The next stage of the build was done in a few all night missions. My buddy "Gerf" came over to help me get cracking on the roof rack. It was getting dark, tons of moisture in the air, and we had material to cut, bend and weld. Once again the DubStep music was brought up to rediculous volume, and we went for it. Gerf started by removing the factory roof rack.
Thankfully the torx head bolts were in the mood to cooperate!
Something we hadn't anticipated seeing was a section of the threaded inserts that stuck out past the roof line. This made our job a bigger challenge. Finally we removed the entire rack and had a blank canvas
It was decided that we would run some cold roll strip steel where the factory rails mounted. The idea was to make the holes large enough to fit over the exposed bungs, yet tight to them so the rack could not move. Brian did an incredible job measuring, marking and drilling all 12 holes. The rails fit snug and followed the roof line perfectly!
The next time we used the camera was when we were tack welding the first 1" uprights to the strip steel. You can see the moisture and that means some more shock therapy for me!
This is where things became a serious riddle. You see, nothing at my house is level, anywhere. So we had to make the uprights the correct height or the roof rack would lean either toward the front or the back of the vehicle, and with a side opening roof top tent, it would mean someone would be rolling into someone else assuming we parked fairly level. That and it just wouldn't look right. The problem was that the ZJ roof line is one huge rainbow. If it goes flat, I can't find where. So between the uneven ground, and the round roof line I had to do the best I can to guess the height of the tubes.
The bottom line is I told Gerf to take 1/4" off the front uprights and we were running with it. We ended up with the four main tubes to build off of. This was also meant to support the perimeter of the RTT
I added a few more tubes to the front and the back to add a little more storage space to the roof.
The next day after work we finally got to open the TJM RTT and make sure our measurements were correct
OMG, this thing was huge! The height wasn't going to change if I went with the smaller model, so I figured what the heck, might as well have some room! The TJM Yulara tent was really nice!
I couldn't resiste opening it up in the driveway just to see how big it was and how we were going to mount it
It comes with everything to mount it, and actually has a really cool extruded aluminum slider system included with the kit. I wanted it to mount as low to the vehicle as possible so I put the extrusions asided and decided to mount it directly on top of the perimeter tubes. This required us to make some flat plates that acted as corner gussets for all four corners of the perimeter tubes
With all four mounts in place we could finally put the tent on the roof and mark the holes and drill them in the tent
I was actually really pleased to see that the tent did not overhang the sides of the Jeep. We removed the tent, pulled the matress out, drilled the holes and then set it aside while I added some tubes to the roof rack. I decided to generate sort of a basket in front of the tent. This would offer a little bit of space as well as give me a place to mount an LED light bar eventually
It came out ok, looks a little weird without the tent in place, but I am cool with it