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Old 11-17-2009, 01:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Heavy duty roof rack fits over hard top

Hi guys,

I've got a '96 Samurai that I'd like to fit a roof rack onto. I go surfing heaps and would like to take more boards and people as well as any other luggage I might need for longer trips.

I've also got a fibreglass two piece hard top that is slightly raised at the back. I'd ultimately like to get a cartop.com hardtop but they're a bit pricey!

The roof rack places I've been to suggest two racks fitted onto the fibreglass but I'm sure that wouldn't be very strong and they're $200 bucks each, so I thought I would be able to get something better.

The Calmini ones cost about $500 but I emailed them and they don't have the clearance for my hard top.

I live in Manly, Sydney and I've seen at least three Suzukis with custom type roof racks that look seriously sturdy and I've even left my details on the windscreen but noone's replied so far. I also saw one that was a custom rack with a basket in Rushcutter's Bay and spoke to the guy but he had picked it up second hand from a Vitara owner and actually had 2 (one for each of his suzukis) but was holding onto them.

Does anyone know the best solution for strong roof rack to be fitted onto a suzuki samurai with a fibreglass hard top??

Or know where to get a custom one made up?

I'd really appreciate any help..

Thanks,

Olivia
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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being an avid surfer myself, I would recommend that you use soft racks. A hard rack on the fiberglass top is going to require drilling, mounting, and sealing. Then the stress of the load and the wind against it will all be placed on the mounting points of the rack unless you strap your load to hard points on the vehicle. In order to properly mount a rack on a fiberglass top, you would need a sturdy rail system to distribute the weight over a larger area of the top. On a two piece top, that means your rail will be about 1/2 meter long, kind of pointless.

Soft racks are perfect for keeping the board off of the surface of the top, but don't damage your structural integrity. You will still need hard mounts on the vehicle for tie downs for your surfboard though. The step bar/trailer hitch mount under the rear bumper is a good mounting point for a rear strap and is easily fitted with an eyelet. The front strap can go around the door jambs and meet together inside the vehicle.

Don't use a hard mount on your roof unless the top is reinforced for it, and you can use the whole length of the roof line for your rail.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Hi Baratacus,

Thanks for your reply.

I don't want to drill into the fibreglass as you say and soft tops are allright for boards but not much else. I was hoping to fabricate something like the one above. I've got one quote for 4grand australian which is outrageous. To order the one above is 550 or so for the rack and 680 to ship!

I was just hoping there might be an cheaper solution.

Any ideas?
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah the soft racks are pretty much for boards only. You might get a luggage pod that you can lash down or something similar. Otherwise you that picture you posted is probably the only way your going to get a structurally sound rack up top.

Low range off road makes a nice one that looks a lot better than the comperably priced calmini one. Pluss you can remove your hard or soft top without removing the rack.


Shipping to australia is a killer. Too bad you don't have local shops that can build this stuff for a reasonable price.
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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That one looks awesome. I like the idea of being able to take off the roof when I want without having to dismantle the roof rack too.

I've emailed Low-Range Off Road and so hopefully we can arrange something for a good shipping deal.

Thanks for your help mate!
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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now would be the best time to buy from america, our (australian) dollar is quite good atm
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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True! It can be my xmas present to myself.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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if I could afford it, I'd buy one for you! I drive a Samurai though, so obviously I can not afford it. Always glad to lend a hand to a kindred spirit. My samurai and my surfboard are my two most cherished posessions.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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id LOVE a rack like that second one... however id like one thats easy to remove and doesnt leave big easily visible holes in the car
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Just about any exo cage type rack system for the convertible top samurai is going to require drilling. The tin top samurai has a couple bolt on options where you don't have to drill. Holes are easily plugged with a screw or cap and can be made to look like they were supposed to be there. I've got a few "extra" holes in my rig and plastic press-in body pannel rivets seem to be perfect hole covers for them.
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