would you check out that rack!!!

Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
339
Location
Billings, MT
So, I am making a move to Sacramento CA and will be moving into the capitol of the "Golden State" arriving on July 11th. As luck would have it Rubithon got postponed until July 13th this summer due to excessive trail snow pack. I have dreamed about doing the rubicon trail for over a decade and having this opportunity available, well lets just say, I will do what any cruiser lover worth their birfield would do;.......... I will drop my belongings off at my new abode without moving in, return the uhaul, and hightail it to the trailhead for my first rubithon!!!:)

I have never configured my 40 for prolonged outages. Areas it is deficient in is storage. I was concerned that 4+ days out on the trail would severely stress its fuel supply and storage capacity.

My wife :princess: will be joining me on this adventure. She has put up with my landcruiser fetish for years and has learned to love fj40's and 45's herself. I need to do everything I can to make our camping trip enjoyable and as amenity available as reasonably prudent so we may both have a fun and relaxed time.

My decision to build a new upper rack system was based on both the required and recommended things that would be needed for a few days on the rubicon. My feelings for the build are centered around a couple of specific criteria
1) build as strong as possible so the rigors of trail bashing would be withstood
2) Keep the center of gravity as low as possible. This is a big feature for me, The majority of my wheeling is not prolonged outings so this trail rack needed to be easily removeable so that the 75% of the time where the cruiser was going out on day trips the extra weight up high could be removed.
3) The rack needs to be multifunctional, a swiss army knife for my camping needs. My design needs to not only be cruiser bling but also campsite functional
4) I have a very limited time to build this setup, like mentioned above, I am moving in a few weeks and I have a whole lot of packing/other stuff that needs to get done at the same time
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
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339
Location
Billings, MT
so the first step is spending money

I ordered the Warrior Products rear hitch receiver cargo rack from Morris Offroad. This unit looked pretty sturdy in the pics and most importantly it was the approximate dimensions to fulfill the plan in my head. Here is a pic of the unmolested rack as it came from Morris offroad. Next are some pics of within a few minutes of my ownership of said cargo rack. It takes a special kind of person to immediatly grind, cut and manipulate a $300+ rack moments into ownership ;)
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Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
339
Location
Billings, MT
In an attempt to lower the center of gravity I cut out the center of the rack, this will lower it down so that it straddles the top of my spare tire, dropping the racks overall height by approx 5 inches from where it would be if I had left good enough alone.
I also have started adding some reinforcement steel to the setup. Like I said in my opening post, this thing has be be built stout, in this case, stouter than warrior products had planned.
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Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
339
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Billings, MT
The steel used in this build is 11 gauge 1&1/4 inch square tube. Also I have a bit of 1" 16 gauge square tube that I will also be using in areas where less strength, more weight consciousness is a feasible option
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
339
Location
Billings, MT
Roboos,

That looks like an awesome setup and a beautiful cruiser you have there. good work man!

I am focusing my efforts on a rear over the spare tire rack so I can rock rubithon topless this summer!
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
339
Location
Billings, MT
With the initial rack modifications made, I started making some changes to my current rear tire carrier.

This tire carrier is one of the first fabrication endevours I have ever done. It was OK, I give myself a "B" on its design and execution, but a "B" isn't nearly cool enough. I considered the option of switching the whole tire mount and new setup to the new rear winch bumper that I recently built. I felt that modification of my current setup was a better choice because I could address the weak points I already knew existed and improve on an already proven system (I have rocked my current spare tire mount system for over a decade without problems ). Not to mention that changing the mouting point would add in my mind extra time and money to this build.

Here is a couple of pics of the strengthening process. First set of pics are of the cruiser in its various previous states with the old tire carrier on the back to give you an idea of the starting point of this project. The new set up will have to support at least 150 - 200 lbs (considering the weight of the rack and extra supplies such a rack might carry)

I will have a few more pics of the strengthening/reinforcement of my current rack in a couple of days.
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Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
339
Location
Billings, MT
When I replaced the rear sill and corners of my cruiser years ago (with thicker than stock 14 gauge steel) I chose to keep the rear diamond plate corner caps because they offer extra thickness and rigidity to the rear body and allow for the hinges and latches to have a thickend more rigid region to bolt onto. Although I do have some metal warpage under those corners from the welding process, I may be the only cruiser owner who rocks the aluminum corners and is not hiding a rust problem. I am not sure that stock cruiser metal would allow for the needed strength I am asking my cruiser to withstand, especially if rust was a problem.

A couple pics of the initial steps in strengthening the tire carrier. Needs more triangulation :)

I will get some better pics of the tire carrier modifications up in the next couple of days. hope you enjoy
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Joined
Sep 20, 2004
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I have a rack very close to that size that is a little lighter and is mounted over the rear seat area . My cage has the stock style side bars with no rear cage so the rack mounts lower with top of rack just below top of roll cage. IT fits my 10 x10 easy up side to side just perfect, then I put 2 chairs, cot, tent, blankets and 3 sleeping bags and a foldable table up there. My 40 has done Rubicon many times loaded this way. I carry a 42qt arb fridge and approx. 300 - 350 lbs of gear in the back plus my 40 has a 20 gal. Aux fuel tank, and a full spare. It is heavy but , hey, it is a 5 day trip. Good thing about Rubithon is there are usually spare axles, steering boxes, etc. On hand. If you run the rack just be careful at the bottom of the slabs also called Indian trail. As you descend it is off camber and there is a small shelf at one of the last list turns that can flop you if you carry any momentum at all over it and are loaded up top.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
339
Location
Billings, MT
I got a little more work done on my current spare tire holder, its been strengthened and rigidified. Also I added some 2" into 1&1/4" inch tow hitch adaptors onto the tire carrier in order to act as a means to easily take on and off my new storage rack. Some pics of the progress:
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Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
339
Location
Billings, MT
Heres a couple pics of recent progress. I want to minimize my chances of wishing for a gas station on the rubicon, so this rack had to carry 2 jerry cans
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Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Messages
15,313
Location
OC, CA
Nice, but you have to take the hard top off to do the Rubicon. Didn't anyone tell you?

Sacratomato is my home town! It has some advantages of being close to some cool places and the Rubicon is one of them.
 

FishNinJay

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
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Orange County, CA
I got a little more work done on my current spare tire holder, its been strengthened and rigidified. Also I added some 2" into 1&1/4" inch tow hitch adaptors onto the tire carrier in order to act as a means to easily take on and off my new storage rack. Some pics of the progress:

and new tail lights? ;)

Interesting set-up.. not sure exactly how the rack is suspended over the spare in one of the earlier pics. So your entire spare, plus the carrier structure is all supported on the hinges bolted into the rear quarter panels? (aluminum diamond plate reinforced original steel panel, right?). Seems like a lot of weight and stress on those joints, especially when the spare tire structure is swung outward?

Exactly where is the weight of this rack supported?

It seems like a lot of the fab'd tire carriers all have hinges that are basically on the bumper/rear frame crossmember for support.

It looks nice tho! Please update with pics of rubicon!

-Jay (peedoc)

ps.. you and orthopedic surgeon?
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
339
Location
Billings, MT
Yeah, when closed, all the weight sits on the 8 bolts that hold on the two hinges, as well as the 4 bolts that hold on the strike plate on the latch side. I also have a 3/4 inch threaded rod which is bolted through the body
to help hold the weight on the latch side. I am definatly concerned with the weight, I have built a kickstand for supporting the weight while in the open position. I have checked and rechecked during the building process and to this point everything is rigid and snug, I can do pull ups off it without it deflecting, rattling, creaking, or any other signs of potential trail failure. The rear of my rig has all new metal to help support the weight. Time will tell if my design will work. I haven't seen anything to make me think or worry that it won't work as of yet. Yup I am an Orthopedic surgeon, I take it from your name (peedoc) you are a urologist? Thanks for the comments
 

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