View Full Version : DIY M416 trailer lid
08-20-2007, 01:43 AM
I am putting a lid/top on my M416 to support a rooftop tent and was looking for some input/advice from some of you that have a similar set up. I have made a steel frame for the top with hinges on one side and gas shocks to lift it. I am toying with the idea of 1/16 alum. diamond plate for the covering or maybe 20 or 18 gauge steel. My only concern with the steel is that I may get the drumming effect while driving down the road. Has anyone notice a drumming effect with the their steel lid, I will fasten it down very well due to the design of the frame, the largest unsupport area is about 33"x36".
My concerns for the alum. diamond plate is the reflection of the shinny surface.
Any experience or input would be greatly appreciated.
08-20-2007, 02:34 AM
I have VERY little metal experience.
However, I would go with the Aluminum, for weight sake.
Now, you can get the diamond plate stuff easy, but to get rid of the shine... Paint it! :arabia:
You will have to acid wash it first- with aluma prep
If there is a clear coat on it -sand blast then acid wash
-Use a conversion prep [this changes the aluminum to aluminum oxide ]and final use zinc chromate primer .
Top coat with epoxy 2 part coating of your color choice !
Treat aluminum like an aircraft-You will get results !:wings:
I have plans to turn the Delta aluminum toolbox in the back of my truck black :)
08-20-2007, 03:09 AM
The lid on the M101 is steel frame with sheet steel riveted on - no drumming noises - I also made two small racks to carry a tent or supplies if I am using the trailer to haul.
I have another landscape type trailer which I made a lid for (about 7 years ago now) I thought I would use 1/8" diamond plate for lightness and strength - the glare is too much to take and at some point I will change it.
08-20-2007, 02:48 PM
Easiest way to kill off any drumming tendency is to cross-break it. By that I mean put a very slight bend in it thru each diagonal pair of corners. Sheet metal shops do this sort of thing frequently. Larger HVAC ducting panels commonly have this done to them.
If the frame is steel then putting an aluminum skin on it can set up a galvanic battery unless you counteract that on the install. You may or may not have the trailer long enough for this to matter, depending on climate. When ever I put an aluminum skin on a steel frame I use an epoxy adhesive to bond the two metals together (for strength) and to exclude moisture from being able to get btwn the pieces.
08-20-2007, 02:53 PM
There is also this spray for connecting dissimilar metals which has worked well
08-20-2007, 04:01 PM
FYI, my M101 lid is made of 16 gage steel with a 1x1 tubing frame around the outside with two 1x1 cross braces where the tent attaches. The steel is welded to the frame in a dozen or so places. I have not experienced any kind of noise or vibration in the lid. The lid weighs about 80 pounds. Aluminum would cut that to less than 40 probably, but I prefer steel.
08-20-2007, 05:40 PM
steel frame. made out of 1 1/2" angle. 20 ga sheet spot welded on every 6"
no drumming supports tent just fine. I would be concerned about shinly lid giving a glare to you or those around you when the angles are right.
08-25-2007, 02:03 PM
I don't know if this would be highjacking, but I was kinda curious about the settup of the hinges. I know the lid will have to open out and away from the
tub top tube, but I just can't seem to visualize this.
08-27-2007, 12:29 AM
Just a word of advise- make sure you measure the weight of the lid plus any other loads you are going to put on it i.e roof tent, rack etc..
I made the mistake of ordering my lid support struts for a regular lid with light steel and wound up with a heavy aluminum sheet, stout 1X1 tube steel roof rack and a roof tent- now the lid is too heavy for the gas lift strut to open.I'll have to buy some heavier gas struts soon and sell this struts cheap as soon as I figure out the "right" weight.
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