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  #1  
Old 12-07-2011, 09:21 PM
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Excursion Roof Rack Modifications

Well I finally hit the point of no return in frustration over the factory roof rack. As you all know it is worthless so I took several ideas from the site here and combined and modified them to fit my needs. I hope this helps someone else here with an idea or two. I know the completed product will be different then the plan as it always is.

2011-12-01 15.26.38

2011-12-01 15.26.49
I started with pulling off the cross bars and cleaning the stuff from under them, thankfully no rust.

2011-12-01 15.30.15
Under the side rails was a lot more nasty buildup but nothing worse.

2011-12-01 15.30.19
The gunk cleaned up pretty easy, the marks took a lot of elbow grease.

The next parts I missed getting pictures as I was trying to get things done before work. I used 2 layers of 3/8 inch thick rubber running the length of the rails with a little added to each end. I cut the top piece a 1/2 inch wider then the rail, the bottom piece 1 inch wider. I stacked them and centered them to help spread the load across the roof a little more. I figure the rubber will also cushion anything the hits the rack. If you are looking I got the rubber from Tractor Supply, it is floor mat they will cut to length. I got longer fasteners in stainless phillips and allen head. I had to mix as they only had 10 of each in the right length.
2011-12-05 14.30.53

Finished pics.

2011-12-05 14.31.02

So nice to see a little light under there.

Now I have to go fight the camera to get the pics of the Safari Rack I am working on to add to the roof rack.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:42 PM
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Looks way better, What did you use to clean and polish?
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:01 PM
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Safari Rack

I decided that throwing down $500-700 for a safari rack was way more then I wanted to spend right now. I still wanted a rack so I began searching for ideas and decided on building my own. The problem was the weight of tubing and then a friend suggested conduit. I know the problems of welding Gavlanized and the strength issues of something designed for shielding wire. I decide it will be fine if I have enough bracing and keep the spacing close on all the cross bars. I bought the 1/2 inch conduit for $1.98 per 10 ft stick. I borrowed the 110v welder from a friend who owed me a favor and started bending and melting metal.
2011-12-05 15.15.15

2011-12-05 15.15.27
Started with the side pieces running 90 degree curves on the ends.

2011-12-05 16.36.39
I wanted a way to keep everything the same so I used the wood deck of my car trailer and some 2x4's screwed down to build a form to make repeatable pieces.

2011-12-05 16.36.51
I ground the galvanizing off the ends of the conduit, I cut slugs from a scrap piece to fit inside and give strength to the seams.
2011-12-05 16.37.18
Not a bad fit.

2011-12-06 10.58.21
Still working on dialing in the welder.

2011-12-06 11.02.43
I'm happy with the final after some grinding with a 60 grit flap wheel on the grinder.

2011-12-05 16.40.09
Second outer rail done. Ay least they match.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 809taino View Post
Looks way better, What did you use to clean and polish?
I used the 409 kitchen cleaner/degreaser from the kitchen and a bunch of old tee shirts. Don't tell the wife but the kitchen cleaner works great. The other spray bottle was warm water to loosen the heavy buildup first and wash off the runoff 409.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:10 PM
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Looks like you took more than just T's. Does your wife know you also took the kitchen towels..lol.....So did you finish the rack? if so post more pics!! im getting inspired.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:13 PM
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Looking good so far. Anxious to see the final product! Reps for roof rack writeup!
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:02 PM
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Got some more fitting and welding done before I ran out of shielding gas for the welder. Unfortunatly I can't post pics from my work computer. I will add pics tomorrow.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:15 PM
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Don't breathe the fumes from welding the galvanized !
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:15 AM
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Guys, let me tell you a trick I learned during my years running a gunsmith shop and dealing with galvanizing. It won't work for every particular instance fo welding galvanized, but it is useful to know this technique.

Try experiments on scrap first to get the hang of it.


Get a small bottle of muiratic acid. Specifically the kind used for swimming pools. It is also known as hydrochloric acid.

Using rubber gloves and a rubber apron and a face shield , Dilute it 1:1 with clean tap water. (Edit: You can have effective solutions all the way to a 1:10 dilution. 10 parts water, 1 part acid. The weaker solutions are somewhat safer, but take longer )

Make sure it is in a glass wide mouth jar.

Do the following outside:

Take the end of the pipe, or any small galvanized part, and put it into the solution. Do not Breath the fumes. Stand upwind.

Wait untill it stops fizzing. and a few seconds or so after that


Remove the part (using long steel tongs) and immediatly dunk in a large container with a LOT of water. Swish generouslyfor a couple minutes.

Remove part from the water and dry it off.

Galvanizing gone, Steel basically untouched.

Start welding.

As far as the tubing is concerned, you only have to immerse the area you will be welding. Like the end of the tube.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:04 AM
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Housedad thanks for the tip. I have just been grinding the ends of the tube down with a 60 grit flap wheel to get the galvanizing off. I am very cautious as I have gotten older and wear all the safety gear I should have always been wearing. I do all of my grinding with safety glasses, a face shield, a respirator, gloves, and earmuffs on. I have been welding in a long sleeve shirt or jacket, leather gloves, auto darkening helmet, respirator, and earplugs. I do still grind in short sleeves once in a while and don't break out the steel toe boots unless I'm working on heavy stuff.

Anyone with suggestions of the best way to prep and paint the combination of the galvanized and the welded stuff when I'm done with the welding this weekend? I don't want it to flake off and have to be repainting or touching it up all the time, and I don't want it to rust through the paint. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-09-2011, 04:18 AM
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Hey big,

Id love to see some pics of the final product. If it comes out nice it'd be great to use that jig setup and make another unit. Id love to buy one off ya.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:48 AM
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Can't wait to see the finished product. I think I may take the idea of lifting the original roof rack and elaborate. Maybe some 1/4" aluminum blocks and modify the runner rail. I don't know.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigzirb View Post
Anyone with suggestions of the best way to prep and paint the combination of the galvanized and the welded stuff when I'm done with the welding this weekend? I don't want it to flake off and have to be repainting or touching it up all the time, and I don't want it to rust through the paint. Thanks in advance.
I would do a light sanding to remove anything off the surface the wipe it down really good with one of your wife's damp kitchen towels then grab a can of Rust Stop from Ace hardware. They got lots of different colors but I would go with flat black. Give it a few good coats, wait a few minutes in between coats. That should give you the rust prevention and protection you need. I use rust stop on all my metal lawn chairs, wheel barrels and anything metal that will be exposed to the elements. Works great for me. Just a though.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:26 AM
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Like 809Taino said, I would use some sort of ruest preventative primer or paint. I have used Rustoleum primer and I really like it. Then if it was my truck I would use some spray can bedliner to give the roof rack paint a little durability. I took off the roof rack on my Ex this summer and sanded and repainted it with some duplicolor bedliner in a can. I don't use the roof rack, but it has held up better than standard spray paint in spots where I have touched up the bedliner in my F150.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigzirb View Post
Anyone with suggestions of the best way to prep and paint the combination of the galvanized and the welded stuff when I'm done with the welding this weekend? I don't want it to flake off and have to be repainting or touching it up all the time, and I don't want it to rust through the paint. Thanks in advance.
It is going to be nearly impossible to get a coating to stay on that galvanized metal for any length of time. Ideally, you could remove the galvanizing with abrasive blasting and paint with a few coats of something like Rustoleum Protective Enamel. I use the satin black on my flatbed as well as the bumpers on my rockcrawler - it protects well and is plenty tuff enough for these applications. Considering that option is likely impractical, there are some compromised options available.

You will at least need to provide an anchor profile by sanding with some 60 or even 36 grit sandpaper/sponges. Then, wipe the whole thing down with MEK or laquer thinner, etc. using CLEAN rags to remove the dust, as well as any oils, grease that may be contaminating the surface. Finally, coat the surfaces with several light coats of an acrylic latex paint. Yep, the same thing you'd put on the outside of your house. I recommend using a 'weenie' or 'cigar' roller if you roll it, but Krylon's 'H2O' acrylic latex spray paint is the same stuff. I like the texture from rolling myself, but thats just me. You can also get these nifty little things at many Sherwin Williams stores and spray ANYTHING! Preval Spray Gun Aerosol Paint & Chemical Sprayer Disposable 1.94oz. Propellant w/Reuseable 6 Ounce Jar

Good work and great post! Looking forward to seeing the finished product!
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