereck
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Very nice! I want some too!
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Unread 11-29-2009, 12:49 PM   #66
rpiereck
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Man it looks excellent, definitely on my want list now!

If I were you I would get some plastic caps at Home Depot and cover the exposed bolts, it's only a matter of time before someone bumps a head on them and blood will flow...

Are you at Lemoore NAS? when I was there on TDY years back I was gagging all the time with the strong stench of cow piss everywhere... I am sorry for you.
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JKS Adjustable control arms - JKS 1.25" Body Lift - JKS 1" Engine Mount Lift
Old Man Emu 4" coils - Rancho 5000 shocks - Teraflex front adj trackbar - RE rear track bar bracket
33/12.5x15 Wrangler Duratracs - Tabor 12k Winch - Hella 500F Foglights
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Unread 12-01-2009, 05:05 PM   #67
TreeFrog1
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There are many smarter people here than myself. That being said, here's my question:

If I had or were to put a sunroof into the hardtop, would the integrity (strength) of the roof be compromised if I had a roof rack?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. In essence, next year I'd like to do one or both projects (put in a sunroof and/or add a roof rack) but I'd like to know if the sunroof would weaken the strength of the roof? I realize I prob. would not be putting anything on the rack (directly) above the sunroof.

P.P.S. Oh yeah, I have heard of softops , and have one, but I'm thinking about this bec. I would really like to have the sunroof for winter. Next best thing to being outside, in a Jeep, in Wisconsin winters.
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Unread 12-05-2009, 04:03 PM   #68
Unlimited04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boundless View Post
I want to add a note, when installing the Exporer roof rack on a 05 LJ hard top, the width of the rack is equal to the outer two ribs sticking up on the hard top. I had to cut 3.25" off the cross bars to fit the rack just inside those outer two ribs. If you want yours outside the ribs, get the Jeep rack cause they are wider.

I like the Explorer rack I found because it has release tabs at the end of the rails so I can remove the cross bars easily, leaving only the rails mounted on the roof.

So consider what you want out of your rack before going to pick one out at the yard.

Also the hard part was not finding a good rack, but finding one that the screws would come out was.

Hey thanks to the OP and the others for the great info, This rack is handy.
Can you post pictures of your rack? Especially inside and out where you mounted it? I've got mine almost ready to go on, but it looks like there is potential for interference with the one or both of the main support x-members of the LJ hard top. Where did you drill? Where did you position the rails in relation to the rear molding lip? If you didn't drill through one of the x-members, what is the distance from the the rear molding lip in the hard top to the rear most portion of the rack rails?
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Unread 01-04-2010, 06:27 AM   #69
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finally got my Ford Exploder roof rack on
-used stainless button head bolts (0.75" long)
-made aluminum spreader plates 1" x 1.5"
-used black weather & sun proof caulk to seal the holes




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Unread 01-04-2010, 08:14 AM   #70
Boundless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited04 View Post
finally got my Ford Exploder roof rack on
-used stainless button head bolts (0.75" long)
-made aluminum spreader plates 1" x 1.5"
-used black weather & sun proof caulk to seal the holes
Nice it is so handy you'll love it.

I don't know how I would have done my recent trip with out it
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Satellite Bch, FL
2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) 6cyl, 4spd auto, dana 30/44 3.73, rear trac-loc, hard top, BFG KM2 35/12.5 x 15 on rattle can black stock Ravine wheels & 1.5" spacers, trimmed flares, budget PA 1" BL & RC 1" MML, Ford Explorer roof rack, Hella e-code headlight housings, 55 watt DDM HID Hi/Lo 6000k, EBC Yellow Stuff front brake pads, Platinum P4 battery, Rusty's 3" 305s front and 303s rear springs, RC rear track bar bracket and Hella 500FFs with DDM's 55watt 6000k H3 HIDs on windshield hinge brackets. Currie's front upper and lower control arms. Hummm whats next? Building a Dana HP30 with 4.88 and ? locker
http://www.canddautocenter.com/
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Unread 01-04-2010, 11:26 AM   #71
mJUSTINm
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how did the roof basket hold up?

since my LJ was stolen and they swiped the top from it, i had to go to the junkyard last weekend and find another rack. i stuck with the old XJ rack system because i dont like the bulky look of the crossbar feet on the explorer rack. $10 on the half off weekend at pick your part! i bought a used hardtop a week ago too so now i have to put the rack on.. again.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:56 PM   #72
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i'm going to look at a 1st gen Expedition when I go to the junkyard next. looks like the same base rails as an Exploder, but with low profile cross bars. hmmmm!

jeep_punk - exploders have like 2 or 3 different style roof rack cross bars. some look like crap and are harder to use than others.

I just used the exploder rack to carry my snowboard today (went to breckenridge)...worked awesome, and no extra noise like I had with my Yakima gutter rails setup.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:57 PM   #73
Boundless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited04 View Post
Can you post pictures of your rack? Especially inside and out where you mounted it? I've got mine almost ready to go on, but it looks like there is potential for interference with the one or both of the main support x-members of the LJ hard top. Where did you drill? Where did you position the rails in relation to the rear molding lip? If you didn't drill through one of the x-members, what is the distance from the the rear molding lip in the hard top to the rear most portion of the rack rails?
better late then never?

Front

Rear


With 5 screws on each side I didn't think I needed anything bigger than the large flat washers. But now that I am thinking of using the roof rack to lift up the hard top by via a overhead winch set up, I think I'll replace the washers with something bigger.
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Satellite Bch, FL
2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) 6cyl, 4spd auto, dana 30/44 3.73, rear trac-loc, hard top, BFG KM2 35/12.5 x 15 on rattle can black stock Ravine wheels & 1.5" spacers, trimmed flares, budget PA 1" BL & RC 1" MML, Ford Explorer roof rack, Hella e-code headlight housings, 55 watt DDM HID Hi/Lo 6000k, EBC Yellow Stuff front brake pads, Platinum P4 battery, Rusty's 3" 305s front and 303s rear springs, RC rear track bar bracket and Hella 500FFs with DDM's 55watt 6000k H3 HIDs on windshield hinge brackets. Currie's front upper and lower control arms. Hummm whats next? Building a Dana HP30 with 4.88 and ? locker
http://www.canddautocenter.com/
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Unread 01-05-2010, 02:03 AM   #74
mJUSTINm
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^^ thats exactly how i did it. but if you're going to be hoisting the hard top up by just the rack then definitely add some kind of backing plate, and maybe a couple more screws.

unlimited - all the explorer racks i saw had the feet on the cross bars like yours are and thats what i didnt like about it. i liked how the XJ rack was more minimal looking and to adjust the crossbars you just twist a knob that loosens the bars and slide them to wherever you want.

im glad to hear that theres no extra noise too. i never got to use the rack that was on my old hard top but thats one thing that worried me. i'll be carrying 4 boards at times so i was concerned about a lot of whistling or humming.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 12:36 PM   #75
scs2016
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I'm curious if anyone has used the newer Explorer roof rack with raised rails?

I'm going to try it in the next week or two (parts are on the way). I didn't fully appreciate the differences till after I ordered the parts...

2009 Ford Explorer Roof rack w/ Rails Original 06 07 08:eBay Motors (item 320471020661 end time Jan-08-10 05:22:54 PST)
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