My 20mm ammocans project - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 54 Old 04-08-2008, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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My 20mm ammocans project

Last weekend, I bought two 20mm ammocans to convert into luggage for my Wee. I went with these mainly because they were cheap, waterproof, cheap, rugged, cool looking, but mostly, because they were cheap: $19.99 each plus tax. I figured with a few hours of work and a few cans of spray paint, I could have some decent looking, bomb proof cans for my bike for not a lot of money. Here are the cans on top of my Father in Law's El Camino:



I started with the one in back in the picture above. For some reason, I feel the need to reproduce the stenciling on the cans, and the can in back doesn't have much. It also has the worst rust of the two. I began with the lid. I didn't have much time last night, and thought I could grind off the paint quickly. Wrong! I started with this:




one hour and one wire brush wheel for my drill later, I ended up with this:



I'll see how removing the paint from the rest of the can is with the wire wheel, but if it's anything like the lid, I'll try to find some solvent that will remove the paint, or have them professionally stripped. Or maybe try out the angle grinder with a brush. Would heating up the paint before grinding help? Dunno. My painting plan is to first coat them in some cold galvanizing spray, then primer, then paint. I also found some Rustoleum reflective clear coat at the toy store (Home Depot) that I'll use on the boxes. Finally, I'll probably coat the front and bottoms with bedliner. Yep, more weight! I'm not sure what color scheme I'll use yet, but I'm leaning towards black and yellow to match my Wee, natch, split diagonally along the stiffening ribs.

I was going to mount these cans on an SW Motech rack, but now I'm thinking of going with the Happy Trails. The HT rack seems a bit stronger (haven't seen one in person yet), but it's definitely more expensive. They have a quick release system of some sort that allegedly will work with the cans.

So, here's a question for all you weight minded folks...Most of my riding will be one up, with some camping and/or fishing gear on occasional long weekend trips. I figure the cans/rack will add around 50 pounds to the bike, plus whatever I throw in them. I tend to pack light. Can the Motech or HT rack handle 50 pounds/side (loaded with gear) off road? Colorado has lots of cool trails I want to explore, and a busted rack out in the sticks doesn't sound like much fun!

Here's a few things I discovered in my first night's adventure:
  • Safety glasses are a must...I was peppered with wire wheel shards the whole time I was grinding.
  • Wear the best filter mask you have...that dust is nasty
  • Wear hearing protection too!
  • Use a spray bottle with water to wet down the work area...it will help keep the dust down
  • long sleeves will protect your arms, and trap some of the (probably) lead based paint from skin contact
Stay tuned!

Chris

Centennial, CO

1964 FJ40
2010 FJ Cruiser
2008 yellow 650 - #33

Burn the land, and boil the sea, no one can take the sky from me...

Last edited by angrypeppers; 04-08-2008 at 01:28 AM. Reason: stupid typos!
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post #2 of 54 Old 04-08-2008, 03:12 AM
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Awesome, I have one myself...thinking about buying another and building some panniers myself...keep us posted how they turn out.

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post #3 of 54 Old 04-08-2008, 03:12 AM
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Yeah, I neglected to mention how slow the wire wheel can be when I recommended it yesterday. I did a whole steelcase desk that way a few years ago, and it seemed to take forever. Once you get the hang of it and figure out the right amount of pressure to use it will go a bit faster.

Glad you decided to use safety glasses before actually needing them! I've become pretty hardcore about eye, hearing, and dust protection in my old age. We only have 2 each of eyes, ears, and lungs after all.

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post #4 of 54 Old 04-08-2008, 03:49 AM
 
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Have you tried (considered) using a wirewheel on an angle grinder? You'll get better revs.

I hope you'll re-stencil the boxes once they're nice and neat (I would have left them dirty and rugged) since I'm told they're excellent for fending off any cagers that might be tempted to drift too close - don't want any nasty scratches on our nice new beamer now do we
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post #5 of 54 Old 04-08-2008, 05:13 AM
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Wouldn't it be easier to use paint stripper then just use the brush to roughen the surface??

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post #6 of 54 Old 04-08-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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Personally, the OD paint would have made a good primer. I would have wet sanded the things, paying attention to remove any corrosion, then painted them. However if you are bent on stripping, go to Walmart and get the "Aircraft Paint Remover/Stripper" as it is safe on all metals and I believe environmentally sound. You put it on, let the stuff lift then scrape it off. You will still touch it up with sand paper or a wire wheel, but most should come off with a coat or two. Nice thing is, you do this on a drop cloth, wad it up and throw it into the trash can.

I thought these ammo cans were aluminum, but the rust leads me to believe they are steel...isn't that heavy?
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post #7 of 54 Old 04-08-2008, 11:18 AM
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They are about 20 lbs apiece unloaded. I have a pair right here that I'm going to mount to the SW Motech racks. These racks are no joke, I think they'll hold up fine.

1997 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours, [COLOR="DarkGreen"]GREEN[/COLOR]

Old bikes:
2001 Kawasaki ZRX1200R, [COLOR="Lime"]GREEN[/COLOR], sold
2005 HD FXDCI, sold
2003 Yamaha FZ1, "Bee", sold
2005 Suzuki DL1000, Black, sold
2002 Yamaha FZ1, Silver, sold
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post #8 of 54 Old 04-08-2008, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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The wire wheel works OK, in fact, it seemed to work better once it lost some of the little wires. And yes, paint stripper would probably work better than the wheel! But I really didn't think that the paint would be so tough to remove. I have an angle grinder and may try that tonite, if I don't get to the store to get the Aircraft Stripper stuff. I thought about keeping them as is, but the surface rust was bugging me, so I decided to rework the cans. I'll probably reproduce the stenciling...looks kinda cool!

Centennial, CO

1964 FJ40
2010 FJ Cruiser
2008 yellow 650 - #33

Burn the land, and boil the sea, no one can take the sky from me...
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post #9 of 54 Old 04-08-2008, 01:21 PM
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Well, here's one problem. The instructions for the SW Motech racks show the weight capacity at 22lbs per side. Since the cans weigh 20 lbs apiece, that poses a bit of a problem. Now, I'm sure there's some wiggle room, but I wouldn't want to go too far over, and 2 lbs for gear certainly isn't enough.As much as I like these cans, I think I'm going for a lighter weight solution, like the Pelicans. Plus, with that reinforcing rib on the side, I'm having trouble figuring out a good way to bolt them to the SW racks.

The SW racks are great though and I don't want to switch racks, so I think I'm bagging this project. Good news is these cans are super cheap and I can already think of some good uses for them around the house

1997 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours, [COLOR="DarkGreen"]GREEN[/COLOR]

Old bikes:
2001 Kawasaki ZRX1200R, [COLOR="Lime"]GREEN[/COLOR], sold
2005 HD FXDCI, sold
2003 Yamaha FZ1, "Bee", sold
2005 Suzuki DL1000, Black, sold
2002 Yamaha FZ1, Silver, sold
1991 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6D, sold
1982 Honda Sabre 750 V45, sold
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post #10 of 54 Old 04-08-2008, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting about the weight limit on the Motech racks...I didn't know that. I just talked to Happy Trail, and they don't publish a limit for their SU rack, but thought that 50 pounds a side would be well w/in limits.

Centennial, CO

1964 FJ40
2010 FJ Cruiser
2008 yellow 650 - #33

Burn the land, and boil the sea, no one can take the sky from me...
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