DIY Roof Rack

Gen X Nov 21, 2019

  1. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Ashburn, VA
    I wanted a simple roof rack that fit within the stock roof rails. I didn’t want a basket that added height, and didn’t want to spend the money for a DepHep or Gobi. I couldn’t find anything that met the size I was looking for so decided to make my own. I made this one for a little over $100

    This is 62” long and the inside width of the stock rails is 33”.

    Parts List

    1-1/2 in. x 14-Gauge x 72 in. Zinc-Plated Slotted Angle - 2 of these, $18.28 each

    1/2 in. x 10 ft. Electric Metallic Tube (EMT) Conduit - 5 of these, $3.32 each. I wanted a relatively narrow space between the cross bars so used 14 total. At 33” each, I could only get three per each 10ft piece of conduit. Unfortunately more leftover scrap than I would like, but no other way to get the size roof rack I wanted.

    1/8 in. x 3/16 in. Aluminum Rivets (50-Pack) - 1 pack, $5.98. You’ll be six rivets short if you don’t destroy any during the fabrication. I bought another pack. I’ll use them for another project so didn’t count it in the cost breakdown.

    1/8 in. x 1 in. Zinc-Plated Fender Washer (100-Piece) - 1 pack, $9.68. So, I couldn’t find a large pack of 3/16 x 1 inch fender washers, only a small bag with three. Since I needed four of these per each cross bar, I decided to buy this pack and drilled them out to 3/16 to fit the rivets. A little bit of a PITA, but the fenders are needed as the rivets aren’t big enough for the holes in the slotted angle iron.

    #6 Nickel Plated Finishing Washer (100-Piece) - 1 pack, $5.25. Stainless steel is less expensive, but again I couldn’t find a large enough pack for what I needed, four per each cross bar again. You can do without these, but I added them to make a smoother finish. Without these, the rivet sticks up just a hair more, it’s pretty flush when you add these.

    1/2 in. 2-Hole Electrical Metallic Tube (EMT) Straps (4-Pack) $1.11 / 1/2 in. Electrical Metallic Tube (EMT) 2-Hole Straps (25-Pack), $5.24 - 1 pack each. You’ll use two per cross bar.

    Nilight 90020B 2-Pack (Standard) Mounting Bracket - 3 of these $9 each. There are two per pack, I used these to attach the roof rack to the stock rails. I used some 5/16, #18 x 1 inch hex bolts and nylock nuts to attach the rack to the brackets.

    Assembly photos:



    I used vise grips to hold everything in place while crimping the rivets.


    Close up of the finished rivet side. This will be the topside when installed.






    Here's install photos. I could have made this a hair wider, maybe 33 1/8. I attached everything on the driver side first, then on the passenger side noticed the brackets aren't quite at 90 degrees. Had to rotate them a bit inboard to attach to the angle iron. Not a big deal, just something to consider if you make one.




    Pretty satisfied with how it sits. We'll see how it works, I'll be adding my Yakima ski box soon.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  2. reaver

    reaver First Fill-Up (of many)

    Caldwell, ID
    That looks really good! I'm definitely interested in seeing it on the truck. I was planning on welding up a recessed (read Dep style) rack, but this could work as well.
    13ADVX likes this.
  3. 13ADVX

    13ADVX Bought an X

    Nice work! Home brew projects are the best.
  4. Xterrorista

    Xterrorista Lockers Installed Supporting Member

    Aurora, CO
    Nice job!
  5. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Ashburn, VA
    This was a pretty simple project. Just posted install photos. Let me know if anyone needs different angles or close ups of anything.
    bbuhlman and reaver like this.
  6. bbuhlman

    bbuhlman Test Drive

    Nice! Thanks for the BOM too. Great job
  7. Me!Here!

    Me!Here! Bought an X

    Somerville, MA
    this came out really cool!!
  8. BCX1stGen

    BCX1stGen Test Drive

    How strong is it? Might build it today
  9. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Ashburn, VA
    Unfortunately I didn't get to try it out for long. I got in wreck a little over a month later. I did attach my Thule cargo box to it and loaded with three sets of skis and all the needed gear. Probably 80 pound of gear. It felt solid and I kept the spacing between the bars small so weight would be distributed better.

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