IN A '53 F-100

by John Niolon

I installed new floor panels and in that decided that the battery would not be below floor... too much trouble to access with carpet.  Plans were to put battery under cab attached to frame close to the starter.  I looked at slide down boxes and most started at $100 and went up from there...  I knew I could build something just as good and a lot cheaper. 

you can use just about anything that will hold its shape and support the weight of the battery..  "normal" (there are exceptions) automotive batteries weigh from 25#s to 45#s  with a few tipping the scales at 50# or more...  so I'd plan on 40# as an average.   I wouldn't use anything less than 1/8" plate for mine.  Some online are lighter... maybe 14" gauge material... but I usually overbuild my stuff.


I had some 1/8" stainless plate left over from another project and after measuring found I had just enough to fab up the box.  Stainless isn't absolutely necessary, but it eliminates priming and painting and will resist acids and such better than carbon.  I wasn't sure at this stage what size battery I was going to use... but wanted enough CCA to handle a moderately built 460ci big block.. so I planned for a box that would hold a large battery...   Typical auto batteries are in the 12" and under width   and maybe up to 9" deep.  The height is no problem since it's a pretty long way to the floor of the cab.  Of course your mileage may vary and build your box to the dimensions you like... you certainly don't have to copy mine..



Here's what I came up with for my application:   The backing plate bolts to the frame between the running board mounts.  I found two existing holes I could use and drilled two more to match.  Here's a pic of  the frame drilled and below that...the backing plate with dimensions.  You can see in the picture of the back plate that the bottom edge slopes down to the middle to allow room to drill a latch hole.   You can do it this way or just put a tab on the back plate for the latch... if you don't want to get all artsy.

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I had access to a plate shear (you can use a cutoff wheel or torch and dress it appropriately)  I cut the back plate 10" x 16"     Then the slide strips are 1" x 10"   Then the two spacer (standoff) strips were 1/2" x 10".  You can see the arrangement sketch above the pic of the backing plate in the pic above.  Leaving enough room for drilling the mounting holes I tacked the spacer strips first then put the slider strips over these and tacked all in place.


Next I cut the back battery tray plate  13-1/2" by 18"  and checked the fit sliding the plate through the slider strips and the back plate...  when I was happy with the fit I stitch welded the spacer strips and the slider strips to the back plate. 


The battery tray is one piece that is 13-1/2" wide and 18" long.. I used a sheet metal break to bend it at the 10" mark. (You can cut separate pieces and weld them together if you don't have a big ole honkin break... and it takes one for SS)  So, it is 10" top to bottom with an 8" extension to form the bottom of the battery tray.  The side plates are triangles... 10" top to bottom and base is 7" long.  Cut two of these.  Check your angle on the back to the bottom and make sure it's 90 degrees then tack weld the side pieces to the back/bottom.  I stitch welded all the pieces together and came up with this.  Ignore the hole in the bottom of the tray... It was a failed attempt at a latch... Might end up using it for a hold-down bracket.

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Once all the pieces are welded together and things seem to move smoothly together I added a lip on the front of the tray.  I't the width of the tray (13-1/2") and 1" high.   You're almost done.
The last thing to do is come up with a latch to hold the battery tray onto the back plate.  I bent a 1-1/2" wide 2" long "L"-bracket.  it's welded to the bottom of the tray and lines up with a hole in the back plate.  A 5/16" bolt/nut hold the tray securely to the back plate.  I also drilled a hole at the top of the tray that will also match up with the latch hole.  When the tray is lowered, slide the latch bolt thru that hole and the hole in the back plate to hold the tray in place for removing and installing a new battery.

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The next picture shows the tray lowered and the bolt through the upper hole and the latch plate... which secures it in the lower position.





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In this picture the tray is about 4" above the floor... but the frame is up on dollies and when it's back down on the ground the tray will be very close to the ground in the lowered position.
Last pic is the tray with a battery.  I got the largest battery that would fit the box... a type 27 and 810 CCA.  460s need some amps.  The hold down strap is a piece of 1" by 1/8" aluminum strap with 5/16 hardware.  And, figure out the cable routes, cable ends and get all that secured...    I also might run it through the glass bead cabinet and clean it up some more...  it's one of those things that no one will ever see but me, but I'll know !

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Boilerplate denial of liability statement…   i.e.  the fine print

This project is something I came up with to prevent me from spending too many dollars on a high dollar commercial solution,  it is not patented, engineered or even perfect… it is what it is, a home made project.  I’m sure there are alternatives to this design, some even better/cheaper/easier, I just didn’t think of them or warrant them necessary... there are several similar ideas on the internet waiting behind Google for you to see/copy/build…(just like I did) This work was done by me and for me or by friends who were nice enough to help me out. I only ask that if you reproduce it give me credit for it and if you make money from it… give me my percentage.

Since I have no way of knowing your level of competence, welding or cutting skills, mechanical ability or estimated intelligence, there are no guaranties or warranties either verbal, written or implied with this article. Along with this article I am giving you absolutely free of charge…that’s right !  FREE !!...the liability, total and complete liability for the use or misuse of this idea    will be yours and yours alone.

It belongs to you with that in mind… I am in no way responsible for any damage, injury or embarrassment you may suffer from the use or misuse of this homemade thing.  If it doesn’t look like something you’d be comfortable using… don’t build/use it.  If you’re not intelligent enough to make that decision about your comfort level… ask a family member or friend.. but here’s a hint… if you have to ask someone… don’t build it !

Pictures were made at different stages of construction and all assemblies in pictures may not be complete in each shot. I.e.. a picture showing ‘some parts’ only means that it was not finished, but I’ve tried to make the idea complete to the best of my ability. If you have questions or see mistakes or problems, let me know by e-mail and I’ll make the corrections if possible..

Use these ideas at your own risk. Modify them at your discretion and to suit your purpose. Your mileage may vary, batteries not included, much assembly required... wait one hour after building to enter the water, additional charges may apply. not all applicants will qualify for advertised A.P.R., for ages 10 to adult…side effects are comparable to placebos. Do not take drugs when building or operating machinery.  JUST SAY NO.

Copyright . 2017 John Niolon, All International Rights Reserved. This document may not be copied or published without prior written consent of the author- jniolon@att.net