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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Gearing up for my trip, spent the last few days building a cargo shelf. The idea of my design was that it would
1. Allow maximum width underneath for sleeping
2. Maximize the area above so that there's no space on the edges for things to fall down or force you to find little things to pack in there.
3. Still allow the rear seats to fold up.
4. Allow use of the under-floor storage
Here's what I came up with.
-Disclaimer: This was my first time welding and a few buddies helped me but I did most of it. So try not to laugh too hard at my welds... because they're not pretty!

All tubing is 1inch, 1/16th wall, it was $24 for 40 feet
The flat stock I believe is 3inches x 1/16th but the guy at the steel supplier gave it to me free because I was wearing my Syracuse basketball shirt and we both grew up around there :iconbiggrin:




The original design had cross members. 2, 3, 2, 3 - evenly spaced between each bar from rear to front. Didn't have time for this. Or painting. Or the expanded metal I wanted to put on it. Hopefully I can add all these things this summer.


The legs are bolted together with brackets as there's no way to get it inside the Xterra if I had welded it together :iconbiggrin:


There's about 1/2 inch between the rear seat backs and the rack. It is so close the seat cushion almost overlaps it a little.


There's about 1 inch between the tailgate and rack


Here are the mounts. I had a buddy help me with these. I believe the notches are 7/16th but I'm really not sure.


Drilled and tapped the screw holes for the piece that makes sure it can't lift off.


The notches are slightly large and I used some electrical tape to make it a snug fit. This was my plan from the start and it worked great.

I posted how I locked the feet into the tracks in this post
http://www.thenewx.org/forum/showpost.php?p=853373&postcount=4
This is only temporary until I make some nicer ones out of aluminum like the ones suggested in that thread.

I bought the raingler net off a member here thinking it was the r90 upper half... back in December and after finally taking it out and mounting it up I'm realizing it's actually the full divider I think?? So I made due and just looped it under, no big deal.

I finished it up this morning and it has already got some use moving my apartment into storage. No squeaks or anything but there is a tiny thumping when going over really hard bumps. It sounds like the rear feet lifting up a little. It doesn't do it when there's weight on though. Now to pack it up for our two week roadtrip!

What do you guys think??

UPDATE 8/16/12:
Finally got around to prepping them for paint, got some expanded metal and cut it to fit and mounted it back up getting ready for my return trip.
During prep:




Tapped some M6 x 1.00 holes


All done:








With tire and raingler net (need to order some footman loops and fix my net)


Plans:
Sorry it's a little crude but it should tell you everything you need.


I will measure the legs later but I think I used 16" and the flat stock for the feet was 3" x 1/8" x 9.5"

The front mounts were also made from 3" x 1/8" but were made by holding the rack in place and eye-balling it.

The legs can't be welded on or I don't think it would fit. It might work if they were welded closer to the center but I didn't want to do that.

The way I get the shelf in is I have to put the bottom right two corners (in the schem above) into the recess where the power outlet is, then the top left corner barely clears the upper corner. Once it's in I rest it on the legs and put all the bolts in. Helps to have someone hold it but I did it myself yesterday in about 20 min.
 

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that is a fantastic rack, how much time did it take to build up? Do you have the dimensions or are you gonna start selling these?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, I'm pretty excited about it. It will be loaded up in a few hours and I'll post a pic.

It probably took about 45 min to make all the cuts with the cold saw. Including 10 cross members that haven't been welded on yet.

Welding took a lot longer than it should have because I was learning and taking advice (and lighting myself on fire once...). Probably a total of about 3-4 hours including grinding them down.

Drilling brackets, attaching the legs and machining the front mounts was probably like 6 hours. I was up at the school and spent most of the time maneuvering it down the stairs and to the parking lot to fit and measure then go back inside and do more work.

As for selling them that would be kinda fun but I'm not much of a welder so that's not going to happen. I do have all the dimensions scribbled on a post-it note but it's packed away so it'll be a while before I can post them. I would definitely answer any questions anyone has if they attempt to make their own.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All loaded up for the trip:


Drove through the frost heave area of the Alaska Highway on the first day, basically giant dips and heaves in the road that if you don't slow down for you'll easily get airborne. I think a few times everything lifted off the rack and slammed back down and it seems to hold up fine so I think it's pretty solid.

Had one minor issue where the tent fell through the bars and got stuck underneath between the bar and raingler net but a quick rearranging of things fixed that. Need to get those crossmembers installed though
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey, could someone suggest a bedliner or similar to coat this with? Starting to rust a bit (which I expected just haven't had time to paint it).

Is there any reason to tape off any of the surfaces like the underside of the feet or where the brackets for the feet mate? Or should I take all of the brackets off and do all surfaces so nothing can rust?

Thanks
 

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Hey, could someone suggest a bedliner or similar to coat this with? Starting to rust a bit (which I expected just haven't had time to paint it).

Is there any reason to tape off any of the surfaces like the underside of the feet or where the brackets for the feet mate? Or should I take all of the brackets off and do all surfaces so nothing can rust?

Thanks
I love your build, just bought some steel this week to make one myself. Also, you should paint everything, with a high quality paint like rustoleum. The also make a spray on bedliner that I have had good results with on other projects.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This was my first real project with metal and I've never done much with spray paints or ever bedlined anything. I've got a sanding wheel and I'll prep it really good, just wondering if I need to prime it first or just paint or bedline?

I guess I'll paint the front brackets black and all the brackets for the legs.

But if I bedline the legs should I paint the feet first then bedline over it? Or just bedline the underside of the feet?
 

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The spray on bedliner, as much as i like it and it has worked well for me, is basically spray paint with texture. So, if you use it on the bottom, and it is too ruff, it may scratch the plastic a little, but you can knock it down a little with sand paper, say 100 ish grit. I have had projects where I didn't want texture on certain areas, and I have just used rustoleum flat black, and it looks good next to the bedliner, basically identical minus the texture. Also, if you really want to go overboard you could use a spray on rubber for the bottom of the feet, but I cannot make any recommendations. I have tried the underbody rubberized coating and it never seemed to dry, then when it did, it became crusty. I think a lot of people are using plasti dip, but I can't advise. As for priming, I have never primed when using bedliner, and have had decent results. That said, it couldnt hurt to use a rust inhibiting primer, just make sure it is also of good quality before. I have had problems before where I used a cheap primer and a nice finishing paint, and the primer chipped ruining the finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for! I'll probably just do flat black on the brackets and bottom of the feet to keep it flush against the floor, then bedline the rest.

Are you planning on going with anything like this or the more traditionally fully welded with 4 feet type that comes out easy?
 

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Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for! I'll probably just do flat black on the brackets and bottom of the feet to keep it flush against the floor, then bedline the rest.

Are you planning on going with anything like this or the more traditionally fully welded with 4 feet type that comes out easy?
I am planning on going simpler, I like how you used the most possible space but I feel that is overly complex for me. I will do something that I can easily install and remove, also I want to retain the stock tie down spots. So I can carry dive tanks easily. Some people have used giant footing profiles that make using the stock tie downs impossible. I will probably do a lip around it to keep things from falling off the side, and a 20guage skin for the bottom so I can carry smaller things.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That makes sense. I do like mine but it took me about 15-20 minutes to remove it the other night since the legs and front brackets have to be removed to maneuver it out diagonally.

I considered doing a lip around it to make it a basket but didn't really need to since it goes pretty much to the edges. My plan is to pick up some expanded metal this week and tack it down as a "floor" then paint.

Since my front brackets can pivot, I realized I can easily remove the two legs and rotate the entire rack upwards and fasten it to the cargo hooks in the roof if I ever need to put anything large in the back.

I'm in the process of swapping the full divider for a half divider so I'll have to figure out a way to fasten the half divider on the bottom to the rack so that things don't just slip through if that makes sense
 

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Ya, that does, I am planning on adding hooks to hold the factory cargo net and may end up getting the half net as well. Does anyone know if the half net works in conjunction with the full roof net?
 
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