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Strengthening the factory roof racks... EDIT:now a How to...

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 2:33 am
by Torquemonster
On my 95 rodeo the factory roof rack cross bars seem extremely flimsy, well not the bar themselves, but where they fit into the piece that slides, isnt strong at all. Those joins are super flimsy, I put my roof basket on there (roughly 40lbs) and they buckled right away and I havent attached my roof basket cause the crossbars sketch me out. Has anyone re inforced, or built their own crossbars for the factory rails? Its starting to get into campin season and Id like to throw the basket on there

So heres the editeded part...

I started by taking the crossbars off... Initially I had no Idea how to do this but I figured it out. out of the several screws holding the rails on, the one at each end holds the cap. Take off the screw (One of mine was rusty, and I broke a phillips bit socket) and pry the rail up a little bit and pull the cap off

Initially the crossbars had about 1 inch of up and down play, maybe more, where the went into the slider things. I thought being able to angle them like this was also bad but I later realized it was so you could move the slider one side at a time without it binding

But they still flopped around up and down like so I was trying to think of how I could tighten it up a bit. Initially I thought I could drill it and run a bolt through it, but I didnt have any, and it would also be hard to maintain the angle part thing. then I saw the box with my old lug nuts in them, and I figured if I stuck some of the wave-washers in there it would shim it and keep some tension. One wasnt enough, and on the first crossbar I did 3 were too much, so 2 seemed to be the magic number. theres one slider on the second crossbar that might need a 3rd

Put em on like this and slide the slider overtop

While it isnt perfect, up and down play is signifigantly less, Id say less than 1/4 of an inch. Im more than confident to put my roof basket on there now.