I always knew I was going to need some storage space for my camping supplies on the Strom but I kept going back to the Military ammo cans due to the abundance, ease and affordablility. My only hang ups were that they are very heavy, don’t have a heck of a lot of room and aren’t very appealing to my eye. Then I saw a little blurp about MERMITE cans on advrider. I didn’t see an installation but saw what the cans looked like and I was hooked.
They are not as cheap as the ammo cans and much more time consuming and labor intensive to install but they had more to them.
Install went as follows:
I picked up the cans from the local Mil. Surplus store. 60 bucks for the two!!! I only thought I would be paying around 45. But I had to have them. They sat around for quite some time until I decided just to buy the SW-Motech side racks instead of fabricating my own.
The racks where very easy to install and required very few tools. The directions are not the clearest but obviously can be interpreted. A few pics below.
Packaging was great, and these are all the tools I needed.
Now that I have the racks installed I got to work on the cans.
First thing I did was use a jig saw to cut through the fiberglass lip inside the can to get out the container. This will add over 1000 cubic inches of room.
Once through, the work began. Using a crow bar and brute strength I tore into the poly foam and removed it along with the container. This is tedious work so just dive in and get it done!! Once I was done with the lower portion of the can I started on the lid.
Now the metal on the lid is ( I believe) stainless steal so use the proper cutting tools. I did not and almost ruined the lids bending and prying. The metal is tucked up under the aluminum of the lid so I cut the piece to be removed into smaller pieces to make it easier.
Next began the sanding for paint prep. A friend and I used a drill and a few wire bits from very course to fine to really knock off the 1982 and 84 military paint. Once all the shine was off I took the dangley pieces for the handles. It took me a while to decide wether or not to remove them but in the end the look is much nicer. I used a pair of bolt cutters to remove the handles and drilled out the rivets for the mounts. Disregard the weather stripping, I'll get to that next.
I must admit, I was very indecisive on how I would seal the lid for when it is closed. Several ideas came into my head and I decided to do some hard searching for anyone else who has done this mod. Then I found out why I wasn’t finding any write ups…I was calling them MARMITE instead of MERMITE. Dumbass, next thing I know I find indepth write ups and even a Strom with the cans installed. This took a little bit of the wind from my sails. Mainly because I thought I would be the first Strom with a full write up. BUT I found an excellent way to seal the lids….weather stripping from a window store!!!! BOOYA, yeah I still say that.
I went to a few autoglass dealers I could not find the thickness I needed so I took a stab at an multipurpose, ie boats, industrial etc. Sierra Glass here in Hillsboro OR. The man who helped me was awesome!! He was just as interested in the project as I was and we dug around in the shop attic until we found just what I was looking for, must have been 45 min.
So now I have the weather stripping. I removed the locking tab and walla!! I have it.
The only problem were the latches. With the extra bulk they would not lock down. So this forced me to remove all rivets and install a spacer between both the latch point and the latch. This is where I give a huge shout out to the guy who let me use his garage, drill press, band saw for cutting the free 1/4inch aluminum I scored and dinner with his fam a couple times. Thank you!!
I cut the spacers to fit then grinded them down so they wouldn’t stand out.
With everything matching up and latching down I was ready for paint.
I decided to HERCULINE both the inside and outside of the cans to give them more thickness and rigidness. In other words, make em tough! So I sprayed a primer base down and painted two coats of the hurculiner. This was the most time consuming part of the project. The only parts I did not cover was the latches so that they would still move freely and latch securely. Wear gloves for this!! Not the dainty only cover your hands gloves but long ones!!! No I didn’t make a mess on myself and I did use the long gloves but the small blotches that did get on me stayed for a few days.
The liner is very shiny and for my bike a like the flat black finish look so I spray painted the exterior of the cans with Flat Black and the inside with a very shiny siler color. I like to see what I am looking for plus, well to me it just looked good.
With the cans complete and the racks installed it was time to put them together!!
First, my friend and I got on the bike and I had her get comfortable with her feet on the pegs. Then I got off and had her stay put. I then put the can in a comfortable spot and then used vise grips to hold the cans in place. I eyeballed and measured to make them even then marked the drill points for the holes removed the cans and drilled.
Once I had the mounting hardware I installed. I used hex bolts and lock washers for the outside, two washers for the inside-one large one for surface coverage and one medium for added strength for each hole and a capped nut so the excess bolt would not rip my sleeping bag or tent. They seem very sturdy.
I picked up the cans from the local Mil. Surplus store. 60 bucks for the two!!! I only thought I would be paying around 45. But I had to have them.
Where did you pick these up? I live in Vancouver and have been looking for them all around the Portland Area with no success. If you could point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.
By the way, Awesome write up....and they turned out great.