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GT40 Tech - Exterior, Interior, AC, & Trim All that other stuff not in categories above.

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Old 13th September 2011, 09:30 AM   #1
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Constructing a battery box

Hi all

I've decided while I am waiting for my suspension and steering parts to arrive to have a go at making the battery box.

I originally bought the fiberglass box from Tornado but wasn't too sure about it. I'd prefer to go for the paneled option that a lot of builders on here use like these:

Scotland Tornado-p1010186-jpg

Norfolk Tornado-pb301568-jpg

First I need to know what material should I use. I originally thought to use the standard 2mm aluminium I've used on all my panels as supplied by Tornado but I don't know if this is sturdy enough to support a heavy battery.

Secondly, whats the best way to construct the box. Is it to make 4 side panels with a series of flanges, and a bottom panel and rivet together? Any pictures, tips etc much appreciated

Trev
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Old 13th September 2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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Re: Constructing a battery box

Trev,

I recognise that battery box! (the second picture) I used thin steel angle section (from B&Q if I recall) which was welded into the chassis and then panelled it with 20swg (1mm) aluminium.

More details are here: Norfolk Tornado

As you won’t want to weld to your nicely powder-coated frame, there’s no reason why a folded & riveted aluminium box (I’d use 2mm thick sheet) can’t be dropped into the chassis
Regards
Andy

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Old 13th September 2011, 01:13 PM   #3
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Re: Constructing a battery box

Trev
The first photo is mine, but I have to say, Andy's looks better (I would have stolen his idea for the vents but I made mine before his....). For mine, I made up a few panels with overlaps then rivetted together. Looks good from the top, but not so good underneath, but you cant see that part anyway as the cill shrouds it completely. I used the same ali panelling that I used for the rest of the car (18 SWG I think). For additional support, I made up two square U pieces that I rivetted under the chassis and around the bottom of the box.
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Old 13th September 2011, 02:18 PM   #4
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Re: Constructing a battery box

This may not be helpful since they are made in the US, but XS Power batteries (Products XS Power) can all be had with a "protective metal case" that exactly fits the battery. Scroll almost to the bottom to see them. Mine came with one, but it appears they are now sold separately. If you had one of those I think mounting flanges could easily be added with rivets. Also, about a third of the way down they show "combo kits" that come with side-attached stamped aluminum hold-downs.

Failing availability in the UK, perhaps your other battery suppliers offer something similar pre-made and matched to the battery in question.
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Old 13th September 2011, 02:52 PM   #5
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Re: Constructing a battery box

Quote:
Originally Posted by awatkins View Post
This may not be helpful since they are made in the US, but XS Power batteries (Products XS Power) can all be had with a "protective metal case" that exactly fits the battery. Scroll almost to the bottom to see them. Mine came with one, but it appears they are now sold separately. If you had one of those I think mounting flanges could easily be added with rivets. Also, about a third of the way down they show "combo kits" that come with side-attached stamped aluminum hold-downs.

Failing availability in the UK, perhaps your other battery suppliers offer something similar pre-made and matched to the battery in question.
That's a great spot Alan, that would do the job really well. I'll have a look round and see what kind of thing I can find.

Trev
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Old 13th September 2011, 03:32 PM   #6
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Re: Constructing a battery box

How about something like this I found on ebay, they offer custom size boxes.
Battery Box, Medium, Aluminium (Not Alloy) Autograss /Race/ Rally | eBay

In fact what I might do is take my fibreglass battery box down to my local fabricators and see what they can make me.

If I am am having one made I could do with some reference photos. Can you guys post up some ideas and also what should the lid look like?

Thanks

Trev
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Old 29th September 2011, 09:24 AM   #7
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Re: Constructing a battery box

im having a similar conundrum, however you would need to ensure that you always get exactly the same battery size or you put in a system to securely hold the battery in place. I am looking at putting in a hold down system to stop the battery shiftng, just some rods with threaded ends with right angled alu on one end. i can then bolt this onto the battery box, with one rod either end of the battery and hopefully this will hold the battery still.

I only raise this as I orginally had a westfield and we put a bigger battery in it, but then swapped it for a smaller motorcycle battery on track days (weight weenies... what can i say). needless to say the battery slid about and the positive terminal wiggled off the battery once...
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Old 29th September 2011, 09:34 AM   #8
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Re: Constructing a battery box

Would the best option not be to have a box that is big enough for regular batteries and then fit some kind or rubber/foam insert into the box when running smaller batteries

Trev
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Old 29th September 2011, 12:15 PM   #9
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Re: Constructing a battery box

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorsummers View Post
Would the best option not be to have a box that is big enough for regular batteries and then fit some kind or rubber/foam insert into the box when running smaller batteries

Trev
That certainly is more forward-looking. And the spacer need not necessarily be that soft; you can make something out of aluminum, etc, and simply pad the edges a little with some rubber to filter out vibration and accomodate some differential expansion/contracion. As I mentioned elsewhere, using the stock SPF box I was able to cut and notch a piece of ~2" square aluminum tubing in such a way as to "trap" the battery in position once the lid of the box was screwed down. That makes battery R&R very fast and convenient, and mounting very secure. And then when you are in a bind or whatever and need to borrow a battery that's larger you just take that all out and sit the big battery in there long enough to get by.

I'd love to show you a picture but I've piled so much stuff on top of the battery box (kill switches, fuel pumps, etc.) that it's a bit of a production to take it out. Shoulda taken a picture at the time....
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Old 29th September 2011, 01:03 PM   #10
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Re: Constructing a battery box

Here's what I did with .060 aluminum for my SPF.
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Constructing a battery box-img_1089-jpg   Constructing a battery box-img_1091-jpg  
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Old 29th September 2011, 04:31 PM   #11
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Re: Constructing a battery box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igofaster View Post
Here's what I did with .060 aluminum for my SPF.
That looks spot on Ron, very nice
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Old 5th October 2011, 11:03 PM   #12
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Re: Constructing a battery box

One thing to be wary of is constructing a battery box that's too small. When my Pantera was restored, a custom battery box was fabricated that drops the battery down under the front trunk, accessed via a hatch. Brilliant idea, but unfortunately he bought the smallest battery he could find and then fabricated a box to fit it. That means that I am now limited to using only batteries of that size, which are difficult to find.

Fortunately my battery has been going strong for 15+ years (thanks to religious use of a battery disconnect when not in use). But still, you should analyze the available space and take advantage of it, then fill any excess space with foam etc.
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