Jeep parts being transferred to another Jeep.
I am going to skip past the debate on whether I should or shouldn’t be mounting a roof rack to my hardtop. Please allow me to alter my BRAND NEW Jeep how I want (no matter how stupid my wife thinks I am).
I sold my Cherokee
and bought this 2010 2-door Wrangler Sport hardtop with automatic transmission and A/C, this being the only options I could afford. It took one road trip with the wife and child and luggage to figure out, this isn’t going to be enough room. I loved my Cherokee and its luggage rack with the SURCO basket, not to mention, it was a 4-door SUV with lots more room.
A trip to the junk yard with $40.00 should fix my dilemma. The yard crew removed the parts I needed from a 1998 Cherokee 4-door (not Grand Cherokee). I left with $2.00 in my pocket and the roof rails and cross bars. Be careful when you remove the plastic end pieces, they are going to be fragile from baking in the sun. There is a clip that has to be removed with a small screwdriver. Slide the screwdriver under the clip to release it.
I laid out where I wanted to mount the luggage rack and started by cutting down the first roof rail. I wanted to have a ¼ inch of space at the front, right before the front panel of the hardtop. I wanted the same ¼ inch before the seem at the rear of the hardtop. Remove the vinyl edging from the metal part of the roof rail. The vinyl part will have to be cut separately. Each roof rail ended up being 32 1/8 inches (thirty-two & an eighth inches) long. Make sure you remove the length from the second roof rail from the opposite end, leaving each roof rail with one factory end (so they’re symmetrical).
I then did the other roof rail using the first one as a guide line. I got both roof rails out of one of the original roof rails. I still have one full rail just in case I mess this one up. I cut down the vinyl edging so that it would line up with the plastic end pieces of the roof rails.
Don’t forget to that the vinyl edging on the roof rails will need to be cut smaller than the roof rails themselves. This will allow for the end pieces to slip into place. My vinyl pieces ended up being 29 ¾ inches long (twenty-nine & three quarter inches).
I then put both roof rails in the location that I wanted them and laid the cross bar across the ends that I had since removed. You can see that the ends are spring loaded and will compress once they are bolted into place. I centered the cross bar so that I would be able to cut an equal amount from both ends of the cross bar so that the curve would be even, once mounted in place. That ended up being 3 7/16 inches (three & seven sixteenths inches) off of each end of each cross bar. You’ll end up with 4 equal pieces when you are done.
Of course once I had the first one cut to size, it was just a matter of cutting the second cross bar to the same length. You can see that I will have to drill a hole to match the original mounting place to secure the ends back onto the cross bars.
You can also see that I’ll have to drill a matching hole so that the cut end of the roof rail will match the factory end (allowing the end pieces to snap into place).
Everything cut equally and laid out to get a decent idea of how the finish product will look.
Still have to sand the metal parts down and repaint everything nice and pretty. Not to mention drill the holes in the hardtop. I am running out of light and will finish tomorrow. So far, I have about 2 hours invested and $40.00 bucks. I know I could have bought a brand new roof rack system but this is the route I picked. I'll post the final install tomorrow.