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DIY roof rack mounts

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by Snickel Fritz, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. Jun 26, 2020 at 3:42 PM
    #1
    Snickel Fritz

    Snickel Fritz [OP] Grew Up Around Lead Paint

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    Hi, all.
    I want to build my own roof rack. I do not have much in the way of tools or space, and my local fabricators are often sloppy and always overpriced... so I'm going with 80/20 or similar extrusions for the whole shebang.

    My only real hurdle (and the most important one) is how to mount my contraption onto the roof. I'm going with full length, and will use rubber feet at the front.
    There is one company I have found that sells racks and stand-alone "towers" for DIYers, but I'm not sure that I like them, they look bulky, awkward, have weird angles and do not look sturdy despite the description.

    So, anyone else want to show some close ups, details, or tips on their homemade racks? How about aftermarket? I've asked two companies (Victory 4x4 and Greenlane) who make racks, neither wants to sell their mounts separately unfortunately but I'd rather give my money to someone who is either in the 4R community or at least sells roof racks for it.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. Jun 26, 2020 at 6:25 PM
    #2
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    Check out LFD Off-road. They’re a vendor here, I think.
     
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  3. Jun 26, 2020 at 6:32 PM
    #3
    Snickel Fritz

    Snickel Fritz [OP] Grew Up Around Lead Paint

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    I'll check and update, thanks!
     
  4. Jun 27, 2020 at 5:16 AM
    #4
    Deuxdiesel

    Deuxdiesel New Member

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    I am dealing with a better way to mount my Rhino Rack Backbone right now. Instead of using bolts, I bought metric threaded studs from McMaster-Carr. I am planning on using a flange nut to set the depth and then use a lock nut to hold the feet down. You could buy a chunk of UHMW plastic and fab up some spacer blocks that fit over the studs and some simple angle metal to make feet for your rack. UMHW is pretty easy to work with and can be cut and drilled with normal hand tools.
     
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  5. Jun 27, 2020 at 9:44 AM
    #5
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy New Member

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    Try Front Runner. They sell everything as a system anyway, and they’re very responsive. Tell them you damaged the mounting brackets on your Front Runner rack and need replacements. I’d be surprised if they said they wouldn’t sell you any. Good luck. Your project sounds like fun. It’s totally doable. The only caveat about buying the brackets, is that all the rack components from every manufacturer are very expensive. Even a set of crossbars costs too much, imho.
    I’d be tempted to make a template and make the whole thing. Although, I didn’t do that myself, haha. I bought a Front Runner, because it was exactly what I wanted and I need to choose my projects so that I don’t have a garage full of challenges on my hands.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
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  6. Jun 30, 2020 at 12:52 PM
    #6
    J.Miranda

    J.Miranda New Member

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    I spent a lot of time trying to find the best way to mount mine. I ended up with a big L bracket with holes that matched the spacing for the OEM rack and slots on the other side to adjust up and down. Mine ended up looking like the EcoTechne mounts.
    You should also check out how Prinsu mounts to the body. You could do something similar with 90 steel angle from Home Depot attached to the aluminum extrusion. You could bolt through the angle into the OEM mounting points with spacers in between.
    My recommendation would be to get the mounts sorted out before you order the extrusion. The distance between the two front and two rear mounts are not the same.
    Also, TNutz will cut custom lengths and have pretty fast processing times.
     
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  7. Jun 30, 2020 at 2:56 PM
    #7
    ERMBPA3

    ERMBPA3 New Member

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    I used these mounts, which I moved to my 4Runner from my 100 series Land Cruiser when I sold it. I also have a DIY roofrack and it has served me very well since I first built it almost 4 years ago. I only had to make slight modifications to the rack itself when I put it onto the TR4. The mounts themselves fit great even though not originally meant for the 4runner. I think on one of them I had to open up one of the holes slightly, but only took about 30 seconds and a larger drill bit. I had 3 sets total but the front set is only attached using double sided tape, the same way Prinsu mounts theirs.

    https://www.trail-tailor.com/store/p23/Adjustable_Lo-Pro_Rail_Mounts_100_Series.html

    IMG_20200330_143411.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  8. Jun 30, 2020 at 3:37 PM
    #8
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy New Member

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    Nice job, ERMBPA3.! It’s always nice to see DIY instead of consumerism.
     
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  9. Jun 30, 2020 at 3:47 PM
    #9
    ERMBPA3

    ERMBPA3 New Member

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    Thanks! I'm a big fan of if I can figure out how to do it, I'll at least give it the old college try!
     
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  10. Aug 1, 2020 at 7:26 PM
    #10
    Snickel Fritz

    Snickel Fritz [OP] Grew Up Around Lead Paint

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    Update:
    Couldn't find nearly enough information on the mounts for any rack company, and everyone I reached out to either refused to sell their mounts without the full rack (Greenlane, Victory) or did not respond at all (LFD, Frontrunner, Prinsu, SSO).
    So, I relented and ordered the Gamiviti "towers", despite my misgivings... and I shoulda trusted my instincts because the angles are worse than they appear on the website.
    Seriously, I don't see how they can sell these things as a solution for our trucks- they CANNOT be used out of the box, and I don't think a vise and brute strength is going to do anything but ruin them... so it's either buy a bender for thousands, or try to send them back. I have no idea what they'll say, but I can only imagine it will piss me off because I can't believe that they don't know about this already.
    Oh, and if you look closely you'll see how there is barely 1/32" of space between the roof channel lip and the mount- that WILL rub through the paint when flexing on the road or trail, and with small of a gap not even a gasket would protect it.
    For now I have the mounts flipped backwards so they won't scratch the paint if I drive with them on, it gave me ~1/8" of space which I can live with until I find something else to plug the holes.

    20200801_173325.jpg
     
  11. Aug 1, 2020 at 7:29 PM
    #11
    Snickel Fritz

    Snickel Fritz [OP] Grew Up Around Lead Paint

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    20200801_173457.jpg Oops! Here's the pic referenced above...
     
  12. Aug 2, 2020 at 7:39 AM
    #12
    Oldtoyotaguy

    Oldtoyotaguy New Member

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    Hmm. Sorry, Snickel Fritz, I can’t seem to grasp the issue from the photo, although the bends are clearly wrong. It’s frustrating to buy something and then have to basically remanufacture it to make it work. I’d be tempted to return it, and then take my time and make up a template and start from scratch. How complicated can it be to make that? I enjoy metal projects and a chance to weld, but I know not everyone shares that enthusiasm or skills. But, full disclosure - I bought a 3/4 Frontrunner rack partly because it was exactly what I wanted, and I had the $ at the time. I don’t go looking for home projects, but if I can’t get what I want, it usually motivates me to do my own thing.
     
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  13. Aug 8, 2020 at 12:24 PM
    #13
    Snickel Fritz

    Snickel Fritz [OP] Grew Up Around Lead Paint

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    Hey Oldtoyotaguy, sorry I just realized I missed this one...
    The area of trouble on these Gamiviti mounts is the inside wall of the roof channel (to the right of the bolts as pictured). I have on order some 1/16" SBR rubber sheeting, should be sufficient for whoever ends up using these.
    I should note that I managed to bend one of the Gamivitis using a vise, and it now looks nearly straight (as pictured online). If I can duplicate the bend closely enough with the other three then I may use them, or sell them (once I test fit to insure I didn't mess 'em up), or put them on my girlfriend's Venza.
    I also have some items on order that I'll post up below...
     
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  14. Aug 8, 2020 at 12:50 PM
    #14
    Snickel Fritz

    Snickel Fritz [OP] Grew Up Around Lead Paint

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    Okay, so I managed to bend one of the Gamiviti mounts with my cheap vise, and it looks easily repeatable so I may be able to use them... but I ordered some other stuff anyway, because I like to party. :D

    These I got for connecting the crossbars to the roof mounts...
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07C5ZZ5PM?ref=ppx_pt2_mob_b_prod_image

    These are what I hope to use for the roof. They appear to be made of the same steel that a lot of fabricators use for things like this, maybe we'll get lucky and find that they work...
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00JQYUR0E?ref=ppx_pt2_mob_b_prod_image

    Since my last update, I found, ordered and tried this...
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07KFR1FV9?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title
    However, it was not nearly as clean or flat as pictured- it was just another damn exhaust clamp, maybe not even stainless steel.
    The saddle was what I wanted, and if it had been as tall (and flat) as pictured it would've been another great option for us DIYers. The thickness was just about 5/8", which would have been perfect in our channels especially toward the rear.20200806_154555.jpg
    20200806_154633.jpg Oh well, back to the drawing board!
     
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