For a while now I've wanted to make a platform for the top of my XJ. The interest was for two reasons. One being a space to camp out or simply use as a spectator's platform and the other to link it in to a hatch mounted tire carrier. I'm not a fan of the swing out carrier types nor do I have really any interest in hauling gear up there - so a basket is not what I'm after. So for this build, I aimed to make it as low profile as possible, slightly hang outboard enough to serve as a tree rub rail and maybe eventually tie in an internal cage down the road.
I'm not done yet, but far enough along to show what I'm doing and maybe motivate myself to keep after it.
The det's of the build are as follows: 1.75x0.095 wall DOM tube / 2x2x0.125 angle iron / JCR gen I gutter rail rack brackets. I'm planning to deck with 12GA perforated sheet but not for sure. Trying to keep weight down.
On with the pics!
Hoop bent up and welded - this is a 23' stick simply cut in two and bent to match each other. Sort of works out perfect.
After a bit of notching and drilling, I finally get the 2" angle iron to follow the form of the roof. Forgive the shooty pic.
You can see here with the angle iron notched for the tubing that there is a fairly significant bow to the top of an XJ. I cut 4 slits in one leg of the rail, bent it to follow the curve of the roof and then welded them back closed.
Closed and miter cut the angle ends.
Refitted to the truck and mocked in the tabs.
I'm not actually liking that they'll stick outside of the rail, so tonight I plan to cut these down so they're more underneath the rail rather. I think it'll look better too.
Here's the clearance at the hatch when it's open. This shows why it looks almost shoved forward a bit. I think it'll all come together once I add the hatch mount tire carrier.