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4Runner Roof Rack Project

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by erik530195, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Jun 22, 2017 at 4:08 PM
    #1
    erik530195

    erik530195 [OP] Instagram: @toyota_vintage

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    I have always wanted a roof rack on my first gen, and since an OEM one for the Tacoma is way out of my price range, I decided to follow @Ghost65 example and use a 4Runner rack since it is the most similar.

    Link to his project, page 3 post 47 is where it begins: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/geoyota-thule-canyon-xt-roof-basket-mount-4-22-17.367372/


    It took me far longer than expected to find a rack. I got ridiculous quotes from people who had them and were parting out, so I decided to wait until my local junkyard had one. After a few fruitless trips and a few hours working around stripped screws, I got this one above for $15. All screws and hardware included, gaskets too. I got 8 of the smaller crossmembers total. I will be putting one directly in front of the first main crossbar for the lights to go on, so that they will be low profile and not sticking up so much. I mainly intend on using it for lights, and I bought a kayak rack for a kayak. I will probably end up painting it gloss black.


    The 4Runner and Tacoma rooflines are different, with the Taco being more curved at the front. Instead of using a LOT of rubber to fill the gap, I will cut off 3-5 inches and use rubber for the remaining less substantial curve. I will cut directly to the right of the tape, and the rack will bend a bit more than the picture shows. I may end up using a slightly longer screw on the front to help compensate. Still have no idea what kind of rubber I will be using, but I want it clean.


    I will be using threaded rivets for the install, which is how it was done from the factory 4Runners. (I assume it was this way on the tacomas too, any info would be appreciated.) Its essentially a rivet with a threaded hole in the middle for a screw, in my case M5.


    It is very sturdy, I tried it in two sheets of aluminum and its not going anywhere.


    Any tips would be greatly appreciated. (Thanks so much to @Ghost65 for your help so far) My main problem now is finding a suitable type of rubber that I can cut to shape for the gap. Also, I need foolproof solutions for waterproofing, and painting the rack, rubber parts too possibly. I will post updates as they happen, right now I'm preparing to cut the rack to length using a dremel, then paint it.
     
    Buck18, nw_chris, Currygoat and 2 others like this.
  2. Jun 22, 2017 at 5:38 PM
    #2
    GeoYota65

    GeoYota65 Allergic to pavement

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    I didn't cut my rack tracks...wish I had.

    The rivet nut tool works great, and you can dab the fasteners you use with RTV clear silicione to seal them from water before you install them.

    I lightly sanded the factory rack (120 grit) and spray painted it matte black before I installed it, came out nice.

    Good luck man, glad some of my stuff was able to inspire/help you out.
    :cheers:
     
    SSG (03)TACOMA and Buck18 like this.
  3. Jun 22, 2017 at 8:12 PM
    #3
    gumbo-taco

    gumbo-taco Well-Known Member

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    @erik530195
    Looking forward to the post/write-up. I'm about to tackle this project myself. Where did you pick up the Rivnut gun and kit?
    Good luck!
     
    Buck18 likes this.
  4. Jun 23, 2017 at 11:33 AM
    #4
    Buck18

    Buck18 Well-Known Member

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    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg I installed a 4Runner OEM roof rack on my 01 DC. I cut 4 in off the front of the rack. It fits perfect. I used silicon under the rack at the bolt holes and also dabbed a little on the bolts before I installed them. No leaks whatsoever. I also talked to @Ghost65. He was lots of help. Measure 3 times, and line everything up, mark your holes, and remember. Take your time. Don't be in a rush!!!! Painted my rack semi- flat black after sanding it down with 120 grit. I followed his write up step by step also using a rivnut gun. Put some black electrical tape about 3/4" down the drill bit when you drill the roof. This will keep you from drilling holes into the headliner
     
  5. Jun 23, 2017 at 1:14 PM
    #5
    nw_chris

    nw_chris Outside Everyday

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    Gaahhhhh I have been wanting to do this also. Not worried about drilling holes in the roof but I have heard its just a piece of tin with no support...
     
  6. Jun 23, 2017 at 3:21 PM
    #6
    GeoYota65

    GeoYota65 Allergic to pavement

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    @Buck18 ...dude, that looks amazing. Nice job! :thumbsup:
     
    Buck18 likes this.
  7. Jun 23, 2017 at 7:02 PM
    #7
    vasinvictor

    vasinvictor Junkie

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    Oh this is nicely done! Can you take another couple pictures from further away. I'd like a good side profile pic to see how it looks.
     
    Buck18 and digitalferg like this.
  8. Jun 24, 2017 at 12:16 PM
    #8
    erik530195

    erik530195 [OP] Instagram: @toyota_vintage

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    @Buck18 we used different racks, since yours doesnt have screw holes in the end caps, but clean install! Do you have a close up of the front part, where the roof curve starts? And did you use any sort of padding under the rack aside from the rubber it came with? Also, did you just paint the metal, or the rubberish parts too like the crossmembers and plastic endcaps?

    Also, nobody seems to use the smaller crossmembers, any reason why that I'm missing?
     
    Buck18 likes this.
  9. Jun 24, 2017 at 12:17 PM
    #9
    erik530195

    erik530195 [OP] Instagram: @toyota_vintage

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    I must say that is my biggest worry. But the practice rivets I did are stupid strong, and my particular rack will have 14 of them total, so I think it will be fine.
     
    Buck18 likes this.
  10. Jun 24, 2017 at 6:59 PM
    #10
    Buck18

    Buck18 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!!
    I will take more pics and post tomorrow.
    I'll get some pics posted tomorrow.
    No padding under mine other than the OEM from the 4Runner.
    Painted all parts. Plastic and rubber. Sanded them all with same 120 grit sandpaper.
    From what I understand those are for handling weight if you were gonna place it directly onto the roof. I never plan on doing that. I haul a 14 ft 85lb Old Town Guide canoe on my rack and it handles it fine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  11. Jun 24, 2017 at 7:01 PM
    #11
    Buck18

    Buck18 Well-Known Member

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    Yes you'll be fine. Mine has only 8 and it's super strong.
     
  12. Jun 24, 2017 at 7:44 PM
    #12
    Buck18

    Buck18 Well-Known Member

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    After I cut 4" off the rack I placed it on truck and started moving it around to find the 'sweet spot' where the roof line and roof rack lined up The farther I moved it to the rear of the truck the better it fit I used a rack off an 02 4Runner If anyone needs a different or better pic let me know sorry for crappy cell phone pics IMG_0945.jpg Before I painted it IMG_0946.jpg IMG_0951.jpg IMG_0948.jpg IMG_0949.jpg
     
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  13. Jun 24, 2017 at 7:53 PM
    #13
    Buck18

    Buck18 Well-Known Member

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    More pics IMG_0953.jpg IMG_0954.jpg IMG_0956.jpg
     
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  14. Jun 24, 2017 at 8:05 PM
    #14
    2BeersPlease

    2BeersPlease Well-Known Member

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    Damn. That looks pretty f**king good. Well done, sir. :hattip:
     
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  15. Jun 24, 2017 at 8:07 PM
    #15
    Taco-bender

    Taco-bender Well-Known Member

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    Man, those Rivnuts are the best thing since...... Beer?

    I used them for the first time when I installed this wrecking yard rack on my off topic xB. Wish I had known about them years ago.


    IMG_20170429_184426547_HDR_zpsp42wm1gv_66b0a60a9cbc6863bae1d6ac59644190b87555ac.jpg
     
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  16. Aug 3, 2017 at 9:28 AM
    #16
    erik530195

    erik530195 [OP] Instagram: @toyota_vintage

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    Its pretty much done aside from wiring the lights and figuring out how to attach the front plastic pieces to the metal rack. Any ideas for where to run the wire? I really didn't take enough pictures, documenting it was the last thing I was worried about.

    The first hole, not easy to get over. I ended up rigging some rubber washers to keep from going through the headliner, had a few scares but I don't think I went through. Used a tap, then a very small bit, then the (9/32 I think) main hole.


    With a screw in, it does not leak water. I tested it before, and added touch up paint before doing the rivet, being sure to keep it level all the way through. I also added silicone to the top later on.


    To line everything up, I found the center of the roof, marked it in a few places along the lateral line, then did the same on the rack. The width of the roof increases closer to the front of the car and its impossible to measure that way (the distance from say the window to the rack on both sides.). I cut off probably 4-6 inches from the two main rails, and positioned it using a tape measure 7 inches forward from the back window, not including the plastic piece.


    After the holes were marked came time for the rivets.


    By far the biggest holdup apart from the preparation work was the stock rubber piece that came with the rack. It runs the entire length of the rack separating it from the roof. Since I cut the rack, I needed to cut the rubber as well. You may notice the rubber is forked on both ends to accommodate the plastic pieces. You must duplicate this by making the rubber completely flat where the plastic pieces will end up. (There are raised parts that keep the rubber in line that must be cut off for a few inches) Again, apologies for no pics, but I'll gladly answer any questions if you want to try it yourself.


    Due to the nature of the rivets, the rack does not sit flush with the body, and I wasn't expecting it to. This is not a tacoma roof rack, and the curves simply won't be the same. Unless problems come up, I will not silicone the entire length, since it could just trap water and cause more rust than leaving it alone.


    Again if anyone has suggestions on where to put the wire, don't keep them to yourselves. I really dont want to see it but I guess I have no choice. I may rig something up when I eventually buy one of those brackets for the third brake light that someone on here sells. A few tips:

    1. Assemble and make sure the rack is square before marking. Also bear in mind the main crossmembers can be made to slide over a tightened screw with some effort. The other crossmembers will not move over a screw, so bear that in mind before final installation. Also, the main crossmember is likely to cover up one screw at all times.
    2. I would measure 97897 times, then drill one hole, then position the properly assembled rack to mark the rest of the holes. Remember, the more holes you drill the less accurate they will be, so start with a middle one in case you mess up, then do the corners, then the rest of the middle.
    3.Practice with the rivnut tool. I myself went to a junkyard and drilled into a junker to get a feel for it and figure out where the headliner would be. You need to rig something to keep the drill from going all the way through. You cannot control it yourself, I promise you.
    4. TAKE YOUR TIME. This project has been six months in the making from the time I got my rack. And I still haven't painted it.

    Feel free to ask questions. And special thanks to @Ghost65
     
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  17. Aug 3, 2017 at 11:14 AM
    #17
    GeoYota65

    GeoYota65 Allergic to pavement

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    Happy to help...spreading the mod disease is what we do. :thumbsup:

    Roof rack looks really great @erik530195 ...well done sir.
    :cheers:
     
    erik530195 [OP] likes this.
  18. Aug 3, 2017 at 12:30 PM
    #18
    JPinFL

    JPinFL Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting this. I have been looking to do this, but have been hesitant due to not knowing a good way to mount the rack. Rivnuts. That looks like a great way to do it.

    Now to find a 4Runner rack.
     
  19. Aug 5, 2017 at 8:21 AM
    #19
    erik530195

    erik530195 [OP] Instagram: @toyota_vintage

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    Try the Junkyard and be patient. Don't pay over $50 unless its in perfect shape and always get all the hardware and pieces.
     
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  20. Aug 5, 2017 at 9:18 AM
    #20
    Dalandser

    Dalandser ¡Me Gustan Las Taco-mas!

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