Roof Rack

With the BOAT almost finished, I had to have a way to transport it. A roof rack is cheaper than a trailer, or at least that's what I thought until I started pricing Roof Racks. :( So I decided to make one. Here is the story.

First the trim covering the rain gutter has to come off. There are plastic clips holding the trim on. The clips are brittle, so if you are not careful you will break them. Just slip a screwdriver like tool under the trim and push against the clip to release it.

and give the screwdriver like tool a slight twist. Repeat for all the clips.

Then arching the trim in the middle it will pull out of the other trim pieces at the ends. With the trim removed you will find 3 sections of tape covering 6 blind threaded holes!!!

A little twist of the screwdriver like tool opens the tape over the holes.

They are threaded for 6mm bolts. Typically 6mm bolts have 10mm heads I know this tool looks like a screwdriver, and it was one when it came from the factory, but it has since been designated a screwdriver like tool, and as such is no longer used on screws!!! :)

I made 6 plates out of 1/8" steel 2" by 3" That was a mistake, I should have made them longer at least 4.5" long and then trimmed them down after fitting the cross bars. I think the holes are 1.5" apart.

Using a precision metal molding device, I put a bend in each of the brackets

And bolted them to the rain gutter mounts.

The roof on the 2nd Generation Troopers is curved. So starting with the center rack, I blocked up the cross brace to get the roof clearance that I wanted. Then blocked up the front and back cross braces so that they are inline with the center brace. Here you can see why the brackets should have been longer. The cross braces are made of 1x2" thin wall square tubing.

Here is the center section tacked up.

Then I welded 2" lengths of tubing on the ends of the cross brace and onto the uprights.

The uprights seal the cross braces, and provides a place to attach metal hooks OR Stakes to keep stuff from sliding off the rack.

My welds are so bad that most of the weld has to be ground off. :)

A bad photo, but you can almost see that the 3 sections will make for a flat platform for anything placed on them.

Installed, unpainted with trim off. The air dam for the sunroof just clears the front cross bar.

Ready for Paint.

Painted and installed. The metal lip that the clamps hold have to be trimmed where the mount bracket meets the trim. Then a little cut with a razorblade and the trim fits nice and snug..

Another crummy picture, this one is of the finished product. I think it will be strong enough to hold a boat. I was worried that the open holes in the rack would howl at speed, so I did a speed test up to 75 mph with no noticeable increase in wind noise.