Sunday, September 21, 2008

Seat Boxes, II

Time to build the racks for the under-seat batteries. Getting accurate dimensions was tricky with the complicated curves under the seat. So, I cheated. I marked a hole the size of the battery box:

The front of the hole aligns exactly with the factory "drain plug" used during initial priming of the body - I knocked the plug out with a hammer (you can see the hole here). The outside cut of the hole is designed to be just about even with the "frame rail" beneath, to give the box extra security. I used a cutoff wheel on my grinder to cut the hole out (note the "flaps" - these stay attached and will be bolted to the rack):

And I test-fit the box in the hole. Just right. With the box in place (supported from below by a floor jack) I traced the contours of the hole on it.

With the box removed, I tweaked the contours to something reasonably easy to cut / bend / weld (you can see my first sketch of the upper part of the rack here):

With those measurements, I went inside and used Sketchup to design the complete rack. You can find a PDF blueprint here. This is a rendering with the box inside:

Here are the two side pieces cut, bent, and welded together, test-fit against the lines drawn on the box:

Here is the completed upper part of the rack, test-fit in the hole (this is a view toward the passenger's side from the driver's side):

Here is the completed rack with the box inside it. This is a very tight fit - the blueprints above were sized up a little to make it not quite so tight (so the second one I build should slide in more easily):

Here is the completed rack resting in its hole:

And here is a battery inside the box inside the rack:

Same thing, from below, to check for interference. This sags a little more than the actual mounting will, since it does not have bolts (or maybe rivets) attaching the rack to the sheet metal flaps:

Next task: installing the lower rear rack permanently (I'm tired of moving the rack around the garage...)

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