Reader DIY: Building a custom roofrack
I drive an ’89 Cruiser 62 series, affectionately dubbed Jersey. After completing several mods on her, I thought it was time to kit her out with a new roofrack. I wasn’t interested in any of the off-theshelf units, as I wanted to build my own rack, something unique to my 4×4. At that stage, all I had was an idea; a vision of what the roofrack should look like.
Unfortunately, dreams don’t always look the same in real life, so rather than waste money on steel, I decided to build a template roofrack out of 50 mm PVC pipe. This would give me the chance to see what the roofrack would look like in the flesh, and gauge the exact amount of steel pipe required. Thankfully, PVC pipe is very easy to cut and glue together, so building the mock-up roofrack didn’t take very long at all. Once I had the overall shape laid out, I could then use it to jot down the precise measurements and quantity of steel needed.
I then took these dimensions to an exhaust fitment centre. The exhaust guys supplied me with all the necessary steel, and the bends, using their pipe-bending machine. I then welded the pipe frame together and attached six mounting legs, purchased from Front Runner. I also bought 10 roof-load bars from Front Runner, which I used as cross members and the actual base of my rack.
In order to mount the bars to the roofrack, I welded a strip of flat bar on either side of the pipe frame. M10 bolts were used to fasten the Front Runner load bars to the flat-bar sections. Once the roofrack was complete, I bought a pair of LED floodlights and a set of Light Force HID spots. Because the Light Force units come with so many wiring components, I used an old toolbox as a distribution board for all my wiring needs. After the lights had been fitted, I realised I needed a larger alternator to supply power to them, so I installed a 120 A unit from a V W.
All in all, the job took me about four weeks to complete, and the costs added up to about R21 000. Granted, it was a bit pricey, but that included a hefty bill for the lighting gear; plus, the rack is mine and I absolutely love it! Jersey still needs the odd job here and there, but she’s a work in progress and I’ll get there in due time.