Introduction: $25 DIY Roof Cross Bars

Cars these days don't include the cross bars to go with your roof rack. The factory bars can cost upwards of $350 a set.

My mission was to make cross bars from readily available parts you can find at any hardware store.

The design is simple and easily removable.

Step 1: Gathering the Parts

After deciding on a general design in my head, i headed to the hardware store's plumbing section to see what i could find.
What i ended up with was;

1 - 10' 3/8"x16 threaded rod
2 - 5' 1/2" EMT conduit
2 - 5' 3/4" NSF poly black water line
4 - 3/8" hex nuts
4 - 1" galvanizes Clevis Hangers

this all comes to about $22

Step 2: Measuring and Trial Fitting

i loosely fit the clevis hangers to the rails to get an idea of where i wanted the rail located.

measure the distance from the inner face bracket to bracket. (in the picture, mine shows about 39 3/4")

Remember to measure both front and back! my bars were wider at the rear of the car!

take the measurement, add 1/2" and cut the threaded rod to length.

Step 3: Preparing the Brackets

For this step, i removed the brackets and glued rubber to the side that will be contacting the factory rails.
this will prevent the paint from being scratched later while mounting the bars.

Step 4: More Measuring and Cutting

after you have the brackets loosely mounted to the rails, insert the threaded rod that you cut to length earlier.

add 1 nut to the rod to hold it in place.

MEASURE the inner distance between the bracket again because the rubber padding may have moved the brackets alittle.

use this measurement + 1/8" to cut your EMT Conduit.

Step 5: Assembly With the Pipes

unbolt one bracket to slide the conduit onto the threaded rod.

cut the black poly water line 1/4" to1/2" longer than the conduit

the purpose of the black plastic pipe is to add a non metallic surface that will protect your luggage from scratches and also adds to the look of the bar.

no messy painting, no paint to chip off, makes it look like the whole cross bar was worth more than the $25 you put into it :)

Step 6: Finish It!

now that you have the bar assembled, reinstall the bolt into the clevis hanger and tighten

since i shortened the bolt threads, i was able to tighten until the nut hit the end of the threads

this step will force the hangers to conform to the shape of your factory rails

if your happy with the looks, repeat the process from step #2 on to make the rear cross bar