Toyota FJ40 Mini Roll Bar Rack

Oct. 01, 2005 By Eric Stegall
Introduction:

While packing my Cruiser for our annual Pacific Mountain Cruisers club run to the Rubicon, I was thinking how much easier it would be if I had a roof rack.  This trip was different than all the others that I have packed for since Tracy and I were bringing Toby, our 7 month old Yellow Lab.  I couldn't just pack all of our gear in the back of the Cruiser and tie it down like usual.  Instead, I had to carefully pack and stack the gear in such a way that Toby had enough room to stretch out and sleep in the back (yeah right).

After we setup camp at Spider Lake, it was time to check out all the new additions to the other rigs in our club.  I couldn't help but notice this cool little roll bar rack that Paul Decker made for his Cruiser.  This mini rack mounts on top of the rear section of the factory roll bar and held a lot of bulky, light weight gear.  After Paul showed me how he made his rack, I was planning on making a similar rack as soon as I got home.

The Rack:

The general dimensions of my rack are 58" wide, 19" long, and 6" high.  The base is constructed from 1/8" x 1 ½" angle iron, the top is 1 ½" x ½" x 1/16" thick rectangular tubing, and they are joined by 1/8" x 1" strap.  I used a piece of expandable steel for the floor of the rack with two 1/8" x 1" straps across the middle.

I used a chop saw to cut 4 pieces of angle iron: 2 at 58" long and 2 at 19" long.  Each piece was cut at 45 degrees.  I then welded along the outside edges of the angle iron to form the rectangular base.  To make the top section, I cut 4 pieces of rectangular tube: 2 at 59" long and 2 at 20" long.  Again, each piece was cut at 45 degrees.  I welded around each joint of the tubing and used a grinder to smooth out the welds on the outside edges.  To connect the base to the top, I cut 14 pieces of 1/8" x 1" strap at 5" long.  I placed the top edge of the top section 6" above the bottom edge of the bottom section.  I welded the 5" straps between the top and bottom sections of the rack (5 pieces to each of the long sides and 2 pieces to each of the short sides).

In order to mount the rack to the factory roll bar, I cut 4 pieces of angle iron at 1 ½" long.  I placed the rack on top of the rear roll bar and positioned it where I wanted it.  I placed the outside surfaces of the angle iron against the bottom of the rack and the inside of the roll bar.  Then I clamped them to the bottom of the rack, tack welded them to the roll bar, and drilled a 3/8" holes through the base and the angle iron.
 

To finish off the rack, I cut 2 pieces of 1/8" x 1" strap at 16" long and welded them across the base.  Then I welded a piece of 57" long x 18" wide, 16 gauge expandable steel inside the bottom of the rack.  I spray painted it with a coat of flat black and bolted it to the roll bar with 3/8" x 1" cap screws, flat washers, lock washers and nuts.

Final Thoughts:

This rack works very well for my purposes and now I have a place to pack the light weight, bulky items such as pillows, sleeping bags, chairs, bar-b-que, stove, propane, tarps, greasy clothes, etc.  Having this mini rack makes packing for a trip quicker and easier while allowing more interior room for my dogs (I have yet to take both of them on the same trip).  Now I just throw an opened tarp in the empty rack, pack all my gear in it, flip the tarp over my gear and tie it all down.  This rack also provides more shade for my dogs as well, which is really important on those hot sunny days.

The only down side to this rack is it blocks part of the viewing area of the rear view mirror.  To help gain some of my visibility back, I make a little 3" drop down bracket for my mirror with the left over 1/8" x 1" steel strap.

Special Thanks:

I would like to thank Paul Decker for sharing his mini rack plans with me so I could make one similar to his.

Parts List:
 

Quantity Description
14 ft
1 ½" x 1 ½" x 1/8" angle iron
14 ft 1 ½" x ½" x 1/16" rectangular tubing
9 ft. 1/8" x 1" steel strap
57" x 18" 16 guage expandable steel
4 3/8" x 1" SS cap screw
4 3/8" SS flat washer
4 3/8" SS lock washer
4 3/8" SS nut

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