Open Source Low Profile Roof Rack - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Open Source Low Profile Roof Rack

Hi everyone,

This is my first thread since the intro one a while back. But @29erClan suggested that I should start one to discuss the roof rack we are currently collaborating on the design.

So a big thanks to @29erClan for his help! Without his help I wouldn't be resurrecting this project any time soon and I am extremely happy to have his assistance on this!!

Prologue:
I want to make this like the roof rack and bed rack that I built for my Hummer H3T:



It's constructed out of 3/16th aluminum, 80/20 aluminum extrusion cross rails and stainless 1/4x20 bolts.... that is it!

What this project means for you
Once this project is complete & if you like how it turns out you should be able to download the file, cut it yourself or pay some local shop to cut it for you, order the cross rails to length and pick up the hardware that you would like to use from a local fastener shop (or online) and bolt this rack together for a fraction of the price that companies are charging for a similar product.

Main Goals
  1. A lower profile then the OEM rack
  2. take advantage of 80/20 aluminum extrusion to have a more modular rack (I find the round tubes too bulky and difficult to work with)
  3. Keep the weight down as light as possible without sacrificing its functionality

Inspiration
I am hoping to end up with something along the lines of what is available from Prinsu (now CBI) for the Toyota line up:


Cross Bars:
80/20 is a company that manufactures extruded aluminum bars and their site has lots of useful info and calculators to find what will suit your needs. I will be using this bar specifically: LINK However it is cheaper from: LINK

I got my cross bars cut to 42" with two 1/4x20 threaded holes tapped on each end (I previously did this before in my garage, but then I broke a tap in the hole and had to scrap that piece and replace both the tap and the bar.... which led me to decide to have them do it the next go around).

Next Steps
Tonight I will follow up this post with an image of the first "draft" of the rack and depict the changes that need to be made to fix the design.



Cheers,

'06 Off Road - w/ 33's
Collecting parts for a T-Swap
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post #2 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 05:42 PM
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I'm curious to see how this turns out. So many pros/cons to this design. I'm a little worried about how to attach a RTT with those crossbars, and I also love the wet box to store recovery gear, etc in, but would love a more modular designed rack like this to attach more stuff to. Exciting to see someone take the challenge on, I hope it works out!
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post #3 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 06:26 PM
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Looking forward to seeing this as well. I really like the functionality of the wet box, but don't love the rest of the Xterra stock rack. I have been using unistrut crossbars on my rack, and I like being able to just bolt flattish stuff (recovery boards, shovel, rotopax) down to that, so something like this is appealing and familiar. I can make new attachments for my rack by visiting most any hardware store. The idea of removing all those rivnuts on the stock rack though... not as appealing!

I always assumed Prinsu used Futura for the extrusions.
https://www.futuraind.com/t-slots/

T Slot is very similar to 80/20 but it's made in northern Utah, and I think he (the guy who started Prinsu) was/is based here. Anyone know what type of extrusions Prinsu (now CBI) uses?

ETA: @CarRamRod I recognize that H3T from some posts on Expedition Portal. Very nice!
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Last edited by outback97; 12-11-2018 at 06:32 PM.
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post #4 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Here is an image that @29erClan uploaded in the other thread where this was brought up:

'

As you can see we will attempt to use the factory bolt location and the image is just one side of the rack, there would be a second "rail" that mirrors the one in the image for the otherside

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Collecting parts for a T-Swap
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post #5 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 09:11 PM
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And here it is with 9 crossbars of 25-2550 at 42" long, for an estimated weight of about 35#. Just pretend those near-side flanges were bent the other way. I'll flip them all and save it out to a separate file once we have some of the dimensions verified/revised.

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post #6 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outback97 View Post
I really like the functionality of the wet box, but don't love the rest of the Xterra stock rack.
...
I always assumed Prinsu used Futura for the extrusions.
https://www.futuraind.com/t-slots/
I like the wetbox too, especially with the token security of the locking handle. My plan near the end stage when things are wrapping up is to spin off a rear-half-only version. Feel free to participate in the design as we go.

In a past life I have designed extrusions. They'll pull anything off that machine if you can convince somebody to pay for a die and 10k lbs of material...

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post #7 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 10:43 PM
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Very cool, how practical do you think it would be to mount roof lights (not a light bar) to the front of your design? Strong enough to handle the wind resistance at highway speeds?
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post #8 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 29erClan View Post


And here it is with 9 crossbars of 25-2550 at 42" long, for an estimated weight of about 35#. Just pretend those near-side flanges were bent the other way. I'll flip them all and save it out to a separate file once we have some of the dimensions verified/revised.
That looks great! I will post up the measurements that I just took once I get them organized in a way that you can understand me

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Collecting parts for a T-Swap
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post #9 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anderson_p_r View Post
Very cool, how practical do you think it would be to mount roof lights (not a light bar) to the front of your design? Strong enough to handle the wind resistance at highway speeds?
100% this would be able to hold some lights.

The first rack I made in this style held two bikes up top no problem, I could walk on it, I would load up my canoe, kayak, SUP, a couch I bought... a whole bunch of big and heavy items and never once did it seem like it's limits were pushed

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Collecting parts for a T-Swap
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post #10 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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As for losing the wet box, I have the black waterproof gun case on the Hummer in the first post for that purpose and it has never let me down so I will likely do the same again once this is done.

I kept mostly recovery gear + some spares and a first aid kit and none of it ever got wet

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