All Aluminum Cruiser ??

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by bpnkrtn, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. bpnkrtn

    bpnkrtn

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    Howdy. Newbie again. How close to a totally Aluminum Cruiser can I get? Starting with Aqualu:
    - body tub
    - cowl
    - windshield frame
    - front fenders
    - tailgate
    - liftgate
    - running boards
    - rear fender flares
    - hood side panels
    - front rad cover
    - drop box (tool box)
    - half doors

    Roll cage? With proper attention to diameter and wall thickness, are there any reasons this can't/shouldn't be done?

    Bumpers? I've seen one Al bumper on a j#$@ ... it was nicely done and seemed to be very stout. Thoughts?

    Todd, at Aqualu, says he can't do hoods or the top side pieces (whatever the piece with the rear side windows is called) because they have compound curves ... bummer!

    Appreciate any thoughts and especially info on other suppliers and shops that specialize in aluminum custom work.

    It will be a DD, camping, fishing, dog hauling, mild offroad truck. I know something off the showroom floor will do this ... probably cheaper. But this is what I want to persue. Thanks for all help/thoughts.
     
  2. nuclearlemon

    nuclearlemon not an addict Moderator

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    it will also be expensive. any particular reason why? not dissing you or anything, just wondering.
     
  3. treerootCO

    treerootCO Where are my keys?! SILVER Star

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    Before you say rust....soap eats aluminum :D

    It will oxidize as well, turns into a white fuzzy spots. (aluminum oxide)
     
  4. NJFJ40

    NJFJ40

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    If you are going Alu to prevent rust, then consider Gozzard fiberglass for the items you cannot get in Alu. They are the best made glass products available for a 40. You can the hard-top sides, roof, hood, tailgate, and other items like rear ambi doors, rear half doors, all from Mike Gozzard.

    Place I know that seems to have the most Alu body work experience is CruiserSolutions in NH. You should check with them if you are considering having someone do the work and you are somewhere near the NEast or don't mind shipping there. I think Rocky Mountain Cruisers in CO also does Alu tub and body work also.

    Don't forget Dave at Urban Land Cruisers in Atlanta either. He is a good guy and does good work and well respected on this forum. I believe he does Alu work also.

    AndrewT
     
  5. bpnkrtn

    bpnkrtn

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    No problem. I never got around to a mid-life crises. I'm nearing retirement, kids are out, grandkids have their braces ... etc. I've done the buy one retread tire at a time cause that was all I could afford. I want a personalized ride that not everyone has, and I like FJ40s ... ok, the full truth ... my wife REALLY likes the old FJs :)
     
  6. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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  7. pbgbottle

    pbgbottle Forum Lifer

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    COOL ! i think this is a great idea

    you canadian ?? just a thought . i was going to try to do this also but funds where limited . will probably be trying to build an all aluminum fj45 short box in the future using his stuff (aqualu) . i think you should be able to build a decent and safe aluminum roll bar . i,ve seen a local guy in vancouver b.c.
    who built his bumpers out of aluminum .also his shackles,yes his spring shackles .and a few other things . he may have some info you are looking for .i will ask him a few questions next time i see him .
     
  8. brian

    brian SILVER Star

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    after seeing two of your posts, i see you have unusual ideas.... trying to re-invent the wheel has'nt worked well in other cases either.

    you do know that alum isn't the easiest stuff in the world to keep paint on.

    an alum roll cage?
    yes alum is just as strong as steel, WEIGHT for WEIGHT. i guess it *could* be done, but you would'nt save any weight in doing so.
    alum parts have a "ballooned" look to them, an alum cage would just plain look goofy. i imagine that alum bumpers that were worth anything(as bumpers) would look just as funny.

    a bumper from 1/4" steel would be thought of as "beefy".
    a bumper from 1/2" alum would be thought of as "cheesy".
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2005
  9. Archengine

    Archengine SILVER Star

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    I think it's a great idea, and wish you luck. Aluminum is every bit as easy as steel to keep paint on, thats just a myth that should be put to rest. I have an aqualu body that I worked and painted myself, and couldn't be happier. The only steel body parts still remaining on my truck are the hood, front bib, and fender skirts. Soon I will be ordering a new bib and skirts in aluminum, but unfortunately no one makes an aluminum hood, and I'm not a huge glass fan. I personally would skip the aluminum roll bar though, go chromoly for light weight. I think some hardened bumbers out of some 7075 or aircraft aluminum would not be "cheesy", I say go for it. And when you knock a tree, post up some pics of how it held up. Soon I'm going with a half inch thick hardened aluminum sheet for my skid plate, full belly and only around 50 to 55 lbs. That plate will EASILY hold up the weight of my truck. Keep us informed of your progress.
     
  10. wngrog

    wngrog SILVER Star

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    There is a guy in Houston that built a monster Jeep with an Aluminum roll bar along with EVERYTHING else being aluminum but the tranny and the Rockwells!
     
  11. dingdong

    dingdong

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    An all aluminium cruiser would be cool. Aqualu makes nice stuff.

    My BJ42 should be ready in a couple of months. It is 100% composite from Gozzard. The only steel will be a couple of trim pieces for the hard top. I hate rust.

    It was a close decision between alu and composite. I have seen Gozzards shop first hand, been in one of his big yachts, and seen all his criuser stuff. It is all nice. I have also gone for a ride in his composite cruiser which has been rolled twice.

    I am happy with my decision.
     
  12. Gus

    Gus SILVER Star

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    Sounds cool, make sure you post lots of pic's of your progress. Paint does and will adhere to aluminum very well, just as long as it's properly prepped. Get a competent painter to do the work for you or educate yourself on the process before you do it yourself. Now as for the hood, if you are very ambitious and have deep pockets, you could have an aluminum hood made. The general curves of the hood could easily be laid out by a good sheet metal fab shop given the proper equipment/experience, the curved louvers would be the only part that would be really challenging.
     
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