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Custom built roof rack

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Imagery, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. Imagery

    Imagery

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    I finally found someone locally who can sand blast and refinish my rusty full length w/mesh floor, Tradesman roof rack with LineX. When I showed it to him, he just assumed that it was built by someone locally because it is just square tubing, nothing really especially great. He said that to sand blast and refinish it, the cost would be somewhere around $250-$300. Or, he said that he could build me a new rack identical in size dimension but build it with round 1.5" steel material with all rounded corners for around $400-$500. I probably would want him to make the sides a little higher than the Tradesman, similar to PhotoMan's rack. He said that he would probably just cut thr bottom mounting section from the tradesman and weld his on top of that so I would have the same mounting utilizing the rain gutters. He would also be able to put in a wire mesh floor as I have now. He will also weld in tabb for mounting lightd etc and what ever else I might need as far as accessories. I have seen his that he built and it does look very well made and extremely durrable but I just wonder how much it will end up weighing? I am not sure of the weight of the Tradesman but I emafine it is somewhere around 80-90 pounds.

    Does this sound like a good deal and how much should I tell him as a max weight limit? I will take some pictures of his rack and post them if anyone is interested in seeing his workmanship. He also builds custom bumpers atc, and they don't look like the back yard type we see all of the time...

    Mark
     
  2. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    Mark,
    Sounds like a pretty good deal. My only concern would be whether the mounts could handle the extra weight. (rack plus load) It sounds like he knows what he's doing though so it's probably OK.
    I will guess mine empty weighs 400-500 lbs. I have a one ton chain block on a beam trolley and I could tell there was a lot of tension in the chain when I set it on. Loaded, I would guess I have had 1000 lbs. up there (rack and load). 40 gallon of gas and two spares with steel wheels are 525 lbs. alone, without all the other junk. Hope this helps give you some idea.
    Bill
     
  3. Mr.Bryan

    Mr.Bryan

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    Sounds pretty cool to me. I was talking to a local who could weld me a nice rack but i never got around to it. If you go through with a new one and want to get rid of your old one PM me. :D

    -Bryan
     
  4. Imagery

    Imagery

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    Well I am pretty far off in my estimation of the dry weight of the Tradesman but now I see more realistically. What I might do is just make sure he pays close attention to the weight of the rack and being of stronger and larger material, I know it will be somewhat heavier than the Tradesman. However, I am sure my rack does not weigh near 400 lb dry but mabe more like 150 lb.

    PhotoMan, how high did you make the side rails on your rack. Would 10 inches be close to yours, and what did you do for the floor?

    Bryan, if I do have him build the rack, there still would be the possibility that we may use the bottom mounting portion of the Tradesman for the support system, unless he feels he can fabricate something out of the new material. I also will need to address the question of the strength of the supports and whether they will be enough for the new rack. Even if we do not alter the Tradesman, I am not sure you would want it because of its inherrent rust problem. This is the reason I am even considering having it refinished again or just having a new one made. I may even try to convert the old rack into a small utility trailer of sorts to go behind my 4-wheeler.

    Mark
     
  5. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    Mark,
    From about center on the sides above the rear doors it is 17 1/2" from the inside gutter to the top of the rack. That's the rack not the gas can holddown tubing. The two horizontal runs of the rack itself are about 13 1/4" O.S. apart. In this (picture) configuration I had rewelded from 8-5 gallon gas cans to: 4-5 gallon gas cans, two water cans, and two 6-gallon air tanks for the compressor since I had switched from the 25 gallon to a 38 gallon main gas tank. The floor has tubing crosswise to which I welded expanded metal. I did run a piece of 6 or 8 inch flat stock down the center for the spare tires and crane mounts. Hope this and the pics help you and/or your guy.
    Bill
     
  6. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    Expanded metal floor.
     
  7. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Photo:

    Man you must have one crazy a** heavy duty suspension on that thing. Does OME even make springs that can handle that kind of load?

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  8. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    A 400lb EMPTY rack? You gotta be guessing! Aren't you...?

    Doug
     
  9. Chris_Geiger

    Chris_Geiger

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    Here is another option. DatinFab can make custom tube racks for a great price. Here is a photo of the one he built for the back of my truck. It's 1" round tubing with a .095 wall thinness. The floor is expanded metal with two ribs for strength. It easily handles a person walking around on it. This one is about 4' X 3'. Just about any size or height can be made. Medium size racks up to 40" X 40" cost $195 (unpainted) and can be shipped UPS. Larger sizes can also be made but will require truck shipment.
     
  10. Scott_sFZJ80

    Scott_sFZJ80

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    Other than cost why not build one with aluminum? Will give up some strength but it’s much lighter.
     
  11. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    [quote author=IdahoDoug link=board=2;threadid=6544;start=msg53176#msg53176 date=1066713205]
    A 400lb EMPTY rack? You gotta be guessing! Aren't you...?

    Doug
    [/quote]

    Doug, it aint no wild guess. When he rolls out on a trip he's over 8000 lbs, no trailer. :eek:

    I'm surprised it hasn't become an accidental convertible :eek:

    D-

    PS,

    Did anyone notice the Red Green axe and shovel? :D
     
  12. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    >> Other than cost why not build one with aluminum? <<

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I want one exactly like that, made out of aluminum, including the expanded metal floor. They offer expanded metal in alum but it's expensive.

    Chris,
    How does that DatinFab rack mount to the roof?

    -B-
     
  13. TLCObsession

    TLCObsession

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    I have built several racks, and want to add a rack support to my 80. In the past, I used the Con-Fer feet. Does anyone know who ended up with that part of the business or where to find the 'Bulldog' clamps?

    I keep bringing home wood from the commercial tenants here at work. I use the Thule bars on the stock rack. Friday I had several hundred lbs up there, and so far I have been lucky. But I want to add 2 more cross bars.

    Jim
     
  14. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr

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    ...and here I'm worried about a rooftop tent and 2 kayaks for a total of 231 lbs. on my Yakima Rack. :eek:

    FYI: Dynamic (driving) load for 2 Yak bars is about 165 lbs, from what the company says....static load (not moving) is significantly more.

    Another idea I'm looking at is making a full length rail for the Yakima "A" tower feet, to help distribute the weight better.

    -H-
     
  15. Chris_Geiger

    Chris_Geiger

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    I bolted mine in the back of my trail Buggy by drilling holes through the sides and bolting it directly to the roll cage. For roof mounting you would need to get feet that bolt onto the rain gutter. The feet could be bolted to the cross supports.

    Here is what it looked like in my buggy...
     
  16. Rich

    Rich

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    [quote author=Scott_sFZJ80 link=board=2;threadid=6544;start=msg53273#msg53273 date=1066752054]
    Other than cost why not build one with aluminum? Will give up some strength but it’s much lighter.
    [/quote]

    Aluminum would be a great idea. I would cost more, but could be both lighter and stronger. The material will cost more, and the welding and finishing will cost more. It is an execellant idea to minimize the weight on top.