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Headache Rack material ?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by TJS, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,340

    I just picked up a 2002 F-250 SD. It has the "XA" springs and plow package. I am currently looking for a MM(1 or 2) plow. I also want to build my own headache rack. I can TIG aluminum pretty good. I have my own TIG (Dynasty 300DX) and a HTP 240MIG machine along with a full shop (Bpt, lathe. plasma..etc). I can either make the headache rack out of aluminum or steel. I have prices out both steel and aluminum material. The price of the aluminum is a little higher but not much than steel. I know about the corrosion properties of aluminum as well. I may get it powder coated clear if I do alum. Any comments appreciated.
    Thanks.
    T.J.
    www.tjsperformance.com
     
  2. adksnowo

    adksnowo Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I have built several different headache racks for various trucks. To me steel has the advantage. It is easier to put something on it to protect the window, i.e expanded steel or steel rod grating can be welded right to it. Steel is cheaper and the weight savings are not overly significant w/ aluminum. I've powder coated, hot dipped galvanized and just painted. Truth be told just painting w/ rustoleum type paint, properly etched/primed will make the steel rack outlast the truck w/ no rust streaks on a white truck. And I live in an area where salting state highways is the DOT past-time!
     
  3. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,340

    Ya the more I thought about it steel would be the choice. Yes Rustoleum is the way to go. I re-did my boat trailer with rustoleum mixed with reducer and a catalyst hardner. I sprayed it and it came out great. I also built my own dump bed for my older Chevy and made a headache rack using the expanded metal.
    Here is link to my dump bed project.
    Thanks.
    T.J.

    http://www.tjsperformance.com/chevytruck.htm
     
  4. Sealer

    Sealer Member
    from Ne, Pa.
    Messages: 47

    Just finished looking at your site TJ. Very nice work......I'm tossing around buying a '96 f-350 4X4 DRW cab chassis for a $1,000.00. The 460 and auto tranny are what's making me have 2nd thoughts. It's hard to find someone around here that'll do that kind of project, and actually care what it comes out like unless it's their own.
     
  5. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,340

    I know what you mean. 1000.00 is good providing the body is decent. Just calculate how much you are going to spend on material and such before hand and if you do this stuff yourself you need to also calculate your time. Sometimes it is not worth taking on a huge project when you can buy something already done or close to completion, but you could also be buying someones junk as well.
    T.J.
     
  6. pwrstroke6john

    pwrstroke6john Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    ive always had the idea to build a headache rack for my truck that has one bar that goes up and fallows the shape of the cab and then have a screen system that pins on with hitchpins so that i could take it off when i dont need the screen. Im really suprised that I have yet to see a system like this, but maybe its just over engineering for a simple product
     
  7. DUMZ

    DUMZ Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    built mine outta expanded metal and angle iron. painted with rustoleum paint as well, and for less then $50.00 it works and looks great. good place to mount work lights and keeps the wood from smashing out my back window.
     
  8. iakentdoz

    iakentdoz Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    Here is what I built, Think total cost for the steal was under $50.00

    DSCN2738 [640x480].JPG

    DSCN2739 [800x600] [].JPG

    DSCN2738 [800x600] [].JPG
     
  9. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,340


    For 50.00 in steel you got a steal of a deal. What is with the wires on the outside...:D
    I saw your build up post on your rack. Can you tell me what size material you used. I am going to build something similar.
    T.J.
     
  10. iakentdoz

    iakentdoz Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    Just don't have the time right now to finish cleaning up the wires, I wanted to be able to use the lights, so it's only temporary. I might have been a little more than $50 but well under $100. The top and bottom tub is 2"x3" and the outside uprights are 2" x 1.5" and the 2 middle uprights are 2" x 1" and the flat steal is 1.5" x 0.25" If I was to build it again, I would use 2" x 4" for the top tube, there is not enough room to install 6" oval lights.