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Discussion Starter #1
I received my roof basket on Thursday and inspected the box.

It came with some wear and tear on it thanks UPS. The only damage to the kit was the air dam had two chips in it.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_oBgUAr9zCHI/S-SKj2NCKbI/AAAAAAAAAHY/LRQ-PLZ1rRc/s640/101_3256.JPG
The overall construction seemed really solid. The shipping weight was 56lbs so I knew it has some beef to it. The tubs are 1" steel with a steel mesh bottom which seems real solid. I would feel comfortable breaking the 150lb limit.

The vertical bar is a plastic sleeve that the bolt goes threw. The mounting hard ware that came with the kit is well, garbage. It came with U shaped all thread 1/4 Or U=Bolt. I was able to bend this with my hand way to easy and didnt come with nuts to secure it came with hand tightening knobs. Which would not fit over my factory oval cross bars.(I already new that per product description) I went to lows and got some grade 5 nuts and bolts and some flat steel made for door jams or something not sure but it fit the bill of what I needed.

It took about fifteen minuets to assemble and get it to this point here.

I took the hardware I purchased and Painted it black with exterior spray paint.

I almost got carried away and coated the flat steel in rubber but the 4hr dry time talked me out of it. The install was straight forward just threw it up there measured a couple of time threw some lock tight on the threads and all secure.





I just got this installed moments ago so no trail test yet. I will be going fishing tomorrow so it will get a little off road action and going to flag Pole in a couple of weeks which will be the real test for this thing. So lets talk MONEY.
first the size of this thing is pretty good Large size (62.5" x 45") and the prise basket $109 shipping $35 so $144 to the door really not bad. $25 in Grade 5 hardware and Paint. So for $169 give or take I got this installed. Really the biggest let down for me is the air dam. Besides it coming chipped I have not been able to get it to lay flat yet but I do believe this will just take some fine tuning to accomplish. The hard ware to install the air dam was less then desirable as well. A phillips head bolt and a self locking nut not fun:headbang:
Going to let it heat up in the sun take a look and probably loosen all the braces for the air dam in a attempt to get it to lay flat. But for the price of this thing I will fabricated a air dam and still be happy. The road test and off road test will follow. I will repost my review of that in this thread as well. I hope this helps someone on making a decision either no or yes to this cheaper rack. If your an urban crawler only I say your probably good but wait till the road test comes in. This is my first product review so be kind with the criticism's and I will answer any questions to the best of my ability.
 

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That's a fine review, Sal. Look's like it will work well for you.
 

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Nice to have other options out there, thanks for the review.
 

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looks good.

if i might make one suggestion though...

i would find a little more stable mounting point than through the mesh at the bottom. those flat brackets look like they have potential of sliding. it looks like you can probably catch the tube frame with some U-bolts and then use a couple of the flat brackets you already have to go under the factory roof rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
looks good.

if i might make one suggestion though...

i would find a little more stable mounting point than through the mesh at the bottom. those flat brackets look like they have potential of sliding. it looks like you can probably catch the tube frame with some U-bolts and then use a couple of the flat brackets you already have to go under the factory roof rack.
Yes I agree I am not happy with the mount threw there. I've been to three stores and no U-Bolts larger than 3" I need at least 41/4. Then I can grab the tube I think. They actually won't slide but it's still on the mesh taking up floor space and on the weakest point of the system as well. Thanks for the suggestion I am diffidently working on it just need to find the right hardware. Thats a great drawing thank you I will give that a try.
 

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Sal, you might be able to get some threaded rod and heat it up and bend it to make your own u-bolts. If you do, get a pipe the same diameter as the tube on your rack, use a sturdy bench vise, get it red hot and ('strike' when the iron is hot), bend it around the pipe.

Even if you don't have much in the way of garage equipment, you would be amazed at what you can do with charcoal fire and a little air blower. But be careful of flying sparks.
 

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use the longest u-bolt you can find & as for "coupler nuts" and some all-thread and you will be able to make anything you need... don't forget the locktight
 

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Discussion Starter #9
use the longest u-bolt you can find & as for "coupler nuts" and some all-thread and you will be able to make anything you need... don't forget the locktight
I was shopping today to find u-bolts long enough for the cad drawing you posted. thanks for that by the way. I think tractor supply has some I'm going to use I'm going to remeasure one more time and go back again. So I'm good with the grade 5 stuff right I don't need to go any stronger? I used the break away lock tight on the mounts I have up there now is that ok or should I go to the regular stuff. I'm going to have to move my cross bars to get this new idea to go in as well but I think its worth the extra time. I've also been trying to come up with a way to mount a shovel and a ax up there as well anyone have an idea I would appreciate it. I was thinking of using the hardware that came with the roof basket for this.
 

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Ok here is where I stand. Lets just call what I have done so far a mock up.:icon_redface: After some consideration I will be going with Doc's cad drawing. So this means the whole thing will be coming down to get this done because I will have to move the cross bars to install the new mounts right. Last night I mounted a ax to the back of the basket.


Today I got two off road lights mocked up for install. Both the ax and the lights are being installed with hardware I have laying around from other projects.


These were the cheapest lights I could find I'm sure they are not very bright but will do for now. I'm getting new rubber to this week hopefully so the wife is starting to notice the money hehehehe. It's just a mock up I still need to take it all down and paint and stuff and still need to figure out the wire run. I'm looking at needing 4 light switches by the time I'm done so trying to figure out where I will be putting all that inside as well and my CB should be here tomorrow so I have to install that as well. Any suggestions on any of the stuff I'm working on especially the wire run would be appreciated. I plan on using flex tube and heat shrink wrap to install the wire run up top. I think I'm good with the ax mount as is.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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you aren't making mistakes that others before you haven't made... i'm not trying to beat you up over it... just trying to save you some headache & disappointment.

i mount the lights low on the racks i build in case any cargo shifts it won't break the lights... you can move your air dam and do pretty much the same thing.



 

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Discussion Starter #15
you aren't making mistakes that others before you haven't made... i'm not trying to beat you up over it... just trying to save you some headache & disappointment.

i mount the lights low on the racks i build in case any cargo shifts it won't break the lights... you can move your air dam and do pretty much the same thing.



Oh I know thats what I was saying I was making rookie mistakes but your stopping me before I do some damage. :) Thats not bad taking the air dam off I might fit in the garage again to if I do that. Like I said this is just a mock up for me who knows what it will look like when I'm done. Thanks again for all the great suggestions. Got any on running the wires for these lights.
 

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without seeing it up close... it looks like you can probably sneak them in between the doors there? then tuck them inside the trim panels that hold the headliner. make sure you run a relay in line don't just wire it all hot.
 

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Sal that rack looks nice and for the price you cant beat it. I need a rack! I would also mount the lights lower like Doc was saying. The ax looks good on the back but my idea was save the back for additional lighting. If or when you upgrade the forward lights you could move those two (that you said yourself were cheap) to the rear for auxiliary/reverse lighting.

Doc, the rack in the pictures you posted looks great! The way you worded it I just wanted to confirm that its something you made? I know defender racks cost around 400 or 500 hundred. Could something custom get me exactly what I want for the same price or (hopefully) less?
 

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i have been welding for 20+ years and own "stone soup metal works" in glendale az... the bumper build is not just some side project... it's what i do for a living...

see the little guy running back and forth in my signature? click on him for a link to my pix
 

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Thanks, I didnt know the little guy was a link, but I knew its what you do for a living. Hopefully in the future I can get a front and rear bumper and roof rack from you. Those are the next big things. I cant get lights and winches and stuff without getting those things first.
 
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