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Old 01-01-2018, 06:02 PM   #1
PortugalFocus
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Default Custom Aluminum Roof Basket Fairing

I've had a roof top basket for a while and it's been noisey. It's too much of a hassle to mount and unmount it when it's not in use, so I needed a fairing. After searching online, all I could really find were flimsy plastic fairings for $80 and they were all universal. I really wanted something a bit more and I wanted to make one, because, well, I could. I got a piece of 6061 aluminum and went from there.

Measuring the width of the basket & cutting down the piece to size. The main hurdle I encounter was that the front of my basket was rounded and my fairing was flat. The next small challenge was how to mount it. That was solved after a quick trip to the local parts store, Advance Auto in my case. I got a set of Energy Suspension sway bar brackets to mount to the main bars on my basket. Some Dormant hardware because it what they had and it also looked good. The rest was just a constant trek of mark, drill, deburr, check, fit & remount, over and over. Had I not had a sunroof, this would have been quite the task. I opted to keep it in raw aluminum after giving it a 45 scuffing with an agressive rolock disc. I may paint it black, I may leave it that way or try something else like a wrap.

I'm pretty satisfied with the result. I may try to get a piece that is taller in the future to get it closer to the roof line and cut down even more noise, but so far it's been a huge improvement.

Let me know what you think and what you think I should do with the looks of the fairing.

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Old 01-01-2018, 07:38 PM   #2
fdryer
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Custom Aluminum Roof Basket Fairing

Cool! Did it cut down on wind noise? If not completely noise free, perhaps another one behind and under the first one, plow like, to push air downwards and to the side?

I had to buy a Saturn luggage rack and then adapt a set of very old ski racks (from the '70's) to the rack. Ski racks bolted to a luggage rack so to speak. I had previously performed this graft onto a wagon with luggage racks so reconfiguring the same ski and snowboard rack was easy the second time around. Only this time I had to do some wire brushing and spray the original bare aluminum with black paint to hide the years of normal corrosion. Some metal cutting to rid the portions used to clamp onto old style roof drip rails allowed using my repurposed ski rack onto almost any roof rack. Some drilling and using stainless hardware (Home Depot) completes the grafting. Regular hardware corrodes and rusts, leaving rust trails. I reused my ski/snowboard rack because it goes across the full width of roofs so six pairs of skis or three pairs on one side and maybe a pair of sandwiched snowboards on the other side. One snowboard fits easily on one side. This leaves the trunk to hold everything else we drag to the slopes. The one thing that annoyed me was the whistling sounds from this setup. I finally experimented two years ago with cardboard to find and isolate the noise. The front luggage/ski rack disturbed the airflow enough to make whistling sounds. I went to home Depot and discovered the rubber floor trim used to cover sheetrock edges on the floor. Flexible and cheap. Cut outs where this flexible rubber fits between ski rack and luggage rail with two bolts to each of the front ski racks holding this rubber piece and racks to luggage rail is my new air dam. No more noise. Everything in black and melts snow when Mr Sun warms it on sunny days. I posted pictures in the L-series forums.

I would suggest painting the bare aluminum as it will oxidize quickly and turn ugly after exposure to the elements.

Last edited by fdryer; 01-01-2018 at 07:44 PM..

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