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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    310

    Question Attaching strut to ceiling of Chevy Express?

    So I am a little stumped on the best way to hook strut to the ceiling of a chevy van. Anyone?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    I'm guessing this is for one of them ladder racks where the ladder slides in against the ceiling?

    Anywho... when I attached my strut to the top of the van I cut 3 pieces of 2" wide 1/8" thick strap (had scrap laying around). Cut it about 12-16" long. Screwed it up to the ribs with a handful of screws, then tack welded the strut to the straps that went across the ribs. Took it out, welded it up solid, painted, reinstalled... works awesome!
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    310
    You're exactly right. My company got me a brand new van. In the last one I had a way to keep my 8 foot tripod ladder up by the ceiling because thats the ladder I go for the most. I sprung for the jet rack from all the positive reviews. Thanks for the tip!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    2,520
    Sounds cool, some pics would be nice when it's in.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,090
    I am also intrested in seeing this installed
    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,596
    Need pics!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    2,116
    I also want to see pics. This sounds better than my current method.

    I used two small 90* angle brackets. I put a1/4" bolt through the vertical portion and drilled a hole in the rib. Then I put the uni-strut on the horizontal portion of the bracket.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    These are crappy pictures from many-a-years ago. But it'll give you a basic idea.
    This pic is the ladder almost put in. The part that the top of the ladder goes into slides on the unistrut, you lift the back of the ladder up, push it in, then the bottom rung holds the ladder up.
    Name:  ladder-rack-1.jpg
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    Here's the "stowed away" position
    Name:  ladder-rack-2.jpg
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Size:  67.9 KB

    I can get some pictures of how i mounted it tomorrow and upload too.

    For those of you interested, this is the version I have...
    http://www.americanvan.com/ladder-ra...ng-system.html
    BYOUS though (bring your own uni-strut) lol
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    310
    So Amickracing inspired me. I found some 6 inch flat 'L' shaped mending plates in the Home Depot lumber section that already had holes in them. I mounted them to the strut with high strength bolts and washers such that the strut looked like it had mini swept back 'wings'. Because the wings come back at an angle, the protruding bolt would not be against the chevy ribs and I could have the strut as high as possible. Then I used sheet metal screws through the plates into the van ceiling ribs. Thanks for the tip! As for the Jet Rack, it needs some fine tuning and I can tell there is a learning curve getting used to using it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    One tip I did find, the ladder likes to wobble (rattle) from side to side (rotate along the axis of the holding points). I ended up sliding the back holder far enough back that the ladder's legs are pretty tight against the back rib, this keeps it from wiggling around.

    I also made my strut long enough it reaches the rib behind the headache rack (think the strut is just over 8' long) Works good to hang gauges from too
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    I'm back! Not that ya'll need a visual picture of this, but I have them on my phone, so I'll share.

    1st pic, here's how I attached the strut to the roof of the van.
    Name:  IMG_0127.jpg
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Size:  47.6 KB

    And here's how I have the bottom of the ladder braced against the back of the van to keep it from wobbling.
    Name:  IMG_0128.jpg
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Size:  26.5 KB
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

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