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Pictures below show my newly finished Ammo Can Panniers mounted on Happy Trails Rear Racks. I placed each 22 lb can on a small weight-loss program and was able to drop approximately 5 lbs off each by cutting out the heavy sheet metal and replacing with aluminum panels. Stainless steel buttonhead allen bolts + nuts hold the panels on....along with caulk/sealant between the two metals. The original ammo cans are super strong.....they are built to hold/carry bullets aren't they?? I made "Z" shaped brackets out of aluminum which supports the cans on the Happy Trails rectangular tubes. Also used (but not shown in the photos) are a pair of "U-bolts" on each can to make sure they don't come off the racks (and act as thief-deterants). Painted a semi-gloss black using BBQ Grill paint, they aren't really fancy........and I like em that way. I haven't decided yet to make one end of the lid "hinged" .....or have a lockable eye-bolt on each end (which might be a PITA if getting into the cans more than once or twice a day?). The aluminum bungie grab bars on top are kitchen cabinet handles from Lowe's.......at $0.97 each. I mounted a helmet lock (donated from a zrx1100) on the left box.......and a bottle opener on the right box!! I can remove the boxes from the racks in about 4 minutes. Can't wait to try em out on an over-nighter this Fall.

Happy Trails Racks.....and my 4"PVC Tool Tube.



The "Z-shaped" brackets.......

The zrx helmet lock......

....and the bottle opener (the box shown on the left).




:mrgreen:
 

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Nice work there, Mark. Looks like they'll still maintain their robustness. What gauge aluminum did you use?
 

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What gauge aluminum did you use?
About 3/32" thick.......I have a sheet of it in the ManCave......use it for all kinds of DIY stuff (the muffler heat shield is made of it.......Happy Trails racks require you to remove, or modify, the stock shield). :thumbup:
 

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mmm...Interesting.

I just wish someone would make an aluminum set that looked just like the ammo cans! :mrgreen:
 

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I just mounted Mermites and wish I had seen this post beforehand.

Did you make the Z Brackets out of Aluminum? How thick?
 

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i have these EXACT cans and i can tell you, it is a pita to get into them with 2 ubolts with locks. i have plans to shave a side of mine and hinge them this winter.
 

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This setup looks great :hurray: I wish I had some skills. I would make a set myself. They are cheap, look good, hold a bunch of stuff, and a bit lighter than the originals.

Curious. How much do the aluminum models weigh?
 

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This setup looks great :hurray: I wish I had some skills. I would make a set myself. They are cheap, look good, hold a bunch of stuff, and a bit lighter than the originals.

Curious. How much do the aluminum models weigh?
The Mermites?

Around 10 lbs I would suspect.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did you make the Z Brackets out of Aluminum? How thick?
Yes......al-you-mini-um.....alittle less than 1/8" thick, I believe.......I bought a sheet of the stuff last year and use it for various projects. Need a band saw ($100 at Lowes) to play with it.......:mrgreen:
 

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Very nice!:thumbup::hurray: i have 3 ammo cans and will be modifing 2 for my 05 this winter. I will be lightening them as you have thanx for sharing what you had done. good job
 

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I'm almost finished with one 20mm can weight loss program. I cut out the bottom and the outboard side panels. I also cut a big section from the lid. I also removed the stiffners on each side.
I used scrap carbon fiber honeycomb floor boards from an aircraft for the bottom and side. I used 0.020 titanium sheet metal riveted to the lid.
Before being repainted, the weight is now 15 pounds.
I'll post pictures of the unfinished can and one of the finished one. I will probably also cut the front and back panels out and use titanium on that too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dagwood...........Hmmmmmmm.......how hard is it for you to obtain that there Tit-tanuim sheet metal?? I could find a place for some on my bike!! :yesnod:
 

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Well, not that easy. The dept. head let me have just enough to finish the project. I'm going to ask him for some more, but it may not happen.
The carbon fiber floor boards are much easier. It was being scrapped out , it was beyond repairable limits. If you want some in the future I can get our stores department hold some more for me.
 

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I will post some pictures of the cans. I've been off of work on medical leave.
Just getting back, so the pics will come soon.
 

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AWESOME! Seems so a set of ammo cans hanging off the side would be one hell of a theft deterrent as well as looking cool as hell. Impressive job, well done
 

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Not hijack this thread, but I can share what I did also.

I removed all the stiffeners.





Converted the handles into hinges by just welding the rods directly to one end of the case.











Made an "exoskeleton" frame by welding the cans directly to brackets (the cans are that strong). The whole assembly bolts on with 6 bolts and can be removed in a few minutes, but knew I would leave them on.




The setup is strong enough that no cross bar was needed in the rear either and after 12,000 miles there have been no vibration or bending issues.





The only fail was not developing a good latch system. I have latches on them now, but not as slick as I wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Any chance you could post the dimensions of these cans...I've been looking for some on eBay but they all look too narrow.

thx

Ron
"Approximate" (exterior)..........18" horizontal x 14" vertical x 8" deep.
Nice job on your's, Arrow...........:hurray:
 
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