Pennytech side cases w/pics

By: AdvWisdom
Title: Pennytech side cases w/pics
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Published Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 00:14:19 +0000

Build your own side cases

hondo's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 968
I need to get the fixed hinges bent, and need to get to the rivets holding the top of the hinge to the can.

So I need to gut the lids to get to the hinges.

I drilled a 1/2 hole in each corner of stainless steel lid liner.

Then I connected the holes with my jigsaw-

The saw cut deep enough that I could pry out most of the lid’s foam in one piece with a scraper/putty knife-

Then I went around the edges and removed what was left-

I pushed down the remaining liner enough to get it free of the crimp that holds it in place. I did this on each long side of the lid & cut them with aviation snips-

Then I hammered the liner edge with the knife to break it free-

Then I scraped them out pretty well-

Now I can get to the hinges. First I drilled out the heads inside the lid-

Popped off the steel backing plate-

And removed the rivets from the hinge. I’m saving these to help choose the correct size screws.

Now the lids are free from the base.

While I was at it, I got out the old bodywork tools and removed some dents from the lids. I” be keeping them seperated until assembly-

Here’s the hinge free of the lid- now I can bend the hinge arms to go around the seal.

I also removed the handles today. They were all bent so I removed them using the vice grips. I attached one vice grip to the verticle, and the other to the horizontal-

Then I leveraged one against the other until it popped out-

My hammer did a nice job of straitening them out-

Before being installed, they will be painted and a rubber hose slipped over the handle. Still gotta figure out how I’ll do that.

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Old 03-06-2007, 06:26 AM   #3
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Denver, Colorado
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I worked on the mounts a bit today.

Drove to a local metal supplier and started looking through their* aluminum stock scrap/cutoffs for what I needed.

My rack is a Happy Trails Northwest Rack which is constructed of 5/8 tubing, so I first picked out some 5/8 square stock.

Then I found a peice of 1/2 X 1 3/8 stock.

They had a $20.00 minimum, so I grabbed some other stock that I thought I might use in the future-

Then I measured the places where the 3 mounts (per case) will go-

Bottom -* * * 7 1/2 inches long
Upper rear -* 3 inches long
Upper FWD -* 2 1/2 inches long.

Then I cut the stock to length-

Here’s a side view of the 2 pieces of the mount-

And here’s a cross section of the mounts, frame and Mermite case-

I’ll be drilling and tapping the 2 pieces of the mount stock and then bolting them together. Ideally a one piece mount milled out of aluminum (like the ones Happy Trails sells) would be best, but I’m sure that these will be plenty strong enough.

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Old 03-06-2007, 06:27 AM   #4
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 968
Here’s a layout I drew up-

Both the inside of the cans will have a sheetmetal reinforcement- the cans are stamped & uneven and this will strengthen cases and make a nice place to mount to.

The mounts are setup like a Touratec system I saw. The lower mount will be permanently attached to the case using 2 bolts. The case will be lowered onto the frame, and then the top mounts installed using one bolt or a thumbwheel (I may make my own thumbwheels).

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Old 03-06-2007, 06:27 AM   #5
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Location: Denver, Colorado
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Worked on the mounts a bit today, prepping the 2 pieces mating surfaces so that they are are flat.

Since I don’t have access to a mill, I fell back on the old computer overclocker’s trick of lapping. Overclockers have been lapping their cpus and heatsinks for years, in order to get the mating surfaces of the cpu & heatsink as flat as possible for better heat transfer.

I stopped into Ace and bought 3 sheets of 180 grit emery paper and a $3.00 sheet of glass. I taped one end of the paper to the glass & to my desk. You lap the item on with the paper on the glass because glass is so flat.

Here’s the setup-

Here’s a small pice getting it’s mating surface lapped-

And before and after shots-

Then I used a King Size Sharpie to apply the “blueing”-

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Last edited by hondo : 03-06-2007 at 06:49 AM.

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Old 03-06-2007, 06:28 AM   #6
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 968
Did some paint stripping the last few days.

I checked around for a place that did plastic media blasting but couldn’t find one. I did find a company that would chemical dip then bead blast them, but the total cost was $130.00.

So I decided to do it the hard way, the cheaper way, and when finished, have tools left over.

First thing I did was remove all of the hinges by drilling out the rivets. I had to do this because the seal is getting in the way of the hinges and bending them wasn’t working. I also remoived the brackets that the handles go into, as I plan on using different end handles. More on that later.

So I first tried some of the orange citrus stripper. Worked pretty good, but looked like it was going to take a few applications. Then I tried some traditional stripper, and that didn’t work well at all. So I blasted them off at a car wash and moved onto the next stage.

Dropping into Harbor Freight Tools today, I picked up a mini 90 deg air ginder ($25) and some prep wheels ($14)-

Then I dropped a sheet of plastic in the garage and got busy stripping the paint. I used water with the grinder to prevent any dust, as these cans are marked 1974 and the paint might have lead in it. This process works well as it strips the paint and preps the metal for primer.

Here’s one with before and after sections-

I got both lids done and one can. Tomorrow I’ll finsh off the exterior prep of the other can and then work on the interiors, removing the foam residue with an abrasive wheel in my die grinder.

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Old 03-06-2007, 06:28 AM   #7
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I finished the exterior & interior stripping / paint prep-


Interior- (not completely bare, as it will be painted & unexposed)

Then I needed to fab some sheetmetal for the interior mount facing. What can I use? How about an old PC case (I have a bunch of them)-

The steel on these old PC cases is very strong so it will make good bracing for the cans/mounts. here it is laying in the can-

I also patched a few small holes in the base of the cans with some JB Weld-

Tommorow I will be cutting up another case for the steel plates for the exterior of the cans and working on the mounts.

Mine are bed-linered. Here’s a look at what can be done with the lid if you leave the original seal. I keep a rain pancho stuffed up there.

I too am interested in locking ideas. I was going to work some kind of cable lock up or a hasp.

Did a bit of work getting the mermites & the KLR ready for Moab.

I needed to make a rear turn signal relocation bracket because the cans would hit the lights in the stock location.

Looked around and made a bracket out of 1 inch 90 deg angle iron I had from a previous project. I folded over the ends in a vise and drilled mounting holes in the end-

Here is the bracket with the lights mounted. One side is off as it got “tweaked a while back. Overall lenght is 7 inches.

Then I painted it with the same paint the mermites will be, Rustoleum Hammered finish silver and mounted the lights. They are inside of the rack so if I drop the KLR without the cans installed they should still be ok. I mounted the bracket to the rear of the luggage rack using standard hardware and 2 large bilts as spacers.

The rack tself had 2 mounting tabs welded the bottom (each side) and I’m not going to be using them, so off they came with my cutoff tool & grinder. Touched up the bare metal with the silver.

I also got the hinge & other hardware ready.

The hinges were hitting the rubber gasket, so I made aluminum spacers that will go underneath each half of the hinge. The carrige strap hardware (4 each, top rt) I will be bolting to the tops of the lids. They will make for strong tiedowns.

After cleaning all of the hardware up, all the parts got a few coats of silver paint-

Here is a pic of the stainless steel handles that I bought at Home Depot. There will one on each end of the cases-

I also started making the thumbwheels. Using some 1 1/2″ X 3/4″ stock I had, I cut out some 1 1/2 inch square pieces. All of the edges were filed smooth and the corners were filed at 45 degree angles & smoothed as well. I then drilled and tapped the centers for the attachment bolt. I haven’t decided yet, but I may buy a mill (bit) and create a small recess in the tops of each wheel so that I can use carrige bolts (round topped & smooth).

With my trip to Moab quickly approaching, I woke early & headed out to the garage.

!st order of the day- wash the mermites & the reinforcing plates. I scrubbed them down in the bathtub using a scotchbrite sponge & good dishwashing soap.

Then I set them out to dry-

While I was waiting for them to dry, I moved on to the lids. After I gutted them, I found that they were pretty flimsy. So I decided to use some 1/4 inch birch plywood to reinforce them. It will also allow me to attatch items to the lids. Here the wood is just laying in the lids-

I then drilled a few holes in the lid and filled the space between the wood & the lid with expanding foam. The wood is sitting on the screws that are holding the carridge straps to the top of the lid- this created a 1 inch gap that the foam filled. I set a couple of old computers on top of the lids to keep that 1 inch gap-

After it dried I pulled the old computers off- here’s what was left over-

I scraped off the excess and then cut rectangular access holes where the srews/nuts that attach the hinges are located. In hindsight, I should have done this first. Doh!

Now the paint for the cans. I first primered the bare aluminum with a zinc chromate primer-

After letting that dry, I painted the exterior of the cans with 2 coats of Rustoleum Hammered Finish silver paint.

I also painted the mounts and assembled the thumbweels. I used 7/16 rod, JB welded the threaded rod into the thumbwheels threads-

After the paint dried on the outside of the cans, I needed to install the reinforcing plates. I used a waterproof construction adhesive at all of the points that the plates met the can-

Then I installed the inner & outer plates using red loctite on all of the fastners. When that was done, I painted the interior of the cans and the exterior plates.

While that was drying, I washed & primed the lids-

Then I painted 2 coats of the silver to the lids.

The paint on the cans dried and I finally got to mount the cans on the Happy Trails rack.

A rear shot-

The interior-

Here is a view of the mounts-

Then I moved on to installing the hinges. This took a while considering the way the hinges work. Here’s a side view of the hinges (closed). You can see how the aluminum blocks that made help the hinges clear the seal-

On the left hand side of the bike I ran into a small problem. As the rack is closer to the side panels on the left than the right (due to the muffler), I found that the forward hinge handle (of the left can) was going to hit the side panel. Nothing that the cutoff tool can’t handle. So I shortened it by half. The shorter hinge is on the right-

And here is the right can complete-

I used Shoe Goo to glue the seals in place. This stuff might not work, but considering how will it sticks, I thought I’d give it a try.

Tommorow I will post some pics of the cans installed from a few different angles.

Because the bike is leaning, it looks like the boxes are uneven, but they aren’t.

One last item I added- bungees in the lids for my rain gear.

I got this idea from JaySoy- thanks!