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Old 06-18-2018, 02:27 PM   #1
OldGreyBeast
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Default Diamond plate battery tray

It's rare I have a need to fabricate anything more than something like a steel target stand or other fairly large, not necessarily precise stuff. The battery tray in my old 190D had mostly just rusted away. I wanted a proper battery tray in it so it was a good opportunity to fabricate something. I decided to use aluminum for weight and corrosion resistance. Picked up a sheet of diamond plate and bent this up:





It fit perfectly on the first try, all the holes matched up exactly, I was super stoked about it. Then I went to tighten it down and one of the mounting studs snapped off, rusted clean through (the nut that was on that one apparently rusted away or was lost years ago).





The studs aren't bolts threaded through the bottom, I don't really know how to explain it, but it wasn't something I could just thread out and replace. You can probably tell where I'd done some rust repair in the area under the battery tray from the fresh paint. I sanded it down, POR 15'd it, and painted it white.


Got the dremel out and cut the stud out. Kept grinding the hole open until I got to good metal.





I had some 16g sheet steel laying around. A bit overkill for this but it was there so I used it. Measured, cut, drilled, and welded a M6 bolt through it. Welding this in down in this little hole was a real pain. Getting a good ground was a pain as well. The welds are boogery but it was the best I could do at that weird angle. It's in there though and lines up perfectly with the tray





I sprayed primer over it yesterday after I finished all this. Should be good to paint this evening. I know for a lot of you guys this is nothing, but I'm proud of it. 5 years ago doing something like this myself wouldn't have even been a consideration!
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:24 PM   #2
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Looks better than anything I would end up with if I tried this lol
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:46 PM   #3
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Dirty metal makes for nasty welds - even if it has little bits of oil in the cracks.

So, yeah, it looks pretty good. You probably would have had to washed it in acetone to get all of the crap off of it.

I probably would have used rivets, because I knew it would look like dog doo-doo. lol

Now I want me an aluminum battery tray, though. Bastard.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:47 PM   #4
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Haha thanks man. It wasn't too bad. I made a bending jig out of a large piece of angle iron and a 2x4. For the smaller bends I just used a ball peen hammer.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:57 PM   #5
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Ha yeah I tried to clean the metal up as best I could, but it was hard to get in there to sand the rust/paint down and all that. I thought about using rivets (that's what most of my truck's inner fenders are held together with) but wanted to give metal a try.


I'm going to buy some more diamond plate and build a tray for the D21 as well My battery has been sitting in the engine bay held in by a rotting bungee cord since 2012 when I first put that in there as a "temporary" solution...
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:41 PM   #6
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Nice job man. Maybe a new side job for you. I know I need one.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillacdude1975 View Post
Looks better than anything I would end up with if I tried this lol

Check under there in your W124 if you haven't yet. Did this on my W201 about a year ago. Rust didn't go through and used a refinished OE battery tray. So no welding or fabbing required, just sanding, rust converter and paint.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:30 PM   #8
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I never thought to look at the tray when I put the battery in there. I will do that soon. Now I need to find the main vacuum supply line from the engine to the vacuum block for the climate control. I replaced the climate control center and now the switching valve is working, but there is no vacuum for the block to distribute. Wouldn’t matter anyways because the vacuum pods for the ac system have holes in the diaphragms. And those bastards are about 45 bucks a pop.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:32 AM   #9
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The vacuum lines enter the cabin right behind the brake master cyl. There's a three or four way vacuum line splitter that goes to some yellow check valves that look kinda like spinning tops. Don't remember if you have to remove the cowling to get to it on the W124, but it's in the open on W201.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:05 AM   #10
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beautiful job of making it.....but cover the diamond plate with rubber so it does not eat the batt case.
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