Plastic Battery Box Modification

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Brutacus

Member
139
3
18
Location
Marion, AR.
I have finished modifying my new plastic battery boxes.

When I first got them, I notice that the top of the sides all curled in just like this. Bad Battery Box and Brackets 0.jpg This isn't my truck, but it looked just like this.

I don't like that. So I decided to fix it. This involved using two pieces of sheet metal that came with N.O.S. battery box kits, and two plates of 1/8" steel. The sheet metal parts are supposed to be used when mounting on a deuce and half, and are not used when mounted on a 5 ton... I think.

I first straightened out the sheet metal.

Battery Box Reinforcement Mod 1.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 2.jpg

Then painted the sheet metal.

Battery Box Reinforcement Mod 3.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 4.jpg

The sheet metal is used to reinforce the inside sides of the boxes. This just keep the inside walls straight.

The outside wall are reinforced with the 1/8" plate. They where first drilled out, the mocked into place with screws

Battery Box Reinforcement Mod 5.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 7.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 8.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 9.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 10.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 11.jpg

The screws stick out too far to be used, so I'm using 3/16" semi tubular rivets, truss heads. These give the boxes a slimmer clearance than what the screws could offer.

Battery Box Reinforcement Mod 19.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 18.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 17.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 16.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 15.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 14.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 13.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 12.jpg

You can see in some of the pictures that I messed up some of the rivets. (They where replaced) This was because I had my air pressure was set too high, and my I.Q. set to low. After that was corrected everything went fine. These rivets a semi tubular 3/16" diameter, 1/2" long. I used a bit for my air hammer made specifically for 3/16" diameter semi tubular rivets. The bit cost $20, and a bag of 100 rivets cost $13. After I was done with the rivets, I hit the boxes with some rapco 383 green.
 
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Brutacus

Member
139
3
18
Location
Marion, AR.
I then test fitted my battery bracket by setting it down in the battery box, and it cleared it just fine. Now, when I get some more time, I'll have to grind/cut down the little humps in the middle of the boxes so my group 8D's can sit flat.

The battery brackets are made out 3/16"x1-1/2" angle and 1/8"x1" flat bar. The ear tabs for the J-hook bolts are made out of 3/4"x1/8" angle driller out to 7/16". After some welding, grinding, drilling, and some painting/coating with some flex seal rubber, they are ready to mount.

Battery Box Reinforcement Mod 22.jpgBattery Box Reinforcement Mod 21.jpgBattery hold down 1.jpgBattery hold down 2.jpgBattery hold down 3.jpgBattery hold down 4.jpgBattery hold down 5.jpgBattery hold down 6.jpg

My next and final step will be the making new hooks to hold the batteries down. I'll be making them out of 1/4" stainless steel round bar.
 
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zebedee

conceptualizer at large
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Central NY
"NOS Battery box kits" - did not know that was available - who has them? Or are they easily self man'd?

I really enjoy these kinds of threads - nicely done "Brutacus".
 

Brutacus

Member
139
3
18
Location
Marion, AR.
The "NOS battery box kit" as I call it, is really called a Polyethylene Battery Box Assembly Kit. NSN 6160 01 318 0763 I found 2 of them on ebay for $40 each. The instructions say it is for M39, M39A1, M39A2, M44, M44A1, M44A2, and M809 trucks. It was really easy to put everything together, including the modification. This beats my old steel boxes.

These are the ones that came on my truck. They were rusted out really bad.
Battery Box 0.jpg Battery Box 2.jpg

I then upgraded to a newer style steel box, but the boxes are too tall. My steps don't sit well on the new steel boxes.
Battery Box 3.jpg

Since my steps didn't mate too well with those boxes, that's why I'm switching to the shorter plastic boxes.
 
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Brutacus

Member
139
3
18
Location
Marion, AR.
Small update.

Here is what my battery boxes and step looked like.Bad Battery Box and Brackets 2.jpgBad Battery Box and Brackets 3.jpgBad Battery Box and Brackets 5.jpg


This is what they look like now.Battery Box and Step After 1.jpg

My next and last step is to fabricate new hooks out of stainless steel. I'm using 1/4" rod, but I haven't decided on 304 or 316 stainless. Here is a "proof of concept" hook I made using my cheap bender I found on ebay for $45. The rod is 1/4" stainless I found at the hardware store for $4. The tag on the rod says stainless, but I don't know if it is 304 or 316. Probably 304 stainless.
Rod bender.jpg

Stainless steel hook 1.jpg

I'm thinking of threading both ends of the hooks. The top end of the hook to bolt down the battery holder frame I made, and the bottom end so it can be bolted down to the battery box using stainless hardware.

Stainless Steel Hook 2.jpgStainless Steel Hook 3.jpg
 

77 AMG

Member
321
1
16
Location
Owingsville, KY
Nice idea for taking the curve out of the top of those plastic boxes. I have been using an old mudflap on top of the batteries to keep the step spaced "up" a bit and help with the crushing/ bowing of the boxes, temporarily. What is the old straight six out of? GM or Ford?
 

Brutacus

Member
139
3
18
Location
Marion, AR.
Nice idea for taking the curve out of the top of those plastic boxes. I have been using an old mudflap on top of the batteries to keep the step spaced "up" a bit and help with the crushing/ bowing of the boxes, temporarily. What is the old straight six out of? GM or Ford?
Thankx, The old straight six is 250 chevy. It's part of a project I've put to the side/back burner. Every since I got a hold of my 5 ton, I haven't been interested in doing anything with it except for selling my old project truck (1935 GMC) so I can do more with my 5 ton.
 
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77 AMG

Member
321
1
16
Location
Owingsville, KY
Cool. Yeah, I hear you on the other projects getting sidelined thing... these trucks pretty much DEMAND that you get them completely caught up on maintenance before they will let you have the time to (maybe) work on other projects.
 

Brutacus

Member
139
3
18
Location
Marion, AR.
I did see that. I even thought about doing it, seriously tracking down parts. My only problems with that mod was the cost for me, and the availability of the parts. When I found the plastic boxes for cheap, I went in that direction.
 

MyothersanM1

19K M1 Armor Crewman
1,838
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48
Location
Culver City, CA
I did see that. I even thought about doing it, seriously tracking down parts. My only problems with that mod was the cost for me, and the availability of the parts. When I found the plastic boxes for cheap, I went in that direction.
Those M915 battery box kits are not as easy to come by anymore. When I got the first one in late 2015 it was from a nearby to me SS member, Artisan. He had a grip of them! My second box I tracked down again here on the classifieds. The member I bought it from is in Arizona. His neighbor/friend frequents the So Cal area for work. So, he transported it for me to So Cal for a much better fee than LTL freight.
I guess what I like about them the most is the ability to make them more secure to thwart off thieves.
 

Brutacus

Member
139
3
18
Location
Marion, AR.
I have finished my battery hooks and got my batteries mounted, and the truck running and driving again. I noticed my voltage meter jumps around a lot with the new alternator. My hooks are made out of stainless steel. They were harder than thought they would be to cut threads on, but it can be done. If it where plain ole' steel, then it would have been a breeze. I used 1/4" stainless lock nuts, and washers with the stainless hooks. You can see in the bottom of the boxes I cut off the bumps so the group 8D's can sit flat on the bottom. Since I got it on the road again, my next project will be the mirrors.
battery install 1.JPG
 

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