Hello everyone, this will be my first initial post on the Wranglerforum.com. I utilize this forum as well as others quite frequently and I felt like it was time to give back to the community with something I think others might appreciate and/or could use as reference.
Well I am gearing up for a week camping trip to Big Bend Nat'l Park with my son and needed a way to carry more gear. Naturally I googled the topic and came across a slough of jy rack mods mainly including the use of Ford Explorer and XJ factory parts. I wasn't 100% satisfied with the high and narrow look and height of the posted Explorer mods, and cringe at the thought of bolting any thing Ford to my rig, so I ventured out to find a better fit. I spent a few hours at the junk yard with tape measure and came across the very sturdy and aero-dynamic roof rack of a 2001 Chevy Suburban. I haven't seen this done online and IMO I feel this is a lot stronger application as well as a way better fit to the contour of the YJ factory hard top, plus really looks like a factory option!
Rails were cut down to 48" from foremost bolt hole to rear most bolt hole on each side and I went ahead and measured and drilled all new holes for all 8 support braces that came from the suburban to utilize all 10 mounting bolts
I really like the width of this setup, the supports are a lot closer to the edges and corners for strength and bolt holes land exactly on the overlapped sheets of fiberglass reinforcing the weakest link up top
It being Sunday I will hit the hardware store tomorrow to pick up some fine thread nylon lock nuts and washers for inside, Ill post more pics as soon as I get it mounted back on the rig.
~Junk yard part only cost $40
~pop rear caps off and crossbars can be added/removed
~Measure 10X times before drilling as well as checking for square
~To avoid chipping cracking fiberglass with drill
-Apply painter's tape over area
-As I did, drill small pilot holes for every location, then start drill at high speed with little to no downward pressure to begin nice bevel, after the bit diameter is cut into surface, apply pressure until you hit the blue structure matrial, then let off pressure to ease bit through the inside of top