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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone design and build (or have built) their own roof rack (over soft top)? I've seen the one from Olympic and a couple others, but don't like them for a few reasons:

1. They are too high above the top (maybe you can mount them lower?)
2. If you put lights across the top, you can't carry canoe/kayak (which is what I want it for).

I've only seen them in pictures, so I could be off base here. Seems to me if one was built which extended slightly forward of the windshield, lights could be mounted "hanging" from the rack, which would allow a canoe/kayak to be carried over the top of them. Guess you'd have to make sure the lights didn't hang so low as to restrict vision. Besides, it's fun to build your own stuff! Any thoughts?

How about custom push bar? A few friends have done dammage by running into unmarked cables across trails. Most of the ones I see in the catalogs are "wedge" shaped, which would seem to pop a cable up into the top of the grill or even the windshield, if it hits high, rather than down under the tires.

Thanks to everyone for all the helpful info; past, present, and future.

Happy Holidays,


Discussion Starter · #2 ·
What about the rack from Warrior Products? It has a "basket" on top which would allow you to mount light tabs to the front. You could mount your lights, put a canoe or kayak on top and still have the interior of the basket for storage.
But then you did say that you didn't want one too high.

95.5 YJ with "stuff"

1,736 Posts
Put one light on each side of the rack, and the canoe/kayak will sit in between them. You could probably even fit 4 lights, just leave enough room in the center for the boat.

With a soft top you will probably also want to make it a quick-remove design. I have seen some of these racks get rusty, and it looks like crap.

I'd make the front a hoop, off the tub/windshield, and a hoop in the back, and make the rack part removeable, then the front would essentially be a light bar when the rack wasn't there. If you design a swing away tire carrier for the back with it, you could make one slick setup with all three designed together.

I also know a guy who just straps a canoe to the top of his YJ, with no top on, right across the windhsield and the rollbar. I can't believe the w/s doesn't break, but...

Good luck

88YJ, 4"susp, 33"BFGMT, 9k#winch, rear homemade swingout, reb.258, 999, 4.10, weber32/36, GMHEI.

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have some ideas... but I'm trying to start a business to sell 'em with a friend... I think they're slick... of course, I'm my own best advocate, too..

John, sorry to hear about your jeep... let me know what it was....

a work in progress
[email protected]

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Chuck. As a fellow paddler I was in the same quandry about five years back and ended up getting the Olympic rack and have never regretted it. I also felt that the rack rode too high off the roof so I took a set of tubing cutters and shortened the top part of the rack (you'll see how if you get it) by an inch and a half in the rear, and about three quarters of an inch in the front. It rides about a quarter inch off the highest part of the soft top and looks great. I don't have lights on it, but you can easily mount them on it and just hang them upside down--an old paddling buddy of mine had them and it looked pretty cool. This rack is very solid and I have routinely carried six kayaks on it (full sized Dagger Outbursts, not playboats) with no problems at low speeds--just be sure to use some large washers on the front mounts. I used some u-bolts to mount a set of Yakima saddles on it for my boat, but this is not necessary, just a convenience. There are several other racks out there (check the link below--the Top Mule rack is just awesome!), but as far as cost vs. quality/function, the Olympic one is the best deal IMO. Oh yeah, a local welder wanted "around $500" to fabricate something like the Olympic one--way too much.

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That is an awesome rack, Do you know if they make one for the YJ as well.

93 YJ with stuff (and it is Blue!)

Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Olympic rack mounts using existing holes--two torx bolts on each side of the windshield are pulled and the front brackets mount there; in the rear, the brake lights are removed, brackets are put on using the three existing bolts, brake lights replaced and if you want you drill two additional holes through the body for two additional bolts. It is really quite a simple setup that works well /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif.

Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I heard that you could not take your soft top up and down without unbolting the Olympic or the WP rack. Is this true, if so how hard is it to make a quick release?

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