How to fit a Roof Rack

How to fit an expedition style roof rack to your Defender

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

July 21, 2015

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year
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This episode of FunRover TV will show you how to fit a roof rack to your Land Rover Defender. We’re fitting an MCB 4x4 expedition style roof rack. You can find these racks for purchase on eBay at reasonable prices.

ICON

Tools Needed

  • 17mm Spanner
  • Ratchet Straps

Fitting

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You’ll need atleast 2 people to fit a roof rack of this size. We like to fit the roof rack in the yard as it gives much more room to work with. Then it’s a case of lifting the roof rack on. Be very careful not to mark the roof with the legs of the rack. This is easily done!

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Some owners like to go from the front to the back, we always prefer lifting from the rear. For those who need to regularly remove the roof rack, we’ve seen owner's fit a pulley system to their garage roof to easily lift and refit the rack. This also makes use of wasted overhead space to store the rack when not in use.

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When sliding the roof rack along, be careful and ensure the legs are sat in the rain gutter. The Land Rover Expedition roof rack instructions say to position the rack 50mm from the rear of the bodywork for a 110 and 52mm for a 90.

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Next, place the clamps in each leg support and tighten the nut finger tight - this allows you to make fine adjustments as needed. On our rack there are 8 of these so work around the Landy, being careful not to drop those clamps as they will damage the paintwork! You’ll need a few spanners for final tightening of the rack, the MCB 4x4 rack uses M10 nuts which are 17mm.

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Tighten the roof rack down in a cross pattern. Gradually tighten each nut. This places the least stress on the frame and roof. It also locates the roof rack squarely. Go around the clock 2 or 3 times to fully tighten the nuts. You’ll feel how much they slacken off when you move to the opposing nut.

Ladder

Purchasing an access ladder is always advisable, but is possible to climb onto the roof without one, as shown here.

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If you have chequer plate on your wingtops, you can more easily reach the rack. Bonnet chequer plate too strengthens Puma & older models' bonnets to a point where they can be stood on. As you can see, without a ladder, it is a lot more difficult to clamber up on top. Getting down is safest at the front.

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There are numerous fixings available for bikes, jerry cans, roof top tents and awnings, but we’ll show you how to secure an unusual load. This boat is within the maximum weight loading for the roof of 75kg, this includes the roof rack. The roof will accept more weight, but it adversely effects the COG and therefore handling and safety of the Land Rover. Ensure all loads are as evenly distributed as possible.

Communicate with your helper and take things slowly. Dropping an object from this height would damage you, your Landy and the load.

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The best way to secure an abonormal load is using ratchet straps. These load straps are cheap to work with and very tough. Always buy reputable brand straps that have been certified. Having a mixture of different types of straps is a good idea, we have some wire hook straps, some endless webbing straps and S hook type lashing. Wear sleaves are available. These protect the ratchet straps from fraying and general wear.

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To use a ratchet strap, simply feed the webbing around the load, then into the backside of the central ratchet mechanism, before coming back out and tightening loosely. Then cinch the ratchet down till it’s sufficiently tensioned. When you’re happy with the tension, push down the ratchet handle until it clicks - this locks it in place.

To undo, pull the release tab and slide out the webbing.

Related items for sale on eBay

Land Rover Defender 90 Roof rack/ Cage Custom!  CHEAP!
Land Rover Defender 90 Roof rack/ Cage Custom! CHEAP!
$490.00
URBAN OFFROAD EXODUS SERIES LAND ROVER DEFENDER 90 N.A.S. SOFT TOP ROOF RACK
URBAN OFFROAD EXODUS SERIES LAND ROVER DEFENDER 90 N.A.S. SOFT TOP ROOF RACK
$999.95
Yakima - Car Suv Roof Cargo Basket Carrier Top Rack  MEGAWARRIOR 8007080
Yakima - Car Suv Roof Cargo Basket Carrier Top Rack MEGAWARRIOR 8007080
$342.89
Land Rover Defender 90 Roof Rack
Land Rover Defender 90 Roof Rack
$100.00
GARVIN WILDERNESS OFF ROAD SERIES LAND ROVER N.A.S. DEFENDER 90 HALF ROOF RACK
GARVIN WILDERNESS OFF ROAD SERIES LAND ROVER N.A.S. DEFENDER 90 HALF ROOF RACK
$707.95
Land Rover Defender 110 Aluminum Roof Rack Flat
Land Rover Defender 110 Aluminum Roof Rack Flat
$1,500.00

Verdict

Fantastic roof racks! MCB 4x4 produce some excellent value products that are built to a high standard.

  • Build Quality
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5
  • Value for Money
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5
  • Ease of Fitting
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5
  • FunRover Rating
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5

3 Comments

  1. Adam says:

    Nice video. I am thinking about buying one but how do you install off road light on a roof rack like this? Is there a place for it or do you have to figure it out on your own?

  2. Very nice video. I have purchased the Landrover Defender Expedition roof rack. What advise could you give in regards to whether it would be good to put a marine type plywood panel on the roof rack as a platform for cargo?
    I saw a picture of one but have yet to make one.

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