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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday I started out to build a little rack to mount to the top of the factory rails. With the confidence building at the mere prospect of tackling that challenge I decided that an add on rack was just not gonna cut it. And thus the full replacement rack was born.

Total current cost is $18 in steel, $53 to get the gas tank refilled, 1 day of welding.

The rear portion is 4 inches tall and the front is 6.



Close up of the front portion where it dips to follow the roof.



85" long


45" wide



staged mock-up of where the hi lift will reside.


The frame is quite strong and rigid and when the floor bracing is in should easily handle more weight than would be safe to carry all while maintaining a lower profile that an add on rack would have had.

The floor will be braced with more 1/2" tube and then built with 1/4" rod. I figure a 4" on center grid will give me plenty of strength, be pretty light, and allow me to strap stuff anywhere I want. I still have not 100% decided how I will mount it to the X, but it runs right over most of the factory holes so it should not be TOO hard to fab.
 

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TXterra37 said:
I hate all you crafty, do-it-your-selfers!!!
X2.

Actually, I'm jealous and inspired. If I can learn to wrench, I can learn to weld and fab. If you're anywhere near So Cal, I'll pay for lessons.

Very impressive. What's that, $1200 less than a Gobi....?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hell, DIY and fab are easy.

step 1 mental picture
step's 2 thru 99 measure
step 100 realistic mental picture
~ measure, cut, swear, re-measure, re-cut, tack, adjust, measure, weld, swear, obtain beer from fridge, get yelled at for walking thru the house "like that", make garage music louder, repeat.


As for the design part. I don't plan on running off road lights from the rack, they would require it be much taller in the front for suitable protection. Off road lights will go on the bumper, eventually. I will most likely mount some aux lights to aid in things like tire changes, recovery, camp setup, etc. It will have some eye bolts in the upper front corners to run some branch protection cables. I'm not 100% sure what else I will include.

Thanks for the feed back thus far.


Anybody know of a wrecked X in the Tucson area that I could use as a jig to weld the feet on, I treat mine like I stole her, but a bunch of hot weld splatter on the roof is a bit TOO rough even for me.
 

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import silvia said:
Anybody know of a wrecked X in the Tucson area that I could use as a jig to weld the feet on, I treat mine like I stole her, but a bunch of hot weld splatter on the roof is a bit TOO rough even for me.
Looks good so far.

I also plan on making a rack for my X.
I plan on taking off the existing stock rack, laying it on a sheet of plywood to trace the mounting holes and "bolt" on the mounting feet for the new rack in place while I weld it.
I realize that will only work for the rear 6 points but it shouldn't be too hard to figure something out for the front holes.

Vince :clown:
 

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:clown: I'm not a bearer of SAD TIDINGS, BUT--

--If you plan on removing all 18 (?) stock roof rack TORX screws, just be prepared for a probable 15% captive, nut, spin failure--

--Which means you will probably have to drop a certain portion of your interior overhead and do a fix--

--It just seems to be a known fact about our X's top screws !!!

-- :geek: :geek: --JIMBO
 

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JIMBO said:
:clown: I'm not a bearer of SAD TIDINGS, BUT--

--If you plan on removing all 18 (?) stock roof rack TORX screws, just be prepared for a probable 15% captive, nut, spin failure--

--Which means you will probably have to drop a certain portion of your interior overhead and do a fix--

--It just seems to be a known fact about our X's top screws !!!

-- :geek: :geek: --JIMBO
The best way to avoid that (if you are determined to take your rack off), is to tighten all of your roof rack screws 1/4 turn right before you plan on removing them (I think I got that idea from MC.... cant quite remember though). and make sure you soak those suckers in some sort of penetrating spray (PB blaster, liquid wrench, etc.) at least an hour in advance.
 

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I had a pretty nifty roof rack too Imp Silv.. Too which I'll add; I prefered round tube to sq. The floor should be expanded metal over the "ribs". A simple 3/8" rod across the front of the storage area, makes a perfect "corral" for several Blitz cans of fuel, etc. Here in the desert, I'd mix 'em w/ gallon jugs of water. Oh, tabs for your reverse lights off the rear too.
Good start, keep posting pics. <thumbsup>

ETA- Oh yes.. since you've got a one pc rack, trace out foot pads on cardboard of the approx size/shape you'd like for each pc, each side. cut off the shapes, clean them up, then lay them on the roof and gently (w/ help) lie the rack atop the pcs in mounting position, and tack 'em on. They'll be in their proper position/lie and fasten down clean. To ensure years of squeakfree usw, I traced out doubles of the footshapes using bathtub liner matl. Rot, and UV proof, it did a great job 7 years in AZ of protecting my roof from the metal feet, et al..
 

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S_e_X-Terra said:
and make sure you soak those suckers in some sort of penetrating spray (PB blaster, liquid wrench, etc.) at least an hour in advance.
I've heard that PB and possibly others will stain the paint... DON"T leave it on the paint... wipe it off!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Well I started the mounting process:


















I have not had any issues with the captured nuts spinning out on me so that is a relief. I did notice that a few of them already showed some rust around the holes, the joys of a factory roof rack.

I have never done anything with round tube so I really am just going off what I know with this one.

Vince, Good luck with that one the roof has a pretty substantial bow along both axis that would make that a difficult task. I did notice that the rear most and the set just behind the roof slope are on a plane parallel to the ground. So you may be able to start with those.

I've chosen to go with the tack in place method and so far it is working quite well. Though I'm sure some adjusting will take place once the final welding and painting has tweaked it a little.

All in all not a bad way to spend a weekend and I am still less than $50 into it with steel and mounting hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Added the floor this evening.

The cross braces are 1/2" square and the long pieces are 1/4" round bar. Overall I am quite pleased thus far and if I can keep on schedule it will get a good trial run this weekend. We got 100"+ of PP up in the mountains and I hear it calling.




eye bolt to attach the tree guide cables.




 
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