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Dterry2708 12-09-2011 01:48 PM

Custom roof rack and need some opinions
1 Attachment(s)
Hey guys,

I've been lurking around the forums for a while now but have not posted much. I decided I need a roof rack. Sense I am a mechanical engineering student, I started designing using software but I could definitively use some of knowledge on this board. Also, most if not all of you, have their own opinions on what they would call their "ideal" rack and/or reasons why aftermarket racks are great or terrible. My requirements are fairly simple:

- Open basket type
- 65-70 inches long (To carry snowboards)
- Looks nice and professional
- Not overly bulky
- Cannot carry spare tire sense I need the room for the snowboards

This is what I have so far. I plan on using 1” O.D. 16 gauge (Same as the Gobi rack). The height in the back is 6” and steps down to 4” in the front. I plan on it being 45” wide and 70” long. I plan on adding light brackets for the front and possibly some for the back as well. Should weigh around 35lbs or so.
Any opinions and thoughts would be greatly appreciated. This semester is almost over and I should start building next weekend when I go home for break. I can provide any dimensions that you may need.

Thanks everyone,
Dylan Terry

BlackedOutWK 12-09-2011 05:09 PM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
looks very nice! i would be interested in buying one if youre looking to make more than one and assuming i can afford the cost! lol.

my only suggestion would be to keep it nice and low tight to the roof as possible!

BlackedOutWK 12-09-2011 05:10 PM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
oh i forgot to mention that the snowboard part is a huge added bonus! i like you're thinking there.

one more suggestion would be to add a wind fairing to the front...

Dterry2708 12-09-2011 06:28 PM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
Thanks for the response BlackedOutWK, and I don't know if I will be building more than one. Hopefully the first comes out good enough were people want one, but I would not be opposed to building a few. As for price... no idea, this one shouldn't cost more than $150 in materials. (Add ~$100 for powder coat) plus what ever labor comes out to. I can guarantee it would not be anywhere near the price of the Gobi Rack.

-The low profile this is definitely something I am trying to accomplish. Using curved bars would decrease the distance from the roof to the rack at the ends and look more "fitted" to the roof. The contour on these jeeps isn't crazy so I am hoping using straight bars would not look too bad but that is one of those try it out when you build it deals. I'm thinking the bottom of the rack will be approx. 2" (max) from the roof at the front corners but again I am unsure until build time comes.

-A wind fairing is also hard to plan until everything is up on the roof. Besides guessing and scaling pictures, it would be hard to design a properly fitting fairing before anything is actually built. But yes, that's something that will happen.

-Two things I am unsure about are the radius of the rear most bends. Right now I have a 2.5" center line radius; which makes the rack 6" high in the back. Anything more would look a little excessive in my opinion. Hopefully I can figure out a way, or find a shop that can bend that tight.

-The other thing was using expanded metal. It would protect the roof a bit more, and allow for smaller items. But is it actually needed? For those of you that have a roof rack would you prefer this or rather not?

Dterry2708 12-22-2011 09:45 AM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
1 Attachment(s)
Started the build the other day. Have about 6 hours or so into it because I am just thinking through everything and had to change the design a bit. I could not figure out how to get a tight radius so I just did two seperate layers. I still have the bottom bars to weld in and also a lot of welding and griding to finish. I also have to build the mounts which should all be done today if I dont run into issues.

I think I am going to use Rustoloum Hammered spray paint. Should be fairly tough and yet easy to paint.

BlackedOutWK 12-22-2011 10:35 AM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
looking good! i can't believe no one else has chimed in on this thread yet. im excited to see how it turns out. i like your idea with the hammered paint, another suggestion would be duplicolor's spray on bed liner, comes in a spray paint can and goes on very nicely, i did my rear step pad with it and it came out great.

BlackedOutWK 12-22-2011 10:39 AM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
by the way...what is your plan to secure the snowboards in to the rack? looks like a lot of space between the vertical posts where the boards could easily slip through.

phox 12-30-2011 11:27 AM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
design student here, I dig the contours.

one idea if you're going to be carrying snowboards is you could possibly add some board clamps, since it seems you have access to all the tools you would need.

something like this: would work really well in there, since it allows everything to lay flat

also, let us know what you would charge for these, I'm sure a lot of us would be interested

shortysmash 01-04-2012 04:26 PM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
What program did you draw/design the rack with?

zero_psi 01-04-2012 11:27 PM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
look into the wake board racks that bolt on to the towers.. they could easily clamp on the rack and be used with a snow board

Dterry2708 01-12-2012 03:51 PM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
3 Attachment(s)
First off, I apologize for not being on in a while. Its been a bit crazy moving back to Charlotte and what not but there is good news, the rack is done! Well, the first attempt that is. I made a few changes but overall it still looks similar to the original design (minus those tight radius bends).

shortysmash, I used Inventor Professional 2011 for the design. Its what I normally use in school besides solidworks. Plus its free if your a student.

I would like to add a few things:

-I would get it powder coated for sure. I used the rusto hammered paint, and although it only cost about $15, it scratches easy compared to powder coat, and in all honesty the extra money would be worth it. (not ruling out bedliner, just have never used it)

-I made a wind fairing, Ill go grab a picture tomorrow and post it. It was LOUD without it. Something like having a window half open at 65mph. So i made a quick one out of aluminium and riveted it on and now it is slightly noticeable if you are listening for it. It will be replaced with plexiglass and some windowtint eventually.

-phox and zero_psi, I considered that but decided to get a Thule cargo net (Part number THU0098 ~$35) and it works PERFECT! I used some 3/4" pipe insulation for the bottom. I just set snowboards in, and stretch the net around them and they wont go anywhere. I suppose a rack, or mounting system would be easier, but this way I can throw whatever I want and just put the net on and its awesome.

Honestly guys, I doubt I could make these for a cheap enough price that would out weight the non-professional product. I am not saying this is shabby work, just that its not machine welded, cnc bent, and such.

Also I used 3/4" conduit. YES conduit, like $4 for a 10ft piece. Just a PITA to grind off the coating before welding but not all that terrible. The tubing is almost exact dimensions as the Gobi rack (1" OD, .050 wall). I stood on top, on one foot, on one bar, and it flexed maybe 1/4". THIS THING IS STRONG! I wouldn't hesitate putting 500lbs up there if its spread out. Oh, and it weights about 20 lbs, but that is just a guess.

There is definitely some changes I would make on the next one, and that is make it even more low profile, possibly go with fewer cross bars and use mesh, and add some removable cross bars so that it would be like the stock rack so you can add things like a canoe/bike mount, or whatever.

Overall I am very pleased with it considering it cost around $120 and 16ish hours. Most of that time was me standing around drinking beer between cutting and welding and thinking. I bet I could bang one out in less than 10 hours next time. So if I paid myself $20 an hour, were still talking under $500. Which IMO is worth it. Add another $100 for powder coat and its about half the price of a Gobi.

As you can see its a back yard job, and I would even have a hard time shelling out $600 for some guy to make me a rack out of his garage haha.

Sorry for the huge post haha and I really appreciate your guys comments.

What would you guys change? Like/dislike? Don't worry about offending me, I could use some input in case I make another one.

jp07blkE85 01-12-2012 04:41 PM

Re: Custom roof rack and need some opinions
Dterry2708, looks impressive to me!

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