Project XXX

XXXpedition

Explorer
sorry for the delay - the bottom paragraph will tell you why...

hi rob,
thanks for the compliments. always glad when we are able to inspire people!!!
travelling is such a great hobby, doing it away from it all makes it even better.

lights:
one set is celis (the one with the standing light ring - the rest is high beam)
and then i have fog lights to get a wide beam effect.
the rear are ralley lights. they gave them to me because they were new. not ideal for the back but they give more than enough as work lights :)))))

yes the trailer plug is for the lights. i bought them in a boat shop. i was affraid that the wiring would be a bit slim, but those are bigger than the other ones i found and seem to work well enough.
to be honest, i don't use them all that much... for what i use them it's great.
_______________________________________________________

and what's up with me?
well, not that much...
after being unemployed for a few months - the timing was ironically great, as i could spend more time with my daugther - i am now self employed. it's working great, doing the same thing (architecture) although the stuff i do is not that much fun, but it pays the bills. but there's lots to do and i don't have much time left. a bit of ww kayaking and playing with my kid...
that's pretty much about it.
:-(
sven
 

XXXpedition

Explorer
so far:
The start was slow for various economic crisis reasons. But now Project XXX has been published around the world (USA, Down Under, Germany). 3 articles - 3 countries - we made the cover twice, once a small pic on the cover – 3 2/3 pages (US), 6 pages (Oz) and 3 pages (Germany) just for Project XXX!!!
We are happy with the coverage so far...
Sven
http://www.xxxpedition.com/Publications/PUBLICATIONS.html
 

Slartibartfast

New member
Hey there Sven.
I am looking at getting a roof rack for my JK and came across your build while researching things and I must say I am most inspired by your work! After having come across your project I am considering embarking on a similar build myself and I am wanting to work out a few details.

Firstly it appears the rack is quite independent of the roof itself so would work equally well with the Hard Top, Soft Top, or even no top at all. Is that correct? I see the "Freedom Panels" can be removed with the rack in place but I take it the rack would need to be removed to lower the soft top (which would intern require removing the soft top itself).

Another thing I'm curious about is how the hard top sits on the rack's mounting brackets. It appears you have small plates a few inches long and a couple of mm thick protruding outside the car with holes drilled at the points where the canopy's mounting bolts go through. The hard top then rests on top of these plates (rather than the tub of the car) and the rack itself is mounted on the protruding plates. My question is about how the hardtop sits on these plates. Given the plates are a few mm thick I can only assume there is a small gap a few mm think separating the hardtop from the tub all the way round. Does this pose any problem? Also I take it that rather than being supported all the way round the roof is now only in contact with four base plates but it seems this hasn't been a concern.

It appeared from your build blog that once you had a workshop to your self you were able to build the main frame in one day. Is that correct? Looks like a damn good day's work if you ask me!

And finally, do you think you could make an estimate as to what the cost of building such a project all up would be? I know you said you get the steel at a trade discount and by the sound of things you got a pretty good deal on the priming, but have you any guess at what kind of expense a lay person such as my self would be up for to complete a project like this?

I'll keep thinking about things more.

All the best,
And I love you work,
Slarti.
 
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XXXpedition

Explorer
hey slarti,
sorry for the long delay. i'm not that much on the computer lately...
you guessed pretty much everything right. i filled the gap btw. the rack supports under the hard top with a rubber pad - no wind noise or moisture coming in. i don't have a soft top but assume it would work. you would probably have to build it a bit higher to be able to open that with the rack on.

price: is difficult, since that is very different from country to country. i know here it would be around 2000€ for that being built. in the US i would get that cheaper, but than i have many contacts there... best way is to find somebody who has an interest in doing it (good luck).

and yes, we did build the basic structure in one day and the rst of the rack the next (two very long days), then the light boxes and jerry can holders came another time...

hope it helps
sven

ps: for quicker reply, please drop me an email...
 

Slartibartfast

New member
Thanks for that.

I don't acturly have a soft-top either but in my wanderings I've been told that mounting system is unlikely to work with one. The reason is that apparently, unlike the hard tops the soft-tops kind of 'clamp' onto the tub so unless those mounting plates are a very specific shape the clamps just wont work.

2000€ is a fair bit!
I know you were only making a very rough estimate but it's probably reasonable to assume any dreams of saving money by building your own is no doubt unrealistic and one builds there own to get exactly what they want rather than to save $$$.

Just for interest, after some further searching I came across this verry fine looking custom job:
The_Roof_Rack.jpg
And I'm thinking I might have a crack at replicating there design.

There are more images in this German site if anyone is interested: http://www.jeep4u.de/de/hf1-44.html
 

Slartibartfast

New member
Well after an awful lot of thinking, designing, re-thinking, re-designing (and not to mention a hell of a lot of bashing my head against Google's Sketchup) I have finally come up with a design I intend to build my self. Before starting on fabrication though I am just wanting to run my design past you fellas to see if there's any thing you may have come across that I haven't thought of.

I have decided to build my rack out of 2" tube and am planing to go for the same "On Tub" design you guys have done.


One thing I've noticed about both yours and the 'German' design mentioned above is that you both have the mounting place come out from under the hardtop but then have them bend down such that the roof rack joins the plate below the line of the hard top:

Is there any reason for that?

My intention is to run the mounting plates directly 'into' the roofrack tubes:



Because I'm using 2" tube there is not much space on that front mounting plate so I am planning to build a little bracket similar to the "Congo Cage" bracket:


Here is an example of the Congo Cage it's self:


Originally I designed the rack to come straight down the side of the A-Piller and mount on the side bolts but I was worried I wouldn't be able to fit a snorkel if I did that so I opted to come off the 'front' bolts then bring the rack out wider once it is well clear of the snorkel:



Other things I came across during the design is that the top of the hard top is a lot narrower than the bottom so it is essentual to have the sides of the roof rack "lean in" if you don't want it to look really silly ;)


I'm also planning to lean the side rails forward a little bit to follow the slope of the rear window:


I have also incorporated a bit of a makeshift ladder in to the design:


And finally, here is an image of just the rack itself:


I plan to order materials soon and start fabrication in a couple of weeks so if you or anybody else have any thoughts to contribute I'd be most grateful.


All the best,
Slarti.
 
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Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Well after an awful lot of thinking, designing, re-thinking, re-designing (and not to mention a hell of a lot of bashing my head against Google's Sketchup)
That looks amazing.

Completely off topic, but do you happen to have the JKU in Sketchup to share? I'd love to play around with a few of my ideas in there.

Thanks,
-Dan
 

Slartibartfast

New member
Completely off topic, but do you happen to have the JKU in Sketchup to share? I'd love to play around with a few of my ideas in there.
I pilfered it from a thread on JKOwners: http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70219
The file it's self was hosted on RapidShare: https://rapidshare.com/files/2915415233/JKU.zip

It's a good model but all but impossible to work with in Sketchup as it is so I used MeshLab to reduce the number of points and it became usable ;)


Edit: Here is a link to my project (which contains the 'simplified' model): https://www.dropbox.com/s/ty73ft4d89f8lrj/RoofRack.skp? m
 
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XXXpedition

Explorer
hi slarti,
that rack looks very good. one thing to consider first off (i didn't) is that the rack bars must be far enough from the windshield, that the wipers don't hit it...
why i bent the support plate under the hardtop: because the hardtop comes down a couple of inches below the horizontal part where the support sits. the way you designed it, you would have to notch the hardtop.
i did see that german rack at abenteuer & allrad. unfortunately he had the same idea ;-). i asked what they would charge for the custom built and they said 2 grand. i paid short of 1 grand doing it all myself. but then again - in germany things like that are generally more expensive.
i would go for it! it looks great, it works well, it turns heads - hey maybe you can build one for somebody else and charge 2 grand :)
hope that helps
sven
 

Slartibartfast

New member
Thanks for that Sven.

Wipers didn't even cross my mind but definitely warrant consideration. Thank you for the heads up.

It's unfortunate how the rim of the hard top drops below the edge of the tub, but I know exactly what you mean. It also looks pretty tight around that fuel inlet and the tube I'm using is pretty damn fat. Maybe I'll be able to put a bit of an S-bend in the plate. It's not a solution im too fond of so perhaps I'll end up partaking in a little notching - not that I'm too fond of that either. Hmm, I'll have to take a close look at it.

To me, two grand for the Abenteuer & Allrad rack sounds pretty good. Over here (Australia) you pay 2000 USD for just a Wild Boar or Gobi rack. I'd gladly pay 2000 (euros I assume) for that Abenteuer & Allrad. As it is I'm expecting to burn through $2000 on this project anyhow.

Thanks for your help and I'll keep you posted on progress.
 
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