BJ74 Roof Rack - Post up your solutions.

Discussion in '70-Series Tech' started by Stone, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. Stone

    Stone Moderator

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    BJ74s for all their merits have one downfall that has frustrated me until now. The FRP roof has a rain gutter above each front door, and above the rear doors. There is, however, no rain gutter on the rear sides of the roof, namely above the sliding windows.

    After doing much thinking, and after inspirational pictures of a roof rack solution from Bruce (A2b_inaTLC), I finally have roof racks. I ditched the flimsy custom rack that the PO installed in Japan. I needed to carry my 8' pram on the roof for flyfishing, and the original rack was configured wrongly and didn't have any capacity. I was in the process of having a metal shop custom make a square aluminum rack that bolted to the front and rear rain gutters, but they are busy and the job would have cost me a lot of money.

    After seeing Bruce's Yakima system, I decided to install a Thule rack. The Thule rack has an all metal one piece high rise tower as opposed to an aluminum spacer in the Yakima. The Thule feet also have the right shape to grip the front rain gutter securely, while the Yakima seemed not to "bite" very well.

    I purchased my components from Rack Attack in Coquitlam. Cap-It in Langley installed my rain gutters with spacers so as not to crush the two layers of my FRP top when the false gutters are bolted on tight.

    Components and cost:

    -Thule 387 high rise foot pack (includes 4 and hardware) $224.95 CAD
    -(2) Thule 65" load bars $79.95 CAD
    -Kwik Rail Thule Artificial Rain Gutters (one pair) $32.95 CAD

    Total component cost: $337.85 CAD + taxes.

    Pictures to follow tomorrow. The high rise feet give about 8" of clearance which is necessary to clear the bumps on top of the FRP roof in the rear. The 65" load bars stick out approximately 6.5" on either side of the roof in the rear.

    Of course this rack will not be able to support a huge amount of weight, but it should be enough to carry around my small 8' pram, or a large cargo basket with light gear in the future.

    [​IMG]

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  2. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    if you are going to be carrying large loads get 2 supports per gutter (6). i had a BJ74 come in with the coolest rack but i never got a shot of it. very nice indeed. single teer so it would still fit in the 7' door...
    cheers
     
  3. Stone

    Stone Moderator

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    I'm not convinced of the strength of the rain gutters in the front, Wayne. They look kid of weakly rivetted on.

    I'm not going to be carrying a lot of weight up there, but if I need to, I think I might add a third rail in between these two and use two more false rain gutters to mount them.
     
  4. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    actually the one i have seen in Japan have (and the one i had here) have 2 supports on the rear gutter...
     
  5. Landpimp

    Landpimp GOLD Star

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    I used the same setup(except yakima) on my 4runner, worked great.

    someone find me a OEM non NA 60 series roof rack please :)
     
  6. A2B in a TLC

    A2B in a TLC

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    Hi Gang,

    As Allstone has said, and those w. a BJ74 know, the roof rack mount is a problem.

    A few things I considered:

    - I was originally looking at welding or bolting a plate where the FRP meets the side panel and running the supports up the outisde and over the roof, similar to the common set up you see on pick up trucks with canopies. Cost would have been about $700 in aluminum.
    - Rob Millson at LSI recommended that I just go to a wrecker and buy stock rack sort like from a Dodge Caravan (not really) complete with adjustable tracks. The tracks would be screwed right into the FRP roof and would distribute the weight fairly well. I checked a wrecker and the cost would have been under $100. I went to Cap-It in Richmond to see if there is a Thule or Yakima aftermarket track system with tower. There is.
    - Cap-It has the aftermarket rails but told me to go with the articial rain gutters drilled thru the roof in a semi-vertical area for the best strength, similar to Stone's set up.
    - I purchased 4 Yakima A-1 towers in the Buy & Sell for $120. The purchase included 2 cross bars (48" which is too small) and the bike rack option
    - My plan was to end up with 3 or 4 cross bars: one over the front door gutters; one at the very rear; and the other two evenly filling in the gaps. The 2 cross bar gutter mount Yakima system is rated at 160 lbs. For me, thats not quite enough. By adding another 1 or 2 bars, the load capability will be at least 240-300 lbs. (my extrapolation).
    - Instead of paying "big" bucks for Yakima 58" cross bars, I went to a pipe shop and bought enough galvanized steel pipe to make 4 cross bars for about $23.
    - The A-1 towers with cross bars "just" touch the high rib in the middle of the FRP. Not good, as there will be wear.
    - BTW, Stone had his work done at a different Cap-It than me. The Richmond guys I dealt with never considered a spacer because of the 2 layer FRP roof. I will carefully assess whether I should add a spacer.
    - As Stone mentioned, the Yakima "L shaped" towers don't really grip the front door gutters very well. We ground down the chrome gutter trim to fix. Not yet perfect. I may end up bending the grip plate into a U shape or scewing a strip of metal on to create the same.
    - With 4 cross bars, I am confident that the load capacity will be very good. Centre of gravity will be an issue for the rig. So, I will load the lighter, bulkier equipment on the rack trying to keep the heavy stuff inside.
    - Forgive me for this point as a consideration: Most (many?) underground parking lots have a stated 6'8" limit. I have stock springs (no lift), 235R7515 LT tires, and my set up at this time to the top of the cross bars is 6'4". If I add a basket with a 6" rim, I'm up to 6'10". Probably OK for most UG parking. Any higher and I will have some problems. And what if I add some lift and bigger tires? Well, I'll worry about that later.
    - My next step is to actually add the 4th bar (I'll need to purchase 2 more A-1 towers and artificial gutters. Then, add a basket. Should be 6" high as mentioned. It can be 79" long and 49" wide. Wow.

    Anyone know of a good fabricator in Vancouver area? Aluminum is probably the best (lightest). I'd say $200-$250 should be the price. In fact, I can buy an 8" for less than $250. But its too high - 6" is my limit. I love the baskets that seem to be popular on the JDM BJ61s - they look like 6". I note several of Wayne's "for sale or sold" 61s on Luxury Imports have those beauty baskets.

    Anyway, this is a work in progress and I will update as I go.

    Cheers,

    Bruce
     
  7. bj70_guy

    bj70_guy

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    This is going to be my solution :D
    101.jpg
     
  8. A2B in a TLC

    A2B in a TLC

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    >>
    But its too high - 6" is my limit. I love the baskets that seem to be popular on the JDM BJ61s - they look like 6". I note several of Wayne's "for sale or sold" 61s on Luxury Imports have those beauty baskets.
    <<

    Of course, I meant HJ61s...

    :)

    B
     
  9. Stone

    Stone Moderator

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    Norm: The only reason why I went with a roof rack system is because I wouldn't want to tow a trailer everytime I need to take my pram out to go fishing. Also, I don't have any room to store a trailer right now. Having a roof rack is great...even for around the town stuff like buying lumber and whatnot.

    Bruce: I would highly doubt that you would be able to throw 2-300 pounds on your FRP top, no matter how many bars you have across it. I'm guessing the fiberglass material is not that strong...but you could prove my guess wrong. :D
     
  10. bj70_guy

    bj70_guy

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    Makes perfect sense. I just threw it up there because a)I'm a smartass, and b) well, there really is no b)...

     
  11. Rvl

    Rvl

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    My roof carrier
    6.jpg
     
  12. Stone

    Stone Moderator

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    Well, I just came back from a fishing trip and got to also test out the limits of my roof rack system. I wasn't paying close attention to the road conditions, not keeping in mind that the top of the road was covered with a couple of inches of sticky mud and my tires sucked. Talking too much to my passenger, momentarily lost control of the vehicle, fishtailed and ended up in a very precarious position. I think my passenger's words were "Holy, sh*t...I think I need to change my shorts!" :D

    8' wood fiberglass car topper strapped to my roof racks, fell into a very steep angle...held the boat up there really well with no cracks or other damage to my FRP top where the feet and false gutters mount. Satisfied with my setup, as I was a little bit unsure to how strong those brackets were going to be.

    [​IMG]

    Tried to strap myself out of this one. 10' to the front or rear of this spot and I would have rolled the truck. The little bush beside my door was about the only thing that stopped me from rolling. Side of the hill was too soft, no grip even with the lockers on. :D
    [​IMG]

    Got myself most of the way up, time to get some winch cable out. The 4runner was too light, so I had to have power to the tires as well as the PTO. 1st gear and 4lo worked really well with the PTO.
    [​IMG]

    Gratuitous fish shot...what all the trouble was for: chrome Jimmy Lake rainbows on the dry fly. :D
    [​IMG]
     
  13. lshobie

    lshobie

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    Stone, you are a lucky guy! Go buy a lottery ticket.

    Got any more fishing pics?

    Regards
     
  14. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    i don't know but looking at the tire marks on the road it looks like you might have stuck the truck there on purpose for a cool shot to stick up on the web...
    how did you smuck up the running board?

    BTW, in a situation like that you do know to point the front end down hill and drive out of a roll, right?
    cheers
     
  15. Stone

    Stone Moderator

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    Wayne: LOL. No...trust me, I didn't do it on purpose. Fishtailed, tried to recover, slid down the bank and into the bush. It's hard to make out in the picture, but there is a road down the hill, and yes, I would have pointed the nose down to try and avoid a roll. In fact, that was my first choice to try and get out of this one, but when I tried to, the truck felt a bit too tippy at that point. Some of those tire marks were made by the 4runner turning around to give me a hand. The running board I smacked up at Sunrise Lake a little while ago.

    Louis: Weather system kind of wreaked havoc on the traveller sedge hatch that I was hoping for...it never really materialized. There was a good chironamid and small caddis hatch, as well as sporadic Mayfly hatches. Never did get the 5 lb rainbow on the dry...didn't take too many shots. Caught 3 that were 18", and several smaller ones. Good weekend to be away anyway.
     
  16. wesintl

    wesintl

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    :eek: Where is the pto hidden, behind the license plate?
     
  17. Stone

    Stone Moderator

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    Yup. :) Pretty sneaky, eh?
     
  18. lshobie

    lshobie

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    Stone - Nice, still sounds great. I love fishing, and I love getting to my fishing spots even more. I own a camp in norther quebec. The lake is full of pickeral and lake trout.

    Maybe sometime I will coincide a trip to BC to pick up a couple of cruisers with a fishing trip - I'd need someone to show us where to go though:)

    Regards.
     
  19. wesintl

    wesintl

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    If I didn't know better I would have thought you were getting a Burrito and a Coke out of that bumper :D
     
  20. Greg_B

    Greg_B

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    Just glad you're all ok Stone! From the tracks further back it looks like quite the slide and attempt for recovery: Almost over, then to the other side, then back again?

    gb
     
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