DIY COST: $223.00 Total Material
Time Spent: 2 days (after securing supplies)
Difficulty Level: Not for "Tim 'The Tool Man' Taylor"
One common problem those of us without Slingshot trailers have when planning a road trip... Where/ How will I be able to pack ALL the wife's "essentials", roadside emergency kit, tools, and couple of pair of socks for myself? I honestly figured someone would eventually design a solution for my current set- up. I like my top. I really really like it. Short of the Corbin Saddlebag modification; the current aftermarket luggage racks offered do not work with these tops. I went in search of a professional fabricator business - apparently, my requests did not yield the minimum dollar sign amount for any local fabrication shops here. Many of you have offered up some ingenious ideas and suggestions, to which I also offer a DIY solution to this problem.
Please Note: This is what I did to my Twist Canvas Top. If you elect to follow this DIY; you accept full responsibility in doing so. In other words... NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR TOP, BUSTED KNUCKLES, OR MISSING LIMBS!
Finished Pic Without Canvas:
My top is the original Gen 1 Twist Dynamics Canvas Bimini Top. The BulletSpeed Canvas Bimini Top is almost identical; with the exception of how it is mounted to rollbars. This DIY should work with the BulletSpeed however, clearance for the clamps which measure 1 3/4" W needs to be checked between the front cross bar just before the bend - turndown support.
Steel Bolt On Clamps 1.75" - 1- 3/4" Universal Roll Cage Mounts $67.50
Reese Rooftop Cargo Basket $88.77
Rustoleum Truck Bed Spray paint -1 can $6.50
Galvanized Steel Conduit - 1" x 10' - 1 pc $9.90
Wooden Dowel 7/8" x 4' - 1 pc $3.78 ( I only used 8" )
Threaded Rod 3/8" x 16TPI x 24" - 1pc $8.99
PVC Pipe: 3/4" x 2' - 1 pc $ 1.63 ( I only used 8" )
Cap Nut: Zinc Plated 3/8" x 16TPI - 4 pcs $ 5.12
Stainless Steel Nut: 3/8" x 16TPI - 14 pcs $5.88
Loctite Blue - In Toolbox
RTV Silicone Sealant - On Shelf In Garage
Rubberized Material Saved from Wife's Last Clean-up $Priceless
1.) The Clamps:
It is recommended to use a drill press for this step, as the finished holes needs to be drilled straight, however it is possible that a jig could be made for use with a hand drill.
Clamp size is 1 3/4" W x 2.5" Outside Diameter x 1.75" Inside Diameter x 3/8" Collar
2. Drill the Hole Centered Using A HSS (Cobalt) 5/16" Drill Bit . Thread Using A 3/8" x 16TPI Tap.
3. Cut the Threaded Rod For Appropriate Clearance:
With the Reese Rack I chose, I made my cuts after considering height clearance from the bottom of the Reese cartop basket to the canvas top, also the two center crossbars on the Twist top are elevated above the outside Twist top frame. I originally cut 4 pieces of threaded rod to 4" in lengths. After a mock fit-up; my final length for each piece was set at 3" lengths.
Screw the threaded rods into each of the clamps til it is flush with the inside of the clamp surface. Thread on a 3/8" x 16TPI nut on each of the threaded rods, all the way down to the clamp and tighten. This will lock the threaded rod into place.
4.) Mount The Clamps In Position For Mock Up:
Using a durable rubberized material, such as an inner tube from a tire repair, cut 4 strips approximately 1 3/4" wide x 6 1/4" long. This allows for a 1/2" overlap of the inner tube on itself. To make it easier; using electrical tape, make one wrap around the center of the inner tube to hold these to the rail. The tape will be covered by the mount. The inner tube should be positioned forward of the two crossbars, avoiding the frame welds. Now mount the clamps over the rubber to prevent marring of the Twist top frame. Tighten clamps evenly to the point that the mounts can be moved with some effort. Then using a level, align the threaded rods in the mounts to a straight / vertical position.
5.) Measure The Distance -Left to Right- To Determine Distance Between Holes for Conduit / Rail:
and the Total Lengths Needed for Next Cuts.
Measurements should be taken at base of threads on the mounts.
These were my measurements for drilling the conduit / rail for assembly to mounts:
Front Conduit / Rail - Center of thread to Center of thread - 37 1/2"
Rear Conduit / Rail - Center of thread to Center of thread - 33 3/4"
You can make the conduit / rail any length you want.
I decided to add an additional 1 inch to each end; preventing a protrusion that might cause injury.
Front Conduit / Rail - 39 1/2" total length. Drilled holes 1" from each end of bar.
Rear Conduit / Rail - 35 3/4" total length. Drilled holes 1" from each end of bar.
I used an angle grinder to cut the lengths, then sanded the ends to remove burrs.
To give the hollow conduit more strength at the assembly points, and prevent collapsed conduit; I installed a 7/8" wooden dowel 2" long into the cut ends. Added bonus: No Whistling From Wind! I flared the end of the conduit using a 1/2" drive socket extension. I placed the end of the conduit on a wooden block, then installed into the flared end, the socket extension and tapped with a hammer. This flared the cut ends of the conduit just enough for the wooden dowel to be tapped into place using a rubber mallet.
6.) Drilling The First Hole of The Conduit / Rail For Assembly To Threaded Mounts:
Find the center of the width for the conduit. Drill the hole in - straight and vertical. Do not use the same size drill bit as the threaded rods.. you will have fitment problems by doing so. Instead, use the next size larger. With the 3/8" threaded rod; I stepped up one size to a 25/64" drill bit.
6.1) Drilling the Second Hole Of The Conduit / Rail For Assembly To Threaded Mounts:
Crucial: The second hole must be perfectly aligned with the first hole drilled. Unfortunately, I failed to grab a picture of this the first time so this is a "mock" picture of what I did. Using a flat piece of wood, drill a perfectly straight / vertical 3/8" hole into the wood. Insert a piece of the left over 3/8" threaded rod into the hole you drilled into the wood. Now slide the first hole down the verticle rod and your second hole alignment will match to the first hole alignment.