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Old 03-16-2009, 01:48 PM   #1
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Help With Lid on 1963 Bumper Locker?

Hey everyone,

I'm in the midst of replacing my bellypan banana wraps, and I'm also about to perform a replacement for an old skin patch around the replacement water heater, but in the midst of all of this I have removed my old bumper locker compartment lid, which is some sort of thin sheet of aluminum(maybe .032?) and is fairly beat-up and sad-looking.

I'm interested in replacing it with something a little beefier. I know that models from the late 60s (and beyond probably) had an extruded aluminum cover that served this purpose, and I think I'd prefer something like that.

So I'm wondering where I might find something suitable to use for this cover, either in the Airstream/RV world, or from another application that could be modified to suit?

The dimensions are approximately 6" by 58".

I could always cut a new one from new .032 aluminum and either replace the old one, or fit the new one over the old one and rivet them together to make it a bit sturdier, but I'd love to find an extrusion that would work, but also wouldn't cost an arm and a leg.

Any ideas are much appreciated, thanks!

-Marcus
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:15 PM   #2
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Whatever you do, you will need a couple of these
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byamcaravanner View Post
Whatever you do, you will need a couple of these
THOSE... I actually have. Still happily attached to the bumper, and in fine working order!

The lid itself works as well, it's just tarnished and bent up, and has an extra tear here and there. It's flimsy so I was hoping to get something thicker and sturdier, like the extrusions that came on later models.

At worst, I can always cut a fresh new one and rivet to the old one, to make it look nicer and to make it a little more rigid as well.

I was just hoping for a more elegant solution.

Thanks!
-Marcus
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:21 PM   #4
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I'll take a closer look at mine tonight and see what its like. I think it has the edges folded over all around if I remember right.
I saw one made from 1/8" aluminum diamond plate that looked good and was strong enough to stand on. I don't care for the diamond plate look, but it could be inverted, smooth side up.
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:52 PM   #5
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Marcus,
Have you given any thought to fabricating one out of aluminum diamond plate??? I think that would look really cool as a bumper compartment lid.

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Old 03-16-2009, 09:47 PM   #6
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I thought I saw this suggestion in this thread. Try an RV boneyard, they may have one off a mid 1960s Airstream, and you won't have to make one.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:24 PM   #7
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Marcus, even my 70's Argosy has a flat piece of aluminum that is used for the lid. The one thing that does strength it is it has a small "triangle" profile bent into it from side to side. I does allow the power cord to come out of the compartment and "rest" in this triangle space... but it also serves to strengthen the panel along length of it. I believe it's probably a bit thicker than the .032.. maybe .04? You could also bend over the edges, which would strengthen it abit also?
Marc
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:54 AM   #8
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Thanks for all of the suggestions!

I've always liked the look of diamondplate, but I think it's a bit too "rugged" for the look I'm going for on the back of the trailer.

I'm still a while away from this project, so any other ideas are welcome!
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:40 AM   #9
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Marcus,
How about circular brushed aluminum like on the nose of the Spirit Of Saint Louis...

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Old 03-17-2009, 09:39 AM   #10
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That's pretty cool! Do they sell that in some kind of plate version?

I saw pictures of forum member klattu who did that to the back of his aluminum Feathercraft boat, and it looked really cool. He used some kind of sanding/grinding wheel to get the effect.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:15 AM   #11
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You can do it with a drill press and a dowel, and some polishing compound. You just spread the compound in a somewhat even layer on the whole surface, then mark a grid for the placement of the dowel to be consistent across the surface as you go. Chuck the dowel in the press, turn it on, and pull the press down until the dowel contacts the surface. overlap each time for a more interesting effect (1-1/2" dowel, pressed every 1"). Carefully wipe the surface clean with a damp rag, so you dont induce unwanted scratches. Clearcoat if you want to lock in the look.
Have fun, Rich
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:18 AM   #12
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Thanks RichTheViking.

So what could be used as the substrate? I'd prefer to stay away from aluminum sheet, since that's what I already have, and it clearly can get bent up and malformed over time. That's why I was hoping to find some sort of solution using an extrusion of some kind.

-Marcus
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:59 PM   #13
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You could put two of these together to use....
Order Aluminum 2024 Rectangle in Small Quantities at OnlineMetals.com

They make any length you need, just 3" wide, not 6". (excellent customer service by the way, I use them locally, no shipping for me).
Marc
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:57 PM   #14
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Wow, at 1/4" thick that would indeed be nice and solid! But, it would cost $150 (+shipping) to cover the deck!
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