Ok.. I can't seem to get my photos up so I'll just post a link to my web album. Maybe someone can help me out...
I'm reasonably happy with the end results. I'm a little irked that I didn't get pefectly straight. It's really barely noticable but I
can see even if no one else can. They did end up a portly 44.5" wide and I'm going to try and make 'em a little bit narrower on the wife's bike.
When we picked up the two bikes I knew it was going to be pretty expensive getting them both outfitted seeing as I would have to buy 2 of everything. I figured I could save some cash by making some stuff myself. I know I wanted top loaders and the 1440s fit the bill. They can be had for about ~$115/ea shipped from Case Club, IIRC. The Happy Trails racks were $255 and thier universal mounts were $50. I think I spent about $100 with McMaster-Carr for various bits of hardware and aluminum for both bikes. I could have easily cut that in half if didn't order extra stuff for 'just in case' situations. So I'm into this for about $585 per bike.
I searched this forum and several others to find how people were mounting 1440s. I was a bit surprised to how many people were grinding away massive amounts of the plasic ribs to make a flush surface to mount to. I didn't really think this was the best approach.... those ribs are there for a reason. I ran across this post ( http://www.stromtrooper.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=21429
) over at Stromtrooper and was inspired by stevet's design. (thanks, steve!) I went with 1"x1.5" aluminum bar stock and mounted it horizonally, routing out small amounts of plastic to allow for a flush mounting surface. From the back side of each bar I drilled and counter sunk hardward to perminately affix the HT universal mounts. I drilled holes through the box and drilled and tapped matching holes in the bars. The lower bar is made to be perminately mounted. The top bar is loosened from the Pelican case by two knobs in side the case. If you loosen them to the last few threads there's enough play to slide them off of the rack so now I have tool-less removal!
I'm not completely done with this set, yet. I want to make a doubler on the inside of the box to help add a little rigidity. The other thing I want to do is machine some material off of the aluminum bar stock to make them lighter. Right now it's a bit of an overkill. Lastly, I'm going to weld the HT mounts to the bar stock so I don't have to risk those lugs coming loose.
So.... whatdya think?