Custom roof rack/cage | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Custom roof rack/cage

SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
I bought a used roof rack
VZM.IMG_20160706_200151_zpsfpsgknnl.jpg


received_10209379111570784_zpstotb9q09.jpg


Then I decided to go bigger better and stronger

received_10209375326396157_zpsvfiqmlrw.jpg

received_10209383572202297_zpssifbs0xf.jpg

received_10209383572202297_zpssifbs0xf.jpg

20160627_235510_zps9dnluzdj.jpg
 
<

Join the Elite Explorers $20 Gets rid of the ads!

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
Then I got to more design

VZM.IMG_20160706_231809_zpsfaonjgvg.jpg

VZM.IMG_20160706_231809_zpsfaonjgvg.jpg


Then the band saw, clamps and welder came out.
I didn't get lots of pictures but it's not done yet.

received_10209406161687020_zpschfhkuv7.jpg
 
<



SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
Got more work done to her

VZM.IMG_20160707_230635_zpsajlsyaej.jpg

VZM.IMG_20160707_230705_zpspe82hdkq.jpg


These next shots, it's sitting on the feet I am making for it...but I don't know if I'm going to use those or not. One factory rack is in the basket and the other is standing up under the pallet for size comparison.
VZM.IMG_20160707_224808_zps1ymujuck.jpg

VZM.IMG_20160707_224731_zpsovnt2ulg.jpg
 
<



Machine090767

Well-Known Member
Joined
January 29, 2016
Messages
490
Reaction score
56
City, State
Minnesota
Year, Model & Trim Level
2014 Explorer XLT
You do realize that the Explorers cross bars can support UP TO 100lbs, Right?
That Monstrosity weighs more than that, unloaded.
 
<



jimmyznutz

Well-Known Member
Joined
January 1, 2005
Messages
160
Reaction score
8
Location
Out yonder!
City, State
Sacramento, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 X Sport - '06 Escape
Callsign
Radio Weezel
Looks good. Nice work. I'd be interested in seeing it mounted with the feet versus sitting on the rails.
 
<



chefduane

Texas Elite Explorer
Elite Explorer
Joined
January 22, 2013
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
76
Location
TEXAS!
City, State
Plano, TX.
Year, Model & Trim Level
None: SOLD 9/16
You do realize that the Explorers cross bars can support UP TO 100lbs, Right?
That Monstrosity weighs more than that, unloaded.

It does look pretty beefy but I would not use the word 'monstrosity' (although that IS a pretty good word!) I'd be interested in seeing what the total weight is after its finished. Regardless, even if nothing ever rides in it, it looks really cool!!
 
<



chefduane

Texas Elite Explorer
Elite Explorer
Joined
January 22, 2013
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
76
Location
TEXAS!
City, State
Plano, TX.
Year, Model & Trim Level
None: SOLD 9/16
PS: Sully, whatcha' gonna' do with the old rack?
 
<



CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
Elite Explorer
Joined
June 17, 2004
Messages
22,247
Reaction score
2,620
City, State
Knoxville, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Limited AWD
I'm interested, I need ideas for what I could do for my 1993 Explorer roof rack. My truck is for mail delivery, and it would be nice to have an option for loading a few items, if I could protect them.

Pulling the headliner down and reinforcing the roof from below is an idea I daydreamed of. The roof isn't the strongest part of the trucks, which is why the rating is typically only 50-100lbs.
 
<



SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
You do realize that the Explorers cross bars can support UP TO 100lbs, Right?
That Monstrosity weighs more than that, unloaded.

That's why it isn't going on three factory bars.

Looks good. Nice work. I'd be interested in seeing it mounted with the feet versus sitting on the rails.

The feet are the green pieces it's sitting on in the last two pictures.

It does look pretty beefy but I would not use the word 'monstrosity' (although that IS a pretty good word!) I'd be interested in seeing what the total weight is after its finished. Regardless, even if nothing ever rides in it, it looks really cool!!

Thanks. I'd guess it's just about 100lbs. One guy can lift it, though two will be used when installing it.

PS: Sully, whatcha' gonna' do with the old rack?

It'll get added to the spare parts pile that I always say I'll sell but never find a buyer for.
 
<



<



SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
If you can. please show specific detailed pictures of the feet and how you attach them to the truck. I like this so far-

I haven't had time to do any more work. But the feet is something I'm taking very seriously. I think the c channel it's sitting on is going to get scrapped in favour of something else. Either way, I'll upgrade the bolts, but use factory mounting holes to attach everything.

If I take some plate steel and shape it on the grinder, I can make something that sits in the factory gaskets. Then weld two uprights using the same square tube. I think this option gives me the most aesthetically pleasing look as it matches everything else. It also gives me the best weather seal. The c channel would be difficult to weld to the cage and would require extra gussetting (sp?) Just to be able to weld properly. The square tube uprights wouldn't have that issue.
 
<



CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
Elite Explorer
Joined
June 17, 2004
Messages
22,247
Reaction score
2,620
City, State
Knoxville, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Limited AWD
Has anyone looked at the underside of the roof? I wonder if the loads people want to haul might do well to have some structure added below the mounting holes.

I've got a 98 Limited now that I want to mount the OEM Mountaineer running boards to. I like them better, and now that I've got both trucks to compare with, it looks like Ford located the mounting holes rearward more on the Explorer. So I might have to drill some holes, and fill some too. My 98 truck is about aesthetics, but my 99 truck has a 93 roof, and I'd like to consider mounting a sturdy rack to it for work.
 
<



SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
After 5 hours in the shop, I didn't get much done that can be seen. Mostly figuring out the specifics about fitment and how to do the feet.

I have a scrapper at the shop that I've been using for test fitting and measurement. Still no feet on the cage, but I got a couple quick pictures before the sun went down and the million different mock up feet happened.
VZM.IMG_20160719_212514_zpswzwzir7y.jpg


VZM.IMG_20160719_212045_zpsj31yute4.jpg
 
<



SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
This past Tuesday we managed to get the rack fit to my truck.

We cut plate steel to size for the feet, drilled holes, and screwed them to the factory mounting holes. Also mounted the same square tube the rack is built out of to the right locations on the bottom. Those are the legs. Then came lifting the 100lb rack onto the roof without letting the legs scratch the crap out of the roof. Once it was where we wanted it, it got tacked in place.

20160726_213312_zpsxawafbhp.jpg


20160726_212257_zpsmdhtitlq.jpg


20160726_212049_zpstdco9czg.jpg



Some interesting notes:
Before being tacked to the feet the cage had what seemed like a twist (second picture shows it), but it sat level on the concrete floor. I think it has to do with the curve of the roof line.
The feet are not flat. They were bolted down to the truck first do they sit exactly how they need to sit. But when we lifted the while thing off after tacking the feet and legs together, there was an angle on the feet.

As it sits right now, it needs final welding on the feet, clean up, and paint. Paint will just be spray bomb for now. I have an enamel tractor paint I'm going use, but I'm building a ladder for this and a rack for my buddy's truck. So painting all three will happen down the road a bit.
 
<



boominXplorer

Elite Ranger
Elite Explorer
Joined
September 16, 2002
Messages
9,345
Reaction score
766
City, State
Virginia Beach, Va
Year, Model & Trim Level
00 4x4 Mounty
Loving the pulley system you had going on. The rack looks super beef enough to hold just about anything you can get up there.
 
<



SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
yup!!!! I was jumping on it while it was up there. It doesn't budge. I'm building a later because its big enough to put a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag in and camp right on the roof.

From what I've seen, Ford's rating of 100 lbs on the roof rack has nothing to do with the weight it can hold and must be the sheer point of the mounting screws. The factory rails with the store bought basket had me and my kid in it while tightening it down and there was zero flex. She is 100 by herself.
 
<



SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
Any paint guys have experience with epoxy primer?
 
<



SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
Ok... Busy night. Final welds on the feet, ground everything clean, prepped, and primed

The feet before final weld: They are all at strange angles. When I tacked them in place they were bolted to the truck so they are correct. But the angles involved with the roof were way more complex than I expected.
20160802_183614_zpsvgoasopj.jpg


20160802_183624_zps2gkhu8yq.jpg


20160802_183634_zpswms0o1xg.jpg




Oh it's painted and ready for install (when it dries) :bounce:
20160802_215431_zpsucpwcvin.jpg


20160802_215416_zpshnlsbli2.jpg


20160802_215437_zpsg3r0mdqz.jpg
 
<



chefduane

Texas Elite Explorer
Elite Explorer
Joined
January 22, 2013
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
76
Location
TEXAS!
City, State
Plano, TX.
Year, Model & Trim Level
None: SOLD 9/16
Probably the best looking, full length, home brew, roof rack I've ever seen. Any reason why you did not screen in the side runners? I bet you could cut a piece of high-density 4" foam to fit and sleep up there, no problem.
 
<

Join the Elite Explorers $20 Gets rid of the ads!

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




SPSully

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 13, 2016
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
City, State
New Boston
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Ford Explorer
Probably the best looking, full length, home brew, roof rack I've ever seen. Any reason why you did not screen in the side runners? I bet you could cut a piece of high-density 4" foam to fit and sleep up there, no problem.

Thanks! ! It's been way more work than I figured, but it looks great.

The sides don't have grate for a few reasons.

+It'll be easier to tie stuff down like that.
+The expanded steel is the heaviest part of the whole thing.
+I didn't have anymore and didn't feel like buying another sheet
+I couldn't lay the sides so the diamond pattern continued the same direction as the bottom
+I really don't like the look of the grating on the back either, but I needed to protect the light bar I'm mounting back there.


As for laying up there. It's 6'3" inside the top rails. One of my next projects will be a ladder so the lil lady and I can climb up there with a sleeping pad and go enjoy the stars. I'll add a ladder holder to the rack once it's is built, but until I actually figure out the ladder I don't know how the holders need be.

Screenshot_20160712-182016_zpskoqvxydy.png


Thanks again for the kind words!
 
<



Top