Shortly after picking up a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Recon, I installed the Nebo roof rack with slats from Teraflex. What is truly amazing about this upgrade is how much attention it gained; people were convinced I had a new feature available from the factory. It just has that finished original equipment look. Once I told them it was aftermarket, a bunch of questions always followed:
Of course, the first, “It’s not OEM?! Who makes this?!”
Well, this is a TeraFlex product review so that should give it away.
“How much can it carry?”
As stated in the product description, this rack is rated for an 850 lbs static load and a 200 lbs dynamic load. It is able to accomplish this because all the weight is transferred directly through the hard top to the sport bar underneath. Much more detail about that when we talk about installation.
“What kind of height did it add to the Jeep?”
Well, the slat kit mounts between the two primary rails in the center so they don’t really count. The simple answer is less than 3 inches (actual is 2-3/8”). No one really asked about the weight added but Teraflex made sure to put those specs in their description: 25 lbs for the Nebo rack and 29 lbs for the slat kit. Keep in mind, a lot of that weight is reflected in the steel brackets that actually mounted to the sport bar.
“Is it noisy? Do you notice you are driving with a rack?”
Even if people didn’t ask, I was always sure to point this out. This rack is pretty quiet. I made sure to roll up windows, turn off the radio, and drive in a bunch of conditions. I observed that at 40 mph and less, you won’t hear this at all, even if you are trying to. At 50 mph you will start to hear some wind noise in an otherwise noiseless cab and you will have to be looking for it. Over 60, you can hear some very minor wind noise. After driving for a couple months under normal conditions, I never notice the wind noise over my radio or talking to a passenger. Finally, I did not notice any significant loss in gas mileage BUT this was installed around the same time I lifted the Jeep from stock and added 37-inch tires so there were a lot of variables making that assessment.
“What was it like to install?”
With a little research, this install can be pretty straightforward, ESPECIALLY if you watch the TeraFlex install video. The video is spot on, talks about some awesome special tools to make life easier, and left me with no questions about what I was getting into. That said, if you aren’t confident in making measurements and don’t have a second pair of hands to help, you should probably have this installed professionally. It is a fair amount of very precise work.
Cutting slots in the sport bar covers is a snap because of the templates that are included. Special note: TeraFlex went the extra mile with shipping; the heavy-duty paper templates are rolled, not folded, and protected in their own cardboard box! This eliminates small inaccuracies caused by creases in the template.
Next, the anchor plates are installed which includes relocating the existing satellite antenna. Everything is left loose to enable lining up the top in the final steps of install.
Then comes cutting of the hard top. Precision is key. Measure a lot and have a friend check your work. Once you have everything lined up, drill with confidence; TeraFlex has seals, o-rings, and gaskets o plenty to ensure a leak free install. Again, watch the video. They will showcase a special yet inexpensive tool that can really improve your chances of drilling nice clean holes for the mounts.
The rest was just patience and time. Nuts and bolts and seals. Put the top on, line up, adjust gapping with provided spacers if needed, take the top off (easier said than done, haha). Tighten the mounts, add the slats if you are going to now, then lift the top one final time for the final install.
Best and final step, drive around town and get ready to graciously accept compliments about a sexy rack!