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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Many of you have seen my earlier DIY roof rack, constructed out of pieces of L-angle steel and bolts. It was a great rack, and served its purpose extremely well. But I began to have an itch to make something better, something that won't rust, something that will stand up to the Minnesota salt & grime!

I initially didn't trust aluminum to be strong enough until I got to see a friend's tire rack made out of 1/8" aluminum - that stuff is STRONG! So I found a place to order some and purchased a bar of architectural aluminum (high corrosion resistance) in 2"x2"x2" C channel.

I also had to re-do the template from the old ones, as they were made for multiple pieces, not single-piece like this. I also got the idea (from Hondad) to make the top holes fit U-bolts in the dimensions of Yakima crossbars, in case anyone had a set they wanted to mount up.

Difficulty: Cakewalk..........Medium......*..Expert
(rated expert for major tool usage/owning)

Things you will need:
Hacksaw & lots of muscle or large chop saw with fine-tooth finishing blade (I used a 96-tooth)
Drill press
Rat tail file (for cleaning drilled holes)
Flat file
12 stainless steel M6 (6 mm) x 20mm hex cap bolts
12 stainless steel M6 lock washers
12 stainless steel M6 fender washers
One 2' piece of 2"x2"x2" 1/8"thick C-channel aluminum sawed to four 4 3/4" pieces
2 cross bars of your choosing (I used 5' slotted square steel tube sawed to 54")
Good drill bits (cobalt reccommended)
Other crap to attach to the rack

I got carried away with construction, so no in-progress pics. I will say it was MUCH easier to work with the aluminum than the old steel ones!

So without further delay, the pics of the finished product!





They're held on with three M6 bolts as before, but this time I put my crossbar on with the aforementioned U-bolts:





Also new this time is fender washers for the lock washers to dig into, since the aluminum of the bracket is quite soft and will gouge easily. The bungee around the crossbars is my patented ghetto anti-howl system.





As you can see, my new rack will quite easily hold up my weight (around 170). It'll actually hold it all on one bar without so much as a wiggle, but I was having problems balancing so no picture. On a side note, aren't you glad I wasn't wearing a kilt?





If anybody feels inclined to make their own, this template is all you need (well and a drill press and saw and file and time and money). The template is sized to be wrapped around the outside of a 2"x2"x2" C channel cut into 4 3/4" long slices.

View attachment RoofRackBracketLayout x 2 NEW 2009.pdf

**WARNING WARNING** If you use this PDF to make brackets, make SURE you turn off all document/image scaling in Acrobat Reader and in your printer settings. When you print the template, ALWAYS verify the stated dimensions are correct with a ruler/tape measure before cutting! I highly recommend using the original CAD file if you wish to make your own. Send me a PM for the file and software used to create it.

So there you have it! Not only is it more weather-resistant, it also adds a healthy dose of blingitude to my already pimpin' toaster! :D



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Ghetto-hauler?

You don't use this too much, do you?!!!! Taped up for padding already? You mention howl while driving - do you find whistle is because of all the holes available top and bottom? Looks like a square flute! Rugged design. Great metalwork.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You don't use this too much, do you?!!!! Taped up for padding already? You mention howl while driving - do you find whistle is because of all the holes available top and bottom? Looks like a square flute! Rugged design. Great metalwork.
I use it a good bit, I wouldn't say weekly but certainly more than only occasionally. The tape isn't for padding, it's to block some of the holes. And with my patented anti-howl bungees it doesn't howl any more. Without them, it screams like a banshee going down the highway :lol:

Wonder if Blue Man Group would be interested in a tuned version? :rolleyes: :lol:



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looking strong and uber-functional and not "like crap". [well, the duct tape might just be a tad too much "ghetto":D

The one thing that does surprise me is that you didn't turn the open sides of the c-channel towards the center of the roof:
[ ______ ]
I think that would have cleaned up the look a lot -hiding the nuts and washers.
 

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The rack is really cool, Twi. I just think you should have hired a cute spokes model for the last picture!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
looking strong and uber-functional and not "like crap". [well, the duct tape might just be a tad too much "ghetto":D

The one thing that does surprise me is that you didn't turn the open sides of the c-channel towards the center of the roof:
[ ______ ]
I think that would have cleaned up the look a lot -hiding the nuts and washers.
I like the ghetto look, what can I say? That and it makes the bolts easier to put on :D



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Nice job. Would there be any advantage to slotting and working the plastic fillers back into position?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice job. Would there be any advantage to slotting and working the plastic fillers back into position?
There would, but:

A. I already cut off the back piece of the surround for that filler cap and...

B. I tried to saw them to fit for the last rack and somehow managed to cut 3 of 4 of them wrong, and haven't bought new ones to try again yet...:oops:

C. ...and I've already filled the underside areas with expansion foam :D



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Now THAT is just plain ugly! I mean hideous! It is a monstrosity! Twi, whatever processed you to do such a thing? What drove you to such madness as buying that distasteful TRP? The racks might actually look ok if they were on another color E. :rolleyes:

:D :D :D
 

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Cool Rack. You should get some Herculiner from Autozone. they have a quart that would do that whole rack. Its rough surface might create enough turbulence that the holes won't howl. plus it would make it all one color.
 

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Like it!

When the time is high and the money is low: that, my friends, is the hour of ghetto :razz:
I like the idea of rubberized coating on the load bars. Probably will mitigate the howling. But, I don't know if it would make it hard to use other holes easily for changing positioning of cleats, etc, or not. Have you thought of using the U bolts mounted on ends of load bar and positioned vertically to use as tiedown loops or load stops? Could 'double nut' the U bolts to hold U above top of the bar surface. As it is, your U bolts mounting bars to aluminum feet bolted to E already protrude above bar surface enough to act as load stops.

Nice 'toolwork'.
 

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