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  #1  
Old July 9th, 2007, 01:21 AM
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Len Bruffett
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Rear Ladder

I had bought a new hannibal rack for my D90 and designed a good clean way to attach it to a SD Safari rear ladder assembly and cross bars. I acquired a set of new NAS cross bars and clamps then bought a new after market knock off of the SD rear ladder assembly. Low an behold, the aftermarket rear ladder assembly didn't quite fit the rear of my truck well. If I had good jig for the ladder assembly I could have probably "cold set" it (lightly bend it) into spec so it would work. I had a few options to correct the problem, But decided on abandoning the original intent. I ended up designing a clean way to use just the ladder portion of the assembly and fabricating it into a stand alone ladder. It attaches to a bracket on the bottom of my rear crossmember and to a bracket on the rear of the hannibal rack. It doesn't touch the body of the truck. I designed bushings on backet that holds the top of the ladder to the hannibal rack that should absorb any possible to shear loads from the body flexing. I know the fashion police will be firing up the tazers, but I needed a good functional ladder to access the rack and thought that the group might enjoy seeing seeing a lemon turned into lemonaide.
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  #2  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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Mark M
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Len - I had similar ideas in regard to not drilling new holes in the body. Looks like your mod works well for you. Mark
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  #3  
Old July 9th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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Thanks, If I were to fab out a new ladder it would have an additional rung and extend down to the rear cross member just as you have done with your design. I'd attach the bottom of the ladder with the two bolts that hold the left rear body panel to the rear cross member.
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  #4  
Old July 9th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Where do you get this knock off rear ladder?
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  #5  
Old July 9th, 2007, 03:32 PM
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Hi Ron,

I sourced the rear ladder assembly from Derek @ urban offroad. I could have just sent the whole unit back... but instead of spending the time and another $100 to ship it back I spent the time re-designing the attachment points and spent the $ 100 at a good welder to have the two asymetrical length legs and attachment plates welded onto the ladder. I spent $5. on some 3/8" thick 2.5"x2.5" angle iron to fabricate the brackets that attach to the rack and rear crossmember. Of course this has turned out to be one very expensive ladder. The welder I used specializes in designing and fabricating roll cages for cars. He knows how to bend, mitre and weld steel tubing very well. I asked the guy how much it would cost to make five duplicates using my new design - he said he could do it for $600 a pop. Still not very cheap. I could probably go out to the central valley in CA and get it done for half the price. Again though ... most D90 folks prefer the SD Safari design and not just a piece of it!
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  #6  
Old July 10th, 2007, 06:22 AM
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I have a basket but need a ladder and am not too choosy about the the original design as long as it looks similar. I'm also not eager to drill any more holes in the body. If you get to a point where you're getting a batch together (for that $300 approx. price,) please let me know. Thanks.
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  #7  
Old July 10th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Hi Gary,

My son just bought a house out to the central valley, so I go out there regularly - I will see what I can do about sourcing a fabricator out there who can do the job at a good price, when I do, I'll let you know. I have some light connections with Formula racing companies out in the valley - I will check and see I can find someone who would like a side job....
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  #8  
Old July 12th, 2007, 04:50 PM
URBANOFFROAD

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I Need You To Clear Something Up For Me...i Know You Could Not Have Had A Problem W/ My Welds,tube Bending Or Finish Quality.so What Exactly Did You Have A Problem With?and If So Why Didnt You Contact Me.i Would Have Payed The Shipping Had Their Been Any Flaw.
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  #9  
Old July 12th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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Javier Velador
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Len,

I understand your frustrations at buying something that didn't fit your needs. However, I'm quite sure you knew this rack was designed to mount to Urban Offroad's basket or an OEM SD basket and not a Hannibal. As such, bad-mouthing Urban Offroad and downplaying the quality is extremely immature.

Accept you made a mistake in buying something that didn't fit your application and move on. It's obvious from the pictures that what you did to the ladder, the end result, and what Derek offers were way off base. Shame on you for not recognizing PRIOR to the purchase that a) SD and UO ladders mount to the tub and require holes be drilled and b) the basket mount tabs are set much higher than the base of a Hannibal. A little research on your part would have saved you time, aggravation and expense.

UO's ladder mimics the SD mount points to a T. I should know, he used my D90 and the factory holes as guidelines.

I know Derek personally and he's as meticulous as they come. His attention to detail , including but not limited to measurements, dimensions and welds is second to none. So no, I don't believe your claim that it didn't fit EOM mount points, and neither should the rest of D-90.com readers.

On the bright side, nice to see you made apple juice from oranges.

Javier
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  #10  
Old July 12th, 2007, 11:53 PM
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Two things:

1. LenB is about as straight an arrow as they come

2. Derek types like a moron
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  #11  
Old July 13th, 2007, 12:47 AM
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Javier Velador
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Nice... real nice

If you want someone to write a book for you, hire an English major regardless of whether he can weld or not.

If you need a new roof rack for a Discovery II, D90, D110 or LR3, do hope that someone as talented and meticulous as Derek is making it for you.

Javier
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  #12  
Old July 13th, 2007, 12:53 AM
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Hey Javier,

Consider my offer for your rack retracted. Peace.

Gary
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  #13  
Old July 13th, 2007, 02:00 AM
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Javier Velador
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lol! What offer? You never made one.

Seeing how you only want to pay $300 for a rear ladder (from above post), you never intended to make an offer.

Besides, on Monday you told me you were looking for a complete set, not just the basket and ladder.

But don't worry, someday I'll get over the fact that you retracted an offer to buy my rack before you even made an offer. It hurts especially more because as they say, "it's better to have been made an offer and lose it, than to never have been made an offer at all".

Now, let us stop hijacking this thread and allow them to resolve this without further intervention.

Javier
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  #14  
Old July 13th, 2007, 02:07 AM
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Len Bruffett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvelador
Len,

I understand your frustrations at buying something that didn't fit your needs. However, I'm quite sure you knew this rack was designed to mount to Urban Offroad's basket or an OEM SD basket and not a Hannibal. As such, bad-mouthing Urban Offroad and downplaying the quality is extremely immature.

Accept you made a mistake in buying something that didn't fit your application and move on. It's obvious from the pictures that what you did to the ladder, the end result, and what Derek offers were way off base. Shame on you for not recognizing PRIOR to the purchase that a) SD and UO ladders mount to the tub and require holes be drilled and b) the basket mount tabs are set much higher than the base of a Hannibal. A little research on your part would have saved you time, aggravation and expense.

UO's ladder mimics the SD mount points to a T. I should know, he used my D90 and the factory holes as guidelines.

I know Derek personally and he's as meticulous as they come. His attention to detail , including but not limited to measurements, dimensions and welds is second to none. So no, I don't believe your claim that it didn't fit EOM mount points, and neither should the rest of D-90.com readers.

On the bright side, nice to see you made apple juice from oranges.

Javier
My intension was not to bad mouth any one. I wasn't going to go into the details of the fit of the rear ladder assembly - all I said is that "it" did not fit my truck well. I had absolutely no problem fitting the Hannibal to the front two cross bars and the rear ladder assembly. My design connected the two front crossbars and rear ladder assembly with two rather expensive pieces of 1" x 2" thick wall rectangular T6 hardenend alluminum tubing. Very light - just one grade off the hardness of mild steel. I had six hard points welded onto this tubing that matched the hard points to the hannibal. Hence, the hannibal fit to the ladder assembly was dead nuts on. I had designed a very slick way to attach my low profile hannibal rack to the Safari style rack supports.


The two left supports (the ones above and below the license plate) for the rear assebly were not welded on to the assembly in a manner that made a clean fit to my truck. After the right support for the rear ladder assembly was bolted in place under the spare tire support bracket, the supports for the left side of the rear assebly did not fit flush against the rear left panel of the truck. The right sides of these upper and lower supports were flush to the rear of the truck - the left upper and lower supports were 5 mmm off of the truck. Which means if I had bolted this side of the assembly to my truck it would have pulled the aluminum out (deformed) the left side of my rear panel. To put this into perspective and you want to imagine what this might have looked like, go out to your truck with a 2.5 lb ball peen hammer, then hit any aluminum panel on your truck from the inside wall to inflict a 5mm deep ding. Then look at your truck on the outside. Now drill a hole through this ding and put (say 500 lbs of static load pushing straight down- as if you put a bolt through the hole hold up a rack). Because the aluminum is out of collum with the rest of the panel it will soon sag and tear.

The problem may very well be with my truck. But I had absolutely no problem mating two roof sides, a roof cap and lift gate from completely different defenders to this same truck when I moved it from a ST to a Station wagon, so I am not sure that the tub on my truck if FUBAR.


I contemplated building two 5 mm tappering shims to make the fit work, but when It came time to finish the fit of the right side of the assembly I found that I would have to rotate the left side of the assembly down 1/2" to properly align the holes of the left support braket over the rivet locations in the steel fender cappings. The only problem here is that the rotation was inhibited by my license plate lamp housing. The upper support on the left side of the assembly hit the lamp housing and blocked the rotation I needed.

If you would like I can continue to talk about the captive nuts weleded on to backing plates for the rear ladder assembly. The first set I received had a few of the nuts were welded on crooked. which means the bolts would not pass through the assembly correctly. When I notified Derek he promptly sent me another set - but the second set was worse than the first set. (the plates had not been set in the jig properly when the nuts were welded on) I was just going to grind them off and use nyloc nuts with my bolts. But I didn't because I never got to the final assembly. The replacements were sent before I went out to attach the assembly to the truck and discovered the rest of my other problems. I still have them and will be glad to send you detailed photos if you want.

As I stated I had several options to resolve my problem- #1 just return the product and eat the engineering time and $$$ I spent developing the interface between the hannibal and rear ladder assembly, #2 cut the main cross tube assembly in half, bolt the two halfs up to the truck, then re weld the tube back together (it would have look like shit - but it would have cost about $30. (That is what any vintage Series IIa truck owner would do) #3 do what I did and design a different interface for the ladder.

Considering how upset you are about what I did, I would recommend that you not read anything I post again - you'll live longer... but I do appreciate the entertainment value of our interchange
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  #15  
Old July 13th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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Len,

Thanks for the highly detailed explanation of your situation. I completely respect your concern over a 5mm variance in mount hole positions. However, one thing I've learned is that these vehicles were hand built, no precise robot arms to calibrate. As such, I've come to expect variances between one vehicle and the next.

Case in point, while installing my SD rack, I found that all the holes lined up perfectly. However, there was some grinding required from the inside of the tub to fit the upper, inside mount bracket. This was the case with both the 'new', perfect SD ladder, and the one that has been repaired from a dispute with a Target parking lot ceiling.

Disclaimer: I have no financial affiliations with Derek or Urban Offroad other than being a customer, a friendship and lust for his very hot 18 year girlfriend

Javier
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  #16  
Old July 13th, 2007, 09:27 PM
URBANOFFROAD

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Talking

Its nice to be judged for something as important as a glitch in my keyboard...The few hundred phone calls and emails wasnt worth the small profit on the ladder sale. Hey if anyone needs some overpriced, half finished stuff for a 90, i know this guy in Nor. Cal. I think Gary should check out myspace. Oh well, cant please everyone. Good lookin out Javi!
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  #17  
Old July 15th, 2007, 01:10 PM
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Len Bruffett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvelador
Len,

Thanks for the highly detailed explanation of your situation. I completely respect your concern over a 5mm variance in mount hole positions. However, one thing I've learned is that these vehicles were hand built, no precise robot arms to calibrate. As such, I've come to expect variances between one vehicle and the next.

Case in point, while installing my SD rack, I found that all the holes lined up perfectly. However, there was some grinding required from the inside of the tub to fit the upper, inside mount bracket. This was the case with both the 'new', perfect SD ladder, and the one that has been repaired from a dispute with a Target parking lot ceiling.

Disclaimer: I have no financial affiliations with Derek or Urban Offroad other than being a customer, a friendship and lust for his very hot 18 year girlfriend

Javier
Javier,

Thanks for your input, I too am fully aware of the limitations of a hand assembled vehicle. That is precisely why in my original post I stated that the rear ladder assembly did not fit my truck well. A few years back I performed a frame off restoration on my a 64' SeriesIIa 5 door 109 station wagon. When I was done - every bolt, every pop rivet and hammer rivet hand been replaced along with 5 doors, seat box, all the floors, bulkhead, radiator panel - the list goes on... There was a lot of fiddling and tweeking to get the machine back together. The problem I faced with the two mounting brackets on the left side of the rear ladder assembly is that they were welded onto the ladder incorrectly and were beyond a simple fiddle or grind. After a careful measurement I found that the right sides of the upper and lower brackets stuck out from the ladder 5 mm further than the left sides of the same brackets. Which is why they would not sit flush to the back of my truck after the other side of the assembly was bolted in place at the tire carrier. After I received the second set of backing plates with most of the nuts welded on crooked it demonstrated that even the replacement components were not checked at the factory before they were sent out to me. I had already trusted an individual with close to $1000 bucks of my hard earned cash - It was my personal choice not to waist any more time, effort or money with an unknown return quotient. So I accepted my $$ losses as a bad decision, cut and run, designed a solution and made the mistake of sharing my solution with others on the board. It is just that simple. (Although it would have eventually surfaced because I enjoy sharing info about my truck with others on the board and someone would have eventually noticed and questioned the ladder). This has boiled down to the same old addage, fool me once - shame on you, - fool me twice - shame on me - there wasn't going to be a third time. And if Derek has a problem with the price, quality or state of the defender products I make (as he referenced in his recent post) that is fine. He or (anybody else) is fully free to rag on them all he wants - after all this is America.
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