Luggage Rack Modifications

My first rack was a 6 X 6 foot rack, this was okay, but a little short for a tent. I later bought an used 6 X 9 rack and replaced the old rack.  Since then, I had bought some oval HID lights from J.C.Whitney and was not sure where I was going to mount them since they also required to have a ballast mounted close by.  Looking at the rack and the lights and knowing that in the past, I have knocked my older lights about with some of the trees and vines in my outing and I wanted to add a little more protection to my new HID lights. So I figured that I could place them behind the front rail of the luggage rack since the are low enough, but did not have any thing to protect them from the luggage on the rack.  So, I built a new section that would give me about 19 inches extra and part of that area would be for the lights and other odds and ends.

The new section causes the rack to extend over the front about 10 inches and has an aluminum deck on it for mounting lights and other equipment and adds a little extra shade on the front window. 

My HID lights where first mounted up closes to the front rails, but the mount of light from the HID lights on the hood at night was way too much, so I had to move them back about 6 inches so that the aluminum deck would act as a shield for the lights. 

Rear HID lights: I was not planning on spending $$$ for rear lights, but as it turned out, the round HID lights that I did get, caused too much glare to on coming drivers and I did not feel right about using them for normal driving lights, so I found a new home for them.  They make great flood lights for the rear and low power, only 3 amps each yet put out as much a lamps taking as much are 15 amps.  See the light section for more details on the HID lights.


 I did have some treated plywood  mounted on the rack and painted with some of the bed liner paint for pickup trucks beds to help make it last longer and easier to walk on. The deck it is also a great place for a tent, a 6 x 9 foot tent as you can see from the photos below. I had plans to do more with the decking and to finish of the edges, but it just didn't last. The photo the left was before it was painted.

April 2003, new Trex Wooden Deck. Much better then the plywood by far! The plywood and the bed liner coating didn't last 6 months before it became a mess. The new Trek wood started out as 8 planks,  1" X 8" each and 12 feet long. Cut up and laid across the rails, spaced about 3/8" a part so that I have access to the rails below to hook the tie-down straps to.  The Trex wood does not need painting and has a guarantee of 10 years of service and since for me it will not be in the sun for most if it life, it should last a lot longer. Also when wet, it is not slick like wood is. The planks are held down in to place by 1/4 (20) X 1" stainless steel flat head screws that are screwed in to the rails below. In the photos below I have only about 50% of the screws in place.  


Rear backup lights - HIDs!  super bright !

Front off-road driving lights specs.  See the section on lights for more detail info.

  This is just a drawing of the 6 X 9 luggage rack - nothing special in it.


     Old and new lights and rack    

The Hillary 6 X 9 tent from Sears.


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