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  #1  
Old October 13th, 2017, 12:17 AM
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Alex Lapidus
1994 D90 ST #1716
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Total Novice Builds a Roof Rack

I haven't been super active on the board in a few years, but thought I would document my attempt to build a roof rack. Winter is looming in the Pacific Northwest, and I've been itching for a project to carry me through the gloom. I told myself the next time I needed some welding done, that I'd bite the bullet, buy a welder, and teach myself how to weld. I'd like to do all or part of the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (WABDR)) in my 1994 D90 ST with a friend and our 9 year-old-daughters in summer of 2018. So, in theory, that gives me enough time to sort things out and make a roof rack.

The first step seems to be tooling up...

After looking at all the options and talking with a few friends who weld, I tracked down a Hobart 220 MVP MIG welder, and had a 220v circuit run to my micro-shop.
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  #2  
Old October 13th, 2017, 12:19 AM
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Alex Lapidus
1994 D90 ST #1716
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Sorting through design options

Now on to design ideas. Feel free to chime in, but here are a few pictures that I have collected to help think it through.

https://www.pinterest.com/adlapidus/nice-rack/
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  #3  
Old October 13th, 2017, 12:30 AM
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Alex Lapidus
1994 D90 ST #1716
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Here are few pictures of the truck. I think I am leaning towards using the light mounts on the roll bar over the windshield to connect the front of the rack, instead of the standard clamps on the bars over the doors. This will give me a good place to mount a wind deflector and hopeful avoid some the wind noise. Also the Badger Surrey top that I use in summer wraps around the bars over the doors, so I'd have to modify the top to work with a rack that used that bar to mount cross bars.
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  #4  
Old October 17th, 2017, 11:04 AM
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Len Bruffett
NAS '97 ST /SW-POE Config
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HI - I attached a couple images of my wind deflector I made for my truck after I installed a Hannibal rack - I have since painted it white - but it knocks down the wind noise at freeway speeds. It is made of aluminum sheet metal, with aluminum support struts attached to the "A" pillar roll cage. Good luck on the project.
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  #5  
Old October 17th, 2017, 11:39 AM
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Bill Adams
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Looks like a very nice welder. You should be able to make pretty joints with that!
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1966 109 5 door wagon 300Tdi "spermaceti fueled"
1994 RRC LeWiB "ruining the air behind me"

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  #6  
Old October 17th, 2017, 11:46 AM
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Mark
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Len, are you planning on helicopter landings?

Don't attract the black hats!
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1976 Series III 109 "Montoya" ("You killed my father, prepare to die")
1988 Defender 90 LHD "Vizzini" (speed demon from Sicily)
1987 Defender 90 MOD LHD "fezzik" (giant rock thrower)
1975 Porsche 911 hot rod
1964 Porsche (Beck) 904
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  #7  
Old October 17th, 2017, 12:15 PM
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I installed a cargobear on my 90 from SDO


For illustration purposes. It fits so close you don't need a wind deflector, I left the front plates off like in the photo so I don't get any buffeting.

I get you have a soft top but thought I would add this since it wasn't present on your pintrest board.
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  #8  
Old October 17th, 2017, 01:01 PM
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Gerad Davis
1967/s2a 88 200Tdi
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I was in your shoes a few years back. I bought a little Hobart 135 as I don't have 220 in my garage. Here are a few things I've learned along the way that will hopefully help you out.
  • Replace the ground clamp. The stock clamp is trash. It's hard to get that good sizzle without a proper ground. Make sure the surface is clean too.
  • Get an angle grinder and a grip of cut off and flap discs.
  • A proper chop saw or horizontal bandsaw is a definite nice to have, especially if you're building something big like a roof rack.
  • Get a few of those angled magnets. They're great for fabrication, but they'll mess with your weld if you get too close to them.
  • Lastly, be sure to study up and practice practice practice before diving into your big project. Lincoln Welder offers a little fabrication kit that's perfect for this: Metal Project Kit
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  #9  
Old October 18th, 2017, 01:26 AM
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Dane Walker
1988/ 110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NPT90 View Post
I installed a cargobear on my 90 from SDO





For illustration purposes. It fits so close you don't need a wind deflector, I left the front plates off like in the photo so I don't get any buffeting.



I get you have a soft top but thought I would add this since it wasn't present on your pintrest board.


Where is the light bar from pictured?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #10  
Old October 18th, 2017, 01:42 AM
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Len Bruffett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Factoid View Post
Len, are you planning on helicopter landings?

Don't attract the black hats!
I shoot a lot of my large format fine art landscape black and white film based photographs from my truck platform. I frequent Owens Valley between the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada, the White and Inyo Mountains., as well as the Mojave and Death Valley deserts. The areas I photograph are remote and I am usually by myself. (no one else will go with me on these trips because I can wait for up to 2hrs for the "light" to be just right). The Defender sticks out like a sore thumb to anyone flying overhead. The Inyo mountains and bordering Death valley are two locations that you can regularly watch air combat training (dog fighting).(Both day and night) Most of the time they are hard to see - but you can definitely hear them. In fact many of the scenes in the Top Gun movie show many segments of the Inyo mountains and northern death valley. So when the pilots are not training they practice low level terrain following flight skills. When I am out there on a weekday I regularly get "buzzed" by the pilots.... most of the time they are naval F 18s. But I have been buzzed by A4s and F 4s as well. The first time I saw a Raptor I was parked at the western edge of the Inyos looking for a location on my map. I noticed a small glint of light in my rear view mirror. By the time I could open the door and step out of the truck the raptor had descended down to about 100 ft above the the truck. What was impressive was the sound of the aircraft's engine as it passed overhead. It rattled my truck and my cloths were vibrating! As soon as he flew over me he headed vertical passing through the sound barrier before he was out of site. So.... as an extra treat to the pilots that buzz me, I painted the reticule on my platform. They have something to target when they descend on the truck and then talk about when they get back to base.- I would to tell my wife about the encounters and she never believed me. On one trip I took her out to Titus canyon in death valley. (That canyon is always busy with 4 wheel traffic) not my cup of tea.... but I thought she would enjoy it. After we left the canyon I headed out on a dirt road away from the paved access road. We spotted a couple F16s flying in a tight formation about 1 mile away. They spotted our truck and took a bearing directly to us. Within 30 seconds they passed directly over the truck at about 200 ft.....She got quite a kick out of the flyby and shares her story with her friends - she never questions my stories when I come back from a trip and talk of the jets.
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  #11  
Old October 18th, 2017, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffman View Post
Where is the light bar from pictured?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Tried to find it to no avail, trying to remember who makes the cargobear rack
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  #12  
Old October 18th, 2017, 10:57 AM
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Alex Lapidus
1994 D90 ST #1716
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Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by LenB View Post
HI - I attached a couple images of my wind deflector I made for my truck after I installed a Hannibal rack - I have since painted it white - but it knocks down the wind noise at freeway speeds. It is made of aluminum sheet metal, with aluminum support struts attached to the "A" pillar roll cage. Good luck on the project.
That wind deflector looks great! I had Yakima bars on the roll bar over the doors and the chinsy Yakima basket on my truck for about a month, and couldn't handle the extra noise. I'm going to try to make some kind of deflector. If I attach to the bar over the windshield, I can integrate something like that. I am going to try to keep it as low profile as possible.

------ Follow up post added October 18th, 2017 08:03 AM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPT90 View Post
I installed a cargobear on my 90 from SDO


For illustration purposes. It fits so close you don't need a wind deflector, I left the front plates off like in the photo so I don't get any buffeting.

I get you have a soft top but thought I would add this since it wasn't present on your pintrest board.
That's super tight. I am going to try to keep it low like that. I think I'll start by putting my Yakima bars with the XTerra clamps back on the roll bar over the doors for reference, and then build the rear ladder section to define a horizontal line as close to the roof line of the soft top as I can. A lot of the racks that I have seen seem to have multiple layers of structure stacked on top of each other, like a tall basket sitting on top of bars. I'm not going to use the Yakima bars permanently, just to get a sense for what to build. I'm going to try to build the legs that clamp to the bar over the windshield or the door directly onto lower section of the basket/platform as opposed to building cross bars and then dropping the basket/platform on top.
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  #13  
Old October 18th, 2017, 11:08 AM
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Russell
1985 LR Ninety 200tdi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd650 View Post
I haven't been super active on the board in a few years, but thought I would document my attempt to build a roof rack. Winter is looming in the Pacific Northwest, and I've been itching for a project to carry me through the gloom. I told myself the next time I needed some welding done, that I'd bite the bullet, buy a welder, and teach myself how to weld. I'd like to do all or part of the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (WABDR)) in my 1994 D90 ST with a friend and our 9 year-old-daughters in summer of 2018. So, in theory, that gives me enough time to sort things out and make a roof rack.

The first step seems to be tooling up...

After looking at all the options and talking with a few friends who weld, I tracked down a Hobart 220 MVP MIG welder, and had a 220v circuit run to my micro-shop.
I was in kind of the same boat a few years back and picked up a Hobart that runs on 110. Makes great welds, and learning wasn't too difficult. I watched a couple of YouTube videos and no problem. I will say that unless the spot you are welding is shiny shiny shiny clean the weld will suck. Also wherever you clamp the ground needs to be just as clean. Other than that get the speed of the feed and heat right and your welds will be great.
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