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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here's a review I wrote for BajaRack's FJ Cruiser Baja Rack... if anybody has any questions about the rack or wants any specific information, don't hesitate to post up or PM me! :D

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The market for FJ Cruiser racks is pretty well established with some popular and very sturdy options available to consumers. For $1K or more you can purchase a rack that will support about a billion pounds without so much as the slightest flex.

But the question is, why would you put a billion pounds on the roof? The fact is, most aftermarket racks are ludicrously overbuilt and designed to withstand loads that are comically unsafe for the roof of a truck. Generally these racks themselves weigh in the neighborhood of 200lbs and you have to ask yourself, how much of that $1,000 or $1,500 I paid for the rack is going toward unusable excess strength?

Enter BajaRack. Finally, a roof rack designed 'just right' for the roof of the FJ. At about $500 and only 40 pounds, it embarrasses the competition with its value and practicality. Consider that the Toyota factory rack is not very useful and $650....

Evaluation:
I used the BajaRack on a 40-day, 7,500+ mile expedition across Canada and down the Continental Divide with 1leglance of Disabled Explorers. The rack held my roof top tent (100+ lbs), 2 jerry cans, a larger water can, and tools (axe/shovel and HiLift jack). Here it is all loaded up:



The first order of business before leaving for the trip was to test the published 300lb weight capacity. Incidentally, I weigh exactly that much! So here it goes... drum roll, please!



Success! The rack supported it's maximum rated capacity just fine. In fact, with me in the tent each night the load on the rack was closer to 500lbs. Of course I don't recommend exceeding the manufacturer's recommended max weight, but it's worth mentioning.

The only abuse the rack was not up to was my standing in the center of the floor. My weight was enough to flex the floor into contact with the roof. I was able to stand near the edges without incident and that's good enough for me. But really, not being able to have a 300lb man stand at the least supported point of the rack is no loss to me.

Fit and finish on the rack is exceptional. The feet of the rack are adjustable to ensure easy installation. The wind deflector has upper and lower peices which effectively eliminate wind noise.


Image credit: mbisson

There's an interesting story about how I got my rack, too. Sergio, the owner of BajaRacks, generously sponsored Disabled Explorers a rack for my truck to be used on the Continental Divide Expedition. However, the date of the trip and the availability of the rack didn't look good. Knowing that we needed the rack quick to be able to do the trip, Sergio literally took the rack off his own truck and sent it to us!! Very impressive!

Available from BajaRacks are mounts for tools (axe/shovel), HiLift mounts, a spare tire caddy, and lighting options.


Image credit: bajarack.com



Pros:
- Costs LESS than the stock roof rack and less than half of most aftermarket racks
- Lightest rack on the market
- Will hold up to heavy use (roof top tents, etc)
- No noticeable wind noise

Cons:
- No roof top dance parties

The Verdict:
The question I had in my head when I heard about the BajaRack was, "what are you giving up for it to be so light and inexpesive compared to other racks?" The answer is nothing, really. This rack is awesome. For less money than the weird sort-of-useless U-shaped factory rack, you can have a full-size steel rack with a floor. It's a no-brainer!!

More information on BajaRack.com
:: Baja Rack ::
 

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quick question... i really want to convert to this rack.
how much more height did this one add over the stock rack?
... appreciate the review. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
quick question... i really want to convert to this rack.
how much more height did this one add over the stock rack?
... appreciate the review. :)
I was parked next to an FJ with the stock rack and it looked like the overall heights are very similar. I can't say for sure, though... I'll measure and post up some better info.
 

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Nice review Mike. I saw this rack on mbisson's rig and it looks good. How does the rack sound on the road? Was it about the same as stock or can you notice any difference?
 

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Our rack is 0.5" higher that the stock rack.
In regards to the wind noise, adding the second wind deflector decreased the noise substantially, I would say that is the same as the stock one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nice review Mike. I saw this rack on mbisson's rig and it looks good. How does the rack sound on the road? Was it about the same as stock or can you notice any difference?
I've got GY MT/R's which make a little bit of noise on the road and couldn't hear anything from the rack above them. For sure the rack doesn't have any whistling, rattling, or other very problematic sounds. I really suspect that the rack makes virtually no noise, I wasn't able to detect any changes in noise even on the highway after installing it.

-----UPDATE-----

I had a 180-lb dude jump on the floor of the rack and he was fine walking around on it... so maybe the no dance party comment is only for the seriously large crowd like myself. :lol:
 

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Mike, thanks for the review, you are the ultimate field tester! "If Mike can't break it, nobody can"! your picture in the FJBR brochure is great. Keep up the great work, and Thanks again....Cris
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Does it have crossbars that easily allow you to carry surfboards?
That's an interesting one.... you mean cross bars that go side-to-side across the very top of the rack?

I've never surfed, is the board longer than the roof?
 

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I got mine this week and think it's terrific!

Review:

Service - Excellent. Good communication, met commitment, smokin' deal.
Packaging- Superior. Zero damage
Quality - Excellent. Fit and finish perfect. Great welds and high quality powder coating.
Installation - Super easy. 90 mins by myself (except for the 10 seconds my son helped me lift it).
Sound - Not sure yet. No rattles or squeaks. Seems quieter than stock except sometimes I get a resonant hum...I think. I retightened the bolds and am going on extended freeway trip today. We'll see.

All in all I an *very happy with my purchase. Clearly a "why pay more?" situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I got mine this week and think it's terrific!

Review:

Service - Excellent. Good communication, met commitment, smokin' deal.
Packaging- Superior. Zero damage
Quality - Excellent. Fit and finish perfect. Great welds and high quality powder coating.
Installation - Super easy. 90 mins by myself (except for the 10 seconds my son helped me lift it).
Sound - Not sure yet. No rattles or squeaks. Seems quieter than stock except sometimes I get a resonant hum...I think. I retightened the bolds and am going on extended freeway trip today. We'll see.

All in all I an *very happy with my purchase. Clearly a "why pay more?" situation.
Very cool! Thanks for sharing your impressions... :cheers:
 

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My question might be similar to the surf board question above. Are there side to side cross bars available for this rack? I need a roof system that allows for me to use my kayak carrier system that bolts onto cross bars. I don't see that on the bajarack website, but figured I'd ask in any event. Thanks for the information.
 

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You might have to modify the wind deflector or use a Yakima or similar bar in front, but the cross bar in the rear will work for those mounts. The tubing is 1" dia. thanks for your interest. Cris
 

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Installed the Bajarack over the weekend. It was packaged with great care, all parts arrived without a scratch. Took about 45 minutes to unbox and have the rack together, I'm slow with an allen wrench. I siliconed and wrenched the mounts fairly quickly. Took me about another 1/2 hour to place and wrench the rack on the mounts with my shorter brother in law. Easy install.

The rack is sturdy as hell, held my 250lb no problem.

Wind noise: none that I can hear.

Gas Mileage: I fueled up immediately after and I have not seen a drop in MPG over the last 3 days, street and freeway driving.

Compliments: Many!

I parked next to a few stock FJ's w\racks in parking lots, with the Icon lift\305 tires and rack I sit about 4 inches higher than the stock FJ's with racks.

Can't wait to load it up and hit the road. Sergio, Chris and the Jesus were so easy to work with, they called me immediately with prices and shipping dates.

Thanks BajaRack!
Ed
 
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