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simple / cheap cross bar rack for bed

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by markair, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Jan 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM
    #1
    markair

    markair [OP] Never A Bad Time To Ride!

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    Mark
    Phoenix, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2008 Tacoma PreRunner TRD Sport
    Thule/Yakima/Inno snowboard and bike rack for the bed - K&N air filter - LED license plate lights - limo tint on rear and back windows - N-Fab light bar - PIAA driving lights - Redline Tuning hood struts - HID/LED headlamps
    I searched TW for ideas on how to do this. I saw several great ideas, but a lot of them required more work than I wanted to do and some were expensive and I wasn't ready to drop that kind of money (yet) for a rack.

    Supplies:
    58" Thule cross bars $65-$70
    1/4" - 20 x 3" bolt (x 4) $1.28
    1/4" nut (x 4) $0.40
    3/4" steel spacer 1/4" inside diameter (x 4) $4.36
    1/4" washer (x 16) $0.80
    Total: $76.84

    #1 measure the distance from one cleat to the other. there are 1/4" holes on both sides of the cleat. that is where the bolt attaches to the cleat. There is no need to modify the cleat. Take that measurement and drill holes on each end of the cross bar. The holes will be off center so make sure they line up on one side of the edge. I did this so that the bar wouldn't be against the cleat knob. Matching up the holes in the bar to the cleat hole is the hard part. (measure twice, drill once) I used painters tape to wrap around the bar so I could easily see my mark for drilling. I just used a 12v cordless black & decker drill.

    #2 install your bar and hardware.
    Order of install: bolt/washer/Thule cross bar/washer/steel spacer/washer/bed cleat/washer/nut

    #3 install your rack accessories. I have a Yakima Fat Cat 6 and one Yakima BOA bike rack installed. You can losen the cleats and move the cross bars to your liking.

    #4 hit the trails!

    Suggestions after doing this project:
    - use rectangular cross bars.
    - use the strongest washers you can find to prevent any bending when tightening the hardware.
    - paint the hardware black to match the cross bar and cleats
    - find a way to lock the hardware in place so it doesn't walk away. maybe find a way to put a small padlock through the end/bottom of the bolt??
    - you can purchase square steel tube bars (not rubber coated) from your local metal supply company. If you're in Phoenix try www.industrialmetalsupply.com I got a quote for $31.70 for a pair.
    - I would get bars that fit neatly inside the bed so that they lay on top of the cleats. you wouldn't need the steel spacer and it would be sturdier. you could probably cut off an inch from the 58" Thule cross bars to achieve this (measure first!).

    I'm always open for suggestions, feedback or pics of your bed rack project. Next step, I'm looking to attach a shovel, truck jack and a fire extingisher somehow.

    P1010037.jpg
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  2. Jan 7, 2012 at 3:59 PM
    #2
    DIVERMAN

    DIVERMAN Well-Known Member

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    Tailgate theft prevention, Locking rear window, Blind spot mirrors, Fogs on anytime, Rear diff breather relocated, Bed storage locks, LEDs in/out, Relocated trailer plug(custom!), OEM bed mat, OEM running boards, OEM bed divider, Bed lights, Rev lights, Raptor lights, WeatherTech floor mats and window vents, Extra D-rings, ImMrYo Bracket, UWS low pro black toolbox, Carhartt seat covers,
    nice man!
     
  3. Jan 7, 2012 at 4:20 PM
    #3
    aclauver

    aclauver Active Member

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    asheville, nc
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    this is a great and simple idea. just wondering how sturdy the bars are as in like are they shaky at all? if i grab that bar and give it a pull how secure does it feel?

    i wanted to do something like this for mine but ended up getting a yakima rack for the cab and now i don't want to take it off cause it will look naked up top lol. but this will help for other situations such as a separator bar or just more ways to tie down luggage. i think i'm going to do this this weekend!!
     
  4. Jan 8, 2012 at 6:39 AM
    #4
    markair

    markair [OP] Never A Bad Time To Ride!

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    Phoenix, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2008 Tacoma PreRunner TRD Sport
    Thule/Yakima/Inno snowboard and bike rack for the bed - K&N air filter - LED license plate lights - limo tint on rear and back windows - N-Fab light bar - PIAA driving lights - Redline Tuning hood struts - HID/LED headlamps
    I thought about putting my gear up top, but thought it wold look funny and be hard to get at. I don't plan on using my bed that much except when someone says they need to move (then I'm busy). Plus I live in an apartment and my parking spot has a low ceiling.
    After I put the cleats in place, tightened them and the bolts were snug it was super sturdy. I was actually surprised myself. There's a little movement if you jerk on them hard enough, but nothing to worry about at all. I'm searching for someone with a saw to trim my bars so I can lay them directly on the cleats. This would be even sturdier. This is my first how-to and I'm still learning the TW features, so maybe I can figure out how to post a video and show it in action. Let me know if you need anything else.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2012 at 6:49 AM
    #5
    DEEVON911

    DEEVON911 Semi-Pro

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    Great idea and write up OP, and great looking truck!
     
  6. Jan 8, 2012 at 7:02 AM
    #6
    PSJ

    PSJ Prerunners Work

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    Looks good- I can see making a "mounting plate" which attaches simular as the Factory bike mounts that attach to our cleats, which may be able to hold more weight if someone had a need. Does Thule make a end cap to fit over the cut ends?
     
  7. Jan 8, 2012 at 7:40 AM
    #7
    markair

    markair [OP] Never A Bad Time To Ride!

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    Phoenix, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2008 Tacoma PreRunner TRD Sport
    Thule/Yakima/Inno snowboard and bike rack for the bed - K&N air filter - LED license plate lights - limo tint on rear and back windows - N-Fab light bar - PIAA driving lights - Redline Tuning hood struts - HID/LED headlamps
    Not that I found. Toyota did from what I've found, rare find now. Seems like Thule/Yakima doesn't get that "custom" when it comes to attachments. I'm sure if you had a friend that welds, they could do it. I haven't found that friend yet. I'm kind of curious how those plates would work when loosening the cleats and moving them up and down the rail. With one pivot point mine seem to be easy to slide and maneuver up/down the rail.
     
  8. Jan 8, 2012 at 7:45 AM
    #8
    markair

    markair [OP] Never A Bad Time To Ride!

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    2008 Tacoma PreRunner TRD Sport
    Thule/Yakima/Inno snowboard and bike rack for the bed - K&N air filter - LED license plate lights - limo tint on rear and back windows - N-Fab light bar - PIAA driving lights - Redline Tuning hood struts - HID/LED headlamps
    Thanks man! It's nice walking out to the parking lot and seeing your truck waiting.
     
  9. Jan 8, 2012 at 7:54 AM
    #9
    booboy

    booboy Well-Known Member

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    Great idea!
     
  10. Jan 8, 2012 at 8:47 AM
    #10
    chriss

    chriss Well-Known Member

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    Looks good.
    If you cut a little length off the crossbar could you eliminate the lift spacer?
     
  11. Jan 9, 2012 at 4:04 PM
    #11
    markair

    markair [OP] Never A Bad Time To Ride!

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    Thule/Yakima/Inno snowboard and bike rack for the bed - K&N air filter - LED license plate lights - limo tint on rear and back windows - N-Fab light bar - PIAA driving lights - Redline Tuning hood struts - HID/LED headlamps
    Yes and it would provide a more solid of a surface to sit on.
     
  12. Jan 9, 2012 at 4:05 PM
    #12
    davidpick

    davidpick NWXPDTN

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    looks good! very innovative!

    like a sucker, i ended up shelling out for some yakima control towers and landing pads. oh well... :)
     
  13. Jan 10, 2012 at 5:29 AM
    #13
    markair

    markair [OP] Never A Bad Time To Ride!

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    Thule/Yakima/Inno snowboard and bike rack for the bed - K&N air filter - LED license plate lights - limo tint on rear and back windows - N-Fab light bar - PIAA driving lights - Redline Tuning hood struts - HID/LED headlamps
    I was looking for a quick fix since our winter in AZ is pretty short. But, there's several times I've overpaid for new stuff. Oh well!
     
  14. Jan 10, 2012 at 5:40 AM
    #14
    Airun

    Airun Well-Known Member

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  15. Aug 25, 2013 at 3:08 PM
    #15
    markair

    markair [OP] Never A Bad Time To Ride!

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    Thule/Yakima/Inno snowboard and bike rack for the bed - K&N air filter - LED license plate lights - limo tint on rear and back windows - N-Fab light bar - PIAA driving lights - Redline Tuning hood struts - HID/LED headlamps
    Just an update: I removed my homemade crossbar rack and installed INNO C-channel brackets. First, it was a little hard removing all the hardware for my previous rack. So, stealing wouldn't be a quick and easy job. That was nice to know.
    I went with the INNO system so I could free up my bed cleats. Only issue with INNO is the security isn't up to par. You'll have to be a little creative to secure the INNO system to your truck. I also wish it came in black that way it would blend into your bed a little more. Lastly, it would have been nice it was a little lower profile. But, besides those little issues they are good and easy to use.
     
  16. Aug 25, 2013 at 4:17 PM
    #16
    markair

    markair [OP] Never A Bad Time To Ride!

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    Thule/Yakima/Inno snowboard and bike rack for the bed - K&N air filter - LED license plate lights - limo tint on rear and back windows - N-Fab light bar - PIAA driving lights - Redline Tuning hood struts - HID/LED headlamps
  17. Aug 26, 2013 at 3:40 PM
    #17
    Deuxdiesel

    Deuxdiesel Well-Known Member

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    When I had a set up similar to this on my '09, I had bars long enough that they rested on top of the bed caps, so that the weight of the cargo was better supported. If all you are doing is a few skis or boards, the OP's set up is clean and slick looking. For heavy loads- two Yakima cargo pods side by side, each with over 100 lbs in them, on top of the caps felt more secure.
     
  18. Aug 29, 2013 at 3:09 PM
    #18
    freddial

    freddial Member

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    I like the original idea and it inspired me to try something. I had a pair of never used Thule bars 64 inches long. They overlap the sides approx. equal to the width of the plastic top of the bed side. I'm gonna use 1/4 " carriage bolts and hog out the top hole in the bar with a Demel tool just a little so the square end can engage. Also putting a slighty larger O-ring on the carriage bolt which can then squish down and make it waterproof. This way the bars are supported by the bed sides and should be much sturdier. BTW, you can find Thule plastic end caps very easily. I found some from Art's Cycle Supply for $6.95 for four. I got two sets since I know I'll end up losing at least one. No pictures yet, since right now I'm mostly brainstorming. Thanks to the OP for posting and getting me thinking.
     
  19. Sep 2, 2013 at 7:05 AM
    #19
    markair

    markair [OP] Never A Bad Time To Ride!

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    Thule/Yakima/Inno snowboard and bike rack for the bed - K&N air filter - LED license plate lights - limo tint on rear and back windows - N-Fab light bar - PIAA driving lights - Redline Tuning hood struts - HID/LED headlamps
    I agree, letting the cross bars lie on the bed offers a lot more support. For now I don't plan on putting much weight on them (snowboard, bikes, raft, etc.). I wish the INNO system allowed that. Please post pics. I'm curious how you guys go about it. Thanks for your feedback.
     
  20. Sep 2, 2013 at 8:57 AM
    #20
    jetta.the.hut

    jetta.the.hut B4nn3d

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    i got the 65" bars i think, the 55's would have put the bars inside the bed and i wanted it to as close to the rails as i could get in case of failure it would fail on the bed rail.

    it also leaves enough room with these for my camping containers go under them with zero issues. i'll post more pictures friday for my weekend camping trip kick offs.

    tacoma.jpg
     
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