Afternoon project: bringing an old rooftop box back from the dead

irish44j redux

New member
Because somehow my massive Sequoia still gets extremely full on race weekends (my car-camping gear is bulky too), why not add to the storage? I have a smaller vintage fiberglass Yakima roof box (weighs a ton), but it's pretty short and what I really want is somplace to put my huge 10x15' EZ-Up since it's 5 feel long and takes up a lot of space inside the truck. I could just strap it to the roof, but that's a good way to bend its bars, etc.

So while looking around on marketplace for an old beat-up roof box that's long, I came across one that was REALLY beat-up, listed for $50. The brand of the box:


I've sold roof boxes at the ski shop for 25 years and never heard of this brand. So some research showed it was a German company that was bought out by Thule back in the early '90s (though Thule kept selling them under that name for a few more years). So, German is always good, right? It looked pretty beat-up and gross, but only an hour away so contacted the owner to set up a pick-up.

Later, he messages me back and says "actually, just noticed one of the latches is cracked off, so if you still want it you can have it for free." Well, free is the right price, so got in the Sequoia and rolled up there. Incidentally, this box is 7.5' long!! I didn't even fit in the sequioa, but thankfully this is why a roll-down tailgate window exists (easier than strapping it to the roof)


Got it home to check it out further. Lots of spiders inside, and overall pretty gross/moldy/faded



You can see where the latch rivets cracked through the ABS


Hydraulic struts also shot...


A few other cracks here and there



After extensive powerwashing got it a bit nicer (but still bad-looking), Got out some fiberglass mesh and ABS-friendly epoxy and repaired a couple cracks and also the section where the latch goes (3 layers). Not pretty, but it's on the inside for the most part.


After that set all day I was able to re-drill the rivet holes and re-rivet the latch into place (no pics, but I promise I did).

Also searched the web for the struts.....apparently not a part number that still exists 25+ years later, but was able to do some cross-referencing and find a comparable one with similar pressure/size (for truck bed boxes) and ordered two, so they should be here next week.

Then did more extensive cleaning and paint prep. For the bottom, I think it was originally black but badly faded to some kind of dull just did it up in black again.

For the top, I wanted to make it look good on top of the truck, next to the khaki-colored awning. Luckily still had a couple cans of khaki spraypaint from the e30 project, so blasted teh whole thing with that a few coats + clearcoat. Came out pretty good, though some imperfections because...who cares.



Once that was all dry I threw it up on the roof rack. Since this has a grid setup on the rack, and the box didn't have any hardware, I just used some U-bolts around the bars to secure it to the rack (had to drill some more holes in it).

Also found a place wehre I can get replacement keys for the locks, so that's good as well.

Anyhow, that's my afternoon project. Here's a finished pic up on the rig. Pretty happy with it for about $40 in total cost (all repair materials/struts). And this thing is big, but still fits on my 8-foot rack lol....


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