Roof rack woes - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-22-2015, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
ChadH
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Roof rack woes

After unboxing my roof rack (body armor base kit) last night, I realized it is HEAVY! Much heavier than expected. Granted it seems stout, and able to carry more than I would ever put on the top of my rig, but I'm not so sure about the weight.... And its just the base, not even including the rack they offer to go with it.

I was hoping this rack would work well for my desires (a few lights front and rear, a second spare tire for long trips, and 2 gas cans of 5 gal.). I have serious doubts if I even want to put this rack on now seeing the weight of just the base unit (it must be over 100 pounds).

Looking for opinions of owners of this rack, and other racks. It seems much heavier than other options. I am worried that the addition of this rack base (and later, the actual rack for carrying the above listed equipment) will seriously hamper the off-camber handling characteristics, or even simple road handling while cornering (really bad forest service roads mostly).

I have searched the forum recently for other options that are lighter (olympic sports rack or the Gobi) but have heard many owners of these complain, yet others say they're great. I would prefer not to drill into the body in case later down the road I decide to go another route.

Looking for suggestions and input of rack owners - especially the body armor base and rack. Does it really devistate the handling characteristics? Within a year I will be getting a 4" lift with antirock front and rear and 33's.


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post #2 of 10 Old 08-22-2015, 03:06 PM
a48jeep
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Interesting questions- subscribed!

I have a Gobi rack on order and am patiently waiting. From what I have seen just about all racks will at least slightly change the driving characteristics. I don't know about 'devastate' but I suppose that depends on the final roof load and suspension you end up with. My main concern is having inadequate brakes, an upgrade is in the budget.

As it sits, my TJ is already very heavy, extended wheel base and lifted about 3". I know I will need shocks soon as my bushings have worn. My rig sits fairly wide and has quite a bit of weight down low (armor, wheels, suspension), so my hope is that will help counter the overhead weight. I only plan to carry anything on the rack for weekend or extended trips.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-22-2015, 03:49 PM
HKguy
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I had the whole kit for a while and never had any issues, the rack itself was very light aluminum and I kept it off so I could fit into the garage. I took it all off to go with a trailer and get the extra weight off the Jeep Throwing a 45 Yeti full of ice and food/drinks up there added a LOT weight way up there not to mention caught a ton of western Oklahoma wind while driving. If I had a lesser lifted Jeep I would most likely would have kept it but I sold it to a guy running 32's and no lift.

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post #4 of 10 Old 08-23-2015, 07:45 AM
gcdaz
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I know deciding on a rack is a tough decision. I thought about it a long time before taking the plunge. Here's my experience so far...

I've had a Gobi rack on my LJ for a year or so. I have a 2.5" Teraflex lift, but run heavier OME springs in the back (not related to the rack, just found the Teraflex springs a bit soft for my fairly heavy rig. Tires are KM2 33"x10.50".

The Gobi rack is definitely heavy (115 lbs with the sunroof insert), but it was relatively easy to install and doesn't require drilling the tub. I've had it out on many AZ trails, and so far nothing has loosened up. It's rock solid.

Performance? I immediately lost 3-4 MPG. I use an aftermarket gauge that shows fuel usage in real time, and the effect was obvious and immediate. This was disheartening but not unexpected. I now get 14-15 MPG at 60MPH on average.

Wind noise increased only a little. I think the wind deflector, properly mounted, does a great job. I got used to this quickly. It's more an odd noise than a loud noise.

The height of the Stealth rack on my Jeep is a couple inches under 7'. It barely fits in my low garage door opening.

I usually carry a double tent cot on top, which weighs maybe 60 lbs. sometimes a few other things. I haven't noticed any change in handling in off camber situations, on rocks, or cornering. I do always take corners cautiously, though cause the body rolls a lot normally. I figure it's like a medium sized person clinging to my hardtop. Doesn't seem to make much difference.

Overall, I recommend a rack. It's great to have the extra space. The trade off for me was mileage and having to remember to unload it before pulling into the garage.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-23-2015, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
ChadH
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HKguy - when you mentioned the yeti, are you talking about throwing that on top of your rack? And are you saying the basket that attaches to the rack is alumnium, not steel (body armor)? What drove you to remove it?

gcdaz - thanks for your write-up. It sounds like your handling didnt really change that bad. Mine already seems not so good now that I threw on the Garvin Industries front bumper and rear tire carrier, but I may just throw this thing on just to see how it does.

Either way, I'm not so concerned as fuel mileage or height than I am sway. I noticed a pretty good change once I threw on my tire carrier, hi-lift, ax/polaski. If I put on full gas cans it gets even worse, taking into consideration I currently sit on a stock suspension (front sway removed) that is falling apart, and 31's. I hope to get the entire suspension replaced with the currien 4" later this year (including front and rear antirock).

The Gobi rack does sound lighter than the body armor one though. I will have to consult body armor to find the total weight, but I am wondering if going something like the olympic sports rack (I know there are a lot of bad reviews about them) would be beneficial assuming I can save at least 50 pounds (on their site they list the entire rack weighing in at 50 pounds, I would only need to get a basket for the tire/fuel cans).

Thanks for the input so far guys!

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-23-2015, 12:39 PM
HKguy
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I increased lift and tire size as my Jeep has come along and then made the decision to go with a snorkel which takes up some of the same real estate unfortunately which was the main reason I took it off. The upper rack I had was VERY light but held up great for everything I through up there. I kept it off to be able to keep the Jeep in my home garage and the fact that it did catch a ton of wind. It was very easy to throw up there and bolt down in less than 5 minutes. I had to modify the base kit to fit my rear bumper/tire carrier and bolt up to the Jeep. I kept the pieces I cut and welded them back up for the guy I sold it to. Wind noise with the rack was actually better than no rack now, both with a soft top. I did utilize the tabs on the front for lights which actually worked well. Fishing the wires through the tubes was a pain along with splicing all the lights in, the rear two tabs are there but I have a reverse light mounted on tire carrier so I didn't use them. There is a flag or antennae tab also if you want it. It was a great rack my style of Jeeping just evolved more to Overlanding. I always had a car seat in the back which was why the space up top helped, now the dilemma for me is to try and fit two car seats back there so we can take the TJ instead of the wife's JKU.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-23-2015, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
ChadH
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Nice, I like the picture...looks great! Good to know the top rack is light, which will offset the heaviness of the base kit. I do like it being stout, so it should be more than enough to hold up to my kayaks. My style is also overland/expedition/exploration rather than hard-core 4X4, but many of the roads/trails in my area are off camber pretty good. I dont see a flag antenna on my parts, but I do plan to drill a hole in the front right side of the base unit to attach my whip antenna tie-down. One of my tabs was welded on about an inch higher than the others so it will have to be hammered into alignment, but shouldnt be a big deal. Did you run your electrical wires to the front and under the cowl, or did you run them to the back, along the chassis, and back up to the engine bay? What about rust? I am debating if I should get some silicone to seal where the parts meet up.

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post #8 of 10 Old 08-23-2015, 01:28 PM
gcdaz
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ChadH, I didn't realize you have the front sway off. I imagine things might be exciting for you without it. I have an Antirock in the front. I keep it at the softest setting and don't notice much difference from being fully loaded. (I carry about what you do. The heavier OME springs in the back probably help a little, too.) I wheel a lot with a few WJs that get apprehensive in off camber situations when they have the front sway bar disconnected. They just go slow. I think it feels worse than it really is, especially when crawling along like that. They all have loaded racks on top.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-23-2015, 01:37 PM
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I actually found the whole thing on CL from a guy that moved from CO military base to one in OK. He used the rack to move and it was basically new when I got it so still in good shape other than some missing bolts. I used some stainless cap head screws for the window mounts and put some 3m adhesive tape in between to keep from scratching paint and having rattles. The points that do rub together had slight rust over time but I am in a rather dry environment and while I had the rack we didn't see much rain at all, for two years! I ran the wires down through the front drivers side and used the gap in the cowl to get under the hood. I just had a buddy get back from doing the WABDR up in your neck of the woods. Too far for me and the ole TJ but awesome looking place you guys have.

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post #10 of 10 Old 08-23-2015, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
ChadH
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Yeah, I will be getting the antirock when I lift it. Only reason I removed the front sway is the connector links busted (the ball separated from the bar), so instead of hearing clunking everywhere I go, or buying a replacement...I figure just leave it off till I get it replaced.

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