Thread: African Outback roof-rack time?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Posts
    334
    Just wanted to give you guys another option. The guy at BlackoutAZ will make you any size rack you want, much better construction, and very cheap.

    http://blackoutaz.com/racks.htm

    No affiliation, was going to buy one within a number of weeks, just thought I'd interject

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    48
    Brian,

    I bought the AO full rack with sun roof hatch and the full side rail. I also got the AO awing for the rack. I bought it just before I made the drive to North Carolina. The rack is awesome! I ran a half rack Conferr for many years and I have to say that the full AO is lighter and stronger than the conferr. Plus like stated above I bent the cross rails on the conferr with the weight of my gear. The AO will adjusted to different heigths so you can control how tall it is from the roof. I have mine so close that you cannot tilt the sunroof up or it will hit the rack. Just have to watch out for that! The rack is also pretty quiet on the interstate. The Conferr much louder.

    I researched for a long time on the AO, Hannibal and the ARB. Results in my opinion.
    The Hannibol was hard to find. The only place that I could get it was some Rover dealer in NY(shipping was more). The Hannibal does not have the slotted channels for the eye hooks(you will like these on the AO). AO price vs hannibal was around $300 more for the Hannibal(plus shipping price was more from NY instead of CO). The ARB rack is nice but very heavy. I did not want a steel rack because I knew I would be moving back to NC and the thing would rust in no time. With the steel ARB you would always have to worry about scratching the paint and having to touch it up or you would get rust. I know this because my ConFerr rack was rusted from all the marks from the gear.

    I had my rack shipped from Slee to Portland for around $175.00(that included the awing which was a huge box). I picked it up at the airport and it fit in the back of my Tacoma.

    Hope this helps.

    Tim
    1994 Landcruiser, XXX Ready
    1997 LX450, sold
    2011 Nissan Xterra Pro 4X
    1993 XR650L XXX Bike
    2006 KLX 250S
    1977 Suzuki GS750
    1963 Honda Dream 305

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    109

    Default AO full rack

    Hi Brian,

    I have the AO full rack on my 80, and love its ability to be configured with various accessories and tie-down points that are reconfigurable on the rack due to its channel design. I went with the rack for reduced weight, carrying capacity, and configurability, and I have not been disappointed.

    As I have an auxiliary fuel tank and can carry 3 Scepter 20 liter water cans down low, I do not carry much weight up top - top-side is normally limited to my Maggiolina roof top tent and a large Pelican case to carry light-weight gear. While I know others carry fuel and water cans top-side, my preference is to have a lower center of gravity.

    I pondered the smaller half-size, yet saved my nickels and dimes until I could swing the full size. Glad I did.

    As far as getting it home from the freight hub, consider renting a trailer if you have a hitch set-up, or consider renting a van if you do not.

    Cheers,
    Cal

    Cal, W6CRH
    1994 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80
    South San Francisco Bay Area
    Los Gatos / Monte Sereno, CA

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,568
    Just saw this thread!

    I have the full African Outback rack and can honestly say that it is one of the nicest roof racks i have ever seen. Genius design and very well thought out!

    Its all aluminum and is about 1/2 the weight as most of the others too!

    The big plus for me was how modular it was. The upper rail can easily come off leaving a flat surface to mount a roof tent, and if you have the full rack, you can even put a small roof tent on it with a 1/2 rail and you have the best of both worlds.

    The Inti is also a very nice rack, but i personally didnt care for the layout of it and how its designed to basically be used with lights and jerry cans and such.

    I would never put lights or fuel on my roof, so that rack didnt make sense for me and what i like to do. Again, its a nice rack, but not for me.

    I would buy the AO again for sure, but if your into things looking pretty you might be disappointed because the powder coating SUCKS!

    It showed up chipping brand new in the box and is only getting worse. The design, weight and function of it, was so good that i overlook the chipping finish!

    Also, now that i have an Eezi-Awn 1800 mounted up there, it takes up almost the entire rack, so i now have the worlds most expensive roof rack mount!

    Thats my .02
    O.G. Portal Member # 183
    2012 Toyota Tundra 5.7L (Bike Caddy)
    2011 Suzuki Hayabusa (Sport Touring)
    2008 Honda CBR1000RR (Track Rocket)

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Nanny State
    Posts
    5,746
    Just occured to me that if you can sched buying something large from one of the home boxes that you can borrow or rent one of their pick-ups for cheep. Then just happen to swing by the freight hub.......
    I used to swerve around my hallucinations, now I drive right through them.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Gresham, Oregon
    Posts
    559
    Well, the biggest factor for me was cost. I've spent a ton of money purchasing this LC, then outfitting it with suspension, bumper, winch, tires, plus numerous other mods. So, as much as I'd like to act as though I won the lottery, I do have to keep expenses reasonable.

    So, I ordered the half-rack from Slee on Friday, which really should be called the 5/8th rack, because it's about 5/8th the size of the full size AO. Since this is larger than any rack I've used the past, I think it will work out fine. Also the rack may have to be removed on a regular basis if I can't fit in my garage, so ease of removal due to size was a factor.

    I've heard the reports of bad power coating. Slee only had grey in stock and since aluminum is naturally grey, I wonder if the chipped power coating will be as noticable with grey compared to black.

    Now to put that money saved getting this ARB locker I have sitting in my living room installed.
    Brian McCamish
    In Search of History Expeditions
    Gresham, Oregon
    1995 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80 (new expedition rig)
    1989 Toyota 4x4 truck w/SAS (retired expedition rig)
    www.brian894x4.com (Homepage)
    Our Land Cruiser FZJ80 Main Page
    In Search of History Page
    Abandoned & Active Railroads of the NW Page

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    El Paso Texas
    Posts
    1,779
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian894x4



    Now to put that money saved getting this ARB locker I have sitting in my living room installed.

    Congratulations on your purchase!


    Now you are planning in some lockers?

    Are planning on doing front/back lockers or just rear!

    I have been reasearching the lockers, however I am unsure if I want to do this or wait and change gears at the same time!

    Keep us posted on the install, i bet it will look great and will give the LC a different look!
    1997-Lexus-LX-450-Hankook Maximum Traction 34"x12.5"x16"

    1997-Venturcraft Camper Trailer-Hankook Maximum Traction 32"x9.5"x16"

    http://lexusallterrain.smugmug.com/

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    1,839
    If you are staying the same gears just adding the locker the install is a piece of cake since the Pinion will not need to be removed. Just need $20 worth of dial gage and holder from Harbor.

    Best site to look and learn.

    http://www.gearinstalls.com/
    97 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    86 Toyota 4Runner For sale
    Truck Build Thread
    Trailer Build Thread
    Grimmys Adventure Blog

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,568
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian894x4
    Now to put that money saved getting this ARB locker I have sitting in my living room installed.
    If you are even THINKING of regearing, now is the time. ARB's are somewhat complicated to install and you will save a decent chunk of $ doing everything at once!

    My .02
    O.G. Portal Member # 183
    2012 Toyota Tundra 5.7L (Bike Caddy)
    2011 Suzuki Hayabusa (Sport Touring)
    2008 Honda CBR1000RR (Track Rocket)

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Gresham, Oregon
    Posts
    559
    I have gone back and forth many times about whether or not to regear. I've decided...hesitantly...not too.

    Right now, the gearing seems perfectly fine for both highway and off road. My gas mileage on the highway has been between 14-15 mpg...which is surprisingly higher than I expected, and higher than I was getting before for some reason, so I'm thinking the Land Cruiser likes the slightly higher gearing. I don't know.

    I have more than enough power to pass anyone I need too and its races up the passes just fine. I do notice that going up long steep passes, the transmission seems to hunt in between 2nd and 3rd gear a lot, with neither really being ideal. I know that slightly lower gears will make it perform better in 3rd gear under these circumstances based on my experience regearing my truck.

    I may regret my decision after more weight is added, plus the roof rack. At this point, the only additional weight I anticipate though, is from adding sliders and some kind of steel rear bumper/tire carrier and some under armor like maybe a T-case crossmember. Beyond that, my build up is fairly complete.

    I also don't anticipate going taller than 33s. While 35s would be nice for some places, 33s work much better for the majority of what we do and on the highway.

    It's definately different than my Toyota pick up. The moment I went to taller tires with my truck, I immediately noticed the power loss and it was very frustrating. Then regained it by regearing. But then later when to even taller tires and again had no power, which caused me to regear a 2nd time. With the Land Cruiser I don't notice the difference at all thanks to the much more powerful engine. But then the difference between 31s and 33s is fairly minimal too.

    As far as lockers, this was also a tough call. Going ARB was a no brainer. I didn't want the hassle of trying to retrofit electric lockers. And I have plenty of experience with both LSDs and Autolockers to know that I hate both on street vehicles. Having both axles open under normal conditions on the street is a major advantage.

    So, that left me with deciding between two lockers or one locker. When I ran my truck, my final set up included a front ARB. After all that expense, I only used it a few times.

    So, I've decided to go just rear ARB for now for cost reasons. By not regearing it was an easy decision, because I can always install the front ARB anytime in the future, if/when I change my mind. Installing two ARBs is a chunk of change and its easier to justify it when spreading it out over time.

    With winter and snow just around the corner, I may end up going with a front ARB before next spring. If I can make it through winter, I'll probably do the front ARB as one of the last major mods, after sliders, under armor and probably rear bumper, just because it will be so rarely used.
    Last edited by Brian894x4; 10-01-2007 at 07:28 AM.
    Brian McCamish
    In Search of History Expeditions
    Gresham, Oregon
    1995 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80 (new expedition rig)
    1989 Toyota 4x4 truck w/SAS (retired expedition rig)
    www.brian894x4.com (Homepage)
    Our Land Cruiser FZJ80 Main Page
    In Search of History Page
    Abandoned & Active Railroads of the NW Page

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