Rack construction - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 07:51:AM Thread Starter
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Rack construction

I'm knee deep in "figgerin."

I got up and pulled out a plug over one of the roof rack attachment points.

It didn't end up looking like I thought. (Photos coming)

The threaded receiver is depressed into a small cavity. I'm going to ponder that a while.

Question: Are some of the other plugs in the roof covering access for wiring to the interior?

I'm going to run some wires for solar and LED lights inside the rack and want to make sure I get them to the right place. I'd hate to drill a hole if I don't need to.

2015 Transit Wagon 350 XLT, 3.5 Ecoboost, 3.31 limited slip, Medium height, Medium length, Tow package, dual batteries, 110 vlt, SYNC with CD, ...
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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 12:24:PM
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Not even the forum busybodies would have a problem if you used an extra mounting hole to run cable. Ok, they would get a little clenched, but it would pass.
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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 01:07:PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airedrifter View Post
Question: Are some of the other plugs in the roof covering access for wiring to the interior?
I think they are, i plan to pop one open this week for my solar install. The roof is not reinforced at this point, so it's probably not intended for mounting anything.

I suspect it is designed to route power for an emergency vehicle light bar.

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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 01:54:PM
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All of the plugs that are not the 8 for the roof racks simply pop out to reveal a round or rectangular/oval hole. Some are directly into a rib. Some are simply into the interior. I have only popped one, but it took a 1/2" snap in through connector. You can see the insides of many of these items from the inside, presuming you have not insulated the roof yet.

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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 02:21:PM
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On a 148" WB high roof there are 8 plugs that have tapped holes that are centered on the roof ribs.
There are 8 holes with plastic plugs without tapped holes. The front two oval holes are located above the roof rib that is about centered above the sliding door opening. The other 6 are directly into the interior. There are two about 7 1/2" behind the rib that is centered above the sliding door about 8" from van side. The hole on left side is round and appears to be the correct size for a 1/2" NPT electrical fitting. I will use that one to bring the solar wiring into the van. The second hole on passenger side 7 1/2" behind rib is oval. The remaining four are oval and are located between last roof rib and rear door frame.
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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 03:13:PM Thread Starter
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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 10:36:PM Thread Starter
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Rack towers, almost done. Ran out of welding wire on #7 . In the morning.


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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 02:42:AM Thread Starter
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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 05:28:AM Thread Starter
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Insomnia induced ...

A few observations about racks -- racks on a medium height, medium length wagon. And use my thoughts only as my observations not the gospel.

I can't tell much about the anchors. I will note that you will probably need to get an 8mm tap to clean the overspray out of the threads. I'm going to tighten stainless bolts to 10 ftlbs. Interestingly, I found stainless fender washers but not of sufficient bore to allow the 8mm. My son and I found out how difficult it can be to drill 8 stainless fender washers. Anyway, we're going to use the fender washers, split washers, and locktite.

I built all the feet/uprights/towers out of 1 1/2" square tubing with 1/8" walls (The same material as the frame.) on 3/8" 3"x5" plates. The footprints have a 5 deg. rake. So the feet have a 5 deg tilt to achieve square. The feet sit on a 1/4" poly plate and a heavy nylon cloth impregnated with pvc (known to me as material from a whitewater raft), on silicon directly on the metal.

A special note and note to self -- think things through. Thinking I was smart, I got my wife to assist in determining how tall the feet should be. (Since we live on a hill with a sloping drive we drove to the car wash with two ladders for flat ground. LOL) Anyway we measured and put up a wooden model in the middle. We didn't think about the fact that the rear of the van has more bow. Fortunately, I have enough clearance. In fact, I wanted stealth and the rack fairly close to the top of the van. However, to be truthful, it ended up being closer to the top (in the rear) than I would have dared.

Yes the frame is heavy and I think very sturdy.

I'm going to wet blanket the top and get some friends to help put up the frame on the feet and tack em up there. We'll then take it all down and I'll weld up the feet, finish one more section, make mounts for the corner lights, some sort of deck plan, fold down kayak towers, then paint it and be done. (excepting the ladder...)

A blurry photo of the deck (almost done).

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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 08:15:AM
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Great photos and reporting Airedrifter! One small thought, do you want to drill small weep holes at the bottoms of your vertical tubes/towers, for water to escape? Maybe you intend to silicon the rack vertical connector legs when you insert them into the ones sticking up from the roof, but a weep hole in each tube at the roof can't hurt IMO.

The shot from above of the 8 tubes sticking up from the roof (on their own) gets me thinking that you could create alternative racks/platforms/shades/awnings/etc. which could use the tubes as support/connection points (without having to use the single large and heavy rack you have fabricated, although I understand that it too could be the basis for all these add-ons). Nice job!
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Last edited by PeterR; 03-17-2015 at 08:30:AM.
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