Today was another fairly productive vacation day. It started off with finishing the mounting point for the front of the center canopy rail. I had temporarily tack welded it in place so that I could build the proper mounting later. This was a pretty straight forward task and really only needed to keep the rail from moving back and forth since the radiator frame actually supports the weight. A simple self tapping bolt did the trick with an angle plate welded to the rail.
Next on the agenda was building the battery tray. Since batteries are fairly heavy I created the tray out of the 1/8″ plate steel. I started off by creating a bottom plate large enough to hold a battery. Lucky for me, I have an old Optima Yellow Top kicking around the garage to use as a mock-up. I then welded a small tab to the front of the bottom plate that the tie-down hook will go through
Next I welded on some sides that were angled down to the front. I also drilled a hole at the back for the rear tie-down hook. Of course the hooks that I bought were a bit too long so I had to cut them and bend some new ends so that everything would fit properly.
Last was finding the right place on the firewall to mount the tray. I chose a spot just above where the HVAC lines come into the cabin for my A/C and Heater unit. This gives me room to fiddle with those connectors and also clears the engine. The 1/8″ steel was fairly heavy and my welding magnets wouldn’t hold it in place, so I just used a couple of jack stands to prop it up for welding.
This location will also be handy so that I can run some “exterior accessible” jumper cable ports just in-case the battery ever dies and I need to get back into the car 🙂
Once everything was welded into place I was able to test fit the battery and the tie-downs. I created my own tie-down bar out of 1/8″ plate and welded a 90 degree fin along the center to give it some extra strength. Then it was just a matter of drilling the ends of the tie-down bar and securing everything into place.
I did start on drilling the mounting points inside the cabin for the e-brake handle but my uni-bit ended up finally fizzling out on me so I needed to call it a day and make a run to the hardware store for a new bit. I’ll get the e-brake mounted tomorrow and hopefully the e-brake cable run.