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Old 08-02-2017, 08:11 PM
Jason35 Jason35 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 227
Default Attaching roof top storage... to bed rails?

I am in need of some more storage on my ranger. the box has a full length toolbox that takes up the bottom 10" and I have nowhere for a spare tire that will fit. I have a canopy I use in the fall/winter/spring and with it I can't even fit so much as a pedal bike in the box.

I am thinking of some sort of a platform on the roof but I'm unsure how to attach it. I was thinking originally of using square tubing from the frame around the box and up but I figure if I could tie it into the bed rails that would be much nicer, I'm just unsure of how much weight the bed rail could support, especially when the weight is distributed all in front of the bed rails (over the cab).

Thats what I really want to know and as far as my plan is to put flatbar along the bed rail for however far I need to make it strong (2' maybe). then run 1" square tubing up from the end and tie into 1" angle iron on top with plywood in the angle iron. I will run another piece of 1" square tubing front eh back of the flatbar to the top of the other tubing on an angle as well as some sort of reinforcement where the tubing meets the angle iron. So as far as I can see the bed rail is the weakest link. Any thoughts on its strength? or any other ideas for mounting without running steel from the frame and around the box of the truck? And the canopy still needs to fit when its done (canopy is 2" narrower than the bed on each side which is why bed rails are exposed)

Thanks
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1994 Ford Ranger Splash. 4.0L, 4x4, 5 speed.Tracked MPG's - Totalled

1995 Ford Ranger XLT extended cab. 4.0L, 4x4, 5 speed. 2" suspension lift, 3" body lift. 33x12.50r15 bfg rubber on american racing wheels. Tracked MPG's
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2017, 12:43 AM
Undrstm8ed Undrstm8ed is online now
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Default Re: Attaching roof top storage... to bed rails?

You will have issues connecting the bed to the top of the cab. The both move independently of one another which is why anytime you see a truck with a cap on the back [insert Taco or Frontier, Full size brand here] you always see a rack for the cab and one for the bed cap.., OR a work rack that may extend over the cab, as far as the front bumper even but its supported by additional bracing from behind the cab and the bed itself.

if you attach it the way you explained and I am picturing you could potentially tear into your roof line like a tuna can if it cant flex independently. Toyota Tacos also use C channel frame much like the ranger, where the Frontier has a completely Boxed in frame bumper to bumper...
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2017, 05:33 PM
Jason35 Jason35 is offline
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Default Re: Attaching roof top storage... to bed rails?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undrstm8ed View Post
You will have issues connecting the bed to the top of the cab. The both move independently of one another which is why anytime you see a truck with a cap on the back [insert Taco or Frontier, Full size brand here] you always see a rack for the cab and one for the bed cap.., OR a work rack that may extend over the cab, as far as the front bumper even but its supported by additional bracing from behind the cab and the bed itself.

if you attach it the way you explained and I am picturing you could potentially tear into your roof line like a tuna can if it cant flex independently. Toyota Tacos also use C channel frame much like the ranger, where the Frontier has a completely Boxed in frame bumper to bumper...
I wasn't planning on attaching it to the roof at all, but just to the bed, after some thought I think the only way to make it strong enough would be to go the whole length of the bed rail with the mount. Still a lot of strain on the bed rails
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1994 Ford Ranger Splash. 4.0L, 4x4, 5 speed.Tracked MPG's - Totalled

1995 Ford Ranger XLT extended cab. 4.0L, 4x4, 5 speed. 2" suspension lift, 3" body lift. 33x12.50r15 bfg rubber on american racing wheels. Tracked MPG's
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2017, 11:13 PM
Undrstm8ed Undrstm8ed is online now
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Default Re: Attaching roof top storage... to bed rails?

Not so much if you even the load down the length as well as across the bed. Look closely at the work racks. They'll have a piece of angled metal lay on top of the bed rail with a single side foam tape that they [should double up] place on the inside top to keep from scratching the paint, then the other portion creates a lip inward.
The rest is brace side to side front top and bottom, back usually has a removable bar with a clevis pin of sorts in case you had to put a fridge back there. The rest of the weight bearing is in the sides and across the top laterally.

If you did it right, you could make it so you still had a roll up bed tonneau cover even.

----------

What is your actual bed dimensions btw? im curious how much the beds have changed from my 93'..
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